Family Tied 3.2
The red coloured shopping basket of the store was slowly starting to get heavy as I worked down my shopping list. Every ten minutes or so I would pause in my search for things to buy, place the basket on the floor and fish out my cell phone to check if I had any message, only to sigh relieved when my screen showed me a picture of Enjolras and me instead of the ‘You’ve got one new message’ sign.
Okay, I admit I was a bit paranoid about leaving Enj and Jenne home by themselves. Can you blame me? Enjolras always looks at his sister as if he wishes she would get hit by lightning while Jenne moves around the house as if the whole damn place was a minefield.
Sure… When I first met Enjolras everyone called him ‘the marble one’. The reason for that was because of his obviously good looks but also his heart of stone. Everyone told me I wasted my time trying to win the marble Apollo’s respect but as always I didn’t listen. I fought and fought and eventually found out Enjolras wasn’t from marble but from flesh and blood. His heart wasn’t from stone, he had built just a stone wall around it.
Somehow, I still don’t really know how exactly, I managed to break through that wall. I saw the Enjolras no-one had seen before. The caring, warm, funny, sweet guy who loved politics and culture.
But ever since Jenne came back… The wall came back. And to make it even worse, it seems as if the wall is now higher than before and I don’t know if I can break through this one too. He’s so cold towards Jennette that it even hurts me.
Maybe that also because I recognise myself in Jenne. When I was her age, I had lost both my parents and lived on the streets in order to make sure I didn’t end up in the system. There was nobody who had saved me. Nobody who had cared enough. Where I was now, who I was today, I fought for that. I fought to be where I am now. Jenne can’t have the same faith. I won’t let that happen.
As these thoughts ran through my mind, I walked aimlessly through the many aisles of the store. I had completed my whole shopping list but somehow I had the feeling it wasn’t complete-complete. That’s when it hit me. The shopping list, Enjolras and me had made it like we always did. But it wasn’t just Enj and me anymore was it?
With a small smile I turned on my heels as an addition to our shopping list formed in my head. What was on it? A very cute looking teddy bear and some make-up concealer.
Shopping took longer than usual, so when I walked into the house about two hours later, my heart almost stopped at the quietness. No yelling, no arguing, no fights, no plates and vases being thrown around… That was good, right?
With three shopping bags in hand I slowly approached the living room not really knowing what I would see there. When I entered the room however, I laid eyes on a very familiar sight: Enjolras, sitting in his armchair with a book.
“Where’s your sister?”I asked while I placed two of the bags I was carrying on the floor since they were meant for the kitchen mostly. “Upstairs.”he informed me with a nod of his head towards the staircase. I sighed defeated.
“You didn’t even try to be friendly, did you?”I guessed. “Nope.”Enj replied without missing a heartbeat. “Enj…”I sighed disappointed and also placed the third bag onto the ground before I walked towards him. I placed my hand on top of his in the hope he would see how this hurt me too.
“She’s your sister.”I reminded him in a soft voice. “You can’t treat her like this.”. “Jennette is a pest!”he corrected me. “I don’t like being around her.”. “I think there’s more to her than you realize.”I remarked. “Didn’t you take a look at her face at all?”. He had to have seen the bruises too, right?
Enjolras frowned confused. “No… Why?”he wanted to know. So he hadn’t… I sighed again because at this point it felt as if I indeed was fighting a marble statue. “Never mind.”I muttered as I picked up the bag which held the things for Jenne and made my way upstairs.
I eventually halted in front of Jenne’s room and knocked softly on the wooden door. Only after she had called me to come in, I entered.
“It’s me.”I told her with a smile as I closed the door behind me. My smile however got replaced by a small frown as I saw Jenne. She was sitting on her bed but her eyes were red and puffy as if she had cried.
“Are you alright?”I asked concerned. The young girl nodded quickly. A bit too quickly for my liking. Jennette seemed to notice my doubt as she added: “Yeah, I’m fine.”. Knowing she wouldn’t tell me the truth, I choose to swallow her lie and instead tossed the plastic bag I was holding onto her bed.
