A/N: HELLO HELLO HELLO!
So, I know that I have to work on INTHETHAW, which has been neglected for a long-ass time. I actually started writing this a couple months ago, inspired by well...adulthood, life in NYC, whatever you wanna call it.
I love me a good storm. I love it because I can lock myself inside my house with my friends and be bums and enjoy it together. Unfortunately, the past year/year and a half I haven't done so, due to the fact that life has been utter shit.
So I'm getting it out of my system writing this adorable little rom-com esque story. This is my first time writing something like this and so be gentle please!
FAIR WARNING. There is light drug use in this. There are many adult themes in this. This is a story about adults for adults. Even if it feels slightly silly at times. But a part of adulthood is dealing with this kind of shit. I am not sure what the rules are on FF (should've probably checked but eh), however seeing as I've read some crazy stories on this site about mobs (love the storm series), and straight-up murder, I think it should be fine.
If you have an issue with that tho, please go elsewhere. Let's be realistic here.
THAT BEING SAID.
NO COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT INTENDED. I DO NOT OWN TWILIGHT NOR DO I EVER WANT TO. OR SUGAR RAY. OR THE EMPERORS NEW GROOVE. OR HEY ARNOLD.
Aight we good? xoxo
"Let me repeat what I said earlier: This is a serious and dangerous storm. For those in Zone A, evacuation is mandatory. In or out of Zone A during the storm, however, the safest place to be is indoors."
"Fuck." I muttered, listening to Mayor Bloomberg's warning. I looked out the window to see that it was still mucky and grey outside. It was only two in the afternoon, but it felt way later already. Clouds filled every inch of the sky, and I could see the trees in our backyard barely holding up against the wind. They whipped to and fro, making this weird swishing sound as the leaves slapped together.
I got up from my comfy spot on my bed and walked across the apartment to B's room. She was sitting at her desk with music on, humming along. I leaned against the door and watched her paint in her sketchbook, which was crammed to the edge of her tiny desk in front of her laptop.
"Are you listening to Sugar Ray?" I asked, with a small grin on my face.
"Fuck yeah I am." She retorted, dancing in her seat. "Iiiiiii just wanna fly a wikawikawikawikawaaahhh…"
"Put ya arms around me babehhh put ya arms around me babehhhh" I did my best Mark McGraff impression, making her snort. She smiled up at me, tossing her paintbrush into an old solo cup which I assumed was filled with dirty paint-water. "What's up?"
I shifted my weight on her doorframe. "You hear this shit about the hurricane?" I asked pointing over my shoulder at my room. Bella shook her head at me and opened up Facebook on her computer. She began quickly skimming the page and hitting the lower volume button until the music stopped completely.
"We have to evacuate?" she frowned at her screen. "What the hell is all this about zones?"
"There's a map. Google it. Maybe check Reddit?" I scrunched my nose and crossed her tiny room to plop down on her bed.
"Shit Em, we're in Zone B." She glanced at me.
"I know." I nudged her chair with my toe. "So what do you want to do?"
"Ugh, I'm super annoyed with Jasper for being out of town right now." she muttered, crossing her arms and turning to face me fully.
"Oh why? Because that fuck is down in Austin drinking the week away and swimming at Barton Springs?"
"Preeeecisely. Probably getting tons of booty too." She rolled her eyes and reached for an ornate metal box sitting on her bookshelf. She flipped the lid and began setting a small baggie, a pink plastic grinder, and a packet of rolling papers on her desk.
"Well. Ok, we could evacuate. I mean the news is saying we have to. I think I have a distant aunt who lives out in Jersey somewhere that we could stay with." I frowned at her and leaned back onto my elbows.
"Do you think that aunt would mind me bringing Yzma and Abner?" she pointed to her two fat cats who were lounging in her windowsill. One cat in each one. They both opened one eye at us for a moment and then went back to snoozing. Abner's ginger tail twitched slightly.
"Also, traffic is probably insane. I don't even wanna know what public transit is like." Bella said, laying out a rolling paper on a book.
"They shut down the subways already anyway."
"So that was a silly suggestion."
