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The Cullen Girls: Part 11

Follow the lives of Meredith, Amy, Olivia, Sarah, and Jane Cullen, as they navigate the unknown territories that come with building a family through adoption.

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The Cullen Girls: Part 11
Kerri Caldwell

"Did you hear something?"

These words, followed by the distinct sound of a door, freeze Jane and Davey where they are. When they look at each other, and the position they're in, they break into giggles until the sound of footsteps on the stairs pulls them apart.

"Shit!" Jane hisses, and they collide into each other, trying to grab whatever piece of clothing they can find. Still, they aren't fast enough.

"Hey, Janey – "

Everyone stops. Olivia stares as Jane stands there in her underwear, using a shirt to cover her other half. She barely recognizes Davey Sloane, having only seen him a few times, and he'd been wearing clothes. He'd given Jane rides home from school, and each time it took Jane longer to get out of his car. From where her sisters spied on her they could see they were only talking, but she was so secretive about Davey they had their suspicions. Now, he's standing naked in Jane's room, holding his jeans in front of himself. Olivia manages to get herself together, though she's struggling not to laugh. Jane glares at her, finding nothing about this funny.

"Um, I was seeing if you were busy. Sarah and I are going shopping, but I guess you've got something better to do…" Olivia finally loses it. They can hear her cackling out in the hallway.

Jane turns to Davey. His face is red. "Don't mind her. She doesn't have a life." Jane rolls her eyes as she tosses him his shirt.

"What happens now?" Davey can't put his shirt on fast enough.

"Now, I start locking my door."

Davey gives her a look that just makes her stare stupidly at his handsome face. "That might have been a good idea for today."

Jane laughs. "Seriously, it's nothing to worry about. Olivia won't say anything to my mom." Davey comes to stand in front of her, and she can no longer focus on putting her hair up in a simple, messy bun.

"So no groundings and forbidden visits?"

"That would make things fun…" Davey leans to kiss her, but the thought of her sisters downstairs keeps it short.

"Bye," he whispers in her ear at the bottom of the stairs. He bolts out the front door, Sarah and Olivia yelling, "Bye, Davey!" obnoxiously loud. Jane braces herself as they come running out of the kitchen.

"Aww, our little Janey!" Olivia crows, pulling Jane into a dramatic hug. Jane pushes her away, scowling at Olivia's shit-eating grin.

"She's not our little Janey anymore," Sarah says sadly, shaking her head, and then looking up at the ceiling like she's trying to pull herself together.

"You both need a life. Immediately."

"Why do we need our own when we've got you, though?" Sarah asks, dropping her head down and giving her the same stupid grin as Olivia.

"You know, I remember my first time," Olivia starts, like an old lady with a really long story to tell.

"Well, keep it to yourself." Jane turns to escape.

"Wait, Jane, you're being careful, right?" Sarah's words have her spinning back around, defenses high.

"Are you kidding? God, yes! It's not like this was my first – " Jane doesn't catch herself in time, leaving her sisters stunned.

"Oh my god, our little sister is a slut." Olivia sinks to the stairs. Only Sarah laughs at her.

"Oh, please. I'm going to take a shower." Jane stomps the stairs two at a time, trying to block out what's happening behind her.

"Jane, stop! How many guys have you slept with?" When Sarah doesn't get an answer, she turns to Olivia.

"Should we be worried?"

....................................

"Another date, mom?"

Meredith is setting the table, minus a place for her. "Yes, Jane, why so surprised?"

Jane shrugs. "Cuz he's from your work, and your work is boring."

"So that makes the people there boring? Are you saying I'm boring?"

Jane gives a look. "Mom."

Laughing, Meredith tells her, "Go tell your sisters dinner's ready."

Walking halfway across the kitchen, Jane screams towards the stairs. "DINNER!"

"COMING!" Sarah screams back. Jane slams into Olivia when she turns around.

"Fuck me; I thought you were upstairs!"

Olivia smirks. "Nice choice of words."

"Shut up," Jane hisses, her eyes on Meredith at the stove.

"I will for now. But later, you and I are having a talk."

"Oliviaaaa – "

"Just do me this favor, Shadow. Ok? Cuz I really screwed up the last time you did something you weren't ready for."

"Technically, that was Sarah, and I am ready. I wouldn't be doing it if I wasn't."

"Jane."

"Ok, ok. Christ. You're not gonna like, use a banana – "

Olivia relaxes as she bursts out laughing, pulling Jane into a playful hug, but meaningful all the same.

"Girls, move it! I have to leave soon." Meredith acts like they can't put food on plates for themselves, but they all know she just loves to feel like she's still taking care of them.

