Content Warning: I really don't think that one is necessary. Yes, two women are in love in this story but nothing major. It's more mentioned than anything.
Personal: This is my first and I hoping that it won't be my last. Please send your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org. THANK YOU for those that have written me. I really do appreciate it. Here's the second part and I'm working on a third. It'll take some time though because I've been rather busy. Again, Thank you. Enjoy!
So now I could walk. It didn't mean that I was fully recovered but it did mean that I was well on my way. But because I could already walk that meant that I could leave the confines of the hospital walls. I had to find someplace to go. It wasn't really that difficult. There were a lot of people in the hospital that I had gotten to know that were willing to share their home with me and I know most of the offers were genuine and had nothing to do with the money I had, but instead had to do with person I was.
I'm sure that you have guessed that I would go home with Dana and Sam. Well, you're not wrong. I did go home with them eventually but something happened first. I mentioned that my parents' didn't have any living relatives that could take care of me and that's true, but my father did have a child before he married my mother. She was a product from a relationship that my father had when he was only seventeen years old. My father never really made it public knowledge that she was his daughter but she was always well taken care of. I was even allowed to establish a relationship with her. Her name was Audrey.
One day I was sitting in my room with my physical therapist and she just walked in. I hadn't seen her for almost a year and seeing her now was very special for me. Audrey was my big sister and she was my family even if the public didn't know about it. Her mother, Lauren, was a very nice woman who I considered to be like a favored aunt. She always encouraged Audrey's and mine relationship and always gave good advice. I guiltily will admit that I preferred to spend time with Lauren over spending time with my own mother.
Audrey was no different. She always acted like my big sister when allowed to and made sure that I knew that it didn't matter I was Marcus' girl I was still a person and I should act like one. She made sure I knew that I was no better than a person who works a nine to five job and provides for their family the best way they know how. Audrey has always had a big influence on my life. Just for general information let me say that she never was a gold digger, she didn't take drugs, she didn't have five children with five different fathers, she didn't even have one child. Audrey was a college student who got into college not from the courtesy of my father but the courtesy of a basketball scholarship. She worked hard in life and didn't let my father provide everything for her.
"What's up lil' sis?" Audrey asked as she stuck her head through the door.
It took me a moment to recognize her. I looked at her dark brown hair that was tied up in the back and the cream colored face that was only a few shades lighter than my own. Then I settled my eyes on the dark brown gaze that I never would forget. I jumped up from my bed and Audrey walked fully into the room. I ran over to her and jumped into her over six-foot frame. "Dre!"
Audrey took me into her arms and held me there. We both started to cry although I know that I desperately tried not to. I was just going to let her hold me until someone or something broke us apart.
Behind me I heard my physical therapist clear his throat. I slowly released my hold on Audrey and turned to him. "I think we're done with your exercises for today why don't you just go ahead and take some time with your friend."
Steven, my therapist was a great guy. He was usually very adamant about me doing every single exercise but he could see that I had a special visitor and cut me some slack. "Thanks." I got out through my crying fit.
Steven walked past us and headed towards the door. "No problem, but be ready tomorrow." Good old Steve I knew he couldn't cut me that much slack.
Steve left the room and I turned to look back to Audrey. "Hey why don't I spring you from this place and buy you some lunch. I know what they feed you here has to be awful." Audrey smiled brightly at me and gently guided me out the door. "Wait I have to go tell Sam or Dana." It had become an unwritten law that if I were even going to breath I wouldn't do it until Sam or Dana knew about it. They were kind of protective of me. Audrey looked at me confused. "They're two of the people at the hospital that have really looked after me. They'd be worried if I just disappeared." I explained.
Audrey nodded her head in understanding and we set off to find a surgeon or an E.R. doctor. Sam was busy with an emergency so we left to find Dana. She was on her lunch break and was in the hospital cafeteria looking over some patients' charts while one of her colleagues sat besides her trying to get her attention. I think he was new because I hadn't seen him before. I actually think that he was trying to hit on her. As a side note, by the way, Sam and Dana had 'come out' shortly after my birthday party. Like I had thought before it wasn't really that big of a deal at the hospital, everybody knew about them pretty much anyway.
