Read Story: SEASON 1 EPISODE 16
Roars of laughter were erupting from the kitchen. That was where Christian, Stephen and my mom were cooking, bonding, doing whatever. From where I sat in the living room, I could tell they were having a great time. One without me. Sighing, I turned the volumn up on the television, trying to block off the sound.
The sound of their laughter made me feel horrible. Not because I felt left out, but because I felt like I was back to the beginning of my hellish life. It was me against my family, which felt depressing when I thought Christian could be on my side. Even though I was the one ignoring him, the thought of my last hope getting crushed was unpleasant. But at the same time, I knew he deserved it. After what he did, he needed to learn that he was not my actual brother.
Sighing, I brought my attention back to The Vampire Diaries. It was a Delena scene – the reason I watched the show – but I couldn’t focus. Not when the one person I was furious at was laughing loudly, sounding as happy as ever. The idea stung, knowing he was happy without me. When it actually came down to it, he didn’t need me. He never did. Maybe this entire time he was trying to be the nice guy and get to know me. And just maybe, he pitied me.
I scowled at the thought, knowing that if Christian pitied me I would go back to hating him. Pity was the last thing I wanted, so if anyone gave me it I would detest them. Want them out of my life, in fact. My life may s--k, but I didn’t want anyone’s pity.
“Autumn!” Stephen called. “The food is ready.”
This time instead of getting up and going to them, I sat still. For a single second I contemplated going to them, eating with them like a family, but then I sighed. If we weren’t a true family, what was the point in that.
“I don’t want to!” I yelled back, turning the volumn up higher.
“Why?” Stephen asked.
“Why should I?”
My insides began to tingle as adrenaline flooded through me. It had been a while since I showed any of my family members my wrath, and a part of me was itching to do so now. Every single one of them annoyed me, and they needed to realize that.
Stephen didn’t reply, but I heard his loud steps come my way. Exiting the kitchen, he stood at the door with a frown plastered onto his face. My eyebrows raised as he crossed his arms over his chest, leaning against the doorway.
“You’re not hungry?” he asked, staring at me with his eyes that almost matched Christian’s.
“Yeah,” I replied. “But I don’t want to come to the kitchen.”
“Because, I don’t want to eat with our dysfunctional family.”
Stephen suddenly sighed. He put a hand to his forehead and massaged his temples, looking exhausted. I rolled my eyes, but felt happy at the thought that I was acting bothersome. Hopefully that taught them to leave me alone.
“Autumn, if we spend more time together we can become less of a dysfunctional family,” Stephen said, sounding cautious.
I scoffed. “Yeah, because all that time we’ve spent together in the summer has helped us so much.”
“Dad, stop. Let me take care of this.”
I tried not to look surprise as Christian walked into the room, also looking tired. Ever since the Nate incident, we hadn’t spoken. I didn’t even go home with him ever since that day because I was that angry. Now that he wanted to suddenly talk to me, I was caught off guard and annoyed.
“Autumn,” Christian said, eyes hardening slightly. “You’re mad at me. Don’t take it out on our entire family.”
“What family?” I asked. “My own mom won’t talk to me and you two are practically strangers. Why should I go to a kitchen with you people?”
“I don’t talk to you because you act like this.”
This time, I didn’t try to hide my surprise as my mom entered the room. Her eyes narrowed at me as I froze on the couch, shocked she was here. This was the first sentence she said to me in a while.
“You’re my mom,” I replied, trying to fight away the constricting of my throat. “You can’t expect me to be fine with everything.”
“You didn’t even give anything a chance,” she snapped. “You just decided to hate everything the second you laid eyes on this change.”
“Because it was a horrible surprise!” I exclaimed. “You just changed my entire life without any warning. How do you expect me to be happy with this!”
“Shut up Autumn!” she yelled back, causing me to jump. “You’re so ungrateful! It’s because you’re a spoiled brat that you’re not happy with this change!”
My eyes widened at her words. Never had she ever spoken to me like this. Even with some of the terrible things I did in the past, she would never have said those words. My heart clenched and to my horror, I found my eyes tearing up.
Not knowing what to say, I looked at Stephen and Christian. Both of their eyes were widened, and I knew they didn’t expect my mom to say that either. This wasn’t who she was. Well, that was what we all thought.
“Alice,” Stephen said gently. “Relax. Autumn has every right to be unhappy. You have to understand that.”
My mom’s eyes lost their coldness as she looked at Stephen. She still didn’t look happy, but at least she didn’t look ready to murder someone. Knowing I made her look like that, I found myself fighting back tears.
“I don’t understand,” my mom replied, shaking her head. “There’s nothing wrong with you guys. She’s being unreasonable.”
“She’s a kid. We shouldn’t have thrown this at her.”
My mom rolled her eyes and turned around, storming off. Stephen looked uneasy as he glanced at Christian, and I didn’t know how to describe how Christian looked. From what I could tell, he looked empty. But looking down at his hands, I saw that they were clenched into fists. My eyes widened, wondering why he was mad.
Stephen soon walked after my mom and I was back to feeling like shit. More than anything, I wanted to run upstairs and bawl my eyeballs out, knowing my mom hated me. Detested me even. She probably wanted me to die, I realized.
I really wanted to run away at this point, but I didn’t want to give anyone the satisfaction of me bawling my eyes out. Honestly, I also didn’t want Christian seeing me be the delicate thing he thought I was once again.
Suddenly, I heard footsteps move away from me. Looking back at where Christian once stood, I saw that he had left. Sighing to myself, I decided to bring my attention back to the television. Although, it was hard to focus with a heavy heart and teared filled eyes.
However, literally a second later I heard footsteps enter the room. My eyes flew to the entrance, and they widened as I watched Christian walk to to me with two plates in his hand. Seeing the expression on his face, I knew he was angry. But not at me – surprisingly – but at something else. I wondered if it was my mom.
Once he was in front of me, he handed me the plate of noodles and said, “Here.”
I stared at him for a second, wondering what his intentions were. Deep inside I knew he felt bad for me, but right now I didn’t care. I couldn’t care because I did feel pitiful.
Taking the plate for him silently, my attention returned to the television. I expected him to leave, but to my surprise I felt the couch sink beside me. Glancing to my left, I saw that Christian was sitting beside me, digging into his food as he turned his attention to the television.
I suddenly heard footsteps entering the room again, and my eyes widened as Stephen walked up to us with his own plate of food. He had a sad smile on his face as he made eye contact with me, but he quickly sat down next to Christian and also turned his attention to the screen. My once sad heart was now beating rapidly, wondering what was going on.
“Alice is mad,” Stephen whispered so quietly to Christian, that I barely caught it.
“Good,” Christian simply replied.
At those words, I found myself smiling to myself. Even though I still felt like crying, I now felt like crying for another, better reason. A reason that was because they had chosen me. Over my mom, they picked to eat lunch with me. Knowing at least two people who I had to see everyday didn’t hate me, I suddenly felt both relieved and to my surprise, happy.