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Gaige barely woke up with his alarm clock. The alarm he strategically set to wake him up ten minutes before he was supposed to be leaving the house with Milton and Krista. Gaige was so set on not waking up early, he took a shower at night -right after Chester had played in the bath with toys- and went to bed in the sweatshirt and jeans he'd wear the next day to school. 

He woke up with time to tie his shoes and brush his teeth before he was shuffling down the stairs. The kitchen smelt like toast and butter.  Krista and Brad looked up from their cups of coffee -expect Krista's was in a travel mug- when Gaige wandered into the kitchen rubbing sleep from his eyes. Erin raised an eyebrow, obviously surprised Gaige had managed not to mess up and woke up on time to leave with her children to school. 

Brad cleared his throat when his eldest son got near, "Um, good morning, Gaige. Would you like a cup of coffee?" Gaige's reply was a grunt and nod. Needless to say, he wasn't a morning person. Brad slid of his island stool and poured a cup of black coffee into a travel mug, sliding it to Gaige, "I'm not sure how you like your coffee."

Gaige didn't say anything. Wordlessly, he put on the mug's lid and took of a sip of the strong black coffee before closing his eyes at the slight burn at the back of his throat. If he was honest, Gaige didn't like coffee. But it gave him energy, he liked the light burn of his tongue in order to wake himself up, and it was a liquid. So no carbs or sugar unless he added any. 

"And take a piece of toast," Erin held it out to Gaige like he was contagious of something if he somehow got too close. Gaige stared down at the toast like it was contagious of something itself. Too many carbs for one single thing so early in the morning. 

"No thank you," Gaige could barely pull his eyes off the simple piece of toast that he could only imagine rolling through his body to his stomach to make more fake cells that he'd have to work extra hard to get rid of.

"Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It essential brain food," Krista rolls her eyes at Gaige as if he were stupid for not wanting breakfast.

"So take a piece of toast or fruit, it's all you will be eating until lunch and lord knows those school lunches are subpar," Erin places the toast on the stack of others. 

Gaige hesitantly takes a banana, peeling it back. He thought moving here he would be able not to have to eat breakfast like his mother used to make him in Flordia. The banana tasted like mush waste in his mouth. 

Behind him, heavy footsteps ran down the stairs until Gaige heard Milton's surprised voice, "Oh. He's awake. Well, then we best be going-"

"Hold on, Mil," Gaige didn't know Erin was capable of emotional nicknames, "Have a piece of toast, and where is Gaige's backpack?" Milton grabbed a toast from the little tower of bread while the rest of the family turned to Gaige.

"Oh, uh, I didn't see one when you came. You did bring one, didn't you?" Gaige slowly shook his head at his father's question, taking pleasure in the annoyed sigh Erin let out. The only upside was eating was having a mouth full so you didn't have to answer with words. 

His mother had reminded him to bring his backpack with him. Just like she told him to take the laptop he and Leon shared. But Gaige left both at home. The laptop because he figured his rich father could afford to buy him a new one and Leon need one at home. The backpack stayed in Flordia because he lost it six months ago. In fact, Gaige's attendance at school was laughable, so the need for a backpack was lost a long time ago. When he did go, he borrowed pencils and got all the work done in class so he didn't have to bring papers anywhere. 

"Unbelievable. Did your mother really not give you any basic necessities?" Gaige ground his teeth at Erin's attempt to degrade his mother. He may be peeved at his mother right now, but no step-mother bitch would have the right to talk like this, "I'll buy you a backpack later while I'm out later. Gaige, you'll get your schedual in the main office. It's seven, you three better be off to school."

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