I walked into the cafeteria and Dana lifted her head and smiled at me. I stopped for a moment to just get the full effect of Dana's smile, because it was something that you had to experience and take in not just notice. Her eyes quickly captured the figure that was walking beside me, Audrey.
When Audrey and I reached the table the man that was sitting with Dana stopped talking and looked up to Audrey. She smiled pleasantly at him and then turned her gaze to Dana. "Dana I was wondering if I could go out to lunch with Audrey?" I pointed to the woman who stood beside me.
"Audrey?" Dana drawled out. You might want to know that I never told Sam or Dana about Audrey. It wasn't because I didn't want to, it's just that she's someone that I wasn't suppose to talk about except in the company of my immediate family and old habits die hard. Audrey didn't seem hurt or even offended that I hadn't told Dana about her. I don't think that she really expected me to. She didn't exactly yell and scream to everyone that I was her sister either. It was just the way things were done.
"Audrey, she's an old friend of the families." I know that it was a lame introduction, but that's what my brain decided to tell my mouth to say. Audrey quickly stepped in.
"I'm Audrey. My mother was a friend of Tori's father and I've known Tori ever since she was born; I don't know if that qualifies me as and old friend of the family considering I'm only twenty but what I can do." Audrey held out her hand to Dana and Dana stood up and took it accordingly. Seeing Dana stand next to Audrey made me let out a little giggle. For the first time ever I saw Dana have to look up to someone. Dana was close to six feet herself but Audrey was just shy of hitting 6' 3". Dana heard it and gave me her famous eyebrow raise.
"I'm Dana. It's good to meet someone that Tori knows from somewhere other than the hospital. Not many people came to see her after the accident." Dana bore her blue eyes straight into Audrey's brown ones. Audrey looked away with an almost guilty look upon her face. Dana had hit a sore spot. Audrey didn't say anything. Dana had won the first round. Like I said she was protective of me.
Suddenly mystery man at the table stood up and decided to make himself known. "Hey I'm Greg Nichols." He held his hand out to Audrey. Audrey looked at him strangely but took his hand anyway. "Audrey."
"Dana can I please go to lunch with Audrey?" I decided to bring the conversation back to what it had initially started out as. "I promise I won't go run off to Canada or something and I'll be back before six."
Dana gave me a small grin and then she looked over to Audrey quickly again and let out an exasperated sigh, "Fine kid you can go, but me back by six." I nodded my head in understanding then grabbed Audrey's hand and made for the exit to leave Dana alone again with Greg. I was sure that Dana could handle the man own her own.
Audrey and I decided to go to an Italian restraunt that was close to the hospital. We ordered our lunch and then Audrey started the conversation "How you doin Tori?"
"Fine. I have a bunch of therapy and stuff that I have to go through but I lived. How you doin Dre?"
"Fine. I have to get through college and I wasn't able to go to my father's funeral, but I'm living."
Audrey and I had a way of talking that although to an outsider might seem short, really conveyed the way we felt and what or life was like. It had become a way we communicated as sisters. It was our way of having a heart to heart without all the extra words. We were both very direct people. "How's your mom?"
Audrey was silent for a moment. I knew that we had just hit the serious part of the conversation.
"We need your special help Tori?" Audrey looked straight into my eyes. "Mom has to get some surgery the doctors say that she has cancer. She needs treatment or the doctors say she might die."
I took a deep breath and looked away. I loved Audrey's mom. She was never bitter towards me and she always treated me like her own daughter. She wasn't rich; actually she was from the same ghetto that my father came from. If I had to pick myself a mother Audrey's mom would be it. So when Audrey came to me for special help it meant that a family member of mine needed help, the only help that I could really give which was money.
"Dre, whatever you guys need I'll give you. I mean you guys never asked for anything before, it's about time some of this money does some good and helping Lauren out is the best I can think of." I knew that getting the money would really be no problem and even if it were, Lauren was going to benefit from my wealth. No matter what.