"Well I don't know! I'm kind of freaked out!" I threw my hands up at her. Bella sighed. She squinted at her little baggy of weed and seemed to decide to just finish it. It looked like it was mostly stems anyway. She emptied it out into her grinder, sealed it and began turning it while thinking.
"I think first things first, we should get one more delivery. Maybe go to the bodega? Get some provisions? I think I have a jar of almond butter in the fridge. That might last us like a day." She chuckled while slowly emptying it out. She neatly piled it into the rolling paper and folded it in half. I watched her for a moment and thought about our options and other preparations that we might have to make.
"We should probably tape the windows too." I said, watching her quickly roll it and seal it with her tongue. I dug my lighter out of my pocket and handed it to her.
"Yeah thats probably a good idea. Tape big X'es on the windows. And lets get enough junk food to last a couple days. I mean, it can't be that bad right?"
So, before I get any further into this story. Let me introduce myself. My name is Emmett McCarty, big bro extraordinaire to my step-sister Bella Swan. We both live in Bushwick, which is an area of North Brooklyn that's been getting progressively more gentrified these past few years. It's a mostly predominantly Spanish neighborhood still (the tacos here are fuckawesome), but ever since Williamsburg became the hip new place to live, all the artists and musicians are getting moved here or into Bed-Stuy (which I usually refer to as "Stabtown" for good reason).
Bella's a student at School of Visual Arts. She's in her junior year studying Illustration. It took a while to convince her dad to let her come out here. Charlie Swan is very protective of my baby sister. Me? Not so much. I'm a big guy, and he knows I can handle myself in almost any situation.
Bella had to beg and plead for him to allow her to go to school out here. She worked for a year after high school at Newton's Good's, all while trying to get her portfolio together the best she can. I know she busted her ass doing it. I watched her pull allnighters and work 40+ hours a week, just so she could save enough money and prove to Charlie that she was capable of any kind of stressful workload.
I know that Charlie wasn't doing it to be cruel. Washington and New York are across the country from each other, and after her mother up and left them when she was a baby, he's had some issues with separation anxiety. Until he met my mother he was constantly trying to shelter Bella. Little did he know my step-sister was a bit of a badass.
During my senior year of highschool, I caught her trying to sneak out of our house by shimming down the big oak tree outside her window. She was lucky I had my window open next to hers, because girl may not be clumsy, but upper body strength is something that needed to be worked on. She had zero. Zip. None whatsoever.
I convinced her to come inside and sneak out the back door, promising I'd cover for her. Her reason for leaving? To go make out with my best bud Jasper Hale in some parking lot by the beach. Jasper got some shit from me the next day about it, but we're good now. Besides, after the two of us moved to NYC and he met Bella's college best friend, whom he's been head over heels for her. Unfortunately Alice was dating some Lower East Side "musician" named James, and wouldn't even give Jasper the time of day.
So to drown his sorrows, he flew out to Austin to visit his childhood friend Maria who promised him nights of booze and desert weather. And ample amounts of booty.
Jasper was always a sucker for a girl with an accent.
Bella finally saved up enough money to get out from under our father's grasp. It probably also helped that my mom, the wonderful Sandra McCarty was there to ease his empty nest syndrome.
Charlie met my mom a few years ago when she picked up some shifts at The Lodge Diner in our town. I was a junior and Bella was a whee little freshman at Forks High. My dad had finally moved out, even though my parents had gotten divorced years ago. But they were amicable and we were able to live somewhat peacefully while I finished school. I'll always appreciate that about them.
Anyway, Forks was a small town, and for some reason my mom and Charlie had never crossed paths. But the moment he looked up from his laminated menu and locked eyes with my mom, it was a done deal. He asked her out before even asking for the check.
Six months later, my mom and I packed up our gear and moved into Charlie and Bella's big white house on the edge of town. I loved it. It was a fresh start for my mom - which was great because I hadn't seen her this happy in ages. And, I always wanted a younger sibling. A sister even. And Bella was chill. Beyond chill.
We didn't expect to get along at first. I knew it the moment she looked at me. We knew each other from school. I was the captain of the football team, and various other sports. And Bella I knew from her various art projects. One year for spirit week, she covered all four walls of the cafeteria with murals of certain areas of Forks and the history behind them. The faculty loved it so much that it's a permanent installation now.
