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Sneaky Peak - Oh Brother

10/23/2020

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The scenery flew by outside the passenger seat window, causing a youthful forehead to bump the passenger seat glass every now and then as the car shook.
“Oh suck it up already, Iahn. You’re 13, stop pouting like a child. We’re just moving, and it’s much nicer than that dinky little town and that old house.”
“Kay.” Iahn mumbled just loud enough to avoid being scolded and repressed a disheartened sigh.
At least that “old house” was home.
He didn’t care if the house was nicer, he would rather be back with his grandpa. Home was more appealing than moving to a big city with an unreliable parent to live with people he’d never met, whom he was supposed to call family now.
He couldn’t help feeling bitter as he watched the scenery zip by, having become increasingly dense with less and less trees as time had gone by.
His mother hasn’t told him anything about the man she married. He’s probably some drug dealer playboy she met at a stupid club who’s gonna cheat on her within a month.
This house they’re supposedly going to live in probably isn’t even his or he bought it with drug money or something.
Part of him expected there to be a meth lab in the basement and tweakers coming around all the time looking for a fix. It wouldn’t be the first time.
His jaw started to ache from glaring out the window the entire car ride but it wasn’t a good idea to talk back to his mom. He’s never done it, but he’s seen enough people try to know better.
She’s not happy that he’s not as eager about this as she is, that much was obvious but if he couldn’t get away with protesting while his grandpa wasn’t around to protect him, then at least he can glare out the window for what felt like both eternity and the blink of an eye.
For the rest of the car ride, he stared out with his earbuds in, trying not to think about anything at all.
He’s been gone less than a day and he already missed his friends. He just left and already wanted to go home more than anything.
It’s always like this with his mom. He felt like a carry-on bag or some designer purse that she waves around just for people to see — to make her look classy or responsible or something.
Like having a kid is a special achievement in the irl game of life.
Congratulations Player! You’re now level: Mother. Next level pending: Parent.
She’s always making herself out to be something she’s not. She’s always done stuff like this. Staying away for weeks, bringing weird people to his grandpa’s house just to take him on a trip with them — And 9 times out of 10 those trips were to random towns around them for absolutely no reason.
Like he didn’t need to see those places, there was nothing interesting or worth seeing about the next town over or the one over from that, or the one on the other side. They were exactly like their hometown but with a different name and a guarantee that every person he met or saw would be a stranger.
Grandpa said that she’d always been like this. Even before he was born when she met his dad.
His dad was the best thing that ever happened to her, or so his Grandpa said.
He doesn’t really remember his dad much. He was too young when he died, but it sure would’ve been nice to know him. Iahn even finds himself missing someone he never knew sometimes. Usually at times like this, when his mom does something that makes him wish someone besides grandpa was there to stop her.
Grandpa & his mom don’t ever mention his dad. Even when he asked, his grandpa just sighed and said that he was a good man.
His mom would yell at him though. Said he was deliberately trying to hurt her by asking and it wasn’t gonna work, and told him never to bring him up again.
Iahn leaned his elbow against the door, propping his cheek on his hand.
He misses his grandpa.
At least he actually takes care of him when his mom can’t be bothered (which is 90% of the time).
He’s gonna be alone in a stranger’s house while she’s out living like she’s 20 with her whole life ahead of her. Getting drunk, going to clubs, hooking up with people same as ever.
He wants to club her over the head and shout in her face, “You’re not 20 mom, you’re a 30 something widow with a kid.”
He’s 13 and even he knows that he knows way too much about stuff that he shouldn’t for someone his age.
He knows way too much about his mother’s life and the mistakes she makes everyday. He’s all for being young at heart, but even kids have to grow up in some ways. Especially if you’re gonna have a kid of your own.
He likes grandpa more.
He’s the only person who’s ever looked out for him — aside from his friends. He taught him how to paint and draw to keep him out of trouble since he was small and mischievous.
Apparently mischief runs in the family, but knowing where the lines are, doesn’t.
Iahn snuck a glance at the woman next to him. Her dark hair falling in carefully styled curls around her shoulders and checking her makeup in the rear-view mirror every few seconds, pretending to drive responsibly — an effort she doesn’t usually make that sent hair-raising twangs of suspicion down his spine.
He doesn’t hate his mom but … it sounded cruel, but he couldn’t honestly say he loved her either.
She’s his mother but most of the time he just dealt with her.
Yes, he heard it all the time, that he should love her regardless just because she’s his mother, but truthfully he didn’t think he should.
You shouldn’t love out of obligation. That’s not love, that’s called being trapped, bro. Ever heard of one-sided love? Yeah. The term may be for romantic relationships usually but it still applies.
You shouldn’t love someone who’s done nothing to deserve it. Even if they’re family. And especially not if they’ve done the exact opposite.
His mother… Iahn returned his eyes out of the window. He wished she would just stop.
He has to go along with what she’s having them do all the time. He doesn’t have a choice in the matter, when he should get a say. That’s not love. That’s an accessory. Kids aren’t supposed to be accessories.
She’s pulled some crazy things in the past but nothing that’s ever made him as anxious as this.
Coming home out of the blue — barely a week ago (which was a surprise all on it’s own) — interrupting his & grandpa’s awesome toast and hot chocolate breakfast, waltzing in like they were as close as a family can get and announcing that she was getting married.
He wanted to be happy for her, he really did. She looked so happy but … suddenly hearing that he was going to have a new dad isn’t exactly what he was expecting to hear before school.
She went on & on about how he’s got a nice house, a high paying job, and lived in another city. He didn’t know if he actually believed her.
Even now, he’s skeptical.
And she conveniently left out the part where he’s got a son a few years older than Iahn (in high school) until literally this morning when they were packing up their (his) stuff into the car and heading on their way.
Mixed feelings doesn’t even cover how he felt about this — he doesn’t know what to think anymore.
He wants to believe that she actually has met someone nice — it could happen (and God knows just about anyone is an improvement over the people she’s dated before), but… people like that don’t just appear.
Knowing nothing about where she was or who she was with for a month and then all of a sudden she’s getting married doesn’t exactly inspire confidence.
He doesn’t even know how long they’ve known each other, much less how long they’ve been together but it can’t have been long enough because just a few months ago she was crying about her last douchebag boyfriend who dumped her and she nearly got arrested for his drugs in the car.
All he knew right now, was that nothing he was feeling was anything close to what he knew she wanted from him; and he would rather be headed almost anywhere except where they were right at that moment.

 
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