Authors: Taylor Henderson
My mom smiled, looking over at me as if she had just noticed the rest of us. “Violet, bring your friends in! I can make a quick snack for you all. I hope everyone likes cucumber bites! They taste much better than they sound” The smile that adorned her face resembled that of a child's face on Christmas morning.
Brianna shook her head. “Sorry Mrs. Forrester. My mom just wanted me to see what time would be best for us to come over.”
A small frown played on my mom's lips as she thought. After a moment of silence she said, “Dinner will be ready around six, so anytime around then is good.”
I took this time to speak up before Brianna had a chance. “Anytime for what?”
Brianna turned toward me with a devious smile on her face. “My family is coming over for dinner tonight to talk with your parents and thank them.”
My eyebrows furrowed as I voiced my next thought. “Thank them for what?”
My mom smiled brightly at me. “The Richardson's are going out of town for a while so we offered to keep Brianna while they're gone. Isn't that exciting?”
A hesitant smile formed on my face. “Very exciting.”
Yeah, almost as exciting as cutting off all of your toes one by one.
Kill me. Kill me now. Spare me from the embarrassment that is Rose Forrester. A mother knows best? Yeah right! Whoever came up with that load of crap needs to do a little more research. It's obvious that my mother doesn't know anything about me.
I scowled down at the dress that my mother had laid out across my bed. It was poofy, white, and had a few black flowers embroidered around the skirt. If mothers really knew best, then my mother would have known that I hate anything that is flowery, poofy, and resembles a dress in any shape or form. Not only did the dress meet all of those requirements, there was only one way to describe it; girly. It was vomit inducing to say the least.
“Hurry up, Violet! The Richardsons will be here any minute now!”
With a frustrated sigh I snatched the gown up and marched over to my bedroom door. One kick to the door sent it slamming loudly and echoing as the wood from the door came into contact with the door frame. A muffled yell came from beyond the closed door causing me to smirk shamelessly. I could just imagine my mother's irritated face as she heard the door slam.
Trudging back over to my bed, I plopped down and examined the dress in my hands. A satisfied smile formed on my face as an idea danced into my head. Maybe this dinner won't be so bad after all.
With newly formed excitement, I stripped out of my pajamas and exchanged them for the dress. I couldn't help comparing my comfortable sweat pants and overly large t-shirt for the chest suffocating and princess styled dress. I still didn't see the point of dressing up for dinner in the first place. It wasn't like I hadn't met Brianna and her parents before. They had seen me countless times. Why was tonight any different?
From downstairs, I heard my mother call up to me again, but the door muffled her voice, making it hard to understand what she had said. A few minutes later, a soft rapping on my door caught my attention. I frowned as I finished pulling my hair up into a high ponytail and went to open the door.
“I'm getting…” I started, but then trailed off as I stared at the person on the other side of the door.
Brianna smiled at me, a wicked glare in her eyes. She gestured with her hands as she said, “Well? Aren't you going to invite me in?”
I stared at her in confusion for a moment before pretending to be deep in thought as I brought my hand up to rub my chin. “I don't remember ordering a stripper.”
Brianna rolled her eyes and pushed past me into my room, taking a seat at my desk chair. “I guess this will have to do.” She sighed deeply.
“Sure, come on in,” I mumbled under my breath earning a curious look from Brianna. As if just hearing what she said, I frowned at her while saying, “Wait. What “will have to do”?”
She rubbed her hands together as if she was washing her hands under an invisible faucet. “This room. Duh, Violet. Use a little common sense.” She tapped her pointer finger to her temple.
“We have a guest room, Dumbo Bimbo. You will definitely not be staying in my room.” I mentally high-fived myself for unintentionally rhyming.
Brianna shrugged her shoulders, giving me a pitying look. “That's not what your mom says. She told me that I could take a look at your room and the guest room and whichever would make me feel more at home is the one that I can use for the next two weeks.” She smiled to herself as she looked me over with scrutinizing eyes. “You would look really pretty in that dress,” she paused for a moment as her eyes inspected me from head to toe once more, “if you did something with that rat's nest that you call hair. Personally, I think you look better in jeans. They hide your cankles nicely.”
“Very mature,” I retorted sarcastically.