“Here. I got you some stuff when I was out.”I told her. Jenne looked up at me with big eyes as if she couldn’t believe I had bought thing FOR HER. “Thank you.”she said, her voice filled with gratitude as she grabbed the bag.
“Don’t mention it.”I assured her but then my happy expression fell into my concerned and serious one again. “Jenne…”I started. “You know you can talk to me… Right?”. She fixed her gaze on her bedspread and nodded. “Yeah.”she mumbled.
I looked at the slowly disappearing bruises that covered her face but bit my tongue as always. “Okay.”I answered, my voice still sounding worried. “I’m in my room down the hall if you need me.”. Jenne nodded again and that’s when I decided to take my leave. Patience seemed to be a keyword when dealing with a Durand. I believe myself to be a very patient person but with two Durands around? I don’t know how much patience there is left…
Enjolras cooked that evening. It had become a silent agreement between the two of us. When I did the shopping, he would unpack the groceries and cook. And believe it or not… For a marble statue he could cook damn well.
That’s as far as I’m going in complimenting Enj… During dinner it was dead silent. Seriously, in a church or a library there was even more noise. I tried my best to spark a conversation. You know, small talk. I asked Enjolras about his work, he wouldn’t take the bite. I asked Jenne about her hobbies, she didn’t bite either. I even tried to talk about the weather, nothing!
“That’s it!”I suddenly cried out and slammed my fork with force onto the table. Told you my patience was getting thin. “I’ve had it with you two!”. The Durand siblings exchanged an uncomfortable glance as if they both were a deer in the headlights.
“Really.”I continued in a slightly calmer voice. “When was the last time you even spent time with each other?”. “About eight years ago.”Jenne whispered in her soft voice. “That’s it.”I said again. “After dinner, I’m taking you both out. No exceptions.”.
At this comment Enjolras looked as if he was a deer already hit by a car. “But-…”he tried to protest. “I said: no exceptions.”I repeated in my low and scary voice accompanied by a deadly glare causing Enjolras to swallow in his protest. He knew better by now.
I said we were going out, well out we went. To the park to be precise. It was quite chilly though bearable. At least… It normally would. Jenne, who was walking a bit before Enj and me, was shivering a bit.
“Don’t you have anything warmer than that?”I asked her, noticing the old sweatshirt she wore. “Nope.”she admitted with a shake of her head. “Then I’ll take you out shopping as soon as I can.”I concluded with a smile.
That’s when we reached a bench where my favourite costumer from La Musain was seated with his guitar. “Hey guys!”he greeted us the moment we were in hearing distance. “Hey Grantaire.”I returned the favour with a smile. Enjolras nodded at his friend also calling out a greeting.
That’s when Grantaire’s eyes fell on Jenne. “Who’s the kid?”he wanted to know. “You didn’t adopt one did y-…”. “No, no, no…”Enjolras quickly cut him off. “This is my sister, Jennette.”. “Sheesh.”R mused as he took a gulp from the bottle of wine he had brought along. “She looks more like Evi than you.”. Then he returned his attention to the youngest Durand. “I’m Grantaire.”he introduced himself. “But you can just call me R.”. “Okay.”Jenne squeaked.
R grinned at her shyness. “Nice to meet ya, kiddo.”he assured her. Before we could start any real conversation, two other figures walked up to meet us. Eponine and her little brother Gavroche to be precise.
“Hey ‘Taire!”Eponine said cheerfully with a bright smile. Everyone knew she was crushing on him except for Grantaire himself. And maybe Marius… After all, he did live in a Cossette-centred world.
“Enj! Evi! Fancy seeing you here!”she greeted us next before also her eyes fell on Jenne. “Who’s this?”she questioned. “This is Jennette.”I spoke up, saving Enjolras from another introduction. “Enjy’s little sister.”.
“Nice to meet you! I’m Eponine.”the girl informed her before she slung an arm around her younger brother’s frame. “This is my brother Gavroche.”. The two kids looked at each other shyly before they exchanged quiet hellos. I carefully nudged Jenne forward.
