Opening the front door slowly, he took a looked behind his shoulder before entering. It had been so long since he had called this place his home, and now entering it for the first time in over a year and a half, he could feel that familar enjoyment he would always get.
The smell of freshly baked cookies, candles lit and the sound of the TV blaring were all present when he walked in, making that smirk of his appear on his face. The door was closed quietly and he managed to take his shoes off without them thudding to the ground.
But of course, just when you think something is going perfect, that one simple thing has to ruin everything. For him, it was the dog barking as soon as the chocolate lab saw him.
"Who's there?" his Mom yelled, entering the room with a rolling pin in hand.
"Just me," he greeted as he got off the floor from where the dog knocked him down. His Mom dropped the rolling pin as she threw her arms around his neck, planting kisses on his cheek.
"Randy! I wish you would've told me when you were coming home! Bob! Come see your son! My, look at you. I hope you didn't do anything stupid like get tattoos," his Mom told him, pinching his cheeks. She lead him into the kitchen area by the hand, not worrying about the flour that covered herself and the cookery.
"Now now, Elaine, let the boy be. Don't give him none of those cookies, they're all burnt. Son, it's good to see you again, welcome back. Maybe you can help your sister a bit."
"Lids? What's wrong with her? She was fine before I left," Randy said, confused. He took a sip from the glass of milk his mother placed in front of him, waiting for his father to continue. "Nothing is wrong with Lidia. She's got Jack and Mags and all of them. Before I left, they promised they would look out for her for me. I know those guys, they don't break promises." He began to raise his voice with every word spoken, but he failed to realize it. "Nothing is wrong with Lidia," he repeated.
Elaine and Bob exchanged a worried look with each other as Randy left the kitchen, storming upstairs to his room. "When are we going to tell him?" Bob asked, laying his head in his hands. "He listens as well as she does."
"Give him time. We'll tell him tomorrow...the poor boy is too tired right now. Look, he just left his bags in the middle of the hall...Rufus probably got into them..." Elaine left the kitchen, wiping her hands on her apron and mumbling to herself.
All Bob could do was sigh. It was no secret how close Randy and Lidia were in everything they did: they were born so close together they were Irish Twins, they always shared a room, and no doubt told each other everything. No wonder Randy was already taking this hard, even though he didn't exactly know what was wrong with his sister.
Taking it upon himself, the oldest Orton walked up the stairs that he and Elaine always try to avoid because they know what a mess it would be. But this was something that had to be done.
Before he was even half way up the stairs he could hear the blaring music of the Deftones; Randy's and Lidia's favourite band.
Not even bothering to knock on the door, Bob let himself in, only to find Randy laying on Lidia's bed and crying while looking up at the celing; his blue eyes that were always so pure were now drenched with tears and bloodshot, filled with rage and regret.
"Randy," Bob spoke, sitting on the edge of his daughters bed. Randy didn't answer. Turning down the music with the remote that laid by his son's feet, he tried again. "Randy, this isn't your fault."
He wiped his nose with the back of his hoodie sleeve, sniffling back tears. "Yes it is," he disagreed. "I don't even know what shes doing, but I can tell you Pop, it's my fault. How bad is she?"
"Well..." Bob ran a hand through his short, thinning hair, "she's been expierementing with some substances, staying out all night, her grades have dropped into the 50 range..." he was cut off as Randy's body began to quake with new tears. Moving over to his son, Bob threw an arm around Randy's shoulder, letting him cry on him. "She's been a mess without you, Randall," he mumbled.
"It's all my fault," Randy sobbed again. "What else have I drove her to do?"
With a sigh, Bob continued, "when I was getting the trash from the bathroom last week, there was uh...a positive pregnancy test at the very top," he whispered. "We haven't been able to confront her about it, because she's never home. I don't even know where she is right now, she should've been home three hours ago from school..." He was cut off once again, this time with a phone call.
"Someone get that!" Elaine shouted from downstairs.
Randy lifted his head off of his Dad's shoulder and rolled onto his side to get the phone on the night stand.
"Hello?" he answered, his voice hoarse and hardly above a whisper.
"Oh my God, Randy..." they broke down into sobs at the sound of his voice. "Randy...it's Pat." Randy froze on the bed. He knew Pat through classes and hung out with him sometimes when he was over, but never have they talked on the phone in the state they were both in at the current moment. "You gotta come here..."
"Randy! Hi, it's Mags!"
"Mags?" he questioned, slightly confused.
"Yea, listen, Lids and I, we like, didn't go to math today because we met this guy right, and this guy was like, hey come over to my place and we'll smoke up. So we did and I'm like, still totally buzzed from it because it was good shit, right? But then he brought out this needle and Lidia like, totally injected it to herself and it turns out there was a speedball in it, and she like, overdosed. The doctor's are working on her now, is your Mom or Dad there?"
Randy hung up the phone instantly, grabbed his car keys from the night stand and slammed the door to his bedroom shut.