Status: I will be posting a new story soon, so this one might be delayed a bit.

Rarae Aves

Change Everything About My Life

“So far, so good,” Amber mentally estimated as she entered the house and walked up the staircase. The house was very quiet and she saw no one around, so she assumed that she was right about them being in Delia’s room. She walked past the bathroom, the spare bedroom, and the dogs’ room. She could see that Delia’s door was shut, causing her to sigh in relief. After going to her room to change into a t shirt and sweatpants, she went back to hurry and take both dogs for a walk before it had a chance to rain. Seeing both Jack-Jack and Princess bark and wag their tails happily when they were out made her smile a little bit. It was a forced smile, however.

“I’m glad you two are happy,” Amber announced as they went back inside, “but, I’m having a bad day. You two are lucky; no one ever yells at you, makes fun of you, or makes you work like a dog. Even though…you both are dogs. Where did they get that expression, anyway?” She enters their room. “I’ll go get you two something to eat, and then I’m going to bed. I just want to hide away for a while.” She patted both of their heads before leaving. After filling their food and water bowls, she walked down the hallway towards her safe haven; her bedroom. Her bones and muscles ached, craving the soft sensation of her mattress and pillow.

Click! The sound of a door unlocking rang in her ears. She quickened her pace, trying to make it to her room in time, but no such luck. Delia’s bedroom door swung open, and out came a guy, whom Amber could only assume was Delia’s boyfriend. He was shirtless, but far from attractive looking. His chest was so hairy, it looked like he was wearing a sweater, and his belly hung over his pants and covered his crotch area. “Hey, who the hell are you?” he asked.
Stopping, Amber crossed her arms and huffed, “I should be asking you the exact same thing.” He was the stranger, after all.

“What the hell are you doing here?” hissed Delia as she too exited the room, “Shouldn’t you be at work? That is so like you to slack off, you worthle-”

“Look at the clock,” Amber cut her off, pointing towards Delia’s room, where she kept a clock on her wall, “I’ve been off for a while now. Or, were you too busy fooling around to notice?”

“Hey, you watch your mouth, you little brat. Show some manners when we have a guest.”

“Who is that?” the guy asked, pointing at Amber.

Delia rolled her eyes before responding, “A walking, breathing embarrassment.”

“Oh,” was all that came out of the guy’s mouth.
“Where are you going?” Dalia asked when Amber began to walk towards her own doorway. Amber didn’t answer; she just went in her room and shut the door. Sighing heavily, Amber rubbed her temples as she slid down against the door to the floor. She shut her eyes and shook her head slowly. Suddenly, she heard Delia’s voice booming, “Amber Liu, come back here!” After that followed several violent knocks on the door. “Amber! You are supposed to answer me when I talk to you! I need you to come here!”

“Leave me alone,” Amber groaned, “Don’t you have someone to ‘entertain’?”

“Get out of that room right now, unless you want me to suspend your lunch money for a week,” threatened her stepmother.

“Fine,” the teenager grumbled, defeated. Opening the door, Amber saw Delia with her hands on her hips. The guy wasn’t anywhere to been seen anymore.

“Geeze, you look like a mess,” Delia smirked, “More than usual.” Amber just rolled her eyes at the woman’s rude comment. “Roll your eyes at me again, and see what happens,” she growled.

“Sorry,” snorted Amber, not really meaning it.

“Whatever,” dismissed Delia, “I just want you to know that you’d better be on your best behavior tonight while Keith’s here. I don’t want to deal with any of your shit. Don’t you dare bother Keith.”

“I’m not going to bother either of you, Delia. I don’t care.”

“Hey, who is that, anyway?” the guy, Keith, asked as he came out of the room, now with a shirt on, thank goodness. “Your child?” he continued, “I didn’t know you had any kids.”

“Of course you didn’t,” Amber thought to herself. It wasn’t a surprise that Delia didn’t even mention her before.

Delia scoffed, “Ew! She isn’t my child. I could never imagine myself birthing anything like her.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?” cried out Amber.

“It means you should shut up,” Delia returned. Her boyfriend must’ve thought it was funny, because he started snickering. “I mean really,” Delia began, “Look at her and look at me.” Her boyfriend looked at Amber, then to Delia, and then back and forth again. “Don’t you notice something different between us?” Delia then questioned him.

“Well, yeah…she’s Asian,” he concluded. The thing that was strange was the tone of uncertainty in his voice, almost like he didn’t actually know.

“Yeah,” Amber rejoined, “How long did it take you to come up with that one, genius?”

“Shut up!” hissed Delia.

