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Monday, May 17

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     Reese woke up on Monday around 8am, his standard time for a first period that began at 8:45. His parents used to occasionally chastise him when he was younger about not getting up earlier to shower in the mornings. But he would usually bite back, citing how ‘the average American teenager doesn’t get enough sleep’ and then list off his friends who never showered in the mornings and always smelled fine. It was just one out of hundreds of disagreements he had with them, most of which were related in one way or another to their parenting style. They all played a part in cultivating a tiresome back-and-forth relationship for most of the last several years. Reese was a teen, and everyone his age was moody and a bit of a bother. But always nitpicking and finding a problem with nearly everything his parents said or did wore down on their relationship over the years more than just being angsty once in a while. At least, that's what he thought, that was his worldview. Maybe they weren't strong enough as parents, but it seemed there were times they just opted to not talk to him because it would be easier in these last few years living together. You can cut a friend off who's a nuisance, but you're stuck with family. He was conscious of the strain they had, so when he decided to start acting better for his possible future as a non-graduate, he thought that maybe it was for the better anyways. If they had told me to start acting up, I probably wouldn't have. I hate that. Seems I only want to do things if I want to do things. As he trotted down the stairs that morning, glancing at his dad reading the news on his iPad, he was thankful that ever since he started trying to be nicer around the house, his lack of morning showers weren't an issue that had resurfaced. Maybe it’s because of how well I've been acting that they don’t bother to argue with it, he wondered. Or maybe it's just easier to not have to talk to me.

      The house groaned slightly, its decades of use evident, as the slow stomping of someone upstairs could be heard. What are the odds that that isn’t Olivia, and mom is just mad for whatever reason? As the sound made its way down the stairs, Reese saw he was right; his six and a half foot sister nearly bumped into him, her eyes still fluttering as they adjusted to the kitchen lights. She was wearing a loose yellow tank top and black sweats, with socks warming her feet. And major bedhead.

     “Oh!” she exclaimed, the corners of her lips curled in a smile. “Sorry.” Her mind flashed back to all the times she would bump into kids over the years because of her height, or whenever she ran into someone just from looking straight ahead and not even seeing them. Well now, her little brother wasn’t any different, since he was barely the height of a 3-year-old child (and quite a bit lighter, too). And it had been awhile since she had had a reason to be around preschoolers.

     Olivia let out a big sigh as she scanned the counter tops while Reese grabbed a cereal bowl from one of the lower cupboards. Their family had moved most of the more common kitchenware to the bottom cupboards to accommodate Reese since his shrinkage. 

     “Do you not drink coffee in the morning?” she asked, not seeing a pot lying around.

     “Do you not eat some actual food before injecting caffeine in your system?” he retorted, annoyingly sassy. Olivia rolled her eyes and intentionally bumped him aside as she walked by him. Reese was barely able to hold his ground, literally, as the giant that was nearly eight times his weight roughly pushed him aside.

     Their dad sighed at his children’s bickering. “I normally just stop by Starbucks on my way to the office since the people there can have it ready to go ahead of time. Or sometimes if I’m in a rush I’ll just grab a cup when I get there since someone always starts a brew in the morning.”

     Olivia scrunched her face at the idea of home brewed coffee. “Ugh, office coffee is blegh. Coffee’s like the one food that isn’t better when it’s made at home by normal people.”

     “How would you know what office coffee tastes like?” Stuart asked. “And it isn’t bad done at home, you just don’t know how to do it well. Or your beans aren’t very good. The barista industry isn't very exclusive,” he chuckled.

     “Why are you trashing home cooked coffee if you just asked us if we had made any?” Reese asked his sister. 

     “Well obviously I’m not going to a coffee shop right after I wake up. Especially on my first day of my summer. Also, you don’t cook coffee. You brew it.” She had searched all the bottom cabinets and couldn’t seem to find it. “Reese, where’s the espresso machine?” She looked down at him with her hands on her hips, and he avoided her eyes that looked down at him, awaiting his answer. God, she’s so fucking tall.

     “In the cabinet,” he replied simply, put off by both her size and the fact that she couldn’t find it herself. And by her pedantic correctiveness.

     “I know, but I looked in all of them, I obviously can’t find it,” she said, an edge to her voice. Stuart looked over to his kids, a tired look on his face, but not from any lack of sleep. Reese had seemed to have a pretty good behavior lately, like he was finally matured. They hadn't been arguing as much over trivial things. But now with Olivia back that seemed to have regressed. Reese saw the expression on his dad’s face and could tell what he was thinking.