I always thought Bella was a goodie-two-shoes with an artistic streak. At school (and at home) she was always quiet and had her nose either buried in some literature or in her sketchbook. But surprisingly, after we saw how much an effect my mom had on her dad, we warmed up to each other. Sure we still tease each other and poke fun, but somewhere along the way we both came to appreciate each other and learn to become siblings. It wasn't the worst adjustment, and I've definitely heard horror stories about step-kids that were way worse. I mean c'mon, Will Ferrell even made a movie about it.
When I found out that Bella had tried weed, I really tried to be mad at her. And for a split-second I was. We were at the same bonfire out in the woods that the Quiluete kids were throwing. Bella's childhood friend Jake had wanted her to come because he's had his sights on her since they were toddlers. He supplied the ganje.
I found Bella eventually lying on First Beach with Jacob next to her, staring up at the stars and giggling up a storm. In that moment I was pissed. I saw Jake's hand creeping up her shirt and I knew that I had to do something. Bella had always kept him at arms length for a reason, and I knew that she wouldn't want this.
So I caused a big scene. I dragged her away from him and threw her into my Jeep and got us home. Luckily my mother and Charlie were having their weekly "date night" in Port Angeles, so I got Bella in the shower and into bed relatively early. She got up a couple times in the night to puke and I was right there with her, handing her cups of water and saltines.
I guess there was beer at the bonfire too.
But in the morning, when she came downstairs with her eyes red and puffy, I knew I didn't have to talk to her about it. She looked at me with a lot of regret, but thanked me for being there. Our parents were sleeping in (as they did after date nights), so we had a quiet morning chat over cereal and coffee. She asked me if I had done it, I did. And I told her truthfully that I did it recreationally. She asked me if one day we could do it together and I was hesitant at first. But then she told me that regardless she was gonna try it again anyway, because she was curious and wanted to see what it was like without the effects of alcohol. I reluctantly told her I would with time.
So we're two big ol' potheads now. No I'm just kidding. We smoke here and there. But I have a big-boy job at one of the major gym chains that I have to get up ass-crack early for, so I try to take it easy on the weed smoking. Bella on the other hand, when she's out of school and done with all her insanely hard assignments, is living it up. She's enjoying her life here, and that makes me happy.
She also freelances already, which is how she makes money for all that partying. Charlie gave her a credit card that was for "food + emergencies only". And she also wanted to start making her way in the world. On top of being an amazing student and awesome artist, she also works part time at an art supply store in the city. She says it pays well (it does), and she likes her co-workers, somewhat.
She met her other best friend in the city there too. Finn is a product design student at Parsons, and he's over almost all the time. He lives three blocks away, and they're always together. He'll probably join us for the storm.
After we finished the j, I went back to my room to grab a hoodie and my keys. Bella threw on her old Docs and met me by the front door where her small wallet and jacket were hanging on some wall hooks.
"Shit." she muttered, digging through her wallet. Abner wrapped his tail around her legs, mewling.
"I need to go to the ATM."
"Cool." I said, opening the door for her. She nudged her cat out the way and stepped out.
When we got outside we could barely hear ourselves talk. The wind was fucking insane. So bad that I wrapped my arm around her protectively immediately. Bella is so little, I could see her getting swept up with all the plastic bags and trash flying around. No fucking way was I gonna let that happen.
We walked around the corner to BofA and I waited with her in the vestibule while she took out cash. The streets were deserted. I watched stores being boarded up with plywood whilst humming along to the jazz version of some Katy Perry song that the bank still had playing for some reason. The clouds grew darker and the wind picked up. Some younger kids ran by laughing and screaming, covering their heads with their jackets.
We pushed through the winds and decided instead of going to the bodega, we should walk to the grocery store. I could see other people our age briskly walking (or running) back to their homes holding tote bags full of beer and necessary items. Bella texted her dealer while we did. Or tried to.
"Fuck, I can barely see!" she yelled over the howling wind. She gripped her phone in her hand like her life depended on it.
"WHAT?!" I yelled back.
"NEVERMIND. I'M GONNA ASK FOR A G!" She yelled again.
"OKAY!" I yelled back. "DO YOU THINK HE'LL EVEN BE WORKING?"
