“Welcome to New Jersey, Emma,” My dad smiled, turning to face us as Emma re-gathered her previously discarded luggage, more of her crimson hair flopping into her already covered, black-rimmed e...
The girl named Emma swivelled around, shock etched upon her pale features as she looked up at my father.
She wore a black Anthrax tee that matched Mikey’s underneath her fitted misfits hoodie, which was zipped halfway up her stomach. Tight black skinnies clung to her slender legs, the ends of them disappearing under her bright purple, Doc Marten-clad feet.
She was definitely unique, to say the least. What with her flaming red hair and what appeared to be black eyeliner – her eyes were literally invisible behind her hair - to go with all of the above.
It was obvious that she had been deep in thought before dad had called her name. She glanced over at my mom, Mikey and me with searching, russet-hazel eyes briefly before looking back at dad, speaking in an unsure, britishly accented voice.
“Dad?” She whispered shyly, a smile ghosting around her pale, slightly chapped lips when he nodded.
“Hi, honey,” Dad replied, obviously smiling back. He always smiled; he was a generally very happy person.
It was kind of incredible.
The girl dropped her things - which consisted of a large, slightly battered travel case, a backpack and an old guitar case – onto the grubby airport flooring, throwing her arms around our dad enthusiastically.
This girl was my sister. I had never met her – let alone been told about her a few weeks prior for her coming to live with us. She seemed nice enough, but she constantly hid behind her flaming crimson hair.
She peeked over at me as she hugged our dad, a meek, shy smile showing behind her fringe. I grinned back, winking at her as dad released her.
“Welcome to New Jersey, Emma,” My dad smiled, turning to face us as Emma re-gathered her previously discarded luggage, more of her crimson hair flopping into her already covered, black-rimmed eyes.
“Welcome to the family,”
“Thank you,” She murmured quietly, her face beginning to match the colour of her hair as she shook more of her fringe into he hazel eyes. Those eyes matched mine and Mikeys, I noticed with an inward grin.
Emma glanced up at us through her fringe shyly as dad steered her towards us.
“Introduce yourselves, guys!” Dad laughed, walking over to stand beside Mom, his shoes squeaking against the dirty floor as I glanced back at Mikey. He shook his head at me quickly; his eyes wide with fright behind his round, geeky glasses, telling me that he didn’t feel comfortable speaking. I nodded once, stepping towards the girl with flaming red hair.
“Hi,” I smiled warmly in greeting as I held out my hand to her. She blinked at my inoffensive gesture of a handshake once, her hazel eyes flicking up to mine as back to my hand at an impossibly fast rate.
This girl seemed scared of her own shadow, but I couldn’t blame her if I was honest. New Jersey was riddled with crime daily, and she had to be hiding some kind of story behind that crimson fringe that she was trying so desperately to disappear behind.
After a moment, she took my hand in her own and shook it politely, her calloused fingers brushing against mine.
“I’m Gerard,” I told her warmly, coming back to the present.
“Nice to meet you, Gerard,” She murmured, her British accent forming my name oddly and making me smile. Her own small smile was visible behind her unruly fringe as she flushed again.
All of a sudden, there was a loud bang as her luggage fell to the dirty floor for the second time, and she was attached to my chest like some psychopath limpet.
I laughed airily, wrapping my arms around her lightly and squeezing her. I inhaled her light scent of coffee, vanilla and guitar strings. It was slightly musky, and there was something else there that I couldn’t quite put my finger on.
I shrugged it off, coming back to the present yet again.
She liked hugs, apparently.
“Nice to meet you too,” I chuckled, stepping out of the hug gently.
“This is Mikey,” I gestured behind me to my little brother, who was staring awkwardly at the grubby floor as if it was the most fascinating thing in the world at that moment.
“Can I hug him?” She whispered to me as she eyed my brother, the hazel in her eyes swirled in with confusion and wonder.
“You can give it a try,” I chuckled at her odd question, looking back at my brother. He looked up at us briefly, his bright hazel eyes round with fright, before going back to studying the grimy floor.
He would have to get used to her sometime, so now would be a good time to start.
Beside me, Emma squeaked and launched herself at Mikey’s small frame, nearly knocking him off of his scruffy, converse-clad feet. He coughed nervously when he re-gained his balance, sending evils my way as he blinked in confusion.
Emma pulled away from him quickly and looked back over at me. I smiled at her encouragingly.
