The Five Secrets_Ezra Gatley is back to Ezra's narrative, and it will be again until "Delcan's Chapter" is mentioned again. Hope you're enjoying it so far!
That next morning, I woke up the first thing I did was check my phone. I probably shouldn’t have called Delcan last night, but I thought it’d matter if he knew about it. He seemed tired, which is the only reasonable explanation I’m giving for why he wasn’t being as understanding as he usually is.
I had no new messages, but two calls from Evvie, and four from Haven. Sighing in annoyance, I slowly rolled out of bed and pulled on a pair of jeans, trying to keep my eyes awake as I threw a shirt over my head. But as soon as I was about to leave, a wave of reality slapped me in the face.
My aunt wants to know. She probably already does, and she’d be right.
Evelyn got suspended because of me, and people know my secret.
I got in trouble for being late last night and Dad knows it, meaning that I’m about to be in serious trouble.
And worst of all: Angelica knows.
As I was trying to think of some type of solution I could work with, Emmanuel came into my room, looking at me with caution. “Are you okay?” He had his head tilted to the side, and his dark brown eyes were sparkling because of the sun.
When I finally looked over to him, he wrapped me into a hug. Squeezing his shoulder, I pulled back from him a little bit. “I’m fine, E. Promise.”
“Are you sure?” he asked, looking up to me. I smiled and nodded.
Emmanuel nodded and then looked back into the hallway. He did the same thing before he decided to tell me something big (usually involving me getting in trouble). I looked at him for a few seconds, waiting for him to say something back to me. Finally, he pulled me down by my arm and whispered in my ear.
“Daddy’s mad at you.”
I looked at him for a few seconds before I understood how bad that actually meant. If Emmanuel was able to hear Mom and Dad talking about whatever happened to me last night, that means that Dad was pissed. Of course, he’s mad at me.
“Yeah,” I said, trying to put a smile onto my face. “It’s cool, though.”
“Why were you out so late, Ez?” Emmanuel asked me. I wasn’t stupid enough to admit the truth to him, but I understood how possessive he was about spending time with me. My brother was pretty dependent on others, even though he should be taking medicine for it.
I shrugged. “I was at practice,” I lied. I was actually supposed to be at practice, but I had my friends cover for her. “Sorry, but I couldn’t have brought you.”
Emmanuel nodded, and then let go of my hands. “I have to go,” Emmanuel said. “Mommy and Daddy said you needed to be in the kitchen in less than five minutes.”
Without a word, I pushed my younger brother my room as he laughed, trying to hit me back. When I’d gotten him out of my room (with little effort), he’d stuck his tongue out to me and then ran down the stairs. I could hear his little footsteps running down the stairs, two at a time, like I always did.
I deleted Delcan’s number off of my phone and then shut it off, hoping my parents would trust me enough not to go through my phone. Putting my phone into my pocket, I walked down the stairs and was greeted by Mom, who was giving me an uneasy look. Dad was on his work phone, shielding it from everybody else in the corner. Besides my mom, Eric was eating a plate of eggs and bacon over the sink, meaning he was doing the dishes today, while Evelyn sat on the couch, her hair not straightened, and a large book in her hands.
I waited for somebody to notice my presence when Dad looked up from his phone. With a scowl, he set it on the marble counter and looked at me. “Where were you last night?” he asked me, his voice determined to find an answer.
“Daddy, he told me he went out with his friends from the football team. You don’t need to worry,” Emmanuel said, his voice sounding pleaful. “He wasn’t doing anything bad like you thought he was.”
Emmanuel wasn’t old enough to understand that covering for your siblings could either result badly or end with an unsure answer from Dad. But I gave him a quick smile as he gave one back, clearly wanting to hug me, too.
“Shut up, Manny,” Dad said. He was the only one who really called him that nickname. “I wanna hear the answer from Ezra.” I looked at him for a few seconds, not knowing what to say. What could I even say to him? If I were to tell my dad where I really was and why, he would either assume the worst, or I’d never get to walk back into this house again.
