Status: Chapter 1
Characters: Gabby, CJ, Angelina
Summary: Gabby arrives home for Thanksgiving Break
Gabby turned off the engine of the car and slumped back into the seat, taking a deep breath. This was her first time home since going off to school and she’d been dreading it ever since stores started selling Thanksgiving decorations. She began to question if not bringing any weed back with her was a good idea anymore. Worst case, she could always buy more.
After listening to the fading AC/DC song on the car stereo for a solid minute, Gaby mustered the strength to face her family. She parked outside of the house, hoping that everyone would be stuck working at the restaurant this Wednesday night. She got out of the car and pulled her duffle bag out of the back seat, scanning the street for any familiar cars. She didn’t recognize any, a flush of relief washing over her in optimism that no one was home.
As Gabby stepped onto the little path leading to the front, the door opened and her heart began to race. But it was only CJ that stepped out, his focus on some papers in his hand. A smile spread over Gabby’s face, but she remained silent, allowing for CJ to almost walk into her before noticing her.
“Hey—,” CJ raised his voice as he almost bumped into her, but upon lifting his head and seeing Gabby, his annoyance melted into happiness. “Gabby!” He threw his arms in the air and they wrapped around her. “We weren’t expecting you until tomorrow. What are you doing here so early?”
“Surprise,” Gabby half-heartedly raised her own hands in the air. “I got out of class early so I just decided to do the drive today.”
“Well I’m so glad to see you! How was the drive? Do you want to come inside?” he ushered her towards the front door. “I was actually just going to drop these papers off at the restaurant— Dad’s watching the place right now, and then I can come back to hear all about how college is going.”
“Wait,” Gabby hesitated before approaching the door any further. “Is anyone else home?”
“Just mom. She’s upstairs. She was about to take a nap, but now that you’re here, she might want to talk to you. So I’m just going to drop these off and I’ll come back to join you—”
“Wait, no. I don’t want to be left alone with her. Has she been drinking?”
“Well, she had some wine a while ago, but—”
“Aw, come on CJ. Don’t leave me.”
“I have to drop these off, Gabby. Would you rather go to the restaurant with me and face everyone there? Including dad and all the—”
“Okay, okay. I’ll just stay here. Hopefully mom’s passed out by now and I won’t have to deal with her.”
“Come on, Gabby. Be nice. You know things have been hard lately. And the house has been so quiet without you. Be easy on her.”
“I’m really not looking forward to this weekend. I hope you know that I only came home for you and Aunt Lucinda.”
“I know. Just promise me you’ll be nice to the parents.”
“Ugh, I’ll try.”
“Alright, alright. I promise. But only if they’re nice to me too.”
“Fine. I’ll be back in an hour or so. Make yourself comfortable.”
CJ walked down the block and Gabby spotted his car at the very end. She took another deep breath and approached the house. She silently slipped inside, being careful not to shut the door behind her. Yet, the second it clicked close, a voice called from upstairs.
“CJ, is that you? Good thing you came back, I was going to ask you to pick something up for me.” The voice got louder as Angelina appeared at the head of the stairs. “Oh my god, Gabby! You’re early.” She sauntered down the stairs and gave Gabby a big, sloppy hug. Her breath reeked of wine on Gabby’s neck. Gabby pulled herself away.
“Yeah, I finished class early so I decided to come by a night before,” Gabby said.
“That’s wonderful! How is everything going at school? You have to tell us all about it. Maybe we should wait till your father and brother come home. Then you can tell us all over dinner.”
“Sure thing, mom.”
“I’m rather tired right now and I was about to take a nap. Do you need anything? The fridge is stocked if you’re hungry.”
Angelina nodded her head and climbed back up the stairs. Gabby took her duffel bag into her room and gazed around the room twice the size of her dorm room. She plopped down onto her comfy mattress and stared at the band posters above her bed. Her room and CJ were the only things in this house that she missed while away. And the room was a compromise because she’d rather share a tiny room than be stuck in a house with her whole family. She braced herself for the weekend ahead of her.