Paramount Activity
Author: Sega Parks

Chapter 7
The Simms

  "I think it's wonderful what you did." Arlene told her son Andy. "I don't condone violence, but what you did was appropriate. Just don't do it again, okay?"
Andy smiled. He loved his mom. He thought she was pretty. Her hair was long and black, she had full lips, and dark eyes. He was glad his mom was okay with the fact that he beat up Dexter. She understood because she had fought for the rights for people before. Andy gave his mom a kiss and walked into the living room.
  "What's up, slugger?" his twenty-one year old sister, Ariel, asked him as she emerged from the staircase. She looked like a female version of him.
"A lot." he sighed.
"Was he crying?" Ariel asked, sitting down next to him and putting a slender arm around his shoulders.
Andy laughed. Ariel was the kind of person he could tell about anything. She should have been at college, but she was taking a break for now. Ever since she had went to college, she kept stopping by the house.
"No, but he wanted to." he said. "He shouldn't have stolen the money."
Ariel nodded in agreement. "People these days. Don't know what to do with them."
  Andy remembered the time when they were going bike riding and they were stopped by a group of teenagers. They had asked them to hold their cigarettes. Ariel and Andy looked at each other, exchanging knowing glances. They took the cigarette packs and stomped them into the ground. Before the kids could attack them, they hopped on their bikes and sped off. Andy wouldn't put it past Ariel to have done the same thing as Andy did to Dexter.
  Just then, the bell rang and Andy went to answer it. He would have never guessed who was outside the door. Standing out with a suitcase in her hands was his twenty-four year old sister Rebecca. She had blond hair and blue eyes, the "odd sibling" that somehow got the recessive trait. Her hair was tied into a ponytail and she had on jean shorts and a floral top. She contorted her face into a scowl, and pretended like she was putting on a mean face.
"Andy," she squealed. "Give your big sister a hug!"
Andy hugged her, wondering what she was doing back at home. She had been away for a year and they hadn't seen her since. Now she was standing in their doorway.
  Behind her was her fiance Kevin Williams. He was a good-looking African American man with dark skin.
"What's up, Andy?" he asked, making his way through the house.
"Hey, Kev-man!" Andy exclaimed, high-fiving him. "How's it going?"
"Excellent." he said, taking Rebecca's bags from her hand.
"I heard you all in the living room." Ethan said, going over to plant Rebecca a kiss on the cheek.
He shook hands with Kevin before leading them into the living room. Ariel's eyes lit up when she saw them.
  "Little sis!" screamed Rebecca.
They embraced in an affectionate hug. Arlene was there too, looking like she was about to cry. She loved it when she had family around.
"How's my baby brother?" Rebecca asked Andy.
He rolled his eyes. He hated when she called him that. He wasn't eight anymore. Although they were never really close like he was with Ariel, they still loved each other.
"I'm good." he answered. "What are you doing here?"
"Brace yourself," she began. "me and Kevin are getting in two weeks."
"Oh, honey, that's wonderful!" congratulated Arlene.
"You're a lucky man, Kev-man." said Andy. "You're now officially white."
It was a joke of course, but Ethan shot him a stern look.
  They walked into the dinning room where another chandelier was dangling from the ceiling over the long table. A green table cloth was covering up the table with china utensils decorating the table.
Andy pulled up a seat next to Kevin, probing him with questions of his job. He was working on being a child psychologist. Andy wondered how hard it was for him to do a job like that. Kevin exclaimed how it was pretty easy, but some people have serious problems. It was all a matter of patience and giving people your full undivided attention.
  "I'm glad you guys came." Arlene said, passing out a bowl of salad to them. "I was just making dinner."
Andy's mom made the best dinner. His favorite meal was spaghetti. Arlene always made the best spaghetti for him.
"Andy," said Kevin. "I want you to be one of my groomsmen."
"Thanks, man." said Andy, digging into his salad.
His mom passed out brought out a silver platter with steak, mashed potatoes, and broccoli on it.
Andy poured heaps of potatoes onto his plate, earning a look of disapproval from Arlene. Andy put a few of the potatoes back onto the platter.
  "So," Ariel started, cutting up her steak. "how's Brown University?"
"It's great!" enthused Rebecca. "I have a 4.5 average! I'm on the dean's list."
"I am so happy." Ariel said, biting into her steak.
They used to fight when they were young, but now that they were older they were best friends. Andy had the same average as Rebecca. That was the only thing they had in common. They were always making good grades. Andy was blessed to have at least made a "B" plus in math. It was his worst subject.
  "How are your friends?" Rebecca asked him, taking a sip of her water.
"Good," he said, eating his steak, "but I'm grounded for a week."
"Aww...why?"
She looked at her parents with disapproval.
"Because he was renting adult videos on Demand." explained Arlene, looking sternly at Andy.
"But I didn't do it, mom." he tried to explain.
"Then who did it? Your father?"
Ariel was bisexual.
"No," he said, sullenly.
He hated getting into trouble for something he didn't do. It wasn't fair. He actually felt like the victim for the first time.
  "I think it was the ghost." Ariel said seriously. "I swear, this house is haunted."
"Enough with that talk, Ariel." Ethan ordered. "This house is not haunted."
"I beg to differ." Andy mumbled.
Last night he heard another disturbance. When he was using the bathroom he heard moaning noises and someone laughing. It was a faint laugh, but he could hear nonetheless. The laugh sounds like it came from an old woman. As much as he loved the month of October, weird stuff always happened around that time.
  In the third grade when Ariel was taking him trick-or-treating, they saw a tired looking woman sitting in front of their house saying "help me" over and over again. She was talking to herself. They went inside the neighbor's house to call the police, but when Andy looked back, the woman was gone. He believed in spirits, Heaven, Hell, God, and Jesus. None of this seemed make-believed. Spiritual things often happened to him. When he went to his grandparent's synagogue in Israel, he went down to the basement to clean up the area. Suddenly he heard rapid footsteps approaching him. No one was there. He was out of their before he could blink. 
  "I believe in spirits." said Rebecca. "But this house is not haunted. What ghost would want to live here?"
Andy thought Rebecca's argument was invalid. They practically lived in a mansion for crying out loud.
"Let's talk about something else." Arlene said, changing the subject.
Andy was glad that they were talking about something else. He didn't want to be freaked out for the rest the supper.

 

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