Prelude: Why Can’t We All Just Get Along?
“I’m gay,” Kimberly suddenly stated loudly in a defiant tone as she held her chin up high.
Mom gasped and looked at my father. Dad was choking on his roast beef and coughing and I let out a sigh and stood up and walked over and wrapped my arms around his stomach and pulled my hands quickly to dislodge the piece of food in his throat. He mumbled out a thank you and I told him not to worry about it as I went and sat back down in my seat.
Dad gulped some water while Mom looked to Kimberly and said, “Young lady that is nothing to joke about.”
“I’m not joking! I like girls. You keep asking me about which boy is going to take me to the school dance and I’m not going with a boy. I’m going with my friend Leslie. We love each other. We’ve been dating secretly for the past four months,” Kimberly said as she stood up and planted her hands on the table.
That caused Mom to stand up and lean aggressively toward Kimberly and shout back, “You do not get to decide that while you’re living in my house! You can do whatever you want when you move out, but while you live under my roof you will not make this family look like a freak show!”
Mom turned to Dad and said, “Well, tell her honey!”
Dad cleared his throat and pulled at the collar of his shirt and looked back and forth between both of them, “Well, I mean… Dear… If she’s feeling that way I think we could maybe try and be a bit supportive. What if we let her do what she wants when she’s not out in public? Maybe we can compromise?”
“You never support me in these things Felix! That’s why this family is such a freaking mess! Our daughter is a lesbian and you don’t have anything helpful to say! Our son is an introvert and barely sees the sun! You never listen to me!” Mom started screaming at him now.
“Excuse me, I’m trying to talk about my problem!” Kimberly screamed at both of them, “Why doesn’t anyone in this house care what I think? No one cares about what I think!”
“Young lady that is not true, we care about what you think, but your mother and I are having a discussion right now,” Dad said to her and then turned back to Mom, “Caroline I support this entire family. I work hard to make sure everyone gets what they need. Maybe you can be a little more supportive of me for once?”
“OH YOU’D LIKE THAT WOULDN’T YOU FELIX! YOU JUST WANT ME TO…” Mom screamed back and I heard Kimberly stamp her feet and start yelling as well, but it faded into the background as I walked away from the table and went down stairs into the basement. I closed the door and flipped the light switch and let out a sigh of relief as the low buzz from my equipment drowned out the noise from upstairs.
I plopped down in my chair and brought my hands to my temples and started to rub them to ease the headache. The fighting was getting worse and I shook my head as I thought about each one of my family members.
Kimberly was my older “technically” step sister. She had long brown hair that always seemed to be perfectly tamed and styled. Her big brown doe eyes could captivate any boy in the school and she had a large following of boys that would fawn over her as she strutted down the halls. Apparently I had just found out why she never reciprocated any of their advances. She had modest but perky breasts I had seen once when I accidently walked in on her changing in the bathroom. It was difficult to forget them once I had seen them, despite her being my sister. She had a narrow waist and toned athletic legs and had more than once had to slap myself for thinking about them.
Mom was also “technically” my step mom. She had married my dad about eight years ago and was constantly worried about our family image in the community. I wasn’t certain why she tried so hard to make certain we didn’t stand out but she was constantly pushing all of us to “make friends” and “fit in to the norm.” With long dark brown hair and a perfect figure it was easy to see that she was where Kimberly got her good looks from. The only difference between them other than age was the fact that her breasts were much larger. Mom enjoyed her trophy wife status and worked hard at both the diet and the gym to make certain that she had the perfect figure my father had adored when they started dating.
Dad was the sole figure that had always been there in my life from birth. He tried hard to keep his bond with me, but since he married my Mom he had been working more and more, especially lately. She in turn was spending more time shopping and then he would spend more time working and then they would inevitably fight about how he was never around or she was always off spending money when he wanted to actually see her on his time off. Something else seemed to be a tad off with their relationship ever since they got married and I was certain it was spinning more and more out of control, but I didn’t quite have a handle on that yet.
Then there was me. Apollo Jacobs. Yes my name is actually Apollo and I don’t need you judging me for it. I get enough crap at school. Apparently my birth-mother (rest her soul) was kind of a strange hippy chick who was into Greek gods in a big way. Well, being a solid six inches shorter than everyone else in my junior class (including most of the girls) made me easy pickings for almost everyone who needed a punching bag at school. My slender build made most school sports impossible and my thick glasses paint the rest of the picture. Nerd. Dork. Geek. While most would want some sort of transformation to occur I actually never minded who I was. If life was going to cast me in the role of the short skinny nerd, I was going to enjoy every moment of it. So almost all of my spare time (which is a lot when you don’t have many friends or extracurricular activities) was spent in the basement of our house which I had turned into my laboratory of Zen. I had computers, a rapid prototype machine, lathes, drills, presses, chemistry sets, microscopes… It looked the proper part of a mad scientist’s evil lair.
And so, as I sat in my evil lair and spun in my chair thinking about the escalation of fighting in my family I knew I needed to do something before it ended in divorce, resentment, hatred, and most importantly, me having to box up all of my stuff and move my lab. It’s a pain to set it all up and most Troglodyte movers will break my sensitive equipment and I had several experiments that couldn’t be moved as they were in very delicate stages. If only I could just make them do what I wanted. I’d force them to work out their problems without screaming at each other. Heck, I would take the blame for the problems everyone seemed to be having if it would make them all stop fighting. I could be the evil scientist villain if that’s what the family needed to come together.
An idea suddenly popped into my head and I hunched over my computer and began designing. I let out a maniacal chuckle as my fingers flew across the keyboard. Yes… This would work… I just needed to decide who to help first… Or should I say, my first victim.