Audrey smiled at me but the tension that seemed to be coiled up in her shoulders didn't seem to relinquish. "I'm sorry that I didn't come to see you Tori. I should have been there for you, but I was scared because of all the press and everything. I'm sorry, your family and I should have been there. Lauren wanted to see you but she got really sick at the time of the accident and was stuck at the hospital" Audrey's voice held nothing but sincerity. I don't know how long that guilt had been with her but it seemed to be like something that greatly bothered her.
I didn't know what to say because I wondered where she was when I was on my hospital bed with broken bones and America was calling me a rich girl with no family. I would lie on my bed and know that I had family out in the world that never came. I was a little upset about that and as much as I wanted to tell Audrey that it was okay, it wasn't okay with me yet. I just needed time. Audrey looked at me and nodded her head. She understood that it wasn't yet time for me to offer my forgiveness.
"How much money do you need?"
"The doctors say that the bills could go maybe up to fifty, she's at Mercy Hospital."
"I want to go see her." Our food had arrived and I started eating. Audrey stared at her plate for a moment I'm sure thinking about her answer.
"She doesn't really look that good right now Tori. Maybe you should wait until she gets the surgery." She almost whispered out.
"I'm going to be there Dre. Just because you didn't show up for me don't think that I don't want to be there for you guys." I suddenly found something very interesting on my fork to look at. "You guys are the only family that I really got now. I mean there's Dana and Sam but? you guys the only family I got." The last part came out in a whisper. I had suddenly gone from a headstrong young woman to a child in the time it took to finish my sentence.
Audrey looked at me sadly for a moment. "She'd really like to see you and I'm sure that I could use the company." She smiled at me gently then began eating her food.
The rest of our lunch was spent on mild chitchat and silence. Everything that was important had already been said. I told Audrey about Sam and Dana and all my experiences while I was in the hospital. Sadness fell over her when I told her about the pain and all the other things that I had to deal with. I think she was upset at herself because she wasn't there for me, and a little part of me was even satisfied that she felt that way.
Audrey took me back to the hospital and stayed with me for a while. We watched TV in my room and we made fun of all the bad acting. It was a favorite past time of ours. We talked some more about her life and how she was doing in college. She had gotten some time off when Lauren got really sick so she wasn't attending school at the moment.
Later that evening while Audrey and I were watching TV Sam and Dana came into my room. I could tell that Dana had informed Sam about Audrey. Sam smiled at Audrey and offered her hand. "Hi, I'm Sam you must be Audrey." Audrey took Sam's hand but never left her place on my bed. "That would be correct." The room was silent after that. All that could be heard was the soft hum of voices that came from the TV. A sudden tension permeated the air. I took a deep breath and decided to get the real introductions over with.
Audrey and I had already discussed it. She wanted to be called my bigger sister no matter the repercussions it might bring from the press. Dana and Sam seemed like good people to be the first for me to introduce Audrey as my big sister to. "Dana, Sam, Audrey just isn't an old friend of the family." Their faces clearly showed that they already knew that piece of information. "Audrey is my half-sister, from my dad's side."
They weren't expecting that though. A pair of Blue and a pair of Green eyes widened considerably. I could tell that the wheels were spinning in each of their heads. "Your sister?" Dana recovered first.
"I know that I didn't mention her to you before and I'm sorry. It's just something that I never could mention before and I'm not used to being able to. My father never wanted anyone to know, I don't know why, he just didn't." Audrey had taken my hand in a show of support.
"Why didn't you come before?" Dana leveled a blue-eyed glare at Audrey.
"I was scared. I should have been here though." Audrey quickly looked away from the intense blue that she was suddenly captured in only to turn into the same intensity of green. "Scared of what?"
"I don't think that's any of your business." Audrey said defensively.
"Why did you show up now?" I just knew one of them was going to ask and Dana didn't disappoint me. Audrey looked away. Her answer certainly wouldn't gain her any points. She came back to me for money. I know that wasn't the only reason, but to Dana and Sam right now, that would be the only important one.
