(The music video is so funny to watch. I have no idea what Alexey Vorobyov is saying, but it's just funny.)

“Nae’s home!”

I breathed out a long sigh when I stepped in the door of my apartment. Ceara and Gideon had been watching television until they heard the lock on the door click, and they were then kneeling on the cushions so they could face me.

“Hey,” I greeted flatly.

Gideon, my eleven-year-old little brat of a brother, hopped over the back of the brown sofa and landed in an awkward squat before he ran over and smothered me in an embrace. As young as he was, he was not only almost as tall as me, but he had the strength of a titan. He wrapped his long, lanky arms around my neck and forced his weight on me in a way that made me almost topple backwards into the door. I felt my eyebrows raise and the breath escape from my lungs as he clutched on to me.

“Okay!” I finally shouted when I gained the breath back, shoving him backwards with all of the force I could stifle. Gideon fell backwards over the couch and landed with his head buried in one of the supporting cushions. I looked down to find red marks on my neck and collarbone from where he had hugged me. “What did you do? You never hug me.”

His brown eyes went wide and he gritted his teeth together when he hopped over the sofa once again. Minus his height and strength, he still had that nervous face of a little boy. His complexion was pallid like my own, and the construction was one that any grandmother could easily fall in love with. His pink lips formed a crooked smile as he ran a boney hand through his short, brown hair. “I may have, sort of, possibly-”

“Get on with it, you dummy!” Ceara, my sister of thirteen years, snapped from the sofa. Her back was turned to face the television so I could only see her long, wavy brown hair that was tied in a high ponytail.

Gideon sighed and gave me an imploring expression. “I may have broken your headphones.”

My stomach dropped as I could feel the fury burning in my veins. “You did what?” I boomed, my fists clenched hard enough to turn the knuckles to a sickly, ashen color. I lunged towards him as my tingling hands reached out in pursuit of his neck. My heart pounded like the beat of a drum as my anger escalated into a bursting volcano, and I ran at him until Ceara turned and pulled him back behind the sofa.

“Nae, let it go!” she pleaded, hands gripping my shoulders to keep me back. Her bare feet with rainbow paint on the toes were planted firmly on the carpet to keep me back.

My teeth clenched as I put my hands behind her so I could grasp the sofa rather than Ceara’s neck. Gideon stood back by the TV, his expression pleading desperately for mercy. His big eyes were glassy and his hands were shaking.

“Let me at the little punk,” I retorted through my teeth.

“What the hell is going on in here?”

My father, dressed in navy uniform with his high-voltage taser strapped to his belt, stormed in the room. He was a burly man with taunt muscles and a youthful but hard face that did not seem to fit a man of forty years. He towered over all of us as he grabbed me and walked me against the door.

“Dad-”

“Shh!” he hissed. His short hair was wet from his shower as it gleamed in the incoming sunlight, bringing out the light, straw coloring. His brown eyes blinked rapidly as he craned his neck down to meet my gaze, and his chest puffed in the area where ‘NYPD’ was written on his uniform. “Why were you attacking your little brother?”

“He broke my headphones and then-”

“Okay!” my father cut me off and put his hand up to my face. He spun around and looked at Gideon and Ceara, his handcuffs clinking against his belt as he did so. “And how did you break her headphones, son?”

Gideon fidgeted in his spot, crossing his ankles and folding his hands behind his back. His bit his lip as he spoke and kept his eyes averted to the carpet. “Well…you know how Nae keeps her headphones on that windowsill a lot?” He gestured to the window that sat on the right hand wall where I normally sat my headphones down. It was less likely that they would be harmed if they sat there, or so I thought.

“What the hell did you do, you little-”

“Nae Albany Anderson!” My father cut me off once again through his teeth. An annoyed fury smoldered in his eyes when he looked back at me for a split second. He ran a hand through his hair and looked back at Gideon. “What happened to them?”

Gideon looked as if he felt like shrinking to a miniature size and crawling in a hole to hide. “I accidentally pushed them out the window…”

My blood began to boil in my veins and I could almost feel my brain swelling to twice its normal size, a throbbing sensation banging against my forehead. My teeth gritted together to the point of a numbing pain, and my eyes seemed to narrow in on Gideon’s expression of pure terror. Anger brewing within me like a storm, I felt my body lunge toward him again. My view was blocked by my father’s body as he held me back. My head collided with his broad chest as I tried to somehow pass through the brick wall of a man in front of me.

“Let me at him!” I yelled, my voice a little muffled in his chest. My voice was raspy from faltered breathing and anxiety as I shouted. Before I could move any further, my father’s massive, meaty hands grasped my shoulders and I was pushed into one of the kitchen chairs on the left side of the area. I threw my head back and let out a long groan. “Dad,” I groaned, fists clenched on the arms of the chair. “Those headphones cost like two hundred dollars! I use those for, I don’t know,” my voice oozed with a bitter trace of sarcasm. “recording! You know, that thing I do sometimes!”

“Cut the attitude!” he hissed through his teeth before turning back to Gideon. “And you,” he told my brother. “you’re paying for your sister’s headphones, end of story. The exact same pair, do we have a deal? That money comes from your allowance.”

My brother’s expression turned to a sulk as his eyes narrowed down at the carpet that was caressing his bare feet. A long sigh emitted from between his lips as he stalked off to his bedroom. “Fine,” was the last thing he said before disappearing behind his door. A loud slam rang through the living room, vibrating over the silence that existed between the remaining three of us. Ceara bit her glossed lower lip and shuffled over to the kitchen for an afternoon snack, eyes focused straight ahead of her rather than at anyone else in the room.

My hands ran through my hair as I groaned lowly, stalking over to the sofa. I plopped down against the kitchen the threw my head back. “For the record,” my voice broke the conversation block in the room. “I’m not making dinner for him. He broke my headphones, he can eat leftovers.”

I could hear my father cursing under his breath as the front door opened. “Whatever, Nae, I don’t care,” he snapped, one foot out the door. “I’m going to work, don’t kill each other.”

“Bye, Dad,” Ceara’s voice and my own clashed together in unison.

I buried my fists into my eyes when the door shut and groaned once again.

I should have just stayed with Andrei and gotten drunk.

~~~

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