Stepbrother Dearest

By: Penelope Ward


What was he talking about? I stood there speechless.

He continued, “What’s the matter…too hot in here for you? Then, he said in a mocking tone, “So…fucking…hot.” He flashed a wicked smile.

Shit.

Those were the exact words I had used to describe him on the phone to Victoria earlier.

He had been eavesdropping on my conversation!

My eye twitched.

He continued, “You’re winking at me again. Am I making you nervous? Look at your face! Red’s a good color on you.”

I immediately left to go back downstairs.

He yelled after me. “We’ll match, seeing as though I’m the DEVIL!”



***



Elec picked at his meal without saying a word as I fixated on his lip ring. Randy was glancing over at him with a look of disdain. My mother refilled her wine glass more than once. Yup, our very own version of the Brady Bunch.

I pretended to be enjoying the Tetrazzini while ruminating over the fact that he’d overheard me talking about him that way and therefore, now knew I was attracted to him.

Mom was the first to speak. “Elec, what do you think of Boston so far?”

“Seeing as though I’ve ventured nowhere but this house, it sucks ass.”

Randy slammed his fork down. “Can you show some respect to your stepmother for five seconds?”

“That depends. Can she stop boozing it up for the same amount of time? I knew you married a cheater, Daddy, but a lush, too?”

“You worthless piece of shit,” Randy spewed.

Whoa.

Once again, Randy had floored me with his choice of words toward his son. Elec was surely being an asshole, but it still shocked me to hear that kind of language coming out of my stepfather’s mouth.

Elec’s chair skidded back as he threw his napkin on the table and got up. “I’m done.” He looked over at me. “The Titty Zinni or whatever the fuck it’s called was wonderful, sis.” The word “sis” had rolled off his tongue with sarcasm.

After he left the table, the silence was deafening. My mother put her hand on Randy’s, and I was left pondering what could have happened between Elec and his father to cause such a rift.

I impulsively got up and walked upstairs. My heart was pounding as I knocked on Elec’s door. He didn’t answer, so I slowly turned the knob and found him sitting at the edge of his bed smoking a clove cigarette. He had headphones on and hadn’t seen me enter. I stood just past the doorway and observed him. He was bouncing his legs nervously, looking frustrated and defeated. Eventually, he put the cigarette out only to immediately reach into his drawer and grab another one.

“Elec,” I shouted.

He jumped and removed his headphones. “The fuck? You scared the shit out of me.”

“Sorry.”

He lit the cigarette and gestured toward the door. “Leave.”

“No.”

He rolled his eyes and shook his head slowly, returning the headphones to his ears and taking a long drag.

I sat down next to him. “Those are gonna kill you.”

Smoke billowed from his mouth as he said, “Perfect.”

“You don’t mean that.”

“Please leave me alone.”

“Okay, fine.”

I left the room and went back downstairs. Seeing him looking so down when he didn’t know I was watching him made me more determined than ever to break through to him somehow. I needed to know if this was just a façade or if he were truly a genuine asshole. The meaner he was to me, the more I wanted to make him like me. It was a challenge.

I returned to the kitchen and asked Randy for Elec’s cell phone number before programming it into my phone. I then typed out a text.



You don’t want to talk, so I’ll text.



Elec: How did you get my number?



Greta: Your father.



Elec: Fuck him.



I decided to change the subject off of Randy.



Greta: Did you enjoy the meal?



Elec: Scramble the letters of meal. You get LAME. Your meal=lame.



Greta: Why are you so mean?



Elec: Why are you so lame?



What a jackass. This was going nowhere. I threw the phone on the counter and marched up the stairs. Now, he’d put me in the mood to do something that would piss him off.

He was still sitting on the bed smoking when I opened the door after neglecting to knock. I headed straight for the drawer, grabbed his box of cigarettes and ran out.

I was laughing all the way back to my room. That is, until my door burst open. I quickly stuffed the cigarettes into my shirt. Elec looked ready to murder me, although admittedly, the glare in his glowing eyes was pretty sexy.

“Give them to me,” he said through gritted teeth.

“I’m not giving them back to you.”

“Yes the fuck you are, or I’m reaching into your shirt and getting them. You choose.”

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