"You want money." Sam stated in utter disdain. When Audrey remained silent Sam took that as her answer. "That's unbelievable. You just showed up for money."
"I think it would be best for you to leave." Dana said in her no nonsense tone.
Audrey got up from my bed and walked towards the door. I knew that she thought she didn't deserve my help. She felt guilty about not being there for me. I was upset that she wasn't but I would have been scared too. I think that my father actually gave Audrey one of the best gifts in the world. By not making it public knowledge she was his daughter he enabled her to have a life. She could make her mistakes and learn from them without the entire country knowing about it. If she had shown up at my bedside when all the press was hovering around, the truth about whom she was would have eventually come out. Then the whole country would know about her and her life wouldn't be hers anymore. Yeah, I would have been scared too. "Audrey wait."
She stopped at the door, "Their right lil' sis. I'll see you." She didn't even turn to look me in the eye.
"Audrey, I understand." Audrey lifted her head to me. "I know you Dre, and I know that no matter if I agreed to give you that money or not you'd still be here." I slowly let out a sigh. "I did the same thing you did. I never told anybody not even the two closest people to me in the world right now about you. I never mentioned how I had this incredible older sister who taught how to be a good person." I was in tears now. "I never told anyone about the person who taught me how to play sports even though her father threatened to get her kicked off her high school basketball team. I didn't tell anyone about you Dre."
Audrey had moved closer to me and now had me wrapped in her arms. "You're family lil' sis and no matter what I should have been there." Her voice cracked. "Don't worry about not telling anyone about me. The world doesn't have to know about me for me to know that you love me." She took a deep breath. "Don't worry about the money."
I moved so that I was staring straight into Audrey's eyes. "I'm not going to let Lauren die. You're getting that money and I don't care if you accept it or not because you're going to use it." I kept my voice stern.
"She's going to want to pay you back every penny you know that right?" Audrey looked at me with a small glint in her eye.
"I wouldn't have it any other way." I gathered Audrey into a big hug and never wanted to let go. Then, I remembered there were two other people in the room with us and I decided to fill them in. "Lauren is Audrey's mom. She's a very, VERY important person to me and she has cancer. They can't afford the surgery. I'm going to pay for the bills and I AM going to go see her tomorrow."
Dana and Sam knew when to not fight with me I guess because they decided not to. I'm sure they could see that I had already made up my mind and there was no changing it. I wasn't angry with them. I knew the only reason they were so harsh on Audrey was because they just didn't want to see me get hurt or taken advantage of. It was really nice to know that they cared so much. Anyway, I'm sure that after that conversation they knew what Audrey meant to me; and wither they accepted it or not, Audrey was my sister and she was going to be a part of my life.
"Do you want us to go to the hospital with you?" Sam was offering me their support. I looked to Audrey then I looked back to Sam and Dana. I made a decision. "Yeah. That'd be real great." It was time for my two families to become one.
All of them left together after the conversation. They all simultaneously decided that it was time for me to go to sleep. I'm not sure what they talked about after they left my room, but I have a feeling that a few misconceptions were cleared up. I could tell that Dana and Sam were still weary of Audrey but at least not as much. I had given Audrey the number to my lawyers so she could have them transfer the money. They all knew about Audrey and there was a 'special' fund that was set aside for things like this that Audrey or I could access no questions asked.
The next day was very long. I woke up did my physical therapy took a shower, and got ready to go see Lauren. I felt a mixture of anxiety, fear, and happiness all doing somersaults in my stomach. Dana and Sam came to my room early to take me to Mercy Hospital. On the way there I didn't say a thing. Sam explained to me what I shouldn't expect to see Lauren like I remembered her because she was very sick. I had seen cancer patients before so I wasn't really that worried about it, and I should have been.
