An average morning at the Brown house, post-FE.
...Okay, maybe it's nice. Sometimes.
But not when Tweak's waiting for me, and I'd really like to go now, thanks.
"Is that all you're getting?" He's getting that disapproving look again. Fan-fucking-tastic.
"Yeah, I'm not that hungry. And Pop Tarts have..." I start to say 'fruit', and then I actually read the label. "...um... nutrition?"
"Nice try. Sit down, I'll get you some real food." He's already turning away to look in the fridge. I don't need this. I really don't fucking need this today. Tweak promised me something new. I like new. New makes me forget that Mom's gone and Dad's going crazy, and maybe I'm... No.
Fine. I'll wait for him to make me some eggs or whatever. It's not going to take him that long, and Tweak had better fucking still be waiting, or I'm going to kill him. Dad thinks it's cute that I've got a boyfriend. Ha. Tweak -- Connor, I tell myself, but then he'll get this really stupid grin and it's back to Tweak -- is like a weird cross between guy friend, fuckbuddy, and dealer. He's not my fucking boyfriend. Other girls have boyfriends, not me. I've just got Tweak.
I'm too much of a bitch to have a boyfriend, too much of a freak, too much of everything except whatever it is that makes popular girls the way they are. Maybe if I put my hair up in a cute little pony-tail and got a sunshine enema... Nah.
There's this creepy feeling on the back of my neck, and I turn around, and for a second I think Tweak got in somehow... But Tweak doesn't look at me like that, like he's got me under a microscope. That's him, and he doesn't exist. Did he always look like Tweak, I wonder, or did he just start looking that way after that day in detention, and I'm so crazy that I think that's how he always was? It doesn't fucking matter.
What? I mouth at him. He doesn't say anything, but then, he never does. Not like he does to Mom and Dad. Not anymore. Fuck off. That one's easy, I've been saying it since Dad told me... And now Dad sees him too. Go fucking figure, right?
And he just walks away, like he always fucking does, and I wish for a second he'd just say something. What the fuck? Why should I feel jealous because my parents' delusion doesn't like me anymore? Fuck that. Fuck that.
"Fuck all of this. I'm leaving."
"Natalie, what? What's wrong? Can I--?" Dad looks up from the eggs he's making, but I'm already on my way out the door. Fuck Gabriel and fuck Dad and fuck his stupid breakfast and fuck that stupid fucking Pop Tart that doesn't even have any real fucking fruit.
There's a blue sky waiting for me, and a boy who looks just like my imaginary brother, but at least he notices I'm there.
It's not much, but it's better than this.