Family! (Fictional)

familytree“I’m your brother,” his voice dripped with venom even as his eyes pleaded for understanding, sympathy, and forgiveness once again, “you can’t turn your back on me, Laura.” His shoulders strained with the rage that was boiling under the surface.

“Okay, we share genetics. What does that have to do with me laying down on the ground every time you need a mat?” I watch his reaction closely. My brother wasn’t use to little sissy standing up to him. All my childhood he walked on me to get what he wanted. I might as well have not existed unless my existence benefited him. The people we called parents were of no help. For whatever reason they had chosen. In stories and movies mommies and daddies didn’t chose between their children, there weren’t supposed to be favorites.

I leaned in life that if it’s in a story or a movie it’s probably because it never really happens and someone knew that people wished it were true. Guess what… parents do make a choice and do have favorites. I wasn’t the favorite.

He stepped forward, oozing threat, his nose inches from mine. I stared him down, not acknowledging his challenge, not accepting it but not giving in to him, either. I kept my arms loose at my side, fingers relaxed.

“You cannot walk away. I am family.” He no longer pleaded with his eyes. His look now said, “give me what I want or you’ll be sorry.”

“I can and I am.”

His stance weakened and he stepped back. “Family doesn’t…”

“Why do you think you can call yourself my family?” I interrupted. His mouth hung open a moment then his teeth snapped closed. “You think because we shared biological parents, because we’re genetically linked, that it makes us family? Really?”

I waited a moment for a response but I think for the first time I had shocked him into silence.

“Tommy, family is something much deeper than simple genetics. Family is all the things that you will never, ever be to me. Family is loyalty, trust, commitment, integrity, love, protection and… and…” I inhaled deeply. He’d never get it. “Families are not born. Families are made. You had the chance to be family but you are not. I refuse to be your mat any longer. I refuse to be hurt by you, over and over again and tell myself it’s okay because your “family”. You may be a part of my biological tree but it ends there. Don’t come around ever again.”

I turned away from him knowing that to give him my back might give him my life, but I knew he needed to see that I was strong. I walked across the street and as my friends stepped out of the shadows, they moved around me, hugging me close and I knew I was with my family now. He wouldn’t have hurt me this time because my family was there to help me stand if I needed them. This family didn’t share a drop of my blood but their roots ran deeper than any family tree did.

Families are made, even the ones that are first born out of blood.

(Fictional- Writing Prompt: What is family?)

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Day 1

(The following is my daily write. It is fresh off the Muse press. No editing or revisions so please excuse the dust.)

Busy! Her phone was busy. My cell slammed on to the table. How could it be busy? Alicia was gabby, I knew that but how could her phone be busy? She had to be talking to two people at the same time. It was barely light outside. I picked my phone up and swung it downward at the table top a few more times. Damn it. What was I doing?

I picked up my phone and checked it over. Thank goodness for Gorilla® glass. I had destroyed so many phones that I didn’t believe this one would last, but so far I hadn’t busted it. I needed to learn to control my temper. Patience was not one of my virtues and today it was pushed past my limit. There was nothing worse than waiting for potential bad news.

The kitchen chair hit the floor as I flew to my feet pushing away from the table. I had to get out of here. There was nothing in this boring apartment to help calm my nerves. I didn’t even have a cat or goldfish to confide in. Alicia was obviously busy. She was one of my dearest friends, but that’s one of the cons of having a friend as sweet as Alicia—she’s got a lot of good friends. Where to go? I checked my cell. 6:50AM. The doctor’s office wouldn’t be calling for awhile yet.

I shoved the phone in my jeans pocket, pulled on my beat-up running shoes, double checked the deadbolt on my door then took off down the stairs. Mr. Beaker from A3 waved as he headed into his apartment. He had to be the friendliest vampire I’d ever known. I waved back—who wants to insult a vampire—and continued outside.

I didn’t care for running. I knew there were people who lived to run and when they see you running they assume you love running too. Why else would you run? I didn’t have an answer for that other than I had to run. My furniture had seen damage from my restlessness on the occasions I hadn’t been able to get out. The agitation started like an annoying flicking sensation at the base of my skull. As the day wore on this feeling would spread throughout my entire body. The only way to be rid of it was heavy activity. Lifting weights seemed like such a guy thing. I ran.

Today I ran for another reason. I ran so I wouldn’t destroy my phone while trying to wait for the call. I pulled the phone out of my pocket, checking it to make sure I didn’t accidentally mute the ringer or something.

“Sarah, watch it!”

Pain jolted down my spine and the air whipped from my chest as I ran face first into a wall of flesh.

“Shit!” A pair of arms scooped me up as my backside grazed the cement. The sexiest, powder blue eyes searched my face. “Sarah?” The face swam before my eyes as I gulped down some air, the fire in my chest calming.

“Who put a wall in the middle of the damn sidewalk?” I choked out accusingly between staggered breaths. “Lee, put me down.” I slapped his chest letting him know I was going to be fine.