"Leave where?"

"I'm going out."

Olivia gets whiplash at these words, the chair she's pulling from the table scraping the floor at her movement.

"Oh, really." Olivia is too focused on this new information as she sits and nearly misses the chair. She loves whenever Meredith has a date, sometimes more than Meredith. Sarah finally joins them.

"Oh, no," she says when she sees her sister. "Why is she smiling like that?"

"Because I'm going out tonight, and your sister doesn't know how to stay out of other people's business." Meredith exhales in irritation as she sits next to Sarah. Jane raises her eyebrows in agreement but wisely says nothing.

"With that one dude again?"

"James. His name is James, Sarah." Olivia scolds her like she should know. Sarah makes a face at Jane that says 'what a psycho' while Meredith stares her daughter down and tells her, "Please just eat. And be quiet."

"Amen." Jane stabs a fork in the air towards her mom, who turns her stare to her youngest daughter. Jane gives her best innocent smile.

"Sarah, why do you always have to steal my food?" Olivia complains.

"It tastes better from your plate." Sarah gives the same answer she always does. Olivia's response is to replace her food by stealing from Jane's plate.

"Hey! At least take my nasty carrots."

Meredith closes her eyes and mutters, "I don't know why I don't eat out more often."

"Cuz then Jane would never eat any veggies," Olivia says. The screen door suddenly slams, making them all jump.

"Jesus, Amy!" Sarah yelps.

"What's wrong?" Meredith stands to inspect Amy, immediately concerned.

"Nothing, sorry, I'm fine."

"Well then quit slamming doors," Sarah grumbles, picking up her half-empty glass while Olivia just watches the spill make its way across the table. Jane throws some napkins down, snorting when Sarah flicks Olivia's temple.

"You hungry, baby?" Meredith is already making Amy a plate.

"Sure, I'll have some," Amy says, knowing better than to argue. She goes to sit beside Jane.

"What?" Jane asks after Amy's just been sitting there watching her. Amy doesn't answer. Jane turns her eyes to Olivia across the table, who suddenly finds her carrots fascinating. Jane looks back at Amy, still unblinking and becoming bug-eyed, throws a quick glance in their mother's direction, then slams her fork against her plate. Olivia finally looks up. Nobody says anything until Meredith sets Amy's plate in front of her.

"Ok, whatever is going on between the four of you, please work it out before I get home. And be nice." Meredith doesn't wait for an answer, but Sarah's the only one to reply.

"Have fun!"

The second Meredith's car is out of the driveway, they all react at once.

"I can't believe you told her!" Jane screams, the table shifting when she shoves her chair away. Amy jumps up as Jane lunges for Olivia. "I'm going to kill you!"

"What did you expect me to do?" Olivia screams back, already on her feet. She moves one way to see where Jane will go, then collides with Amy when Jane fakes her out. Sarah pulls the table back into place, making everyone stumble so that it just moves again. It gives Olivia an advantage, and Jane shrieks in frustration when Amy grabs her.

"What are you thinking, Jane? You're 16!" Jane tries to bite her, and even though she's desperate to rip Olivia's hair out, Amy is sure the bite is meant for her a little.

"Really, Amy? How old were you?" Olivia retorts from behind Sarah, calmly eating her food and steadying falling drinks.

"That's not really the point – "

"You were 16!" her sisters yell, the eating and escaping forgotten as they both look at her accusingly. Jane stops trying to get out of Amy's grip and spins around instead, shocked.

"Oh my god, seriously? I was sure you were still a virgin!"

Olivia and Sarah fall into each other, howling with laughter. Face flushed, Amy shoves Jane into them, the sound of her sisters' laughter deepening the shame she's never been able to get rid of inside of her mind.

"It's fine, Amy," Olivia says breathlessly, wrapping her arms around Jane. "We were going to have a talk."

"You?"

"Oh, what, because I'm not getting married?"

"No, because you're you."

"But being a hypocrite makes it ok? How can you come in here, ready to lecture Jane, when you were the same age?"

"Because it's not a lecture, and because I wish I had waited. It's advice. Maybe not about waiting til marriage – "

"Apparently," Jane says.

"Fine." Amy's face falls as she turns away. "I get it; now you're not going to take me seriously." The screen door slams once again.

"Wait, Amy, I'm sorry." Jane goes after her, but Olivia stops her. She nods for Sarah to go instead as she leads Jane upstairs. "C'mon, let's get this over with." She waits until they're settled next to each other on Jane's bed.

"Ok, first things first. Are you using a condom, and using one EVERY time?"

