Joneses – 14.3 Research

“Ugh! You’re so annoying,” Kaiden growled.

Kori laughed. She had been taunting him the entire way home about Breanne, and he had enough.

Kolby still had birthday cake left over, so Kaiden went inside and helped himself to a slice. His body temperature began to rise as he heard the soft patter of patent leather shoes coming toward the kitchen. Why can’t she just leave me alone?!

“Kaiden,” Kori sang sweetly, “can you cut me a slice too?”

She batted her eyes and grinned. He rolled his eyes and cut her a slice.

“Thanks! You’re the bestest big brother ever!”

She skipped away with her cake, and he reluctantly joined her the table. He very well could have eaten elsewhere, but he was so used to having meals with the family. It felt wrong.

Kolby had been working out in the basement and was headed upstairs for a shower. “Hey! What are you guys up to?”

“Kaiden’s texting his girlfriend,” Kori said in a sing-song voice.

“GAAH! Would you just leave me alone?!”

Kolby chuckled. “His girlfriend? But…she’s standing at the front door.” He winked at Kori.

“Wha–she’s not my–UGH!!! BOTH of you are annoying!”

“Well, don’t just sit there, Kaiden. You don’t want to keep her waiting!”

“What? Who??”

He went to the door and found Breanne looking just as frustrated as him.

He opened the door, and she stepped past him. “My sisters are being annoying.”

“Yeah…join the club…

“Let’s go downstairs,” he said.

As they walked through the house, Kaiden tried not to make eye contact with Kori, but he could see her in his peripheral vision making kissy faces.

“So freakin annoying,” he said under his breath.

“I’ll have you know I decided to help my mom with the twins. It’s been very educational.”

Kaiden smirked. Kolby and everyone else always said she was weird, but he thought she was funny. “That’s great. Do you feel good about it?”

“Oh yes, of course. I’m definitely stowing away lots of knowledge for the future.”

They probably thought she was strange because she didn’t talk like everyone else their age. She always went on and on about “bad people,” said the most random things, was a bit moody at times, and did things without understanding why she did them, but that didn’t mean she was a freak. She was just different, and there was nothing wrong with that in his eyes. But, the fact that her strangeness didn’t bother him was no indication of how he felt about her romantically. Just because he found her interesting didn’t mean he liked her or needed to make her his girlfriend. People just needed to chill with that.

“Oh! You wanna study for the biology test while you’re here? I’m so not ready for it,” he said.

“Yes…biology…that’s a great idea…”

Kaiden began flipping through pages looking for the part that stumped him the most. “Oh, here it is…do you understand this fertilization stuff? I mean, what’s all this zygote and gamete stuff?”

“Oh! That’s easy! The zygote comes from two gametes which are both haploid which makes the zygote diploid.”

“…uhhh…”

She reached over and turned a few pages in his book. “There. It explains it right here. Pictures and everything.”

He began to read the specified paragraph. It still looked like a foreign language. The pictures, however, were familiar. “I see the sperms and eggs, and I get that fertilization. But, I don’t get what the gametes and zygotes are.”

“The Pruetts are pretty famous, right?”

“Ummm, I wouldn’t say famous. People know us, I guess. Ok, can you explain it again…but slower? And in English?”

She giggled. “A zygote–a human zygote–has 46 chromosomes, 23 from the male gamete and 23 from the female gamete. When the two gametes meet, they form a zygote…a cute little brown-skinned zygote. So…the Pruetts…you’d say your family is well respected, right?”

“Yeah, sure, I guess. People tend to like us. Why are you so interested in my family all of a sudden?”

“Oh…just doing some research…for a project.”

Maybe Kolby and everyone was right about her being weird. She was definitely acting a bit strange that night. “So, these gametes…where do they come from? I feel like I know this, but it’s just not coming together!”

“Come on, Kaiden! This is important stuff! You have to know this!”

“I’m trying! Are you gonna help me or not?”

She growled. “Ok! You have gametes! I have gametes! When our gametes collide, they form a zygote! Inside me! A cute, smart, respectable, brown-skinned zygote! A Pancakes-Pruett…or Pruett Pancakes.”

Kaiden narrowed his eyes and leaned in closer to her. “What in the world are you going on about?”

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