“I AM SICK OF YOU AND YOUR HAPPY LITTLE FAMILY! HAVING DINNER TOGETHER…CLOUD GAZING WITH EACH OTHER…STORY TIME…WOO HOOING LIKE RABBITS! NOBODY SHOULD BE THAT HAPPY ALL THE PLUMMING TIME,” Brady yelled randomly.
“I…I…I’m sorry, Alayna. I don’t know wha–”
“Come here, bro. I know you don’t mean that. You’re just…sick. I know the real Brady wouldn’t say those things.”
“I’m so scared, Alayna! I feel like there is a monster living inside of me, and I can’t control when he comes out. I try to, but I can’t!”
“It’s ok, Brady. We know.”
“But not everyone knows! Most people think I’m just an evil hot head…even Robyn.”
“She doesn’t think that. She knows that’s not the real you.”
“But yet she still won’t be with me. She still likes me, you know! She told me at the party. But, it’s the monster that keeps her away. I know that I should let her go, but I can’t. I love her! And I know she loves me.”
“I know you probably don’t want to hear this, but maybe you should just look around…see if there’s anyone out there you could love more.”
“Maybe. I don’t know. Sometimes I just want to give up on love.”
“Please don’t. I don’t like to see you sad.”
“You’re so great, Alayna. Thanks for always being so understanding! Roland and Devan are so lucky.”
“Yeah…they are, aren’t they,” she joked.
There was a knock at the door, and Alayna said she would get it. It was Marcus Sheffield–one of their distant cousins.
“Marcus? Hi! Come on in….What’s up? I don’t think you’ve ever invited yourself here before.”
“Yeah, I know. I’m sorry. I guess our house has been a bit glum with people dying and leaving.”
“I’m sorry about your parents and Mack. I didn’t know them that well, but it always sucks to lose family. Do you hear from Nikki at all?”
“Nah. We weren’t really that close.”
“Oh. Ok. Well…would you like to stay for dinner? My husband should be home soon. I don’t think you’ve met him yet.”
“Nah, I don’t want to put you out of your way. I just came over unannounced. I just wanted to ask you something.”
“Remember that family reunion your mom put together when we were kids?”
“Ha! Of course,” she said. “That was so awesome.”
“I know she wanted it to be annual thing, but of course things happened, and now she’s gone.”
“Yeah,” Alayna said solemnly.
“Well…do you think you would want to pick it up? I think we need it. People are leaving like crazy.”
“I know. I could try. I guess I could…I don’t have a job, so I definitely have the time.”
“And the family is much smaller now.”
“True. I’ll think about it.”