Chapter Eleven and a Half: The Dinner of Doom

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Chapter Eleven and a Half: The Dinner of Doom

I lied in my bed, my hands resting on my stomach as I gazed up at the white ceiling, because I was a terribly boring person with nothing better to do. The impetus to do anything constructive or anything at all, really, had been extracted from my long list of desires. I was hungry, but too lazy to go downstairs and interact with my parents, so settled for the discontent of not eating. The verge of sleep was upon me, but I knew that dinner would be soon, so didn’t allow my eyelids to droop.

      Suddenly, the reverberation of the loud doorbell echoed throughout the house, followed by a short dispute between my parents of who would go to open the door. Using the fact that she was the one preparing the food and that she was a professional arguer to her advantage, my mother won, sending my dad to go greet whoever had announced their presence. In anticipation, I mentally counted down in my head, murmurs of voices coming from where I assumed to be the main entrance of the house in earshot. Then, I heard it.

      “Olivia Ross!” my dad bellowed, jolting me from my internal boredom and bed.

      “What?” I called back, already making my way out of my room and down the hallway of the family portrait graveyard.

      “There’s someone at the door for you!” he said as I could practically feel the frustration in his tone.

      “Be right there!” I returned in a smugly cheerful way. I reached the never-ending staircase, and my hand glided across the bannister as I jogged down it. When I reached the bottom, two individuals of the male gender were waiting for me, one looking calm and casual, while the other looked as though he was about to combust at any moment. Plastering on the most fake and jovial smile I could, I addressed my father first. “Hi, Daddy!”

      “Olivia,” he used my given name instead of a shorted variation to show that he was being serious, “as much as I love the fact that you’re expanding your limited friend pool by one, do you think that maybe you could give some notice before anyone shows up?”

      “Sure,” I said dismissively, acting as if I found nothing wrong in my behavior.

      “You do know we’re about to have dinner, right?” my dad questioned.

      “Yeah, I know,” I said, my stomach quietly grumbling to provide evidence.

      “So then why is he here?”

      “I invited him to dinner,” I shared innocently, “I hope that’s okay.”

      My dad let out a low sigh, and because he never wanted anyone—even a teenage boy dressed like a thug who he barely knew—to think that he was anything less than the perfect father, restrained acceptance started to make its way to his face. “Well, welcome to our home,” my father said to the boy.

      “Thanks,” Luke said, our eyes connecting for a split second.

      “Olivia, I’m going to, uh, inform your mother of our guest, but you two should head to the dining room,” my dad gulped.

      “Sounds good, Nick!” I said as he left the front area in a slightly frazzled state. A grin took my face as I watched him leave, and then I turned to Luke.

      “So, they didn’t know I was coming?” he assessed, his arms crossed.

      “Nope,” I shook my head.

      “I’m here to cause them stress, aren’t I?”


      He bit on the edge of his lip, as if he was deep in thought, processing everything that was occurring. “So you’re exploiting our newfound friendship?”

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