Warning: This post contains content that may not be appropriate for younger readers. The chapter contains crude language. Consider the rating PG.
“Kassiopeia, get over here and give me a hug.”
Granny Jade greeted me as I walked into Jade’s Java Jolt on Monday night. I had spent a long day cleaning up at our old house and barely had time to get to grandma’s, shower, and change before heading over to the coffee shop. I hoped this evening would go well with my sisters. I didn’t know how they’d take it. Granny Jade’s hug was a welcome start to the evening.
“So how is my best customer?” she asked in her sweet Southern drawl. “Is it true that I hear I may have a new granddaughter sometime soon?”
I flushed hotly. “Absolutely not, Granny Jade!” I protested. “Davis and I are just dating.”
“I know, dear,” Granny smiled teasingly. “I am just grateful my grandson has found himself some happiness. It’s been a long time.”
I wondered what she meant by that. Was she referring to Davis’ ex girlfriend perhaps? Or someone else?
“I am grateful he is with you, sweetheart,” Granny added. “Such a lovely lady.”
“Thank you,” I said shyly.
“If you ever need to talk sometime, I’m here for you,” Granny offered.
I gave her a weird look as I wasn’t sure what she meant.
I wandered upstairs to the balcony. I waved to Cari who was ordering her beverage. I found Andi, surprisingly with VJ.
“We were hanging out today,” Andi explained. “And so he tagged along. I hope you don’t mind.”
“Mind?” I shook my head. This should be interesting. “Not really.”
“Great!” Andi grinned. “I’m going to go order.”
“Hi you must be VJ,” I reached out to shake his hand. “I’m Kass, Andi’s older sister.”
“Nice to meet you,” VJ replied. “I hope I’m not intruding on sister time.”
“Not at all,” I lied.
“Even so, I’ll let you ladies catch up and I’ll be over here. Foosball is calling my name,” he said with a smile.
“Oh… okay…” I answered, surprised.
“So spill!” Cari said, almost the instant I sat down. “What’s going on?”
“What do you mean ‘what’s going on?’” I said, feigning innocence. “Can’t I just want to spend time with my sisters?”
“Then I can have VJ come over here?” Andi asked.
“Well…” I said sheepishly.
“Come on, Kass, you dragged me out of the house when there’s a Haute Knights episode on TV,” Cari snipped. “I’d better be here for a good reason.”
“Cari, there’s this thing called DVR,” Andi rolled her eyes.
I grunted. Shameka’s dad was on that show.
“It’s the experience, sheesh! Andi! Popcorn, sparkling cider, doing my nails, and Haute Knights. I do it every Monday night. You should know,” Cari exclaimed, waving her arms erratically.
“Calm down, Cari,” I said.
“So you didn’t just want to hang out, did you?” Andi probed.
“Okay,” I sighed. “I wanted to tell you about something…someone… well, it concerns you, so I thought you should know.”
“What could that possibly be?” Cari huffed.
“Cut the sarcasm for five seconds, please?” I begged. “What I’m about to tell you has been an overwhelming burden and I’m not telling you to burden you, but I thought you should know because it does concern you and your health.”
“My health?” Andi blinked rapidly.
“What?” Cari grunted.
“I saw Dad,” I admitted quietly.
“WHA?” Cari shouted. “YOU DID WHAT? HOW COULD YOU? YOU TRAITOR!”
“Cari, hush, people are staring,” I warned softly.
“You saw dad?” Andi repeated.
“Yes,” I affirmed. “I did. He met me for coffee a little over a week ago. He wanted to congratulate me on graduating and to tell me about his health…”
“I don’t give one flying hoot about his health!” Cari snapped. “He’s a llama’s ass and he shouldn’t have contacted you. And you shouldn’t have seen him.”
“Cari, your language,” Andi blanched.
“Well he is,” she grunted.
“Cari, please, you’re not making it easy to tell you,” I said, feeling defeated.
“Okay, so what is it?” Cari said, impatiently.
“Dad has EXCES,” I burst out.
Both my sisters stared at me in shock. I sat in awkward silence waiting for them to say something. Andi spoke first.
“Doesn’t that mean…” she started.
“Yes,” I nodded, my voice barely above a whisper.