Brianna stood up, brushing her bottom off as if my desk chair was covered in dirt. “Like you can talk. At least I don't spend my time rhyming your name with stupid and childish insults.”
A smirk played on my lips. “That's because your underdeveloped brain can't think of anything good to rhyme with Violet.”
In response to my statement, she rolled her eyes and headed back toward my bedroom door. “Dinner should be ready soon. In about five minutes.”
I nodded before realizing that she had her back to me and grunted in response. I busied myself by tightening my ponytail as I shuffled along after Brianna, following the thick scent of her perfume down the stairs and into the dining room. The large wooden table shone brilliantly under the light cast overhead from the chandelier. The lemony fragrance that surrounded the table made me aware that my mom had polished the table before Brianna and her family had arrived. In front of every chair was a place mat that acted as a thin barrier between the table and the fine china that my mother rarely allowed us to eat on.
The woman in question came shuffling out of the kitchen with a wide grin painted onto her face. She was followed closely by Mrs. Richardson, whose heels where clicking loudly against the hardwood floors. Both women were carrying in extravagant dishes of food and placing them in the center of the table. Brianna smiled kindly at my mother before asking her if any extra help was needed in the kitchen.
“You are so well mannered,” she cooed in response to Brianna's question. Her hands pulled at the strings of her apron, taking it off and folding it up neatly. “Your mom and I only have two more dishes to bring in so I think that we can handle it. You and Violet are more than welcome to tell everyone that dinner is ready though.” She gave us a small smile before she turned on her heel and strutted back into the kitchen without waiting to hear our response to her suggestion.
Mrs. Richardson gave me a little wave before turning to follow my mom out of the room. I crossed my arms over my chest moodily as I realized that Brianna and I were left alone again. I could barely stand being in the same school as her and living next door to her, but being in the same room with Brianna Bitch-ardson was my own personal hell.
A wave of realization swept over me and I couldn't help but to cringe at the thought. If Brianna was going to be living in my house, we would be spending a lot more alone time together. Almost immediately anger overtook me, causing me to step a little harder than I had intentionally meant to as I started to walk toward the living room. From behind me I could hear Brianna's feet padding in the opposite direction as she went to get Lilly.
In a few long strides I was nearing the living room where the sounds of voices were steadily growing louder as I approached the room. As soon as I stepped through the doorway the eyes of my father and Mr. Richardson—although he prefers to go by Uncle Steve—snapped to me. My dad stood from his chair and embraced me in a bone crushing hug. The smell of his infamous cologne mixed with the lavender scent wafting from his freshly washed clothes filled my nostrils as my face pressed against his shirt.
“There's my little girl!” he chirped, while ruffling my hair as he released me from his vice-like grip.
Before I even had time to collect myself, I was pulled into another bear hug. “Little Violet! You look more, and more like your mother every day. I swear it was just yesterday that you and Brianna were crawling around in diapers!” He leaned away from me, placing his hands on my shoulders and looking from me to my dad for a moment before saying, “It really is a blessing that she got her looks from Rosie isn't it, Tim?” His tone was playful and to my joy, he released me.
“Dad,” I began, letting my hair loose before pulling it back up into a tighter ponytail as I said, “dinner’s ready.”
Uncle Steve rubbed his hands together as if he was trying to start a small fire in his palms. “I wonder what Rosie has cooked up for us tonight!”
I shrugged and turned toward the kitchen while mumbling, “Probably something that will cleanse our colons.”
Uncle Steve chuckled and slapped a heavy hand to my back and for a moment I thought that maybe he had heard me until he chuckled and said, “I still can't believe how big you've gotten! It really has been too long since we've had a family meal together!”
I nodded although I didn't agree with what he had said. I saw him every once in a while, and I hadn’t grown much since our last family night. Ever since we had first met the Richardson family, Friday's would be the day that we all came together for dinner, games, and movies. Of course it had been fun at times, but after a while I could no longer put up with Brianna's subtle but effective pranks. About two years ago was when I had officially put a stop to our family game nights. I made a huge scene and threw a temper tantrum about how much I hated spending my Friday nights hanging out with family when I could have been out with friends. To my surprise no one had pointed out that I didn’t really have any friends, and instead we just put a stop to the family nights all together. At times I felt bad about ruining it for everyone, but I couldn't deal with Brianna any more.
