Vicissitude 4

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I’m really easily distracted, what can I say? Today’s post is the following: 

It was a Saturday morning and the house was quiet. Scarily quiet. I initially thought it was because it was stupidly early in the morning and I had only been asleep for a matter of minutes, but upon looking at my phone I saw it was 11am.

I panicked and rushed out of bed, knocking over a lamp and dropping my phone on the floor. I raced past the living room, where the TV was off, and walked through to the kitchen. And straight into someone’s back.

That someone turned out to be Josh. I recognised his cologne before I registered anything else. He turned around, took a step back and smiled at me.

‘Morning sleepy head.’

‘Morning?’ I looked around the kitchen quickly confused.

‘You want pancakes or waffles?’ He asked, making me focus again.

‘What?’

‘Pancakes or waffles?’ He gestured at the kitchen counter.

‘She only eats pancakes.’ That was Scott.

‘And she only eats them when you can no longer see them for sugar. Syrup, cream, chocolate. If it looks like a dentist trip waiting to happen, Nix is all over it.’ There was Mia, which surprised me, and left two unaccounted for.

‘I’m never allowed cream on mine. Nix isn’t very nice to me.’ Lydia. Relief.

‘I’m sure Nix is plenty nice to you Lydia.’ Josh again and the panic slowly started to subside as the events from the previous night slowly came back to me.’

‘Yeah Lyds, she’s plenty nice you.’ Mia, maybe sucking up, maybe doing it out of reflex. I didn’t know.

‘So I’m taking it you want pancakes?’ I nodded and walked around to an empty bar stool next to Mia.

‘Yeah, that would be great thanks.’ Four pancakes, my favourite blue plate, three squirts of whipped cream, drizzled in maple syrup, dark chocolate chips and strawberries. My favourite. I noticed Hayden was sat in his usual seat and I finally gelt calm again.

I started eating but didn’t get very far before Mia turned to me and started talking in hushed tones.

‘You scared me Nix. Last night. You scared me. You’re burned out and you won’t take any help from anyone and it’s freaking me out. You can’t keep going like this. For them.’

‘And what, you called Josh?’ I retorted, harshly I knew but on the defensive as always.

‘No, he called you last night. You had already passed out and I didn’t deem it necessary to cause another person Nix related stress, so I answered. Told him the truth. He told me to turn off your alarm and he was here at 7.’

‘Was that your call to make though Mia?’ I shot back.

‘After last night, yes. Sometimes it is my call.’ She was stern and I knew for the most part she had won this argument, so I gently changed the subject.

‘Why…ummm why was he calling me?’ I ignored the smirk that broke out on her face.

‘I never found that out. He became all Papa Bear when I picked up the phone.’

‘How did he get them to be so quiet?’ I looked at Scott and Lydia who were in a world of their own concentrating on eating their breakfast.

‘He told them it was a game that we had to be quiet so as not to wake you up.’

‘And it worked?’ I stopped chewing mid bite in surprise.

‘I don’t know if you’ve noticed but for some reason they listen to him.’ I turned my face to look at Josh’s back as he carried on washing up.

‘No, I’ve noticed. So they’ve been doing what exactly all morning?’ I carried on eating.

‘They’ve written a shopping list. They completed a puzzle. They helped mix the batters. Taught Hayden how to make some words with those blocks. Ate. They’ve done a lot of eating.’

‘How much?’ I asked, almost scared.

‘They’re gonna crash this afternoon put it this way.’

‘That could be good.’ I shrugged.

‘We have to get there first. Josh makes better waffles than you by the way.’ Mia changed the subject again.

‘I think he makes better pancakes too if I’m honest.’ I admitted quietly.

‘He’s nice. Patient. Funny. Still really fucking hot.’ She smiled cheekily.

‘Mia! Naughty word jar!’ Lydia looked up innocently and Mia blushed slightly.

‘Sorry Lyds. But seriously,’ she dropped her voice again even lower than before, you should do something about that.’

‘And how do you propose I do that?’ I asked mainly by reflex.

‘Oh so we’re entertaining it now as a possibility?’ She shifted back slightly in surprise and I almost felt like blushing.

‘No. Yes. You seem to have al the ideas, what you got?’ Mia nodded and moved forward again.

‘Lyds has her first big sleepover next weekend. Scott is bound to have a friend somewhere where we can ditch him. I’ll get lost for the night and then all you have to worry about is Hayden, who is actually sleeping through the night right now. You my love have a whole evening.’ She smirked.

‘That only works if Scott gets plans and Hayden actually sleeps.’ I shoved another bite in my mouth, wiping away the cream that caught on the corner of my lip.

‘Fine then, I’ll take them all to Nan’s.’ She suggested instead.

‘Why are you so invested in this still?’ I asked.

‘Because, the way I see it Nix, of the 5 of us you came out the worse from Mom and Dad dying. Yes, we all lost our parents, but only you became a mother overnight. Mom and Dad always knew what they were getting into when they had kids, you didn’t. You took on night feeds, screaming children, anger and tears. You took it all on board. You moved out of your beloved apartment and back in to your untouched childhood bedroom. You’ve started working in stolen moments to try and keep us all afloat. I don’t remember the last time you saw any of your friends for longer than an hour. You haven’t had a night out or even a good night’s sleep in over a year Nix. And you deserve a good thing. You deserve a chance to be selfish and have your biggest personal worry be reminiscent of being a teenage girl. I need you to start living for you again and I know you. In any other situation we wouldn’t even be having this conversation. We’d be having a very different one, a more fun one.’

‘Are you sure you’re only 17?’ I mumbled, cutting another bite up.

‘I know, I know. I’m wise beyond my years. It’s completely your fault. But seriously, if we’re the only thing keeping you from him, take us out of the equation. Go be “30, flirty and thriving”.’

‘You watch that again recently?’ I smiled.

‘No, I’ve been dying to say it ever since you turned 30 at least once.’ She laughed and I couldn’t help but join in.

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