I sat on the kitchen counter, watching my mom make pasta bake; she was panicking slightly and kept glancing at the clock every couple of minutes. I knew why she did this, my dad was due home in exactly sixteen minutes and he liked dinner to be on the table as soon as he got in.
Jake wandered in, playing with his Spider-Man figures. “Mom, can I go play at Liam’s?” he asked, giving her the puppy dog look.
She glanced at the clock again and shook her head quickly. “Not right now, Jakey. Dinner won’t be long and we need to eat as a family.” She flinched slightly as she spoke.
Jake’s face fell, but he nodded and came to sit next to me. I immediately snatched the little man out of his hands and laughed as he gasped and snatched it back, smiling and rolling his eyes at me. He was a cute kid, with blond hair and grey eyes with brown flecks in them. He was my older brother, and as big brothers went, he was the best. He always looked after me at home and school, making sure no one picked on me. The only one allowed to pick on me, as far as he was concerned, was him, and to a lesser extent his best friend Liam, who happened to live next door.
“So, Ambs, you need help with your homework?” he asked, nudging his shoulder into mine. Jake was ten now, two years older than me, so he always helped with my school work
“Nope. I didn’t get any.” I smiled, swinging my legs as they dangled off of the counter.
“OK, kids, go set the table for me. You know how. Exactly right, OK?” Mom instructed, sprinkling cheese on the pasta and putting it into the oven. Jake and I jumped down from the counter and grabbed the stuff, heading to the dining room.
My dad was extremely particular about everything, if everything wasn’t exactly right then he got angry, and no one ever wanted that. My mom always said that my dad had a stressful job. He always got easily annoyed if we did anything wrong. If you had heard of that saying ‘Children should be seen and not heard’, well, my dad took that to another extreme. Instead, he liked ‘Children shouldn’t be seen or heard’. At five thirty every day he would come home, we would eat dinner straight away, and then Jake and I would be sent to our bedrooms, where we played quietly until seven thirty when we would have to go to bed.