Mikey was tough to talk to when you first met him, but after a while he warms to you, and he’s a lot more comfortable around you. I would know, and so would his girlfriend.
“Hi, Mikey,” She murmured to him gently, looking into his scared eyes with what seemed to be sympathy. Mikey nodded to her, still staring at the grimy floor.
“Don’t worry, I don’t bite, y’know. Unless you’re sushi. I fucking love sushi. But in that case, I would have to eat you instead,” She muttered the last bit about Sushi to him with a laugh, a triumphant smile lighting up her hidden face when Mikey gave her a genuine half-smile before looking back at his feet.
I could tell it was a legit smile, what with being his brother and all. I knew these things, and I knew Mikey better than anyone.
“Hi,” He whispered quietly, trying to hide behind his intensely-straightened fringe as he shuffled around nervously.
“C’mon, Mikes. She isn’t gonna hurt you,” Dad called to him soothingly, walking over to us with mom in tow, the soles of his old, scruffy shoes squeaking on the grubby lino.
Mikey hiccoughed, glancing up at Emma through his fringe, and then looking over at me.
His hazel eyes were wide as he communicated a silent message to me. I understood his look at once; he was uncomfortable with this situation. I nodded to him and walked to his side, putting an arm around him securely.
“It’s okay, Mikes. It’s okay,” I soothed him gently, encouraging him to speak.
“Uh…” Mikey murmured, blinking up at me with large eyes before looking over at Emma. He was silent for a moment, looking at Emma before speaking.
“Welcome home,” Dad grinned as our old car idled outside of our little house. Mikey, Emma and I were squashed into the back seats, Emma’s luggage in the boot as we drove along the winding, grimy streets of New Jersey.
“That sounds nice,” She laughed, unbuckling her seatbelt as the car’s spluttering engine stopped and Dad hopped out, slamming the rusty door behind him.
“C’mon, let’s get your things out of the trunk,” I grinned, hopping out of the car as well and opening up the old hatch-back door.
“The trunk? I think you mean the boot,” Emma laughed airily, grabbing her guitar immediately and hugging it to her chest tightly.
I don’t think I’ll ever get used to her odd accent or her weird words, but at least she seemed nice enough. At first glance, she looked like a trouble maker, someone you wouldn’t really want to talk to, but if you didn’t judge her on her appearance, she was a pretty nice person. One of my worst fears was that she would be judgemental, slutty and a general bitch, but she seemed like a misfit. Like Mikey. Like me.
“No, that is a boot,” I laughed, pointing at one of her scruffy purple Doc Martens with one of my long white fingers. I was scarily pale, and my black nail polish proved this point.
“This is a trunk,” I pointed to the trunk of the car.
We argued for a while, laughing as we dragged her stuff up the stairs to her room.
“Okay, whatever! Here’s your room,” I laughed breathlessly, ending the argument and putting my hand onto the old brass handle, opening the recently painted white door to reveal her room.
The room was large, with four walls that were painted a pale cream color and the floor was a polished wood surface.
A large double bed sat in the far right corner of the room, and a computer desk on its left. There was a wardrobe to my right, and the rest of the room was empty. A window sat on the right-hand wall, allowing the drizzly New Jersey weather to be seen inside the room with a little wooden window seat underneath it.
“Wow,” She murmured, following me into the room.
“This room used to be mine – but I convinced dad to let me have a basement instead, so this room has been empty for a while. When your… well, our mum called up and told us you were coming to live here, we painted it and got a bed, wardrobe and desk,” I explained, dumping her battered travel case onto her pristine white bed sheets.
“It’s… bright,” She laughed, looking around at the light décor.
“Yeah, sorry about that,” I frowned, looking around the spotless room. “We had no idea what you’d be like, so we opted for neutral. I can help you re-decorate it this coming weekend, if you’d like,”
“That’d be great!” Emma beamed, giving me another hug. “Thank you!”
“No problem, little sister,” I grinned back, holding her to my chest before releasing her and walking towards the door. “I have a shitload of homework to try and do for tomorrow. You can do whatever you’d like for a while. Dinner will be ready in an hour,”
“Great, thanks Gerard,” She smiled, unclipping the fastenings on her guitar case and pulling out a pristine white Les Paul. She slung the strap over her shoulder, holding the neck of the guitar in her left hand. “I’ll play Jinx for a while, if that’s alright,”
“Fine by me,” I grinned, walking out of the door and closing it as I heard the beautiful instrument being tuned.