I walked into the hospital and made my way to Lauren's room. When I got there I just stopped. Seeing this bigger than life person in a frail sick body almost proved more than I could handle. The woman lying in the bed was my own personal hero. I always looked up to her. Audrey suddenly came up behind me and gently moved me into the door. Lauren lifted her head and gave me a gentle smile that made me forget what condition she was in, because it showed me she was still the same person underneath. "Child, come over here." Her voice was weak but the soul behind it was still strong. I walked over to the bed and gave her a hug. "I could think of no better person to see today."
"Neither could I Lauren." I said with all the sincerity I could muster.
"Child, don't you ever learn?" She smiled at me.
I looked at her confused then I suddenly remembered. "Auntie L."
She smiled one of her disarming smiles again. "That's better child. Calling me Lauren, a person might go thinking that you think yourself a grown woman."
I smiled at her and then noticed Sam and Dana standing in the doorway. "I'd like you to meet some very special people to me." I whispered into Lauren's ear.
I gestured for Sam and Dana to come further into the room. "Auntie L, I'd like you to meet Dana and Sam. They've been taking care of me." Dana and Sam nodded their heads at Lauren. Lauren eyed each one of them carefully. "They've been good to you?" She asked me with all seriousness. I smiled at her and nodded my head. Lauren eyed them again. "Alright then. Dana, Sam, I'm Lauren and I'd like to thank you very much for caring for Tori. I would have done it myself but I was sick before the accident and just managed to get sicker afterwards."
"It is our pleasure." Dana smiled down at me and gave me a famous hair ruffle.
The rest of the day was spent with us all sitting in Lauren's room just talking. The doctors came into the room once and made arrangements to have the surgery tomorrow. They insisted the sooner the surgery the better. It had something to do with the cancer spreading. Dana and Sam were able to get into 'technical terms' that far exceeded my own vocabulary.
When Lauren first found out that I was paying her hospital bills she flat out refused the surgery and everything else that she was given. After much talking to, even by Dana and Sam, she accepted. She insisted though, that I make it a loan with interest so she could pay me back. There was no fighting with the woman on the subject so I agreed.
Audrey stayed the night with Lauren in the hospital and Dana and Sam let me stay with her. It was for some reason very important to me to be able to be with them. I can't explain it really. It was just something at the time that I knew I had to do. Audrey, Lauren and I spent half the night talking about me. They wanted to know everything they had missed in the year I was in the hospital. I know that each of them desperately wanted to be there for me, and by me sharing my experiences with them was a way for them to connect to that of my life they missed. A lot can happen in a year. I'm proof of that.
The sun rose too soon to signal a new day. Dana and Sam came back to the hospital and the doctors prepped Lauren for surgery. I think we were all nervous but none of us mentioned it. I know I was nervous anyway. My hands wouldn't stop shaking and my eyes felt like they were the size of saucers.
At about eight in the morning they took Lauren into surgery. We all watched her be wheeled off and the doors to the operating room close. A nurse led us to the waiting area and told us that the doctor would be out as soon as they were done. Audrey gathered me up in her arms and led me to a chair and we sat there together, and we waited. Sam came and sat next to me. Dana came up to me and gave me a hair ruffle. "It's going to be okay kid." She encouraged then took a seat next to Sam.
The first two hours passed rather quickly. None of use really talked. We were all too absorbed in our own thoughts. I think we were all thinking about the 'what ifs'. There were a lot of them to think about too. What if the doctor didn't cut out the right thing? What if all the power in the building went off and the machines in the OR didn't work anymore? What if it was too late for surgery? What if she didn't make it? Just what if??
The hours following the first two I spent waiting and I grew more impatient by the minute. I tried to read the magazines that were made available in the waiting room, but the "Time" magazine they had from 1995 didn't hold my interest that long. I then decided to try out my pacing ability but that only proved to annoy my companions. "Why don't we go get some lunch and bring it back here?" Audrey asked me. I'm sure it was meant to be a distraction for me, but I would take anything I could get at the moment. We decided to go out and find a McDonald's some place and bring it back here. I got Sam and Dana's orders then Audrey and I left.