“What the hell, Kass? Dad’s an alien?!?” Cari exclaimed.
“Cari, language,” Andi sighed sadly.
“I don’t care, Andi, our sister drags us out of the house tonight for coffee…”
“Oh, you make it sound like I forced you here, Cari. I didn’t drag you here kicking and screaming.”
“…and then you tell us you met with Dad and if that isn’t enough, now you’re telling me Dad has some kind of alien disease and what? So we might have it too? What a jerk! How could he drop a bomb on me like that? On us!? How could you? I mean, our lives were perfectly fine until now and this stupid earthquake ruined everything too.”
“Not everything is about you, Carina! This affects all of us and if you’d just pull yourself out of your own world, you’d see that.”
“Both of you just calm down,” Andi interjected.
“I will not calm down!” Cari refused. “How can you be so calm? We just found out we’re aliens.”
“We are not aliens!” I countered.
“No, but we’ve got alien DNA in us,” Cari cried. “I don’t have any friends as is and now this is going to make it worse.”
“Still thinking only of yourself,” I grunted.
“Would both of you stop being so selfish for one moment and just all take a breath? We need to figure this out!” Andi said rationally.
“I don’t want to figure it out. I didn’t want anything to do with Howard before today and I certainly don’t want anything to do with him now,” Cari huffed.
“Please…” Andi said, tears welling in her eyes. “Please… I… I’m going to talk to VJ.”
She stood up and walked away, her shoulders hunched. I saw VJ give her a hug, and then glance our direction with a worried look. Both he and Andi started playing foosball.
“Great! Look at what you did!” Cari exclaimed, leaping to her feet.
“What I did!” I said defensively. “What you did! You have to go blowing everything out of proportion, don’t you.”
“I resent that,” Cari narrowed her eyes. “If you had any sense at all, you’d protect her instead of exposing her to the sins of our father.”
“Cari, he didn’t cause his own disease. He doesn’t even know who his biological family members really are. And he had no idea until recently.”
“How do you know that?”
“I don’t think he’d lie to us.”
“He procreated! And then he had the nerve to tell us ‘oh sorry, by the way, I have an alien disease, and maybe you do too.'”
“Cari, sarcasm isn’t helpful. And how can you be so ungrateful? If he didn’t ‘procreate,’ you and I wouldn’t be here.”
“I know that! Sometimes I wish I wasn’t here!”
I stopped and stared at her. I couldn’t believe what she just said. What did she mean? I had an overwhelming urge to hug her and to tell her everything would be okay, but I refrained. She wouldn’t take it well.
“Sometimes I wish I wasn’t here. It’d have been easier on Mamma with just two kids instead of three and I’m such a loser to boot.”
“Carina, you aren’t a loser.”
“Yeah well I’m the progeny of a cheating bastard and a depressed mood-swinging mother and now all of you have somebody special in your lives and I don’t. I can’t stand it. My life is ruined.”
“Your life isn’t ruined. We’ll get through this.”
“How can you say that? How can I ever trust you again?”
Cari covered her face and ran away in angry tears. We had garnered quite a few looks from the coffee shop patrons. I awkwardly rubbed my neck and decided to leave.
“Hey Kass,” Abe waved in my direction.
I reluctantly walked over to him, my head tucked down.
“Is everything okay?” he asked.
“No, just everything in my life is falling apart,” I said sarcastically.
“Well, I just want to make sure you and your sisters are okay,” Abe said concerned.
“Thanks,” I said genuinely. “We’ll be okay.”
“If you say so,” Abe responded skeptically. “If you need anything, you know the Jolt’s family is here for you.”
“Okay,” I squeaked.
I left, feeling all embarrassed. Abe and countless others had seen us arguing. This evening had so not gone the way I planned. My hands gripped my steering wheel tightly. I felt something wet splash my hand. I stared at the droplet in surprise, and then gave way to the cascade of tears. This overwhelming burden just got a whole lot heavier, and I was only making it worse if I didn’t let myself cry about it.
Chapter 21 Coming Soon!
- Will Kass and her sisters make up?
- How will the girls proceed from here with the news about their father?
- Will Kass ever show her face at the Jolt again?
- What’s going to happen between Andi and VJ?
Author Changes: What’s different?
- Pic size is edited.