“So is she…like, half and half?” the guy wondered aloud. What he meant to ask was if she was biracial; since Delia was white, it led him to assume that Amber would be biracial. However, he asked it in an ignorant manner.

“Half and half?” Amber grunted, offended, “I’m not a coffee creamer.”

“She’s not biracial, honey. I told you already, she’s not my child. Her father was my late husband. I’m a widower.”

“So, your stepdaughter, then?” he asked.

“Yeah,” Delia confirmed.

“Can I go now?” Amber asked, annoyed with the both of them.

“Back in your bedroom? I don’t think so. You have chores to do.”

Feeling a shock of courage course throughout her body, Amber crossed her arms and sassed, “I’m not doing them today.”

Delia’s eyes widened in shock. How dare that little brat disobey her? She chuckled, but only to disguise her irritation. “I’m sorry, what did you say?”

“I’m not doing them.”

“You best shut up and go scrub something right now, unless you want to sleep without any blankets or pillows on your bed,” Delia returned.

Amber felt like it didn’t even matter at that point what punishment Delia threw out there; she was too upset. Her day had been horrendous enough. It couldn’t get any worse than it already was, right? In a sour mood, with anger balling up in the pit of her stomach, Amber let some of the negative aspects of her personality show themselves. Most days, she would have just complied without a peep, but there were days when Amber rebelled and took up for herself. This was one of those days. Balling up her fists, she spat, “If you want it done so badly, why don’t you do it yourself for once? It’s not like you’d notice if I did them or not. This house is spotless as it is, and literally can’t become any cleaner. Why? Maybe it’s because I clean the house every single day. So, what difference does it make if I just have one day to myself? Besides, you’re going to be too busy having sex all night, anyway.”

“Hell yeah, we are,” laughed Keith in a sleazy tone of voice as he leaned against the archway.

“What did you just say to me? You have some nerve back talking your stepmother, young lady,” replied Delia, ignoring what Keith had said.

“Don’t ‘young lady’ me,” retorted Amber.

“You're right; you're no lady at all. You’re just a little brat that ruined my life.”

“What life?” hissed the teen girl, “All you do is watch TV and play on the computer.”

“You better watch your mouth and mind your stepmother,” Keith interrupted, “Kids these days…”

“You don’t know me,” asserted Amber. It was true; he didn’t know anything about her. Heck, he didn’t know anything about Delia, for that matter. If this jerk really knew what went on between the two of them, would he still date Delia? Would he still be so dismissive and act like Amber was the one that was being unreasonable? Well, in all honesty, probably. He had no right to speak about it. He didn’t know the things Delia would say to her. He didn’t know how much of a workload she would throw upon Amber day after day. It was none of his business.

“Whatever,” he snorted, “I don’t care for all this drama. When are we going to eat? I’m starving.”

“Yeah, sure,” Delia exhaled heavily, already drained from the conversation with her annoying stepchild, “You can order pizza if you want.” She knew Keith loved pizza.

“Hell yeah!” he cheered before leaving to make the call.

“Damn it, Amber,” she muttered once he left, “I am sick of this foolishness. Now do as you’re told before I make you regret it, you disobedient little brat.”


“God, you are so annoying. Your real mother couldn’t stand you and neither can I,” Delia grunted after sucking her teeth.

It made Amber’s heart sink. Her face fell as Delia’s words sank in. Seeing this made Delia smirk with sick satisfaction. She definitely knew how to destroy her stepdaughter. All she had to do was bring up her parents. It would always hurt Amber’s feelings, and Delia enjoyed seeing it.

“T-take it back,” Amber stuttered, eyes stinging as they were brimming with tears.

This was too good. Seeing Amber in pain was always funny, but this time was pure perfection. The poor girl had already looked upset and broken upon first seeing her; she probably had a bad day or something. Knowing this only made Delia want to push the child more, to keep messing with her until she reached her breaking point. Serves the little brat right for disobeying…and existing. Delia knew exactly how to break her, too. All she had to do was speak another truth about her parents.

“I bet you wish your daddy was here right now, don’t you?” sneered Delia, “You were always such a damn daddy’s girl, always crying to him and junk. Well, he’s not here to protect you, to lie and tell you that your mother loved you or make me be nice to you.” Amber’s eyes were glassy with wet, salty tears, and her bottom lip was quivering. Oh yeah, the girl was going to break any second now; just one final push was needed. “What? Are you going to cry? Well, don’t, because you know just as well as I do that it’s your fault he’s dead in the first place. Tell me,” Delia leaned forward, getting up in Amber’s face, “How do you even live with yourself, knowing that you’re the reason why your parents aren’t in your life anymore?”