The lunch run took up only a half hour of my time, eating lunch took only another fifteen. When we were done there was still no doctor. I looked closely at Dana because I knew that when I saw worry in her eyes it was time for me to worry. I mean she was the professional and she knew how long these surgeries were supposed to take. I didn't see any worry there yet so I didn't panic. I just went back to waiting. I thought I could give the magazines another try.
More hours passed and I started to see worry in Dana's eyes. That's when I got truly scared. If I thought what I was going through before was bad then I had no clue how to describe how I felt now. The doctor came into the waiting room and walked up to us, Lauren's entourage. "Are you the family of Lauren Simmons?" He asked not releasing any other information with his voice. We all shook our heads. "I was able to remove the tumor that was on Lauren's lung, but we ran into some complications?" That's when I stopped listening. I suddenly got tunnel vision and stopped breathing. I knew that whatever he was going to say next wasn't going to be good. I barely remember hearing the words, "We tried as best we could but there was nothing more we could do. I'm terribly sorry for your loss."
I know that Audrey gathered me in a hug and cried but I don't really remember what I did. I remember feeling bad, because no matter how much money I had it couldn't and it didn't save Lauren. Money's not everything. It can never be everything. It certainly can never be enough, no matter how much you have.
I don't really remember the rest of that day all that well. I remember Dana holding me, and saying something to try to comfort me. I remember Audrey just crying and never really stopping. I might have even talked to her, but I don't really remember. It all happened in this big blur. Of course even though I can't really remember what was said exactly or what happened I remember how I felt, because it never really goes away. I felt pain. It was different than when my parents died though. It hurt more. The hurt was deeper, because it went straight to my very soul and lingered there. No matter the amount of tears I wept the pain still was so deep that only time could truly heal it.
Like all things, it too did pass. Lauren had a small funeral and only her closest friends and family showed up. It wasn't like the celebrity way of doing things that I was used to and it seemed more respectful in a way. It was important to me especially that Lauren got the respect she deserved.
Don't go thinking now, that my entire life thus far has consisted of nothing but anguish, pain, and death. I've had good times too. After Lauren's death I moved in with Dana and Sam. I would have moved in with Audrey, but she was in college at the time and had to travel around the country with her basketball team.
Living with Dana and Sam was a total 180 from my previous life. I lived in the suburbs for one and the people didn't own five cars or have gigantic houses that were built for fifty people but really only housed two. The atmosphere was totally different than that I was accustomed to.
One Saturday morning I remember getting up and groggily making my way to the kitchen to, of course, see Dana and Sam already up eating breakfast. They always did seem to get up early, I mean anytime earlier than ten is too early for me; anyway, I entered the kitchen with my pajamas on. I fix myself a bagel and sat myself down at the table where Dana and Sam were silently waiting.
"Orange juice?" Sam holds out a cup to me full of the orange stuff. I take it and take a nice long sip to wash down my bagel. Dana and Sam just sit there and wait. I didn't really think anything of it but I know now that I should have been suspicious.
As soon as I'm done with the bagel and the orange juice Dana looks at me and says, "Are you ready?"
"Ready for what exactly?" I had no clue as to what she could possibly be talking about.
"It's a beautiful Saturday morning." Dana says as if that should answer my question.
I turned to Sam in hope of a better answer. "What she talking about?"
"Dana and I have been talking," Alright so I knew that sentenced could have started better. "We have decided what you'll be doing to help around the house." Sam gave a winning smile.
Help around the house? I had never heard of such a term before. Surely they didn't mean "Like Chores?" I asked allowed.
"Yep." Why was Dana smiling like that?
I had to think. I was living with them and they did pay for everything, because they had refused to take the money that was to pay for my bills. Yeah I could clean house. I mean it wasn't something that I had to do all the time but I'm sure that I could manage. "Alright bosses, what you got in mind?"
Dana and Sam smiled at each other. It wasn't a good smile either. It was more like one of those 'she has no idea what she's getting into' smiles. I didn't like it.
"First you mow the lawn." Dana replied.
"Then you may help me weed the garden." Sam added.
