“I’m so nervous!” Zac confided piling more hair gel on top of his head.
“Zac, you look like a greased... egg.”
“Thanks, Taylor,” he said flopping down in the armchair in the guest room where Clare and I were residing for the next two weeks. He pulled out a cigarette.
“Zac! Not in here!” I exclaimed rushing to the window and throwing it up. Too late, he had already lit it. I tried in vain to move the smoke out of the room. “My wife is pregnant you know,” I informed him.
“Sorry, Taylor!” He said quickly. He jumped up and looked for a place to put it out. He came to the window and held the cigarette out it. “I’ll smoke out the window, I promise.”
“Oh, all right,” I agreed. “I’m not too happy about this though, I just want you to know that.” I moved away from him and sat down on the bed. “How many of those things have you had today?”
He took a long drag and flicked the ashes out the window. My baby brother shrugged. “A pack or something, maybe less.”
“A pack!?” I exclaimed in shock.
“Taylor, please. Like I told you this afternoon once I’m married I’m going to quit again. You’ll just have to trust me on that one, OK?”
“I guess so...”
“Listen, Taylor... about this afternoon-”
“Don’t say anything,” I begged him. “Please just don’t.” I put my hand on my heart, “I don’t think I can take more of that... enlightenment... today. Check back tomorrow, because then I can take some more pills and ready myself for the excitement of what I missed when, how did you phrase it? Oh yeah, when my ‘head was in the clouds.’”
I was definitely not an angel myself when I was younger but hearing him talk about himself in the way that he had was very strange for me. Sometimes I felt as though he was not a real person, he was just my brother, and hearing him talk about his past weirded me out. It wasn't as though I threw myself around like he did when he was a kid, but I had my share of rebellious times.
“I can’t wait for you to meet Nicole,” Zac said switching the subject when he saw how serious I was about not talking about it.
“I can’t wait either,” I informed him. Zac finished his cigarette and threw it out the window. “Aren’t you afraid of fires?” I asked, quite naively.
Zac threw his head back and laughed. “Taylor, there’s nothing left to burn. Trust me, I know.” He shut the window and took one more glance in the mirror before the doorbell rang. “She’s here.” He gasped and the color drained out of his face.
I quickly raced to his side. “Zachary, what’s wrong?”
My brother shook his head. “Nothing,” he said. “Jordan, I just really hope you like her.”
“I will,” I assured him. “If you like her I can bet you that I will like her.”
“I just want her to be accepted into this family.”
“She will be,” I promised him. “I guarantee you that she will.”