by Kevin Craig
2011 Winner: Young Adult
My circle is usually just made up of Adam, Sadie, and me. Just the three of us. It’s always been this way and I imagine it’s the way it will always be. Though, it’s kind of hard to visualize our future together. Not exactly the normal family unit, is it?
But what’s normal, right?
Sadie told me just the other day that we will have to let Adam go one day, let him out into the hard, cruel world by himself. I doubt she meant it, though. She likes having him around. He’s her sense of fashion, her confidante. He’s her go-to guy whenever the two of us have an argument. And we’ve been having some doozies lately. With grade eleven coming to an end, we have different ideas for how we’re going to spend our summer holidays.
My idea—as a matter of clarity—is to spend it with her. It’s my father and my step-monster who have a different idea regarding how I’ll spend my summer vacation. And it’s their idea that Sadie is in disagreement with, not mine.
Adam is Sadie’s shoulder to cry on whenever the subject of Kenya comes up. My step-bitch wants to take Dad and me to Kenya for the summer. The entire summer. Dad, like the automaton he’s become around Lacy, is all for it. Lacy just has to tell him to hop. He doesn’t even ask how high. He just starts hoping and hopes he gets it right. It’s so pathetic. You have no idea. That’s why I don’t spend a lot of time at home. I avoid it as often as possible. Easy to do when your best friend is a latchkey kid with parents who don’t really give a shit what he does.
It’s true. Adam could be dead in the streets and the Rovers would walk over him to get to the other side. The Rovers, now there’s a family with a problem. I may be stuck with Lacy—Dad’s midlife crisis wife—but at least I have parents who ‘appear’ to acknowledge my existence in a somewhat positive way.
Sadie and I spend a lot of time in Adam’s basement. That’s where we plot our schemes and create our dreams, as Adam says. Did I mention Adam is gay? Not that it really matters, it’s just that he does everything large. He’s a bit flamboyant. At first, I thought it was one of the ways he had of trying to get his parents to notice him, but as I got to know him better I realized it was just Adam. He’s one of those kids you take one look at and you know.
With Adam, what you see is what you get. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. He’s actually a pretty good best friend, with the exception of his bad habit of trying to pick and choose my girlfriends for me. In Adam’s World, Adam knows best. If somebody was too fat, too skinny, too tall, too short, too you know, too loud, too awkward—I heard about it. Once I trained that out of him, we learned to get along pretty well.
Once Sadie came along, and she ended up being a girl we could both love simultaneously, those little mini-wars became non-existent. When Adam and I agree on something, we agree completely. Thank god for small miracles.
Grade eleven. I broke the news to them about a month ago that Dreadsella (Adam’s name for Lacy, not mine) was trying to force Dad and me to go on vacation in Kenya, of all places. Adam was immediately furious. Sadie was more than furious. I buried my head in the sand, firm in my belief that it would never happen. That either Dad would shoot Lacy down, or Lacy would forget about it. I mean, it’s frigging Africa for crap sake.
“Wake up, Christian,” Sadie said whenever I tried to blow it off. “You know Lacy runs your house. You say it all the time. What makes you think she won’t get her way this time?”
“Africa, Sade. It’s freakin’ Africa,” I said. “Come on. Who makes plans to go to Africa and then follows through on them?”
“Dreadsella does,” Adam quickly pointed out. “She’s probably at home packing her extensive safari themed makeup kit as we speak. You have to do something to stop her this time, Chris. This is our summer. Come on. Last summer before the last year of high school. I don’t want to spend it alone with this thing.” He pointed at Sadie and she swatted his arm.
“Shut up, jerk. You could do a lot worse.” She turned to me. “He’s right, though, Christian. You have to stop her. I’m spending the summer with you and we’re doing it in Ontario.”
“I’m sure we have nothing to worry about. It’s a phase. She probably saw a National Geographic show and thought it was a good idea. Just relax. It’ll blow over.”
“You better be right, bitch,” Adam said. “I’m not going to have her ruin my plans. I don’t care who she is.”
“Can we change the subject?” With that, I refused to talk about it any further. And I used that line almost once a day ever since. As time went on, Lacy didn’t stop talking about it. And Sadie and I never stopped fighting about it, either.
What was I supposed to do about it, though? Ask if I could stay with Mom? Now there’s a great option. Go to Africa with Dad and Lacy, or stay at home with the most vain person in North America, if not the world? Wow. Super choices. And I knew Dad wouldn’t let me stay with Mom, anyway. He’d be afraid of what would happen. She’s never been the most responsible person in the world. He wouldn’t trust me to make the right choices that she was clearly incapable of making. The only thing that motivates Mom is money. And collecting things.
So when I found myself in the car with Lacy, pulling into the clinic, I got a bit of a chill down my spine. My first thought as we made that turn was, ‘you need vaccinations to go to Kenya, don’t you?’
As she pulled the BMW (that was once destined to be mine) into a parking spot close to the main entrance of the clinic, I knew I was in trouble.
“What are we doing here, Lace?”
“Well. Your Dad told me it would be okay to take you for your needles. You know, in case we do decide to go to Kenya.”
“In case,” I said, rolling my eyes and giving her a dirty look. “In case? Why would Dad make me get needles in case we go?”
“You know your Dad, Christian. He likes all his Is crossed and his Ts dotted. He likes to plan ahead for in-cases.”
I got out of the car and slammed the door. I knew that bugged her. She could put up with a lot of things, but slamming doors was not one of them.
“Maybe for other things, but I’m sure he wouldn’t make his son get potentially lethal injections just in case he was planning to travel to a foreign country where said son could contract a potentially fatal disease!”
“Don’t be so dramatic, Christian. You’re so like your father that way. Always over-exaggerating things.”
“And it’s dotting Is and crossing Ts, Lace. Get a clue.”
“Don’t be fresh, young man.” She rushed to catch up to me as I stormed through the clinic doors. Yeah. I was mad. Getting the vaccinations was sealing the deal. Clearly she had talked Dad into the whole Kenya thing and all of my arguments against the dumb idea went unheeded.
Four shots. That’s what I had to endure. Not to mention the humiliation I felt when the doctor giving them to me made fun of my fear of needles. So here I am, at the verge of one of the best summers of my life, discovering that I am going to spend it with the evil Step-Monster from hell and her whipped husband. He might as well just put on the dress and give her the keys to the mansion, because clearly Lacy was running the show. It’s hard to realize your father is whipped. He’s the friggin’ lawyer. Why the hell would he let his young trophy wife call the shots for him? Wasn’t she supposed to be just that? A young trophy wife. A woman who just sits there and looks pretty. FML. I hate my life.
About this Story
This novel has never been submitted/published…or even finished!