03 | tribus

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"You're what?" My dad bellows at the top of his lungs when he finds me sitting on the sofa binge watching iZombie at 2:50 pm on a Monday afternoon.

"I'm suspended from school for a week," I reply trying not to sound as terrified as I felt. I still remember when my parents were together, but constantly fighting about the stupidest things, like why did my mom forget to pick up milk (when she very specifically asked him to get it), or what was the proper way to pronounce hjerte (they still haven't solved that one yet).

"And what exactly are you suspended for?" Penny inquires from her position on my father's lap, her legs crossed suggestively. She doesn't seem to remember my earlier suspension from school, which I take as a blessing.

"None of your business," I reply. They're not going to listen to my problems anyway, so why should I tell them? Once, early on I tried to tell them that Isla called me a slut and my dad deigned to tell me that my problems weren't real because I was in high school, and Penny isn't much better.

"Waverly, I demand you tell me what you did or I will cut off your college fund," Penny declares, wearing a facial expression that clearly states "I'm better than you".

"But you're not paying for it anyway," I complain. They'd already claimed to be cutting it off six times.

"You're mother's right Waverly," my dad cuts in. He always calls Penny my mother and it gets on my nerves. My real mother is somewhere in Europe with her work team. She's doing a year-long internship that she's always wanted to do. "As your father, I have every right to enforce punishment I see fit."

I sigh. Fine. "I supposedly snuck into the school last night and vandalized the guys' bathroom with spray paint."

Penny gasps, bringing her hand dramatically to her mouth. "How could you do such a thing, Waverly?" she asks, shocked spread across her porcelain face.

"Don't you get it? I didn't do it," I tell her, disgusted. She's got such a pretty head, but it's all fluff.

She narrows her eyes. "Why should they think you did it, then?"

"Because - " I groan. "Because this girl, Isla, told them that she saw me. She - "

"Waverly, stop. You're always making up these stories," my dad says, cutting me off. "As you know, I work with James Collins, her father, and he is a wonderful man. I'm sure his daughter is wonderful as well."

I roll my eyes. I'm not going to argue. "Fine, dad. You can think that. I'm going upstairs," I tell him, standing. I leave them behind in the living room.

I skip dinner again that night and go to bed about 7:00. Around midnight, however, I wake up and I'm starving, for this is the second night in a row I haven't bothered eating dinner. Not the best habit but then again neither is Penny. When they first hooked up I swear she spent way too much time together that I told my mother. I said I thought my dad had a problem, and when she asked what, I replied 'he's addicted to Penny'.

I find my way to the kitchen in the dark with no problem, turn on the light, and grab a container holding some leftover hash mixture with sausage that is marked in huge, sloppy, black sharpie lettering "Property of Penny - DO NOT EAT UNLESS YOU ARE PENNY". Penny is like a monster when it comes to food. Whenever my dad cooks, which isn't very often, she steals all the leftovers and places them in her personal food containers for later. That leaves the rest of us with her nearly inedible dishes to eat. She'll go full-on rage monster if someone eats out of one of her containers and she'll make you regret it. Big-time. But I'm starving and I have zero desires to spend the rest of my night trying to eat the cardboard that is her "homemade bread", which I know for a fact is some dry, tasteless, and oddly textured bread brand that is sold at Costco. She puts in the oven and changes the bag to convince my dad she's housewife material.

I quickly devour the entire container of the hash mixture which is delicious - two slices of some bread Angie and I snuck into the food stash I keep on occasion (when I want to not ruin my teeth) and a glass of milk.

I check the stove clock. It reads 1:04 am and I stifle back a yawn. I decide to go through the living room because I see a lamp that my father must have forgotten to turn off, or to light the way for when they come back from the club they went to. They go out many nights a week, and often don't bother to tell me I'm in charge.

Switching off the kitchen lights. I walk into the living room. I stop still as a statue when I hear a sound...a long and overly descriptive moan. I can't quite make out the exact words but it sounded vaguely like 'Oh Peter, don't stop.' I shake my head. I must be dreaming a bad dream. Then I realize why the light was on and turn to look at the couch.

I see a jumbled form under a blanket and a heap of what looks like clothes on the ground. The shape is slowly moving around under the sheets, and making many indecent sounds.

Turning away, I slowly creep back up the stairs, trying not to make a sound. I don't need them waking up and seeing me there. They already think I'm messed up and it wouldn't help my case if they thought I was watching them.

I inch down the hallway, past Pheobe's bedroom. I open my door and enter, closing the door behind me. Taking a deep breath, a walk back to my bed and lie down. I pull the covers up to my face and close my eyes.

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