“S-shut up!” screamed Amber through her tears, which were now pouring down her cheeks. Not liking being told to “shut up”, Delia pushed Amber to the floor. It reminded Amber of the locker room incident when the girl had pushed her down.

“I hate you!” cried the teenager as she ran into her room. She shut and locked the door.

“The feeling is mutual,” Delia called back. Angrily, Amber began punching her pillow as she sobbed. She wished it was Delia, wished it was June, wished it was Kyle…wished it was…herself. “Hey, open that damn door before I kick it open! If you’re not doing chores, I’m taking all of you bedding for the night.

“Go away!” shouted Amber, face completely red from her rage and all the crying she was doing.

“Amber, I swear, I will break the damn door down!” Instead of responding, Amber just let out a loud scream before curling into a fetal position. She then moved to lie on her side, still in the fetal position. Soon, the sound of her bedroom door being thrown open could be heard. The doorknob made a loud ‘bang’ as it collided with the wall. Delia was standing in the threshold. She didn’t break the door like she threatened to do; she just used the key that she had to unlock it. Amber quickly sat upright with a start, afraid of what was going to happen next. “Get up,” ordered the adult woman as she seized Amber’s shirt collar and began to pull. Amber stood up and moved out of the way, sniffling as she wiped at her eyes. Delia took her pillow, sheets, and blankets, even the fitted bed sheet, leaving the mattress bare. “Hope you have a good night’s rest,” she seethed, pointing at the blue mattress. Before leaving, Delia searched the bedding for something. “You can have this,” she snorted as she dug out a stuffed toy, the one Amber always slept with, and threw it right at her, hitting her in the face. Amber squeezed her eyes shut as it collided with her face. “Don’t you dare come out this room for the whole night.” And with that, Delia was gone, slamming the door behind her.

“I hate you,” whispered Amber. She picked up the stuffed toy, a little plush llama that she had ever since she was a baby. She pressed it against her chest, right above her heart. She sniffled twice. She dropped her head down, chin resting on her chest. She placed the little llama against her cheek and nuzzled against it, her tears soaking a little into the fabric. She went and sat on her bed. She took off her necklace, a heart-shaped pendant that her father had given her when she was a little girl, and hung it on her bedpost. She always put it there when she slept; it made her feel like he was close to her, keeping her safe. Lying down on her bare mattress, she whimpered, “I wish I could change everything about my life.” Hugging the llama toy, she wept, everything from the day swirling around in her mind. She could hear voices in her head.

She heard her own voice saying, “Um…my stepmom wouldn’t…want me to join. I mean, uh, she’s just so busy, and I have things going on at home, too,” reminding her of how she couldn’t join the basketball team.

Then, she heard, “She? I think you mean ‘it.’ ‘Cause that obviously ain’t no real girl.” That’s what the girl in the locker room said.

Afterwards came, “…Because, unlike you, I still have both of my parents.”

And last came, what hurt the most of all. “Your real mother couldn’t stand you, and neither can I… It’s your fault he’s dead in the first place… How do you even live with yourself, knowing that you’re the reason why your parents aren’t in your life anymore?” As her cries became louder, a loud rumble of thunder could be heard. The rain began pouring down outside, the sky seeming as sad as she was.

“She’s right,” thought Amber, “My mother hated me and it is my fault daddy’s gone.”

“What was all that yelling about?” she heard Keith’s voice ask. It sounded like he was in the hallway.

“Don’t mind her,” Delia rejoined, “She’s just a pest. You don’t have to be nice to her or anything. She’s only here because I’m required by law to house and feed her. She’s fifteen, so we’re stuck with her for a while…”

The sound of a car pulling up in the drive way could be heard. Her body shook as she sobbed violently, as she began to hear the chants from the girls at school again, “Freak, freak, freak, freak…”

A knocking sound broke her thoughts, causing the sounds of the chants to dissolve away. “Oh, what now?” she wondered, upset.

“Hey, kid,” Keith’s voice echoed from the other side of Amber’s door, “The pizza’s here. You better go get some before we eat it all. Delia says you have to eat it in your room, though, because we don’t want you bothering us.”

“Leave me alone,” moaned the girl.

“It’s pepperoni and black olives with stuffed crust,” he told her in a sing-song fashion.

“I’m not hungry,” she whimpered.

“Fine, more for me.” She could his footsteps as he left.

The rain continued to fall and the thunder rumbled loudly again as some lightening flashed, illuminating Amber’s room through the window for a brief second. She curled up and buried her face into the crook of her arm, the moist tears falling on her arm. Her eyelids felt hot from the tears as they closed. She moaned, feeling miserable.
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