When I got home from work that day, and saw Arizona sitting in her underwear on my couch, I nearly lost my mind. The last thing i wanted to see ever was my sister in her underwear. On top of that, to see my sister’s ass on my couch. My brand new (to me) couch.
“Arizona are you kidding me! This is my house! My house! You are sitting on my couch, in my house!”
“What’s your point?”
“My point?! Put some friggen’ clothes on!”
She rolled her eyes at me and I felt my blood boil. I forced myself to push the feeling down and out of my throat. I took a deep breath and sighed. “Please put some clothes on. I really don’t want to see you in your underwear. You’re my sister.”
Finally, she rolled her eyes again and went into the bedroom to change. I said an internal thank you to whatever Watcher I could think of. I knew that at the end of the day, if Arizona had a bad enough time and went crying back to Mommy and Daddy, I’d probably be the one to blame. Even if it had nothing to do with me actually.
“I have some reading I need to do for work, can you keep yourself busy for a few hours?”
“Going on about work again, really? Do you ever talk about anything else?”
“Arizona, please. It’s important to me.” I paused, waiting for a response. I received none. “I can let you borrow my car if you’d like. Just as long as you bring it back by the time I need to leave… There’s a nice club in the next city over – The Solar Lounge. I think you’ll like it. You can dress up if you want.”
“Sure Avy, thank you. Just leave your keys in the kitchen. I promise I’ll bring it back in one piece.”
I smiled, pleased with myself. I’d actually resolved a conflict with my sister without it resulting in an argument. Success. Perhaps this living together thing would work out OK. It still needed to be temporary though.
I considered waiting around to see Arizona leave, but I also guessed that would take a lot longer than I was prepared to wait for, so I yelled goodbye to her as I left – headed to the library.
Camilla has been at my throat ever since I asked Arizona to leave. Or told her to leave, I guess. She still doesn’t understand it. Still thinks I just did it because I’m a hard ass. Because I don’t love my daughter. Of course I do. Of course I do. And yet, every single time I try to do anything around the house, Camilla yells at me. How can I possibly be enjoying my life when my daughter is obviously lying alone somewhere.
“How can you be out here like this! Have you even spoken to our daughter since you kicked her out? Have you checked on her? Do you know how she is? Where she’s staying?”
I sighed, setting down the fishing rod. I considered just throwing it into the water. I’d probably never get to enjoy it again.
“You know I come out here to get some quiet. To be calm.” I answered her calmly, doing my best to keep my temper under control. It’d gotten me into trouble in the past, and I was sure that if I wasn’t careful it would do so again.
“How dare you! She’s our child!”
“I am well aware of who she is, Camilla! She needs to learn how to live on her own two feet! You can’t keep pampering her! Your parents would’ve done well to do the same for you! You’re well into retirement years and I still don’t think I’ve ever seen you do anything for yourself! Do you cook? Clean? Can you do anything on your own?”
“That’s not fair, Derek. I’ve always been there for the kids.”
“You’ve been here for my money, Camilla. My fortune. And then you spoiled the children with it! I’m glad that Avery could always see through it, but Arizona couldn’t. I had to make sure she can fend for herself.”
“Kicking her out wasn’t the way to do it Derek! She doesn’t have anything!”
“She’s with Avery, Camille. I’m not going to let her starve.” I paused, taking a deep breath. “She’s our baby. But we need to stop babying her. She will be fine. You can’t suffocate her.”
“Fine, Derek. But I still don’t forgive you.”