Jordin knew something was wrong when she saw that Kristy wasn't eating the barbeque chips she had brought her but what it could be stumped her. Kristy would have told her if she was sick after all.
"Okay kid, you've been glaring at that notebook for the past twenty minutes. What's up?" she asked, sinking down onto the bed beside the younger teen who suddenly jerked away.
"Nothing! Just school stuff."
The response made Jordin roll her eyes although she wasn't the one to pry, especially since her mother drove her crazy doing that.
"School stuff huh? Think I can help? I did go to middle school after all." she said instead, putting a hand on the girl's messy blonde hair as she added teasingly:
"I am nowhere near as smart as Mika but still..."
Instead of earning a giggle as she had hoped, Jordin noticed the younger girl's eyes had filled with tears.
What did I say that was wrong? she wondered, brow furrowing as she turned the girl toward her, forcing her to look up.
"Kristen, you can be honest with me. You know you can tell me anything at all. You and Mika are basically family and you know it!"
Kristy bit her lip as she glanced down at the floorboards, idly fiddling with her pencil until it slipped from her trembling fingers and fell with a clatter onto the polished wood.
"Do you think Alice will get mad if I buy her something for mothers day? I know she's not my mom and everything but I feel weird not giving her something. Especially since she basically raised me."
She tried not to think about how loosely the term 'raised' was because that would imply nurture and love.
Something Kristy knew she would have never felt if it hadn't been for Mika and Jordin.
It was the two teens who had cheered her up when she was hurt or sick, had held her tightly after a nightmare and had promised to protect her.
It had been Jordin who had defended her from bullies, intimidating them so severely that they never so much as glanced her way again.
Mika was the one who took on the role of a disciplinarian—although she was a lot gentler than one would imagine.
Never once had Alice offered to hug her not had she ever so much as took her hand.
She had never struck Kristy but the girl couldn't help but be terrified of messing up in any way.
After all, Alice had never bothered with remembering her birthday and if she was that much an outsider, Alice wouldn't hesitate to make her leave.
The memories rushed back then and she found herself turning to bury her face in Jordin's shirt as the tears came.
"I just want her to know that I love her....Is that so wrong Jori? I know what my father did...but it wasn't me....Or Mika! Why raise us when all we were was a reminder? An irritating blotch in her environment?"
Jordin tightened her hold on the younger blonde, lips pressing gently against the crown of her head as she muttered
"No baby girl, it isn't. If anything, my mother is wrong. You and Mika both deserve a family who loves you for who you are, no matter what but don't you ever forget that you have me, Holly, Azriel, Amara, and even Liam as well as Mika. We're your family and I'm pretty sure they all love you just as much as you love them."