Habits Die Hard

"If you keep defending him this way he'll keep messing things up and have people mop up after him" I said to my step mom and hung up the call. I'm happy I gave her a piece of my mind this time. She has had it coming for a long time now.

Hi, My name is Patricia and I had just reported my half brother's attitude once again to the one person that would never see a fault in his attitude. I'm the first daughter of my father and the law enforcement 'officer' of the house. Or should I say, I use to be the law enforcer because we all grew up and left the house.

I would have sworn that leaving that house would sort the problem with my step brother,Zach, and I but I was wrong. Though he's a grown up man with beards now, his attitude never changed one bit. He's still the same unreliable person.

My family reunion this time around was a disaster. And I didn't regret spoiling it for every one. I shouldn't be the understanding one always. As a matter of fact, I am done been the reasonable and mature one.

My step brother had just pulled his usual stunt and his mom was defending him like always.

Let me take you some days back.
I was at work when my phone beeped. It was a whatsapp group invite from my step brother. From the title of the group chat I could tell its for our parents upcoming anniversary a.k.a family reunion day which was the next day. This has been my family tradition for a decade now but what's new is this God forsaken group chat he created. I mean, what is he up to this time?

"Hey, what's up?" I dropped a message when I joined the 'Reunion' group chat which consisted of my step brother and Sheila,our last born.

*"Hey Patty, I've got an idea for this year's reunion!" He replied.

"Okay...let us in on your plan" I typed back to be polite because honestly I didn't have interest in whatever idea he had in mind.

"Why don't we get them a joint gift this time instead of our usual personal gift. I'm thinking of a brand new car" He revealed.

"...or a very large family portrait." Sheila added.

"Perfect Idea, Sheila" I commented completely ignoring Zach's statement. I smelt something fishy about his car proposal. Plus, opening a group chat to discuss what gift to get for someone other than himself is utterly out of his character and I was not about to fall for his stunt again. If only I knew what was to come.

"Come on Ladies! Let's get them something really expensive for once. A car like the Bugatti La Voiture Noire wouldn't be too much. I mean, they deserve it." Zach argued.

More like you deserve it. I replied in my head as I rolled my eyes in disgust. Does he even listen to himself sometimes? Seriously, what would our 57years old dad or 50years old mom use such a car for? I had thought. I wish he realises that the only person that subscribes to his scam is his mom.

"Which photographer would deliver a perfect portrait in such a short notice?" I said ignoring his chat once again.

"I can't think of any." Sheila commented.

"Well, I know one." Said Zach.

*"Just that the car idea is better than this picture thing but if you ladies have concluded like always, I guess I concord." Zach said.

I can almost see him shrug in disappointment. As much as I wanted to reject his offer to handle the portrait project, I'll just give him the benefit of doubt one more time just because I have a lot to take care of at the moment, jobs were fast piling up for me here at work.

"Let us know how much it will cost so that we can pay our bit. Meanwhile, we can still get them individual gifts." I typed my last statement briskly and went back to work.

Six hours after the chat, I had closed from work and arrived home without a feedback from Zach. He has always been that incompetent. So I called him to know the bill which I paid in full on behalf of everybody and we agreed he'd bring it to the anniversary the evening of the following day.

I arrived the house 5pm in the evening and with the look of the surrounding I could tell Zach had not arrived if not there would have been loud music blasting already.
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For some reason Sheila was outside when I arrived. She was wearing a pretty white gown on a white sneaker that looks so pretty on her.

"Of cause my fashion icon has to keep us inspired" I complimented Sheila who was wearing a beaming smile as she came to welcome me with a hug.

I then took her to one side of the house to get an update as to our surprise gift.

"The last time we spoke, he said he was on his way which was about three hours ago."* Sheila said with a worried look on her pretty face.

I pick my phone from the purse and dialed Zach's number. I was not at all agitated when he didn't pick up. We were quite early, the party starts by 7pm so I assured her that there was no cause for alarm as we walked inside the house.

Shortly after we went in and had settle at the dinning to begin the celebration without Zach because we non of us was surprised since he was always late, he drove inside the compound. I watched him through the dinning room window as he parked and stepped out of his car. There was no portrait insight and immediately I sensed there would be a cock and bull story behind it so I took a slow sip of my water as I got ready to rebuke him.

He had both hands up in surrender as he walked in through the entrance.
"Patty, before you crucify me listen. The photographer disappointed and refused to pick his calls." He said in one breath not failing to put on his signature 'I'm sorry' deceitful look.

"Wait. Don't you get tired of being the black sheep of the family?" I said in a low calm voice rather a statement than a question.

He made an attempt to say something but I shut him up then stood up and walked out on everybody.

My dad called after me and I turned to listen to him.

"Patricia, please let it go this last time for my sake and come back to your seat." He said.

I didn't miss the concern look on his face so I reassured him I wasn't leaving the celebration but rather I was going to get the portrait I made as a back up plan from the car.

I practically saw Sheila release her breath and as the mouthed an inaudible 'Thank God' with her eyes closed.

"I'm sorry Patty" Zach said as I approached the entrance.

"Oh no Zach, you're going to return the five thousand dollars I sent for the portrait when the dinner is over. Now move out of my way." I pushed him slightly and stepped out to get the beautiful portrait I made for just one thousands dollars.

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