Livvy’s got a problem. She and Jon fell asleep in her room, and while it was relatively innocent, it’s not something her father will ever accept.
Jon’s upstairs, alone, with my family, after spending the night in my bed. I have no idea how many lies he’s had to tell at this point–nor do I know what they are. I hate this.
After brushing my hair, I quickly pull it back in a messy French braid. I put some powder on my face and run some gloss over my lips, then shut off the lights and run upstairs.
“There she is,” Jon says, immediately standing up off the couch as soon as he sees me. My whole family is in the living room with him. “Good morning, Olivia,” he says with a forced smile, crossing the foyer to get to me.
“Hi,” I say, holding my arms out for a hug.
“Breakfast at Tiffany’s,” he whispers in my ear, “and Angelotti’s for dinner. You had antipasto and eggplant parmesan.”
“I hate eggplant,” I whisper back, tucking my head into his shoulder to hide my lips.
“So I learned,” he says, letting go. “But you liked it last night,” he whispers, raising his eyebrows and nodding to me.
“Where’d you get that shirt?” Mom asks. Of course she notices. Jon hadn’t put two and two together until she poses the question. He lets me answer.
“Goodwill,” I say, looking down at it. “I thought I could paint in it.”
“Goodwill?” Dad asks.
“What?” I ask, shrugging my shoulders and leading Jon into the empty kitchen. “They have cool vintage things sometimes.” I’d never been in a Goodwill before, and had no idea where there even was one.
“Ahhh,” Dad says, following us closely. “And here I thought you were trying to save me money.”
“Well, it’s a win-win.” Dad chuckles under his breath as the three of us take seats at the formal dining room table. Mom and Kelly bring Trey and Nikki in, getting them situated before going back into the kitchen to get food.
“Emi, please, take a seat,” my aunt encourages her. “Livvy said she’d help.” I look up at her surprised, but quickly recover as I jump from my seat and return to the kitchen.
“There’s lipstick on the collar of that shirt,” she says. “You couldn’t find anything else?”
“Kelly, Dad was coming downstairs. It was the first thing I grabbed. Just go with it, okay?” She shuts her eyes and shakes her head, taking a few deep breaths. “What do you need help with?”
“Put some bread in the toaster,” she says, “and then go take your mom and dad some coffee.”
“Kelly!” My uncle’s voice makes both of us jump.
“Matty,” she says with a sigh. “I didn’t know when you’d be home.”
“You makin’ us breakfast?” he asks giving her a hug.
“Yes, how do you like your eggs?”
“Over-easy,” he says, coming over to me after I start the toaster. He hugs me and picks me up off the floor. I can hear him sniff. “You smell like sweat and men’s cologne and–” he says quietly in my ear.
“Is it that bad?”
“Smells quite good to me,” he says, setting me down. “So yeah. It’s that bad. Is this Jon’s shirt?” He grabs a piece of cantaloupe from a bowl on the island.
“No,” I say loudly, because I’m sure my parents heard the question. “Go say hi to Mom and Dad,” I tell him with a glare, letting him know that they’re home. “And Jon,” I add as he covers his mouth in surprise.
“I can’t wait to hear this story,” he says, leaning in to me quickly on his way into the dining room.
OLIVIA ©2014 Lori L. Otto – release date June 17, 2014
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