I shook myself out of my thoughts and listened idly to Dad and Uncle Steve's conversation as we walked back to the dining room. Lilly was already sitting in her favorite spot with a big smile on her chubby face. When she noticed me, she patted the seat next to her, beckoning me toward her with one tiny hand.
“Lizzie!” she screeched excitedly. “Sit next to me!”
A warm smile formed on my face as I took the seat next to her. “Are you hungry, Lilly?”
She shook her head furiously, rocking back and forth in her booster seat that was strapped onto the dining room chair. “I'm going to eat all of my vegetables just like a big girl! Mommy said that after I eat all my food, I can get a frozened yogurt!” Her brown eyes widened and the light from the chandelier that hung above us caused them to sparkle.
“Wow! Frozened yogurt? Really?” I feigned excitement, trying not to laugh as I repeated the word that she had said incorrectly.
She nodded in response to my question before losing interest in our conversation and starting to play with the utensils that were spread out in front of her. When I noticed her small hand reaching for the knife I snatched it up and set it on my plate, cutting the palm of my hand in the process.
I really should pay more attention to what I'm doing.
With a sigh, I pushed myself up from the table and, making sure to push the knives out of Lilly's reach, speed walked into the kitchen.
When I walked in, my mom was busy placing a pie shaped pan into the oven while Mrs. Richardson began to exit the room. As quickly as possible, I rinsed off the droplets of blood that had formed along the line of the cut and flattened a paper towel against it. By the time I was finished and had returned to the table, everyone was sitting down and waiting for me.
“Nice of you to join us,” Brianna said as I slipped into my seat.
I shot her a look that I only hoped could be described as deathly and listened quietly as Dad blessed the food.
“Amen,” we all chorused just before we began to fill our plates to the brim with the food that was laid out before us.
I made sure to shovel an extra-large helping of mashed potatoes onto my plate, along with a medium sized piece of grilled salmon, and a small spoonful of spinach and broccoli casserole. Next to me, Lilly pointed a finger to what she wanted to eat and I put a small serving of each item onto her plate. Once all of the plates were filled, the parents got into a heated conversation about a movie they had all seen recently while Brianna tried to win over Lilly.
I smiled, feeling proud of my little sister for knowing better than to trust the blonde bimbo who was seated in the chair on her right. Brianna smiled as Lilly shoved a spoonful of spinach and broccoli casserole into her mouth. “You are one adorable little girl,” she cooed.
Lilly turned toward Brianna, looking at her as if she had just said the most heinous and outlandish of things. She leaned toward Brianna, and to my amusement, spat the food from her mouth right into Brianna's face. “I am
a little girl,” she growled, putting emphasis on each syllable by slamming her fist down onto the edge of the table as she spoke. “I am a big girl!
are a baby! Don't call me a little girl!” By the time she had finished, she was screaming and had the attention of everyone in the room.
Everyone had a shocked expression on their face, with an exception to me. I could feel my face heating up, and not being able to hold it in, my body began to shake with laughter. The look on Brianna's face was priceless and I had to admit that she looked nice in green. The chewed up remains of Lilly's food slowly slid down Brianna's face and dripped from her chin and onto her black dress. Lilly looked from me to Brianna, and then glanced around the table, meeting everyone's eyes for a second before she shrugged and shoved another bite of her food into her mouth. Her nonchalant expression only caused me to laugh more, this time slamming my fist down onto the table with one hand and clutching my stomach with the other.
As the shock began to wear off of Brianna she held her hand up to her face, grimaced, and pushed her chair back so fast that it almost fell over. She stood quickly and stalked out of the room and toward the doorway that led to the staircase.
Someone cleared their throat and I tried to calm myself down by taking deep breaths until the laughter decreased slowly but surely. I looked up into the eyes of four frowning parents. My dad pointed his finger at the doorway Brianna had just fled through and gave me a look that told me that I needed to apologize for laughing at her. I frowned and gripped my fork tightly in my hand, stuffing a piece of salmon into my mouth. He had to be dreaming if he thought that I was going to apologize to her. It's not like I even did anything to her in the first place. Shouldn't Lilly be the one apologizing?