Couldn't Be More Different



The long, cream coloured hallway lacked any family frames. It made the space feel empty and eerie, like a scene from a horror film where the victim would walk for miles, never seeming to reach the end. I picked up my pace and began to power walk down the hall, trying to escape from the creepy feeling crawling up my spine. However, a door to my left suddenly opened, and I thumped into someone’s side. Because my recent fears already had my nerves standing on end, I let out a squeak and jumped back.

The person I bumped into grunted and rubbed his face. Ethan looked up and I sighed, surprisingly happy to have his company in this empty space. He stared at me for a moment, confusion and wonder mingled in his expression. He cocked his eyebrow, opened his mouth, closed it, and then opened it again. “So that wasn’t just a dream…” he said, more so to himself than to me. “Ah, fuck,” he proclaimed more loudly this time, rubbing his face again.

I stood there awkwardly, rubbing my arm and biting my lip. He was in a white t-shirt and boxers, but that didn’t seem to faze him much in my presence. He looked up at me again, this time I noticed the red rimmed around his eyes. He looked horrible. I was somewhat relieved I hadn’t bumped into him still underdressed and not put together.

“Listen…” he hesitated after a moment, finally addressing me. “I’m pretty hung-over right now, so I don’t remember much of last night; even though I’m pretty sure I did things I shouldn’t have,” he studied my grim expression, and smirked expectantly, “but we’re not getting married. I will see to that.” He stated confidently, and started walking down the remaining hallway.

Well, at least that makes two of us. I sure as hell wasn’t going to marry an asshole of a stranger. I hoped he was certain about that last part, though, because I hadn’t a clue how to get out of this. I sighed, and started down the hallway, the fear of being alone in this eerie place was crawling back up my spine again.


I followed the sound of pots and pans clanking and the happy tune of a whistle towards the kitchen. The room was spacious. The textured walls were a deep red, and the furnishing a dark, shiny mahogany. Steam rose from the stove and a plump man in a black chef’s apron was bent over stirring something, whistling. He seemed quite intent at what he was doing, and hadn’t noticed my entry. However, Ethan had beaten me to the kitchen, and was now glancing at me from his spot at the kitchen counter. Steam rose from his mug of, what I assumed to be coffee, and plate of eggs.

I sidled up to the counter and took a seat a bar stool away from him. I picked up an apple from the fruit bowl in front of me, rubbed it on my shirt, and bit into it. From the corner of my eye I could see Ethan still staring at me over his mug of coffee. I finished chewing, and then turned toward him. “What?” I asked only to receive a smirk as he drank from his mug. I rolled my eyes, but decided to ignore him. He seemed- no, he definitely was the kind of guy who got a kick out of arousing people. Well, I wasn’t going to give him the satisfaction.

I heard the clanking of heels above the happy-go-lucky whistling before I saw her. Ester entered the kitchen in a pale pink business suit, her dark hair hung in loose curls. She smiled brightly at the sight of the two of us sitting somewhat together, taking that as a good sign. “Good morning, lovelies. How was your sleep, Delilah?” She asked, walking towards the chef’s spot at the stove, and grabbing a blueberry muffin from the counter there.

I bit my lip, then tried to smile, “It was good.” She glanced between her son and I as she nibbled quaintly at her muffin.

“That’s nice. Ethan, why don’t you show Delilah around? Get her accustomed to the house, and finding her way around?” She asked her uninterested son as he played with the eggs on his plate. He shrugged in response. “You might want to take some Advil before doing so, you look terrible,” she commented dryly. I couldn’t help the small smile I tried to hide as I took another bite into my apple.

“Thanks, I’ll be sure to,” he returned the dryness.

“I’ll be back around dinner time. In the meantime the rest of your things, Delilah, will arrive; hopefully you’ll feel more at home. I’ll see you kids soon, have a good day!” She called as she rushed out of the room.

Ethan pushed his plate aside and stood up from his stool, stretching. “You don’t need me to give you a tour; you can have your own little adventure. I’ve got shit to do besides babysit.” And with that, he left.