     He took a deep breath. “Here, sorry,” he said, pushing past his sister’s leg, “it’s tucked away in the corner sometimes.” He reached his hand into the furthest right cabinet below the left side of countertops, into storage space that was twice as big as the other cabinets since it extended into the corner of the room. Back there was what Olivia was searching for, and he got on his hands and knees, ducking his head into the cabinet a little further just so he could reach it. He grabbed it, and pulled himself out, spinning around to show it to her. As he stood up to face her, he saw that she had turned around, and he was now looking straight ahead at her ass. The natural, loose bagginess of her sweats were keeping the shape of her butt from being too obvious to Reese, but he still instinctively opened his mouth, almost gasping, as he saw up close and personal just how thick she really was. Even her modest clothing wasn’t able to hide it. Before he could react though or say something, she spun back around and looked down at him, completely unaware to what she had done. 

     “Oh, there it is. Thanks.” Eager to look at something else now, he looked up into her kind eyes, softer now that she saw he was trying to be helpful, and he spoke just as she was opening her mouth to do the same. “I can make you and dad a cup,” he said, just as she had bent down to take the machine from his hands. 

     Olivia froze and tilted her head. “You just said you didn’t drink coffee.”

     Even when I try to be nice, Reese thought. “OK, fine, you can make it,” he said, letting her take it and throwing his hands up in exasperation as he turned back to finish making his cereal.

     “No, I just was confused,” Olivia said, and reached her arm down to try and grab at Reese’s head, stepping forward just as he turned around. She almost bumped into him again, but his head darted back a few inches to quickly dodge from colliding with her pelvis. He swallowed awkwardly, and looked up at her face, visible just beyond her huge breasts above him. “Sorry,” Olivia said with a smile. “Can you please make me a cup of coffee?” she asked, and lowered the machine back down between the two of them.

     “And me,” Stuart chimed in. “Since you offered.”

     Reese exhaled, but not quite with annoyance, as he took the item from Olivia’s hands. It was fairly heavy for him, but he could manage his way up onto the stool next to the counter. “Yeah, no problem.” He heaved it down and slid it back a bit, plugged it in, and with a bit of diluted theatricality to his voice, added, “Two cups of coffee, coming up.”

*    *    *    *    *    *

     After coming home from school that day, Reese got into a bit of an argument with his mom, so after dinner that night, he decided he wanted to do something small but noticeable for her, without being asked, just so he could look a bit better in her eyes. After making morning coffee for his sister and father, he thought that loading up the dishwasher might be appreciated by his mom. It wasn’t as easy as it used to be, but he was still taller than the dishwasher. And if all the dishes were in the sink, which they were, then it went by a lot quicker. So after everyone finished up, Reese got to work scrubbing and washing them off.

     “Did you ask him to do the dishes?” Tracy murmured to Stuart, pointing to their son standing on his step-stool at the counter, diligently working away. His face was turned from them, but he overheard his mom and smirked. Because of his smaller stature, he had a little bit of difficulty reaching into the sink, but the stool was helping him out and he was managing to get it done.

     “No,” Stuart chuckled, “I thought you told him to or something.” He spoke louder now so Reese could hear him. “Hey Reese, thanks for doing the dishes. I don’t even remember asking.”

     “Yeah, it looks like you’re finally growing up and starting to do some housework on your own,” Tracy commented, coming up and wrapping her son up in a hug from behind. She might not have been as tall as Olivia, but at 5'8, she was still two and a half feet taller than her son. “Don’t worry about the rest of the kitchen, I’ll have Olivia do it.”

     “Huh?” his sister asked from the couch, looking up from her phone. “I heard my name, what’d you say?”

     “Reese is loading the dishwasher all on his own, so I told him I’d have you finish cleaning the kitchen. Since you’re staying with us, you’re gonna have to help out around the house too now.”

     She bit the inside of her cheek, thinking about what her mom said. “Um, but…” She put down her phone and walked into the kitchen. “Don’t you normally like having one person do everything so multiple people aren’t stuck with the workload? That’s how you did stuff when I was in high school, or at least the reason you gave.”

     Despite having to look up at her daughter, who in turn was looking way past Tracy to her little brother in front of the sink, their mom’s mind could not be changed. “He’s 3 feet tall, Olivia, it’s not fair to make him do everything. He couldn’t even reach the shelves for the top cupboards if he tried.”

     “Alright,” she resigned with a sigh, and nodded with satisfaction, going back to join Stuart in the living room. Olivia looked at Reese’s work from her vantage point beside him, and realized there was nothing she could do. She knew her mom was right. Maybe she was going a bit hard on her brother, she didn’t know what it was like to be as small as him and probably never would, but he definitely wouldn’t be able to do everything he could. 

     She tussled his hair with a grimace, something Reese normally didn’t like, but he held his cool as she went back to her spot on the couch. With the dishes being taken care of, the rest of the family retired to the living room to watch the evening news while their little helper worked away at the dishes for them.

 

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