House 26:- Sibling Rivalry
Author's note: I wrote this because of my love for children and family. The whole idea of family embracing each... Show full author's note »
The MoveThe van was still moving, still driving to San Diego. It was hot outside. Anna could feel the heat burning her face through the open window. This was what woke her up.
She let out a soft groan as her arms slowly elevated with a stretch. Her fists moved to her eyes and she rubbed them with a yawn. Big blue eyes fluttered open.
“Look who decided to finally wake up,” her father, Troy Bekridge, said from the driver’s seat. He was looking at her through the rear view mirror which just happened to capture Anna solely and directly. “Maybe you can be an example to all the others.”
Anna yawned again as her eyes scanned her sleeping siblings.
Joanne. Logan. Leisa. All sprawled out on the seats behind her.
“Are we almost there?” she asked groggily.
“Not quite,” her mother replied, handing her the map she had in hand.
Anna took it and sighed. “I don’t understand this thing,” She placed it on the seat beside her. She stuck her head threw the window and called out “San Diego? San Diego? Where art thou my future home?”
“Put your head inside Anna! That’s dangerous,” Diane Bekridge, her mother, scolded.
Anna obeyed quickly and sulked in her seat. ‘I think I’m carsick. Can we stop for a while?”
Troy glanced at his watch. 11:26 am. “I guess we could get a bite to eat.”
“Can we get McDonalds?” Anna’s eyes beamed hopefully.
“If I see one near here,”
“It’s either McDonalds or Wendy’s, Anna. Make up your mind.” Troy answered his ten year old again.
Anna thought for a while. “McDonalds!” she yelled. “No, ahh Wendy’s! ….McDonalds?” she puzzled herself. “Which one should I choose mama?”
“McDonalds,” the voice came from the backseat. It was Leisa.
She got up and climbed over to where her younger sister was sitting. “Their food is better, and it has more salt. We should go there daddy,” she yawned softly.
“Okay, McDonalds it is!” Anna sung, throwing her hands in the air.
“If I see one near here,” he repeated.
They didn’t go to McDonalds.
“I can’t believe there’s not a McDonalds around here,” Anna pouted, jumping down from the van.
“I know right?” Leisa agreed. “This town sucks,” She lifted her suitcases from the trunk. One. Two. Three. Four of them.
“What are we going to do around here?” Logan, their brother, joined in on the conversation. “I didn’t even see a skate park.”
“Or a movie theatre!” Joanne, the eldest of the four, exclaimed. “Where am I supposed to go on dates?”
“Guys, guys, guys...” Troy Bekridge placed his hand above his head. His fingers were stretched widely apart and were all pointing stiffly to the sky. “What does this sign mean?”
“Order,” Anna muttered, folding her arms across her chest.
“Right.” Her father approved. “We just got here and I’m sure you’ll adapt just fine. Give it a couple of days. You’re gonna love it here. Then we’ll all look back on this day and laugh till our faces turn purple.”
Diana Bekridge smiled. “Your father is right, my darlings. Just try and settle in for now okay? We’ll scan the place and find out all the fun teenage spots around, and before you know it, this will be home.” She tousled Logan’s dark brown hair and landed a kiss on his forehead.
“So stop complaining!” Troy’s deep voice sung loudly into the ears of his family. He sounded like a tone deaf toad playing the lead in a musical.
The kids giggled.
“Just please!” Anna said dramatically. “Do not do that again daddy. I’m begging you!”
Troy lifted her over his shoulders while tickling her all over. “Can I do it now? Can I do it now?” he asked laughingly, trying to overpower her loud hysterical laughter. Her feet kicked rapidly in every direction. Her giggles turned into choked noises and then muffled screams. “Daddy stop! Daddy stop! Yes yes, you can do it now! Sing all you want!” she managed to say between breaths and chuckles.
