Chapter Two - Family Dinner

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Chapter Two Family Dinner

I know this is new like your first day of school and you're feeling awkward like you miss your home. And it leaves you with an empty feeling. I just can't take it anymore.

-New Found Glory

I showered for the first time in days, the feeling of warm water on my skin was bliss. The temporary hair dye washed straight out and I watched inky black drops run down the drain. I shampooed my hair with some fruity shampoo already in the bathroom and conditioned it twice. The tangles were in serious need of treatment. But no matter what I did, the awful cut would not change.

I had to cut my hair myself when my father and I went incognito. I dyed it too. I was a sore sight for eyes with my choppy hair and bony figure. The past few days had caused me to lose a tremendous amount of weight. My frame was so thin that when I glanced in the mirror, I could see my ribs and hipbones. I felt like a bony model – the ones that ate cotton balls for lunch. Only maybe half the height of a posh runway model.

Once I stepped out of the shower, I unzipped my suitcase and took out my toiletries bag. Inside, I had a hairbrush that I used to sort out the rest of the tangles in my now natural, light chestnut hair. I tugged the strands back into a ponytail but it was no use, the angular layers all slid out and made my head look like a mess.

With a disappointed sigh, I gave up and rummaged through my clothes to pick out an appropriate outfit for dinner. Somehow, I felt that none of my clothes would be elegant enough to wear in a house where they all looked like they stepped out of a fashion magazine. I ended up settling on a purple t-shirt and blue jeans.

"Come in!" I called when I heard a knock at the door.

The doorknob twisted and Terry stepped in. "We're having dinner now." He stared at me in confusion. "I swear your hair looked different before..."

I laughed. It sounded foreign to me. I hadn't laughed in too long. Terry seemed pleased with himself for making me laugh because he grinned widely. "I had it temporarily dyed." I explained.

"Oh." He nodded gravely, as if it were the most important thing in the world. "Well, your natural hair colour is much nicer."

My cheeks flamed. I didn't deserve the compliment. My hair was a modern mess. "Thanks." I responded awkwardly.

"Sure." Terry had his hands in his pockets and he shrugged breezily. I followed him out of my room and down the stairs.

The kitchen was chic, made entirely of marble like the foyer. A delicious smell wafted to my nose from the table. Chicken schnitzels and pasta – my mouth watered.

Donna and Mark were already seated along with Ashton. Terry took a seat next to his brother and I sat directly across from him. The seat to my left was empty and I could only assume it belonged to an absent Roman.

"You have a lovely hair colour, Sam." Donna complimented me. Again, I rendered her compliment pointless since my hair was dire but I was impressed she'd noticed the change at all.

"What do you say we get you a makeover, honey? I can book us an appointment with my hairdresser?" Donna's eyes were lit in excitement.

I really did need a makeover. "Okay." I waited patiently as the boys served themselves food and finally shovelled Caesar salad onto my plate.

The chair beside me screeched as it was pulled back roughly. I jumped in my spot and looked at Roman who had decided to bless everyone with his presence. I hadn't even seen him come in. His eyes met mine for a half second before he frowned and grabbed a plateful of pasta.

"Where have you been?" Mark demanded.

"Around." He replied sourly in a dark tone of voice.

"We told you when dinner was. Why are you late?" Mark was clearly not going to take his son's bullshit.

"Traffic."

"Ha!" Ashton laughed sarcastically. "Right. Like the roads will make you late. You drive as if you're part of The Fast and the Furious."

"Shut up." Roman glared at his brother.

Ashton rolled his eyes. "Chill out. You act like you have a stick up your ass all the time."

"Fuck off, Ashton."

"Hey! That is no way to speak at the dinner table." Donna frowned. She picked up her glass of red wine and took a sip. Her gaze was quickly averted from her sons as she let their misbehaviour go in moments. She was obviously used to this.

"So are you going to go to Teakwood?" Terry asked me over everything. I assumed that Teakwood was the name of their high school.

"I guess so..." I turned to Mark to see if this was true.

Mark nodded, "I enrolled you yesterday. We'll take you shopping for school supplies later today or tomorrow."

"So your dad died?" Ashton asked bluntly.

"Ashton." Donna shot him a look.

I bit my lip. The wound was still fresh and I didn't like thinking about it. I nodded in response to his awfully blunt question.

"Where's your mom?"

"Ashton!" Donna repeated only harsher this time.

"Dead." I said coldly. The room fell into an uncomfortable silence. You couldn't even hear the sound of cutlery against plates because everybody stopped eating.

"Sorry." Ashton looked down at his food, remorse filled in his eyes.

I nodded meekly.

"Your parents were both wonderful people." Donna finally spoke in a gentle but morose voice. "We all went to school together. They loved you very much."

I nodded again because I really didn't know what to say.

"I can take you school supply shopping." Terry offered after a pause. He was looking at me with gentle eyes and a supportive smile.

"Okay." I pushed a piece of lettuce around my plate; staring at it like it was the most fascinating thing I'd ever laid my eyes on. "Thanks." I added.

"Sure." He picked up a piece of chicken with his fork and dipped it in sesame sauce.

"That's really thoughtful of you, Terry." Donna smiled proudly at her son. Yeah it was so thoughtful of him to help their charity case. But out of the triplets, I knew Terry was the one I could depend on the most. He was clearly the one with the heart.


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