"Then you can do whatever you like." Dana was still smiling. "And you can start as soon as you put everything away in here and get dressed."
I was not to be fazed. "Fine. Anything else?"
Sam shook her head in the negative then they both walked out and left me at the table in the middle of a big mess. Which I did get cleaned up and put away with no major incident if you don't count the trying to grind up a fork in the garbage disposal. That could have happened to anyone anyway. Right?
I then went to my room and proceeded to get dressed in some of my older clothes. The ones I used to use when I helped my dad's mechanic. I was rested and ready for a lesson in lawn care.
It really wasn't that hard after I got the mower started. I mean sure I ran the mower over a few things and got chased by a swarm of wasps. Again, that could happen to anyone. I mean was it my fault that the neighbors little boy had left his action figure in the middle of the yard? I mean it just showed up from nowhere. As for the wasps, I just didn't know that I should avoid that thing with all the little holes in it. Dana and Sam got a good laugh out of it at least. I didn't see the humor, but apparently they thought it was the funniest thing in the world seeing a girl running around the yard screaming her head off. I'm sure they wouldn't have been laughing if it was one of them being chased.
Then, of course I did the gardening with Sam's help. I asked Dana why she didn't help, and she made up some kind of excuse about washing the car or something. So, Sam and I weeded, and weeded, and weeded. You know what I have to say about weeds? Leave them be. I mean if they want to go out and grow all over the "pretty" flowers let them. It's survivor of the fittest and those weeds are pretty darn fit. Just let them grow.
I shared my new founded opinion of weed with Sam and she just smiled and continued weeding. I wasn't sure if she heard me so I repeated myself, "Seriously Sam, weeds are obviously meant to be here. I say we just let them grow."
"Why? Is weeding too hard for you Tori?" Sam oozed false sincerity.
"No weeding is not too hard for me." I am a very competitive person. "It's just too easy."
Sam widened her eyes at the challenge. "Too easy?"
So I made a small mistake by saying it was easy. I thought it better to just catch the wave and keep on going. "Yeah it's too easy."
"Well then, I guess you can do it on your own. I'd be glad to go back inside the house where it's air conditioned." She stood up and brushed her hands on her khaki shorts. "I'll see you when you're done." She gave me a small little wave and walked to the front door and went back inside the house. She left me there alone, in the middle of the garden surrounded by weeds. So, I just did the only thing I could, I started weeding again and learned to just keep my mouth shut.
That was my first lesson the day. The second is that Dana is a robot. She has to be because no human being I know has the reaction time that she does. I was just out to have a little fun after I had finished weeding and decided what better way to do that then to get Dana all nice and wet with the hose while she was washing the car. So, I picked up the hose and I silently made my way to the driveway where my victim was, but she wasn't there. I knew she hadn't gone inside because then she would have had to walk past me. So I'm standing at the driveway thinking she just up and disappeared, when I suddenly am covered with a bucket of water. The same bucket Dana had been using to wash the vehicle.
I turned slowly around in my newly drenched state to only see one pair of blue and also one pair of green eyes looking back at me, smiling. It wasn't funny just like the wasps weren't funny. Sure if Dana and Sam had been the one's wet it would have been darn funny, but it was me so the humor in this situation if any was minimal. At least that's what I was thinking until I remembered I had the hose in my hands and turned it on them. Dana moved away from the water's direction almost immediately so I wasn't able to really get her wet, but Sam didn't fair as well. I got her good and she wasn't happy. She especially wasn't happy that Dana was now laughing at her.
"You think this funny." She asked Dana. "I don't think this is funny. Look at me I'm all wet."
"Even more than you were this morning." Dana commented with the weirdest grin on her face. I looked over at Sam and she had suddenly turned brick red, but her eyes were a dark green. Dana took one look at her and took off running with Sam close behind. I just laughed at their foolishness and decided to finish washing the cars for Dana. I thought it would be some time before she was able to get back to the job.
WAIT A MINUTE! I didn't get that joke then, but now I do. EWWW!!! I definitely didn't want that picture in my mind. So, I'll just have to move on.