"Yes," Jane answers, and Olivia's surprised that there's no sarcasm or defensiveness from Jane. "And it's not like I've done it that many times, you know," she adds quietly.

"Well, I'm glad to hear that."

Jane's silence tells Olivia something is bothering her.

"What's going on, Shadow?"

Jane hesitates. "Can I ask you something?"

"Of course."

"And you'll be honest?" Jane looks straight into her eyes.

"Yes, I promise." Olivia sits up and holds her stare.

"Have you ever had sex with someone you actually had feelings for?"

Olivia pulls away, thrown by the seriousness in Jane's voice.

"What?"

Jane looks away. "I've only had sex with one other guy besides Davey. And that guy was my first. We were at a party, and we both did it…just to do it. I don't know, but I felt really stupid and ashamed afterward."

Olivia swallows hard. "Is that why you didn't tell us?"

Jane nods, her face red and serious. "How do you do it, Olivia? Just sleep with a guy like that? I felt awful for days. I mean, it wasn't about being used or taken advantage of, because I was doing it for the same reasons, but it just didn't feel right."

Olivia takes a deep breath, considering her words carefully. "I guess I could say it's something you'll learn about eventually, especially as you get older, and you have more experiences with different partners. And your first time is always the scariest, and it usually leaves a big impression on you. And that's probably the difference between us. My first time, I was totally in love with the guy. And I was 18."

Jane tries her best not to show her shock. "Amy was 16, but you didn't lose your virginity til you were 18."

"Yes," Olivia answers defensively. "Because I waited until I was ready. And to me, sex doesn't necessarily have to be about love. Sometimes it's just about sex, and it's nothing to be ashamed of. Amy doesn't see it that way, and most of the time, Sarah does. But that's their views, and their decisions, and their right. So, if your view on sex means you should have feelings for the other person, that's fine. That's your decision. Tomorrow or two years from now, you might change your views, and don't ever let anyone tell you there's something wrong with that."

Jane is listening to her sister's every word. "I never meant that what you did was something I judged you about."

"I know, but the fact that you were confused tells me that even if I don't want to admit it, you're a lot smarter about sex than I was at 16. I thought I knew everything and didn't question a thing until my heart was so broken, I stopped wanting sex to have any emotional attachment to it."

"So, it was only the one guy you had feelings for?"

Olivia shakes her head. "No, it was just never as intense. But that doesn't mean the other person has those same feelings, too. And unfortunately, that's not something you can avoid. There is always a chance you'll be hurt. Always. Or that you'll hurt someone. But one day you'll get lucky and end up like Amy." Olivia smiles at the thought. Jane rolls over onto her stomach.

"Why do you think mom's not lucky?"

Olivia tugs her hair. "She is lucky. She's got all of us. We came first in mom's life. And now that we're all mostly grown up, it's her turn to find someone to take care of her."

"Oh." comes Jane's quiet response. She's never thought about it, but it's true. Meredith has always put them before any of her needs. She rolls back over. "How mad do you think Amy is?"

Before Olivia can guess, another voice says, "Not very." Amy and Sarah are peeking around the door.

"Have you been listening the whole time?" Olivia accuses.

"No." Amy shoots back, but Sarah adds, "Not the whole time." She leaps for the bed, landing on Jane who grabs her arm to make her stay.

"Amy," Jane says, looking expectantly add her oldest sister. When she settles next to Sarah, Jane puts a cheek on Sarah's shoulder so that she can see Amy.

"Are you still mad at me?"

"I was never mad at you, Shadow. It's hard to explain my feelings about all of this."

"You're our baby. And always will be, but some of us have a harder time accepting that we can't stop you from growing up." Sarah widens her eyes, darting them to the right like Jane didn't know who she was referring to. She hides a smile that only Sarah sees.

"But," Amy adds, looking to Jane, "we can help you grow up. Show you what's right, answer the hard questions, help steer you from royally fucking up."

"I think you're off to a pretty good start, though," Olivia tells her.

"Eh, I've had some help." Jane shrugs with a smirk.

"Some things you're going to have to figure out for yourself. It's the only way to learn certain lessons. Sometimes you'll get your heart stomped, and other times, you'll be the heartbreaker." Sarah leans her head against Jane's.

"Yeah, I think I know a little about that."

"So your first time wasn't the greatest. But look where you are now, and what you've learned."

A smile creeps across Jane's face, and her sisters react faster than she can even process why she's smiling.

"Janey's in love!" Amy squeals, poking her. Jane just buries her smile into Sarah's shoulder, overwhelmed at all the love and support she has in her life. She feels it in the teasing and laughter as her sister's talk over each other, and it surrounds her with the same comforting presence.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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