Shayde sat there, and Liza feared for a moment that she may start yelling at her or laugh. So Liza just had to watch.
Her daughter’s eyes were wide and her already pale fingers had turned snow white from gripping the chair armrests, with her mouth ever so slightly open. Liza was only just now observing how Shayde looked nothing like her. Liza pictured her face next to her daughters, and saw Shayde’s sallow, pale skin and her own face being bright and pinkish. She saw Shayde’s thin, short black hair and Liza’s own thick, red. And lastly Shayde’s storm grey eyes, and Liza’s hazel. They were so like her father’s…….She shook her head clear of the image.
“S-Shayde?” whispered Liza tentatively.
“How can you prove it?” asked Shayde in her usual, sharp voice.
“How else could you control a storm?” replied Liza, feeling more normal now that she was almost sure that Shayde wouldn’t burst.
Shayde glared at her for a moment, and then spoke. “What was his name?”
“Adad. He is a god in the Babylonian and Assyrian religions,” said Liza promptly.
Shayde nodded slowly, looking away from her mother. “Where is he?” she shot, suddenly jerking her head around to stare intensely at Liza.
“I don’t know. He left before you were born,” said Liza, her heart feeling suddenly very heavy. “That’s all, Shayde. I need to take Summer to her basketball game,” she said quickly, wanting to get as far away from her as possible. “Do you want to come?” asked Liza as she rose up from the bed and made to grab her car keys off of the dresser.
“No,” said Shayde sourly, glowering at Liza.
“Your loss. Matt should be here any minute now,” said Liza, shrugging and leaving the room. “You’ll want to go downstairs, you know how he is.”
Shayde nodded stiffly as she followed Liza out of the room.
“And Shayde, would you be polite to Matt for once. He’s your stepfather you know. You should give him a chance,” said Liza as they walked down the stairs together. She waited tensely for a moment, hoping that Shayde wouldn’t start being ridiculous about what she had just said.
But to her relief, Shayde nodded again, despite being more tight-lipped than before. Liza walked out the front door without another word, but having a sensation in her stomach that said that Shayde wouldn’t be accepting her husband anytime soon.
Shayde flung herself onto the couch. How could her mother act so normally when she had just given her such shocking news? She snorted furiously. Why did she bother asking if she wanted to go to Summer’s stupid basketball game anyway? ‘Course, I don’t exactly want to stay with him either, thought Shayde reasonably. She rolled her eyes.
Shayde heard the mansion’s front door opening. It would have been undetectable to other people, since Liza had hired some people to come out and fix the creaking sound the door made when it opened (it had bothered Matt), but Shayde had learned to listen for the whoosh of air that came.
Her stepfather closed the door, and as he turned he jumped. Apparently he hadn’t noticed Shayde glaring at him from the couch. He sighed and turned away without greeting. Shayde knew that he had given up on that a long time ago.
As Matt walked into the kitchen, Shayde proceeded to contemplate the idea of having a storm god for a father. It couldn’t be true, but somehow, by the strange tingling sensation in her stomach, Shayde knew it was. How else would she have the ability to control storms the way she did? She heard glass shatter in the kitchen. Shayde slowly raised her head, knowing that Matt was probably going to blame her for it. She knew how far he could sink.
Matt strode briskly to Shayde, a milk-stash still on his upper lip. Shayde glared up at him, hating every chiseled feature.
“Hey, clean that up for me, will ya?” he said in a smooth voice. Shayde raised her eyebrows coldly.
“For what?” she asked icily. Matt looked affronted for a moment, but his look of shock was wiped away quickly.
“Excuse me, young lady, but in case you haven’t noticed, I am your fath-”
“Step-father, Matt. Stepfather. Not father,” snapped Shayde, standing up furiously (which didn’t have much affect, seeing as the top of her head came up just below his chest), and she stormed off, leaving Matt’s handsome face looking thoroughly shocked. Shayde ran down the dim hall, more dusty photographs talking to her as she passed.
“Remember riding the pony, Shaydie? Remember your fifth birthday, Shaydie? Remember when Liza cared, Shaydie?” they called. Angry tears boiling in the corners of her eyes, Shayde stayed focused on the black door at the end of the hall. She knew how to hide them-she had pushed those accursed tears away many times. Once she arrived, she was panting and wiping away tears. She opened the door to a dark room-just the way she liked it-and slammed her heavy door behind her. She collapsed on the bed.
Why did it always take her so little to get wound up? It’s his fault, Shayde thought angrily. This happened before Matt, her mind told her. Shut up, Shayde told her mind.
Maybe she could find Adad, her real father. Maybe she could be rid of Matt for good! You’re just fine on your own Shayde. Remember-your father left you. He doesn’t want you. You’re worthless-everybody knows it. Even you know it, her mind said sneeringly. Shayde closed her hands over her hair and pulled angrily as if she could yank away that horribly snide voice that was speaking to her in her brain. Then, slowly, Shayde released, with that awful sinking feeling in her stomach that came with the feeling that the snide voice was right. Adad didn’t want her. No one wanted her. But I’m fine on my own! A more defiant voice said. Shayde stood up and began to pace.
She didn’t even know about Adad. She hadn’t ever heard of him. Research? Suggested the defiant voice. I guess that’s the only option, Shayde thought, surrendering. She still wanted to get out as soon as possible.