Brynn bit her lip thinking hard and answered. "I really should be getting home." The real problem was Zoe, but she didn't want to go into that.
"Aw, c'mon," Roz implored. "Just for a bit," she added showing Brynn a pleading look.
Brynn looked away trying not to be cornered into something. Zoe would be furious if she knew that Brynn went anywhere but home right after school. She was about to open her mouth to decline again when she saw Tiffany, Clair and Cher walking down the hall. Clair's chubby face shot Brynn a nasty look before turning to grin at Tiffany and pass by. "Maybe I'll come over for a bit," Brynn said watching the three girls go.
"Great," Roz said smiling and wrapping an arm through Brynn's. "So how did you get to school?" She asked leading the timid Brynn out the front doors.
"Um...I walked," Brynn answered.
"That's okay, I'll be nice and give you a ride," Roz said jokingly as the strolled across the parking lot. Brynn laughed at Roz as she steered her towards a red car. "Get in," Roz ordered letting go of Brynn.
Brynn went over to the passenger's side and climbed in. "Where's Ryan?" She asked as soon as she had pulled on her seatbelt.
"Um...he's probably with the boys," Roz answered as she fiddled with the ignition and tuned the radio. "Why?" She asked giving Brynn a smirk.
"No reason," Brynn answered sitting up in her seat and staring ahead.
Roz laughed and pulled away leaving her seatbelt un-buckled.
A few minutes later the two girls pulled up in front of a light grey house with maroon shutters. "This 'tis my home," Roz said shutting off the car and climbing out.
Brynn pushed the button on her seatbelt and climbed out. She swung her book bag over her shoulder and gazed up at the house. "Stop gawking and come in," Roz ordered as she already disappeared into the house.
Brynn stepped up to the house and pushed the maroon door open. As Brynn entered the first thing she saw was a door to her left and a hallway leading in front of her. On her right stood a small room, which had a piano and couch. "You can just put your bag there," Roz said pointing to a bench to Brynn's left. Brynn set her book bag down carefully as Roz went down the hall in front of them. Brynn followed her past a few doors and into a bigger room. A kitchen stood to her left which Roz went into. On Brynn's right was a couch, two chairs and a TV. Brynn went over to take a seat on the couch. In front she saw a small coffee table that held some family photos. She picked one up that looked like it wasn't taken long ago. Roz and Ryan were in the front of their parents with big smiles. Roz's mom was above Roz wearing the same expression. Her long dark hair curled at the end that also emitted a few highlights. Her dad stood by her. His happy expression and green eyes excelled out and made Brynn smile. "Oh please don't look at that picture," Roz said coming up beside Brynn holding a glass of juice.
"Your moms very pretty," Brynn commented. "She looks a lot like you," she added staring down at the picture.
Roz let out a breath of air and sat on the arm of the couch. "Yeah, so I'm told," she said.
"What do they do?" Brynn inquired.
"Well my dad," Roz started as she slid down next to Brynn on the couch. "He's a bartender in a casino downtown and my mom...she's a performer," she said taking a drink of her juice.
"A performer?" Brynn questioned taking another glance at the glowing Mrs. Ross.
"She's a showgirl," Roz said smiling.
"Oh," Brynn said looking at her. This girl had both her parents in the heat of Las Vegas, it seemed exciting. It seemed like something Brynn would never know.
Roz laughed at Brynn's wide expression and shot up. "C'mon I'll show you my room," she said walking towards a staircase that was perched at the end of the couch. Brynn set the picture back on the coffee table and followed Roz.
At the top of the steps was a huge hallway. Roz entered the first room ahead of them. Brynn followed. "Wow," Brynn exclaimed walking into the glowing room. The walls were shades of reds and pinks that made the room so bright. Roz's bed sat towards the back wall with a canopy lining the edges. A small piano and guitar sat against a wall where dressers and a closet graced the other side. "You play," Brynn questioned going over to sit at the piano.
"Um...not that well," Roz admitted falling onto her bed. "Ryan really is the musician in the family. What about you? You play?"
"I use to a lot," Brynn said fingering the keys. "I stopped taking lessons about a year ago." Roz was quiet while Brynn tried to familiarize herself with the thing she had left behind.
"What about your parents?" Roz asked suddenly as if reading Brynn's mind. "What do they do?"
Brynn swerved around on the chair and faced Roz on her bed. "Well my dad...he's an insurance advisor for a lot of big companies," Brynn said. "He's usually gone a lot," she added. "And my mom...um...she was a teacher," Brynn said swerving back around and hitting a chord. "She was a piano teacher."
"Was?" Roz questioned. "You mean she quit?"
"No, she died."
Roz looked down at her cup of juice realizing she had hit a spot. "I'm sorry," she said.
"No it's okay," Brynn reassured her. "It was about a year ago...a car accident."
"Oh," Roz said. "So...why'd you move here?"
"Well...my dad remarried and she decided that it would be best if the five of us lived in the city," Brynn sighed.
"Five of you? I thought you said you were an only child?"
"I am...but I have two step-sisters," Brynn confessed. "Their names are Clair and Cher."
Roz at the sound of the two names spit up some of her juice that she had been chugging. "What?!?! You're step-sisters are Clair and Cher? Those new girls that hang around Tiffany?"
"Yeah that's them," Brynn sighed.
"Wow, you guys are nothing alike," Roz said shaking her head. Brynn nodded slightly. "Hey what's that?" Roz asked pointing at Brynn's feet.
Brynn looked down at saw her sliver bracelet on the floor. "Oh that's mine," she said grabbing it and wrapping it around her wrist. "It was my mother's," she added quietly. "But it always slips off." Just then the two girls heard what sounded like a big crash coming from downstairs.
"What was that?" Brynn asked looking over at Roz.
Roz didn't answer very quickly but shook her head and got up. "RYAN!!!!!!!" She called running out of the room.