Arra and Larten were sitting next to each other, across from me and Annie, who was humming a song from some British boy band that was really making me consider stabbing her with my fork. Mom and dad were trying to hold up conversation, badly, I might add. Corny number processing jokes courtesy of dad were killing the mood even though mom's homemade tacos were the chizz. Enough taco seasoning, yet not too salty, enough meat, but not soggy, and loads of cheese. Because, who doesn't love taco-nachos with some much cheese you can't tell what it is you're eating?
"So, Arra, how are your parents doing?" mom said, finally silencing my father.
"They're doing good; they're considering adding a second office, one run by mom and the other by dad. But they said they'd miss working together so they'll probably wait until I get old enough." Arra said. "These nachos are amazing."
"Thanks." Mom blushed, if you complemented her cooking, she would shower you with affection and never let you forget that you said it. I learned my lesson when I once said the meatloaf wasn't too burnt and we ate on it for a week. "And where were you looking at for school?"
Arra swapped a look with Larten and took a bite before answering. "Somewhere close."
"We were both looking at Weston." Larten said, not smiling like he usually does when Arra mentions some joint decision they've made. My father was nodding, his fork bobbing along with his head.
"Weston's a good school." He looked at the two of them. "Free housing, too." Weston is probably half-an-hour from our house, if you're driving the speed of a frozen turtle with gum stuck to its feet. I always figured Larten might go there, save some money, but Arra can afford full tuition and housing somewhere else. I wonder why she was.
"How are you going to study and live at home, Arra?" Mom asked. Now it's not that she doesn't like Arra, she does, it's just I think she gets a bit jealous is all, Larten being her first born son and all. I'm the second boy, also known as Darren "Chopped Liver" Shan; Annie is the princess of this congregation.
"I wasn't planning on living at home, actually."
"In a dorm then. Why?" Dad asked, his math brain working out the cost-benefit analysis.
"No, not in a dorm. In a house." Arra said, taking another bite to keep from having to explain.
"And your parents bought you a house?" Mom said. "Where at?"
"It's not just for me. It's actually for three people, really." She said, and Larten put down his fork gently, putting his hand under the table to hold Arra's hand. "Me, Larten, and either Olivia or Maddox."
I kid you not; my mother spit a nacho out of her mouth all the way onto my father's shirt. Not that he reacted any better, almost swallowing his fork and coughing for a good minute and a half.
"What? What do you mean by that?"
Annie rolled her eyes, "Duh, Mom, she means she's going to have a baby." I almost laughed, but that would be inappropriate. I wish I could say I was surprised, but after all the shit that's gone down in the last couple of weeks, I'm not really. Larten pulled both of their hands form under the table, showing Arra's new shiny ring finger.
"How- How far- How far along-are you? My father managed to choke it out of himself.
"2 months." In seven months, I was going to be an uncle. "The house is ready; Larten and I are getting married in December."
My mother was crying, literally. And it was one of those woman things, I didn't know if she was happy, sad, murderous, or allergenic. "Be happy, mom. Arra's parents are going to help and college isn't an issue."
"It is an issue, Larten! This is your life!" She was wailing, and I nudged Annie, gesturing that we should leave. She stood, not about to leave her nachos and took them with her to the living room where we sat on the couch, trying to ignore the kitchen commotion. There was yelling and frustration and plenty of anger. I think I heard a chair throwing
"Darren!" I leapt off the couch; thank god Annie had finished her food. "Could you come in here? Without the yelling, I could tell it was Arra. I walked toward eminent doom, dragging my feet.
I opened the door to the kitchen, mom was clinging to dad, and sobbing, Arra and Larten were standing, holding hands in defiance even though Arra had tears in the corner of her eyes (which she would kill me for bringing up). "Darren, when the babies born, we'd like you to be the godfather." Larten said, looking up at me with his green eyes dark with some emotion I didn't recognize.
I looked at mom, staring at me like if I accepted; it would be the worst thing to ever happen to her. But how could I say no. I looked up at dad, he nodded at me. "Sure," I said. Mom buried her head farther into dad's shoulder.
Larten nodded at me, and Arra smiled behind her tears. "I'm taking Arra home." He grabbed his key lanyard and they went out the door. "You did the right thing, Darren." Dad said, rocking mom gently back and forth. "Your sister didn't need to see that."
Okay, so maybe I'm not chopped liver anymore. I've moved up the totem pole now that Larten's engaged. I am now cubed bologna.
(A/N) Holy crap this has been a long time coming, and for that I am eternally sorry. Hope this was an enjoyable chapter, answers some if not all of your questions, and we can now move forward with life. R and R and R as always. (Read, review, Relax)