Chapter 2. Neighbor

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Chapter 2. Neighbor

The first day of summer was slammin'. We talked. We ate Cheez Balls and Oreo O's until none of us could take another bite. We watched Buffy the Vampire Slayer in the twin's living room. It was everything a summer should be. And the best part was we could do it all over again today.

I was up before the alarm clock beeped at 5. I didn't even know why I set it on. Useless piece of something, something.

Killing the flashlight, I threw the covers from me and stretched. Ooh, yeah! Got to exercise those arms. I wanted them longer than Spencer's so he wouldn't tease me anymore. He always teased me with the smallest things.

After rolling from the bed, I took my Archie comics and slid them inside the drawer. If dad finds them when he peeks in my room, he'd know that I was up at 3 o'clock reading. I wasn't even allowed to get up at 5. But you know, life.

I exited the room and stopped at the hallway. Like yesterday, dad's door was closed, the lights shut off. Coast was clear.

Smiling wickedly to myself, I crept to the stairs and took one step at a time. The middle step creaked. I paused for a second before continuing down. Easy does it. Almost there.

I raised my hands in victory when my sneakers hit the bottom. "Yesssss," I whispered in the dark. "Who's your bad beeotch? Who's the shit?"

"I hope it's not you," dad's voice boomed from the kitchen. The light flickered open.

My feet were glued to the floor as I looked for him. Bertha always said that dad's face was rugged, with a squarish jaw and deep set eyes. To me he'd always been dad. Except today, he was dad minus the smile. He was leaning against the fridge, watching me.

"You're awake?"

He uncrossed his arm and tilted his head to the chair. "Sit down, Destiny."

My hands were beginning to numb as I walked to the table. The chair grated on the carpet as I pulled it back. I sat with a heavy thump and turned to him. "Are you going to slap me?"

He snorted.

"Seriously, dad."

"You've been watching too much TV." He straightened, then went to the counter where the coffee maker was. His yellow mug was next to it already. All he had to do was pour himself a cup. "Want some?" he asked before sipping.

"Nope. Ester said caffeine makes your heart beat fast."

"Oh?"

My legs dangled on the chair. I swayed them forward and backward when I nodded. "Yep. She said it's called palpitation. Basically, you drink coffee, you palpitate, then you die."

He sputtered on his drink.

I waited for him to stop cursing under his breath. He then grabbed a tissue from the counter, wiped the coffee from his jaw, and tossed the crumpled piece in the open trash bin.

He put the cup down before turning back to me. His jaw was blotchy. "Maybe you should watch TV instead," he said.

I shrugged. "Okay. If you insist."

Dad sighed and ran a hand through his light red hair. "Your mom said this might happen."

"What might happen?"

"You being a brat."

"She's a keeper. That one." I sat on my hands, trying not to feel sorry for myself. Wouldn't it be great if mom was here?

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