“Truett! Get down here! Your cousins will be here any minute!” My mom called up the stairs. I sighed and then straightened my tie. My family reunions were always boring. We went out to eat, and I had to wear and itchy suit. Only difference between that year and every other year is that my best friend Bailey was coming. At least things might be different.
“Truett! Get down here now!”
“I’m coming!” I ran down the stairs, running a comb through what my mom called my ‘unruly’ brownhair, right as the doorbell rang. I answered it, and discovered it was Bailey, though I barely recognized her. She was in a long blue dress, silver heels, and her blonde hair was pinned up.
“Wow, Bailey, you look…” I grasped for the right word.
“Like a girl?” she guessed, smiling.
“Yeah. I mean, you’re usually in shorts and a t-shirt, but you’re wearing a dress and heels and makeup and…you look nice.”
“Thanks.” She stepped inside.
“Hey, thanks for saving me. You know that these are always boring.”
“No problem. Now, when do the relatives arrive?”
“Any minute.” The doorbell rang. I opened the door—and pulled Bailey out of the way as our firstcrowd flooded in, my Aunt Hannah and Uncle Tom and their 5 kids. I wouldn’t have a problem with them, but 4 of them are between the ages of 3 and 8 and they’re loud, rowdy, and clumsy. Not to mention sticky. Don’t even ask me how that happened.
“Whoa!” Bailey exclaimed when we were safely out of the way. “Big group.”
“Loud too. They’re always screaming.”
“I know. But it gets worse.”
“What do you mean?”
“My Uncle Rob. He’s single with 3 kids. His oldest kid thinks he’s ‘gangsta’ so he’s…odd, to say the least.”
“Wow. You have one weird family.”
“I know. But we have some normal relatives.”
“Really? That’s it? What about Kurt?”
I gestured toward the living room, where my mom was taking a fire poker from my 6-year-old brother.
“Try to lay low, okay? Aunt Judy will ask a lot about you. And my great aunt will assume we’re dating. And my great grandmother…” I winced and shuddered.
“She’ll think we’re married. I’m not kidding.” I added when she widened her eyes. “I told you I was the only normal one around here.”
“What about Shaun? He’s normal, right?”
I shook my head. “He’s been playing video games since he was 3. He’s tried to kill me, his own cousin, before.”
“Yeah. Stay away from him.”
The doorbell rang. I peered through the peephole first this time.
“Speak of the devil,” I muttered as I opened it.
Shaun, my 16-year-old cousin, ran in. He socked me hard in the shoulder.
“Sup, T? Gotten any further in that game I loaned ya?”
“Actually, I beat it.”
“What was your favorite level?”
“I guess the one where the turtle—Bentley, right?—saved his friends from that evil spider.”
“Aw man, that one was great. I’ve been playing it using the cheats, and it’s awesome.”
“Okay, enough about video games,” Bailey cut in. “Let’s go see what the kids are up to. Shaun, you can come along if you’d like.”
I followed her, but I could see Shaun eyeing us. I knew he’d be asking me about her later.
“Wow, he’s…” Bailey searched for a word.
“He gets worse when someone else plays a game. If you wanna play anything in this house, you got to do it when he’s not here.”
“When is he here?”
“We have a PS3. He doesn’t. Do the math.”
“So, when do we leave? And why does everyone meet here?”
“I’m not sure. I’ll ask my mom in a few-”
“Attention everyone!” a loud, female, obnoxious voice announced. “I’m here.”
“Who’s that?” Bailey asked.
“Wait for it…”
“It is I, Shay McCallister!” she continued, as if anyone cared.
Bailey turned to me. “You’re really lucky I like you. Your family is weird.”
“I know. I’ve always heard that friends are God’s apology for family. Whoever laughs that off hasn’t met my family yet.”
|Luke Benward||as Truett|
|Dakota Fanning||as Bailey|
|Nathan Kress||as Shaun|
|Josh Hutcherson||as Connor|