Now then, what about school? Well, school has never really been a problem for me. I caught on to things pretty quickly and I was willing to at least to try and learn something. Dana and Sam had enrolled me in the local district middle school so I could finish the seventh grade. Of course when I was in the hospital I got behind in my studies and wasn't at the same level my peers were, so in order to stay with the children my age I was able to enter the seventh grade under the requirement that I have a personal tutor.
Sam and Dana without hesitation went out to find me the best possible tutor that they could afford. Which I'm thinking could be just about anyone. Having two doctors in the house didn't necessarily leave them starving. They were by no means as well off as my parents, but they weren't lacking either. I offered to pay for the tutor, but for some reason my money had no value to them.
Anyway, they end up hiring this lady named Katherine Wilson. She was a proud young black woman that knew her stuff and plus I really liked her. I would always go out and deliberately learn stuff just so that I could quiz her on it, hoping that I could find one question she couldn't answer. I learned a lot that way and it was fun.
I would go everyday to school and come home to get my two-hour session with Katherine. I actually liked the tutoring sessions more than I liked school, but school wasn't that bad either. It was the first time that I was in a public school with a bunch of kids who weren't so stuck up. It was really different for me, because the kids weren't always acting like some proper aristocrats. They were acting like the early teens that they were, that I was.
Which brings me into the wonderful, glorious, eventful, moments of my early teenage years. Dana and Sam god bless them, had no idea what they were in for. I wouldn't really call myself rebellious I was just difficult at times. It certainly didn't help that I had developed a holier than thou attitude. In school I was popular. Everybody knew who I was, and ironically not because of whom my parents were but from who I was.
By my eighth grade year I was already five ten and kid ass on the basketball court. Everybody knew me because I was the star of the team and I was president of the eighth grade class. Everyone wanted to be my friend, and I let it get to my head.
I thought that I was the best thing in the world and let everybody know it. It was my last year in my middle school and I thought that entire school was owned by me. I stopped working so hard on my grades and decided to concentrate more on myself. For some idiotic reason I even decided to butt heads with Dana. I would challenge everything she said and everything she did no matter what it might have been. I honestly don't know why I picked her specifically to focus my attentions to I just did. I kind of picked on Sam too, but not nearly as much.
I'm actually surprised though that Dana didn't kill me; I think I would have if I were in her position. I'll never forget one fight we had only a few months into my freshman year in high school.
I was sitting on the couch watching TV and just relaxing when Dana comes over to the couch and turns off the TV. "Do your homework first." That had been a long-standing rule, homework then TV. I didn't feel like doing my homework so I picked up the remote and turned the TV back on. "No, TV."
Dana took a deep breath and just turned the TV back off. "You know the rules, Tori just do your homework."
I could tell that Dana was tired from work. She had just finished a thirteen-hour shift at the hospital, but still I pushed. "I'll do whatever I want."
"Tori, please I really don't feel like fighting right now. Will you just please listen?" Dana was asking me to not fight, which meant that she was really tired. Still I wouldn't let up.
"Well good, I'm glad that you don't want to fight because I don't want to either." And I turned back on the TV.
"Tori. You have to do your work if you plan on not flunking out of high school. I've already heard from most of your teachers. They're concerned." Dana just moved in front of the TV this time. "They all say the same thing; they think you are incredibly gifted child who needs to just put more effort into your studies."
"What the hell do any teachers know?" I stood up to face up to Dana. "They don't know a damn thing."
"Don't you dare use that language in front of me Tori!" Dana was angry now and I guess I had accomplished what I set out to do. "You may not care about your future right now but I do. Why don't you get your act together!"
"You're not my mother!" The words were out before I could stop them. I was surprised to hear them. I took a chance to look into Dana's eyes and I saw unshed tears. In all the previous fights I had never gone that far, ever. I don't know what made me do it this time. I didn't know how to deal with any of it so I just ran off to my room and slammed the door shut.
Don't worry there will be more. I don't know when exactly but there will be more. I want to see how this ends too.