“Thomas, Adam, and I went out to the football field to practice some passes we wanted to use for the next game,” I lied. My dad raised his eyebrows. “And then we hung out at Adam’s, and I lost track of time.”
“Is that so, Gatley?” Dad asked.
I nodded, trying to push away the thought that he was catching on. Did Angelica want to know where I was? And why is Dad giving me that I know you’re lying to me, but I don’t know what you’re lying about look? It was making me feel uncomfortable.
In the meantime, Eric was washing the dishes slowly as my mom talked to Evelyn in silence, her eyes stopping on mine before she turned back to her daughter. Looking back at my father, I nodded.
“Hunter called to see if you could come over last night to hang out,” Dad said. He always called Adam by his last name instead of his first, which never really seems like an issue to Adam at all. “Why would he ask that if you were with him at the football field.”
⟴ you, Adam. He never wants to hang out, but last night just seemed to be so important. I hesitated, hoping it wasn’t showing as horribly on my face.
“It’s cool, Dad,” Eric said from the sink. “He wasn’t able to come because his parents were having issues with some finances, so he’d wanted Ezra to come over to make it better. Though, he didn’t really make the call. It was a prank.” I looked at him and wanted to give him a hard punch on the shoulder because I didn’t even believe what he said.
“Are you sure?”
Eric nodded. “Yeah,” he continued lying. “Adam’s sister told me about it.” Dad wouldn’t know it was a lie, but I did. Because first off, Adam was an only child, and second, even if he did have a sister, she probably wouldn’t care about any of us.
Dad slowly turned his gaze away from Eric to look at me, as if I would break the straight face I was keeping. Mom stood up from the couch, seeing what my dad was about to do. “When you get home tonight on time, hand me your phone.”
I looked at him for a few seconds before I moved my eyes down to my phone. “Mom said I have to give my phone away for the entire weekend. And I can’t come home tonight, Dad. At least, not on time.” I wasn’t planning on letting Delcan down again. I hated when we would argue.
“I’m your father,” Dad said strictly. “I say what in this house goes and what doesn’t. You come home before ten tonight, and I expect to have your phone in the study tomorrow morning. And on top of that, you’ll be doing six of your siblings' chores, along with joining me at the gym after your football practice.” Slowly, I nodded, worrying about how much pain the rest of my body would be in after a week full of that.
“Fine,” I said.
My dad nodded. “You treat me with respect, Ezra. Nothing more than that. And if you don’t-”
“Both of you need to stop arguing so that you can take Emmanuel to school,” Mom cut in, watching as Emmanuel quickly pulled himself off of Eric. I looked away from my father and over to her. “I have to go to work early today, and I’ll need you to drop off and pick him up from school today.” I had no clue who exactly she was talking to, but I guess it made sense for that person to be Eric. He always gets the car whenever we have to drive to school, so it makes sense. But as usual, both of us nodded as Evelyn got off the couch.
Walking out the door, Eric messed up Evelyn’s hair more than it already was and then bit back a smile as he stood by the door with Emmanuel. “Hurry up, Ace.”
“Shut up, Chase,” I said back to him, trying to find my homework from the night before. Our parents had already turned their backs, so Eric was able to get away with flipping me off.
“Hey, Ez?” Evelyn said.
I looked over to her. “Yeah?”563Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡ5W2NG5fgWw
“Do you think that you could stay away from Adam today?” she asked, her voice sounding cautious. “And please, just don’t ask him about what he wanted to tell you last night.”
My sister hated when people messed with her, so I always tried to be nice. But today, she’d just have to get over it. “Saying that makes me want to ask Adam what he wanted to tell me,” I said to her. Evelyn rolled her eyes and turned back around, slamming her first book down onto the couch and grabbing another one. ns 126.96.36.199da2