Part 3, Chapter 2: Truths
The boy that was unpacking his stuff was the son of Cameron's mother's sister. Sylvester, just barely two years younger than him, had the reputation for being mischievous and a troublemaker. If you could take the bad qualities that Cameron had and combined them with the few good qualities that William had, it would be someone that was close to Sylvester.
Mrs. Elder grabbed Cameron by the arm and pulled him down into the hallway.
"So, why is he here?" he asked his mother.
"Well, he's been getting into a lot of trouble down in L.A. and his mother sent him here to get the benefits of living in a small town."
"Why doesn't she just move to a small town? As in somewhere in California. As in far away from here?"
"Cameron, that's not nice. You know that she's busy with her job in Hollywood and it would be an absolute nightmare for her to commute."
"But why us? Why can't he go stay with Dad? He's got to be lonely after…"
Mrs. Elder immediately got a sad look on her face causing Cameron to immediately feel a twinge of guilt over mentioning William. It would be like someone mentioning Elias to him.
"He's with us because I say so. Besides, he could use a good influence and a 'big brother' to keep him on the right track."
"You're kidding me, right?"
"You used to call everybody 'bro', correct? Now you can do it and mean it!"
With that, Mrs. Elder took off down the stairs and reached the landing halfway down before turning her head up and saying, "And don't let me catch you smoking again!"
Cameron nodded and turned around to see Sylvester standing in the doorway staring back at him.
"Hey." He said to his younger cousin, who politely raised his hand up and said "Hey."
The first words went over well, maybe this was going to work out after all. With a sigh of relief, Cameron turned around and went towards his room. After sitting down on his bed, he got out his phone and sent a quick text. After a few lines back and forth between him and the recipient, he had a weird feeling that was almost like breath on his ear.
"Whoa!" Cameron cried out as he turned around to see his cousin peeking over his shoulder.
"Just… texting someone." Cameron said as he locked the phone and slid it back into the front pocket of his polo shirt.
"I saw that. Sounds like it was kinda steamy." Sylvester said with a smirk.
"No, it wasn't. Leave."
"Who is she?"
"So, you're texting that to nobody? Schizo?"
"Oh, come on. I won't tell."
"You can if you want. There's nothing to tell."
Sylvester started looking around the room at the pictures to see if he could put a picture to the words. He pointed to a picture of Cameron and Elias with the end torn off.
"Is that her? She's kinda cute."
"One: That's a guy. Two: A dead guy. Three: He was one of my best friends. Four: LEAVE."
Cameron took the boy's arm and guided him out of the door before slamming it and locking it. As he heard the younger boy stomp back to his room, he knew that he was probably going to catch hell for that.
After an hour, he could swear that he heard a slight chime, perhaps that of the doorbell. He heard Sylvester's door open and rapid footsteps down the stairs before realizing the horror of what was going to be unleashed.
Cameron threw open the door and dashed down the stairs just in time to see his cousin opening the door. He looked up at the sixteen-year-old girl standing before him before turning back to Cameron and saying "Damn, SCORE!"
"Cameron, what the hell?" Mia asked as she gestured at the younger teen staring up and gawking at her.
"He's… well, my cousin. I'll explain later."
"I'm Sylvester. Nice to meet you." The cousin said as he politely extended his hand. Mia smiled politely before shaking it.
"My name's Mia, pleasure's all mine."
"Oh, I know. So, should I call you that or Queen Boobzilla?"
"...CAMERON, WHAT THE HELL?!" Mia yelled as Cameron looked down at the floor remembering that Sylvester helped himself to his phone earlier.
"O-Okay, let's just go. I'll tell you about it in a second." Cameron said as he scratched the back of his head in embarrassment. Mia walked out of the door without saying and word and Cameron started to leave after her. Before closing the door, he turned to his cousin and hissed "You're dead when I get home."
Meanwhile, Kenton was on the phone in the office of the restaurant.
"Thank you for calling, this is Charmaine. How can I help you?"
"It's me, Mom."
"Oh, baby! How's it going down there?"
Charmaine sat down at the manager's desk at her Portland branch. The manager was on vacation and Charmaine was filling in while Kenton watched over her original restaurant. She could tell by the tone of her son's voice exactly what "Two months" meant.
"So, did you have to fire him?"
"No. I simply asked him to be a little more professional and he walked."
"Was that all that happened?"
"Yeah! I'm telling the truth."
Kenton looked up through the reopened office door to see the dishwasher looking back at him while snickering at the fact that their boss was being scolded like a little kid.
After hearing the boy-turned-manager yell out "Get back to work!", the barely younger dishwasher quickly went back to scrubbing dishes.
"Baby, are you okay?"
"You don't sound fine."
"Okay, I'm not."
"Just get through tonight. I'm coming back tomorrow, and we can start figuring out this mess."
"Oh, and do me a favor. Don't yell at the others. We don't need any more walkouts tonight."
While this conversation was going on, a cherry-red sedan was roaring up the road with an angry teenage girl behind the wheel and her apologetic boyfriend sitting in the passenger's seat.
"So what?" Mia said as she turned a corner with a little too much gusto causing the tires to squeal.
"That boy is my cousin."
"I figured that much. You wouldn't be sharing your phone with him otherwise."
"I wasn't sharing my phone. He looked over my shoulder. How could I stop him?"
"Not calling me names like 'Boobzilla' would have helped."
"Yeah, I guess you're right. But I was kidding!"
"What? Are you saying I'm flat?!" Mia said as she accidentally clipped the curb as she turned another corner.
"No, but your tire's going to be if you keep doing that!"
The car creeped up to a train crossing as the bars lowered down. The two winced as the conductor laid on the horn as the engine crossed the intersection.
"You really piss me off sometimes, you know?"
"Sometimes I wonder why I deal with your stupidity." Mia said as she glared at him.
"Because… I wuv you!" Cameron said as he tried to give her a pair of puppy-dog eyes. Something about a guy batting his eyes and giving her a wimpy look was too much for her. She smacked her steering wheel and started laughing.
"You're lucky I love you too."
The train passed and the arms went back up. Mia put the car in drive and crossed the tracks. When the car passed the restaurant, Cameron felt himself tense up.
"So, when do you work again?" Mia asked, no longer mad and ready to have a normal conversation. Too bad that it must be this conversation.