"THE FUCK IF I KNOW WE DIDN'T PLAN AHEAD!" True. I shrugged and squeezed her tighter to my side as she pushed through to the glowing lights of Associated Market.
The moment we stepped inside it was almost silent save for the automatic doors opening and closing. People were focused, running in and out of aisles with their arms full of soda and junk food. Some rational adults had actual groceries and maybe a case of beer.
Bella and I looked at each other. We stood there for a moment in the produce section, watching people slam into each other almost repeatedly. But no one was aggressive about it. Everyone was in panic mode.
We grabbed what we could as quick as we could. This is what we made it out with :
2 boxes of pasta + one jar of sauce
1 carton of eggs
1 dented box of Capt'n Crunch
1 small carton of soy milk
4 frozen pizzas - various kinds (our options were limited)
5 bruised apples
6 very mushy avocados (B loves em)
1 case of bottled water if needed
1 flashlight and battery pack
5 prayer candles
5 candy bars of the chocolate variety
1 six pack of frozen chicken breast
1 big bag of rice
1 bundle of wilted kale
2 cases of beer (PBR + Brooklyn Ale)
The aisles were in a sad state. So we had to improvise and improvise fast. We paid and asked if we could borrow a cart to bring our groceries home. The clerk was not amused and dumped our groceries quickly into weak plastic bags before ushering us out.
When we got back to the apartment and emptied all the food into the fridge, Bella's phone went off. It was Eye of the Tiger, which is the ringtone she gave her dad. She groaned.
"Fuck. He's probably seeing the news." She looked at me and I shrugged.
"Fuck. Fuck. Ok. Fuck. Ok." she stared at her phone which had now decided to loop the chorus again.
"Fuck…..Hello?" I could hear Charlie immediately. He was so loud she just put him on speaker.
"ISABELLA MARIE! What is this I'm hearing about a Hurricane?! Where's Emmett!?"
"Right here Chief."
"I'm on speaker?"
"Ok. What zone are you kids in?" I rolled my eyes.
"Charlie, it's ok. We're in zone B."
"NO. Zone B is not okay! You have to evacuate!" I could almost see clearly the vein in his forehead protruding. It happened when he got worked up, which was not too often.
"Dad…I'm fine." Bella said in a small voice. "We're gonna tape up the windows and stay in the living room mostly. I'll be okay."
"Bella, if there's flooding you get to higher ground immediately. You understand me? If the water reaches you, who knows what might happen?"
"No Isabella, I don't want to hear it. Emmett, if it's not safe there, you'll take her kicking and screaming. You hear me boy? The news is saying that Bloomberg will be speaking soon. But it looks like the subways and bridges are going to be shut down." Bella and I glanced at each other. She looked scared for a moment. I nodded and cleared my throat.
"Yes sir I will."
"Dad what about Abner and Yzma? I can't just leave them here."
"Well obviously honey. Shove them in a backpack and bring them." Bella snorted. Her phone dinged to show that she had a message.
On my way - Ed
"WHAT WAS THAT?" Charlie barked. We both jumped.
"Dad, I got a text." Bella rolled her eyes at me again.
"Don't you roll your eyes at me young lady. Who on earth is texting you now? Emmett, you call me and keep me posted on everything, understand?"
"Yes, I will Charlie. I promise."
"Dad, I can text you too." Bella retorted, crossing her arms.
"Sure, sure." he grunted. "I love you kids. You be safe."
"We will." we said together. He hung up.
"Jesus." Bella said, staring down at her phone. "I didn't know that the bridges were shut down."
"I didn't either. Maybe we should turn on the news?" Bella was biting her lip. I plopped down on the couch and clicked on the TV.
"The Mayor just a little while ago said, "This is a mandatory evacuation for Zone A. Anyone who is living by the water in an area that floods, those are areas you must evacuate by 7pm tonight. The buildings in those low lying areas will make sure the elevators are not working. You need to get out before 7 'o clock."
Bella sat down on the couch next to me and handed me a beer. I popped it open as we watched footage of the storm barreling it's way towards us.
So there you go! Chapter one is up. Which means I gotta finish this now. Here goes nothing. Leave me some love. I sure could use it. xoxo.