"Cope, stop eating poptarts," uncle Beck knowingly lectures while being busy with the stove. I wonder what gave Cooper away, either the crinkle of the wrapper or the loud crunch every time his teeth sink down on a bite. "dinner is going to be ready soon."
"My name is Cooper." my brother groans, then stuffing the rest of half eaten Poptart into his mouth. It's hard to watch as Cooper swallows it whole.
I have to give uncle Beck credit where's credit is due. For our first Sunday night dinner he didn't want to settle for reheating pizza we've been doing since Cooper and I landed, but go all out with a big home cooked meal. Extra points because uncle Beck isn't doing anything easy like boiling pasta paired with jarred sauce, but everything from scratch.
"Cooper, I thought you were helping make the salad. You know, healthy nutrients and other stuff kids your age need to grow." Uncle Beck scolds, glancing at the empty strainer. Everybody has a task. Cooper's was trusted to chop a head of lettuce and find some ranch dressing. I'm in change of setting the table, but I've been busy finding real flatware instead of the usual paper plates and plastic to go utensils.
"Uncle Beck, you didn't buy any lettuce. Or anything else that goes into a salad." Cooper explains in a tired voice.
"What?" Uncle Beck blanches, dropping the wooden spoon he's using to stir straight to the bottom of pot filled with boiling rice. Needing to see for himself, uncle Beck rushes to the fridge to investigate how empty it is. On the bright side, uncle Beck stocked up on every flavor of poptarts and three jumbo bags of Doritos, but I'm pretty sure they were there to begin with.
"Damn it. I forgot to buy actual produce. There's not even lemon juice or garlic. How are suppose to even season anything?" Practically slamming the fridge door on his head, uncle Beck can't keep the defeated tone out of his voice.
"Uncle Beck?" My voice is weary. I know my timing is bad, but it's news I can't avoid. "Not to make things worse, but I can't find any of grandma's china. I'm pretty sure they're still packed away."
"Ugh, I'm doing a great job at this single parenting thing." Uncle Beck is frozen at his spot, letting all the cold air out the fridge by staring down the nearly empty shelves.
"Shit!" Cooper and I both burst at a crude hissing sound coming from the stove. A thin layer of smoke begins to weigh down the air, the boiling rice frothing at the mouth like a feral animal.
"Language!" Uncle Beck sighs, still caught up in trying to cook with what little we have.
"The pot is boiling over!" Beating me to it, Cooper gets to the stove first, cursing under his breath as he urgently moves the messy pot to a different burner. Bother by all the sudden movement, Tucker wines as he dodges out of the way of all the hustle.
"What's burning?" We all hear the front door swing open over Tucker's barking.
"Please let that be the delivery guy with a pizza and perfect timing." Uncle Beck mutters, kicking the fridge doors shut.
"Should we call the fire department?" I almost forget to say hi to Jared, Embry, Quill and Jacob followed by an older, grayer version of Quill with a long braid when they first strut in. I'm still not use to a lot of things in La Push, like the always pouring rain or how everyone kind of knows me, but I'm especially not use to the suddenness when people just show up. I tell myself not that long ago, I was one of those people who invited myself over when my parents were still alive; and those were some of the best times of my childhood.
"No, but call in some take out." Uncle Beck admits his blunder, grabbing a fistful of his black hair he keeps short.