“Why don’t you two go off and play?”I suggested. “I want to take Enjy for a walk.”. Jenne stepped unsure closer to Gavroche while Eponine and R promised to keep an eye on them. Well… Eponine promised more than R. “Great!”I exclaimed after their offer. “Thanks, you guys.”. I grabbed Enjolras’ hand and pulled him towards one of the many paths.
“Ah, this is nice.”I sighed contently as I walked with Enj through the park. Our arms were linked, the path was only illuminated by the lanterns at the side of it, the leaves crunches underneath our shoes and the stars twinkled above our heads. Romantic huh?
“Mmmmmmmh.”Enjolras hummed causing me to raise an eyebrow. “What?”I wanted to know. Believe it or not, but Enj is actually quite a romantic guy. “I’m just waiting for you to open fire.”he spoke a small smile tugging at the corner of his lips as he glanced at me.
Damn… He knew me too well.
“Okay.”I admitted. “What do I have to do, to make that you’ll be nice to Jenne?”. “There’s nothing you can do.”he sighed. “Enj…”I started. “No, Evi. You don’t get it.”he spoke. I froze in place making that our arms got unlinked and Enjolras turned on his heels to face me.
“I don’t get it?”I repeated, my tone a mix between hurt and mad. “I don’t know if you remember, but I lost my parents as a kid and lived on the streets. I didn’t have an easy childhood either. Of course, I didn’t have a younger sibling to look after, or an older one who had the power to save me. But don’t think I don’t get it.”.
“I didn’t mean it like that.”Enjolras said. “I know… You get it but at the same time, you don’t. Jenne and me… Things happened okay? Things that shouldn’t have happened. Things I carry with me even today.”.
“Enjy, if you don’t have any battle scars, you never have lived.”I reminded him. “The past is the past. And as awful as that past was… We can only make our future better. So, please, pretty please with red and black sprinkles on top, just try to be nice to your sister? Or even better, try to be NICER to her? For me?”.
He sighed in defeat. “Fine.”he agreed. “I’ll try.”. “Jeeeeej!”I cheered with a smile and tackled him in a hug. “I said I’ll try. I’m not making any promises.”he mumbled as he threw his arms around me and hugged me back.
“I’m glad with what I can get.”I assured him as I buried my face in the fabric of his red jacket, enjoying the closeness. Maybe this battle wasn’t as hopeless as I thought it would be.
When we returned to our group of friends, R had already left. Something about a party or so… I watched with a smile as Jenne and Gav hugged each other goodbye and shared a wink with Eponine, both secretly already deciding what kind of dress we would wear on their wedding.
“Looks like you two had fun!”I told Jenne as we walked back home. “Totally!”she exclaimed with a nod. It was nice to hear her voice at its normal volume. “Gav is such a nice guy.”. “Yeah…”Enjolras agreed in a soft voice making that I gave his hand a squeeze and smiled at him. It was something little but it was there! He made the effort and that’s what counted.
When we came home it was close to eight. Enj went upstairs to take a shower while Jenne and I stayed downstairs for a little while longer. We talked – mostly about the things she and Gav did – until it was almost nine.
“You tired at all?”I asked her. She nodded as she tried to cover up a yawn. “Kind of.”she confessed. “Well, go to bed whenever you want. I’m not forcing you.”I told her. “Thanks.”she muttered quietly and got up from her seat. “I’ll go now then.”she decided. “Okay.”I replied. “Goodnight.”.
Jenne tried to flee the room then but I gently caught her arm. She looked up at me slightly alarmed. I smiled at her warmly before I hugged her. A bit unsure she hugged me back. When we broke the hug, Jenne left the room and went upstairs.
I heard how she stopped in the hallway however. A second pair of feet had accompanied her. Enjolras. Curious I took a stand near the doorway and heard how my boyfriend wished his sister a gently and meant goodnight. Jenne whispered something back that I couldn’t catch but I guess she returned the favour.
When Enjolras entered the living room I smiled at him. “What?”he asked confused. “I’m proud of you.”I told him. “Oh…”he said and pointed at the hallway. “You heard…”. I nodded on which Enjolras smiled. “How proud of me are you exactly?”he wanted to know. I stepped closer to him. “Very, very, very, proud.”I told him and locked our lips.