Brittany Bends

Brittany Bends by Kristine Grayson Read Free Book Online

Book: Brittany Bends by Kristine Grayson Read Free Book Online
Authors: Kristine Grayson
Tags: Fiction
mad). He has hair as blond as mine, and it always needs a trim except for a few strands near his crown that stick straight up. They look like a little hand waving hello.
    My eye always goes to those strands first, and then to the birthmark along his left nostril that can, in the right light, look unfortunately like a booger that’s been unattended for much too long.
    “How’d it go?” he asks.
    Everyone in the family knows about my job interview. It became this big production:
    •Help Brit figure out what jobs to apply for
    •Help Brit fill out applications on paper
    •Help Brit fill out applications online
    •Help Brit manage her expectations
    •Help Brit prepare for her first interview
    •Help Brit dress for her first interview
    •Help Brit cope with the idea that she might never get a job, despite all that work
    I felt like a dumb little kid who couldn’t do anything, and that feeling comes back up now. I’m about to tell Ivan, in a rather gloating tone, that I got the job, when Eric barrels into the door behind me, nearly making me stumble.
    “Brit’s going to talk to everyone at dinner,” Eric says, glaring at me.
    He doesn’t want me to dole this information out to one person at a time. He believes that in the Johnson Family, no one should ever tell one person something because “gossip can spread like wildfire since the family’s so big.”
    He has no idea what a big family really is, and he doesn’t know anything about gossip. Gossip about my family (Okay, my dad’s family) has turned into myth and legend and just straight-up lies.
    Plus, most of those stories leave out how painful gossip can be. Sometimes the gossip’s painful because you’re the center of it, and sometimes the gossip’s painful because you’re not being discussed at all.
    Ivan sets the hamburger on the counter, and Beauregard ambles over there. He can almost put his nose on the countertop, so Ivan has to fight him off.
    There’s a super large pot on the stove. The burner beneath it is glowing red, and as Ivan stirs that, the smell of olive oil and garlic rises. Anna comes into the kitchen from the basement door and she’s carrying a gigantic unopened package of brown sugar, a bottle of Worcestershire sauce, and one of the super-size bottles of Heinz Ketchup.
    Anna’s as tall as I am and thinner. She has an angular face and sky blue eyes. She wears her wheat-blonde hair feathered, but that’s the only difference between us. It’s so obvious that we’re sisters, it seems like we should be as close as me and Tiff and Crystal.
    But we only just met a few months ago, and every time I see Anna’s face, I feel like I’ve been magicked to a place filled with strange mirrors because I’ve never been in a place where everyone looks like me. Usually I’m the person who stands out, rather than the one who blends in.
    “Brit!” she says as if she hasn’t seen me for days. “How’d it go?”
    “I just asked her.” Ivan has his back to me as he does something on the counter. “But Eric says she can’t say until dinner.”
    “Hey, you can’t do that.” Anna piles everything she carried on the table. For a minute, I think she’s talking to me, but she’s not. She goes to the counter and takes a huge serrated knife out of Ivan’s hands. “I said you could help if you didn’t touch the knives.”
    Ivan is knife-crazy. And sword-crazy. And blade-crazy. He loves online gaming, and thinks someday he can be a superhero/warrior if he just learns the tools of the trade.
    Which means he wants sword-fighting lessons. Mom says he can take fencing next summer as his summer class, but I have no idea why she tries to placate him by telling him he can build a fence when he really wants to learn how to swing a broadsword.
    “You need help?” Eric says to Anna, using a tone that clearly states he’ll help her if there’s trouble, but he won’t help for any other reason.
    “No, go read about integers or whatever you do.” Anna

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