A Change Could Do You Good

A Change Could Do You Good
Chapter 14
By Sarah Donnen
"Aly!" Aaron and Angel came running down the stairs and over to me, nearly knocking me down.
"Hey, guys, what are you two up to?" I asked, giving them both hugs. I knelt down to their level, smiling. They were such great kids, and they always made me smile. It was hard to believe they were related to Nick.
"Weíre playing with our toys, come see!" Angel said, grabbing my hand. Aaron grabbed my other hand and they dragged me to the stairs, climbing them one at a time. We reached the top and led me to Aaronís room, the one he shared with Nick. Thankfully, Nick wasnít there at the moment, only Aaron and Angelís toys that were scattered all over the floor.
"See! We have everything we need!" Aaron exclaimed, plopping on the floor on the split-level step, separating his and Nickís sides of the room.
"Yeah, and Mommy said that weíve been octopuses since lunch!" Angel said.
I nearly laughed. "She said what?"
"She told Daddy that we had been up here since after lunch, octopuses with our toys... but I donít understand it," Angel said, trying to think.
"Angie, are you sure she didnít say occupied?" I asked, trying desperately to hold back laughter.
"Yeah, thatís what I said, octopuses," Angel said, engrossed in playing with her dolls. I chuckled under my breath, the twins always kept each other and me occupied for hours when we were together. They were amusing children, but they were surprisingly mature and smart for their ages. I was sitting with Angel on Nickís bed, holding one of her dolls and listening to her as she explained something to me, when Nick and his friends came in the room.
"Nick! Guess what, Aly is going to stay here all night!" Angel exclaimed, running to her brother.
Nick picked Angel up and smiled at her. "Thatís great, Angie," he said, glaring at me over her shoulder.
"You called me Angie! Aly calls me that too!" Angel said as he put her back on her feet. She ran back over to me as I stood up.
"Angel, Iím going to go downstairs, ok? Iíll be back in a few minutes," I said, staring at Nick with cold eyes. I hated that he called her Angie, no one called her Angie but me, and it made me even angrier at him than I was.
"Oh, donít leave on my account," Nick said, equally as cold.
"Oh, trust me, you have nothing to do with it. In my eyes, you donít exist," I said, pushing past him and his friends. I walked down the hallway to the stairs and went down to the family room and sat in a chair, putting my hand on my forehead.
"Whatís wrong, Aly?" Bob asked me. He was sitting in the recliner across from me, reading papers. He set them on his lap and gave me his full attention. He was like a father to me, the Carters were my second family, except for Nick... ÖI couldnít imagine him and I being friends. Ever.
"Nothing, sir, Iím just rather frustrated," I said, sighing. I closed my eyes, I was getting a headache from all this attitude and coldness that was filling me.
"Tell me about it," he said, genuinely interested.
I looked at him and saw his seriousness. I didnít want to tell him, though, for some reason, I donít know why, but I trusted him whole-heartedly and I couldnít tell him. "No, thatís ok, the problem is going away," I said. I didnít know why, I just couldnít tell him that his son was the source of all my problems.
"Ok, if you say so," Bob said, picking back up his papers. "But Aly, you know you can always talk to me if you need to, Iím only a phone call or a minuteís walk away," he said before returning to his work.
I nodded and smiled at him as I stood up. "I know, thank you, Bob," I said. I walked out of the room and towards the stairs. I was walking up them as Brian was coming down.
"Aly, why are you and Nick so cold to each other?" He asked me, stopping me.
"Ask him, heís the immature selfish one that started this," I said rudely. I didnít like being mean to him, but just thinking about Nick made me furious. I didnít say anything else and finished my walk up the stairs, leaving Brian behind. I walked to Nickís room, praying that Angel and Aaron had left.
"Come on, Aaron, please get out!" Nick was saying.
"No, Nick, this is my room too," Aaron said.
"Aaron, come on, leave," Nick said, his voice squeaking. It was almost kinda cute.. no it wasnít, I interrupted myself, it was as annoying as hell.
"Aaron, Angel, come on you two," I said, walking in the room. I shot Nick a Ďdonít mess with meĎ look and smiled at Aaron, who was trying to stand up to his older brother. "Aaron, why donít you and your sister get your toys and weíll go downstairs into a bigger room, ok?" I suggested, squatting down to his level.
"But Aly, we were here first! I donít know why we have to leave! Why doesnít Nick and his friends leave?" Aaron protested, crossing his little arms and pouting.
I smiled at him and picked up one of his toys. "Because its easier to move two people instead of five, thatís why," I said, handing him the action figure. "Come on, letís go build a fort, ok? Like you wanted to yesterday," I suggested.
"Yeah! Can we?" Aaron asked excitedly.
I laughed. "Sure, just clean up a little and weíll go, ok?" I said, standing back up.
Aaron nodded excitedly and started putting away a majority of his toys, and I turned to help Angel. She gathered her dolls and I ushered the two out.
"Aly," Nick said, catching my arm as I walked out behind them.
"Donít touch me. Donít think Iím doing this for you, quite the contrary, I wanted to protest with Aaron and have you and your boring friends thrown out. But, instead of letting you throw your brother and sister out physically, I saved them the tears. Now stay away from me or next time, Iíll decapitate you, understand?" I whispered harshly to him. I had such a hatred for him, I donít even know where it came from.
Nick nodded, swallowing hard, shocked. I turned on my heel and walked out to the hallway, joining Aaron and Angel on the way downstairs.