Troy stopped. He placed her on the ground again. She was out of breath. He smiled a huge grin at her. His mouth almost touching his ear lobes. His teeth shone in the afternoon sunlight. His radiant face could light up any room at any hour in any day. His smile was contagious. His love for his family, inevitable. It was always said that Anna was his favourite, though. This debate evolved weekly among the siblings in the Bekridge home. The verdict, no matter how much Troy emphasized that he loved them all equally, was always the same – his youngest child was the one whom he preferred. Plus, they all had evidence to prove it.
Anna was always allowed to go anywhere she wanted to while the others had to beg and plead and were mostly turned down. This they held against their father with jealousy in their hearts. However, because of Troy’s undefeatable charm, they would soon forget the squabbles until they arose again; and they always did.
Troy winked at Anna before getting back to unloading his suitcases and bags from the family van. “I won’t sing again,” he said with his back turned away. “I’ll save my voice for next time.” He flashed her a smile.
Anna shook her head with a laugh. “You’re such a clown,”
“Indeed,” Leisa sighed. They headed inside their new home. Bags in hand.
Joanne Bekridge took a huge bite into her bacon and cheese sandwich. She chewed for a long while and subsequently swallowed. “This is…,” she cleared the rest of her mouth with her tongue. “…delicious, mom!” she finished her sentence with an astonished look on her face.
Logan chewed and nodded quickly and repetitively. “It’s awesome! Where have you been hiding your secret chef skills?”
Diane laughed. “Well it’s just bacon and cheese, my darlings.” She shrugged off her compliment. “But, thank you.” She smiled down at them while placing two glasses of juice beside their plates.
The three were situated in their new Spanish-tiled and Italian-furnitured kitchen, finally eating something after the revelation that there was no McDonalds to be found in their new town.
Logan grabbed up his glass and drank it all at once. He shot it up in the air as soon as he was finished and yelled, “To our new home!”
“And mom’s new cooking skills!” Joanne raised her glass as well, with a giggle.
The kitchen door opened. “Well well well, it sure does sound like you two weren’t complaining a while ago about how lame this town was,” Troy Bekridge said upon his arrival. He placed the grocery bags on the counter.
“Daddy bought us hamburgers!” Anna exclaimed, her face brighter than the sun at noon.
Leisa mimicked her sister. “No Anna,” she said harshly. “Daddy bought you a hamburger. I got a fish fillet.” She frowned.
“You love fish!” Troy defended himself.
“Yeah…” Leisa agreed softly. “But I love hamburgers too,” She muttered under her breath.
“What was that?” Troy asked, peering down at his twelve year old with a punishable stare.
Leisa walked away and sat beside Joanne who placed her arm around her. “Nothing…” she muttered again. “You won’t pick up for me anyway,”
Diane watched the scene take place and then gave her husband a reprimanding look. “Troy!” she exclaimed strictly, as if she were talking to one of her four. “Leisa loves hamburgers. Everyone loves them! Don’t you know that by now?”
“Why on earth is everyone attacking me for buying a fish fillet?” Troy almost yelled. Anna held on to her father’s hand, a little scared.
Diane scoffed. “Because honey, they’re children. You buy them all the same thing or it’ll cause a fuss. And plus, I told you before you left that I would make lunch-”
“Lunch was awesome by the way,” Logan interjected.
Their mother continued as if he hadn’t, “If you had listened, there wouldn’t have been a problem such as this.”
Everyone turned their eyes back to Troy. It was like they were watching an episode of My Wife and Kids. They awaited his response.
He sighed and threw his hands up in the air. “Well, I’m sorry,” he said after a while. He awkwardly began to unpack the groceries he had brought. His hands moved quickly: Bread, vegetables, soup cans, bananas and grapes…
It was as if he had ushered the kitchen into silence. No one spoke.
Then Diane broke it, probably thinking in her mind that she had the right to. “Would you like one of the sandwiches I made, Leisa, darling?” She gave her daughter a reassuring glance.
Leisa hesitated and shrugged, probably scared to join in on her mother’s attempt to resume conversation. Diane placed a plate in front of her anyway. “Eat,” she said.