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This part of the story immediately precedes and foreshadows the events in ‘Rag Doll’ Ch.05. As always, I caution the reader that this is just a story, I had tremendous fun piecing it all together, I hope you enjoy reading it too, and enjoy the conclusion to the entire saga. I hope for all the die-hard fans of the series that the questions regarding Ricky’s epiphany, and how and where he found the rest of his family are finally answered to their satisfaction.
All comments are read, sometimes disbelievingly, if you like the story, please vote or comment, and if you didn’t, please tell me why. All emails are answered, as long as you leave a return contact email. Read and enjoy!
Rag Doll Ch. 07: Ricky’s Family – Part 2
I know it’s a hackneyed cliché, but the shopping trip with my sisters really was the first day of the rest of my life. For the first time in my life, someone had done something for me, with me, and nothing was expected from me; dad had brought us up to expect quid pro quo; I did for you, now you do for me, and that’s how it was with Bobby and me, even though now we had nothing; he fed me, so he expected me to one day pay him back, and the payback would be so much more than he’d ever done for me, because that was how it worked. Those were the rules dad taught us, and I’d accepted them, but now I was beginning to see that didn’t have to be how it was.
It was kind of an eye-opener; my sister (my sister, wow; I was still trying that on for size!) had given me things and bought me things because she wanted to, not because she had to; my other sister kept me company and stopped the loneliness from seeping back in not because she had to, but because she wanted to. I just had to learn how their world worked; overall they just seemed to have had a much better deal than me, at least when it came to parenting and family life. Perhaps I could learn to be like them, to get more out of life than I thought I was stuck with; maybe they’d even let me share in their world, in their family. It wasn’t much to hope for, but it seemed to me to be a whole new, better way to be.
After that first meal together as a new family, Ayesha asked me to stay while the girls cleared up and washed up. I was a little apprehensive, but she didn’t look mad anymore, in fact, she almost looked…concerned, if that was the right word.
“Richard…sorry, Ricky, I keep forgetting, I just wanted you to know that the girls, your sisters, and I have had a couple of conversations about, well, you, to be perfectly frank, and we have a couple of things to clear up with you, no, wait, before you say anything, let me finish.”
I subsided and waited to hear what she had to say, not certain if it was good news for me.
“Ricky, I won’t lie, I had to think hard about this, so please hear me out, OK?”
I nodded and she smiled and continued.
“OK, so, this is kind of a unique situation, but I think I know how we can make it work. Ricky, your sisters like you; they both told me in their own way how they feel about possibly having you stay here, with us, and being part of our family. Now that I’ve seen and heard how your sisters feel, and from what I can gather from talking and yes, losing it with you, too, for which I apologise, you’ve never done anything to me or mine, I think I’d like that too.”
She smiled at me, an open, friendly smile.
“What I’m saying is: Ricky Davies, my babies feel safer now you’re here, it’s hard to explain, but they’re sure of it, and they’re sure about you, and they have very good instincts, so, if you feel comfortable doing it, would you like to stay here, in this house, with your sisters and me, and become a real part of this family? And more to the point, if we let you in, will you let us in, too?”
I was waiting to be told I couldn’t stay, that the shopping trip had just been an impulse by the girls and there was no place for me here, so my heart literally leaped into my throat at the thought of being somewhere where I could perhaps be a part of something; the thought of having real, actual family, of being surrounded by people who actually gave a toss about me, filled me with feelings I had no way to describe.
I struggled to speak, and could only nod rapidly like a jackass, afraid I’d blurt out some nonsense in my state of excitement. Soft fingers brushed my hair and I spun around to see Shari standing behind me, a big smile on her beautiful face.
“Yaz thinks you need a haircut…” she murmured, raking her fingers through my hair again, “but I think your hair’s just fine, you have very nice hair, a light trim, a little product and you’ll be fine…”
With that, Shari knelt down next to me and delicately finger-combed my hair back out of my eyes, something no-one had ever done for me before, so she could look me intently in the eyes.
“You’ll be OK, Ricky, you’re safe here, you’re one of us now, so we’ll have to learn how to get along bursa escort and fit together as we go along, OK? First things first, though; we follow a few simple rules, they’re more to do with being family and watching out for others than regimenting our lives, and we expect you to do the same as us, so here they are: number one, don’t go out without one of us along; you don’t know enough about London and what the streets around here are like, especially at night. Until you get some London street-smarts and learn how to get around, you’ll only go out with Yaz or me; this is for your protection, but ours too; having a guy with us means we’ll be a lot safer in some of the places we have to go sometimes for work reasons. Can you do that?”
I nodded in agreement, and she smiled her lovely smile as once again as she flicked my hair out back off my face.
“Number two, this is your home now, not a prison, nothing’s out of bounds, but we do respect each other’s privacy, so please knock and wait before you enter bedrooms and bathrooms, or mummy’s office; up to now obviously, this has been a ‘girls-only’ house, and Yaz, mummy, and I are used to wandering around less than fully dressed; that will stop, but old habits die hard, so just…knock if you want one of us, otherwise stay out of our rooms unless we invite you in, OK? Just look the other way if we’re not fully dressed for any reason. We’ll respect your privacy too; we’ll only come into your room if you invite us in, but please try and not wander around in bath-towels or underwear too, OK?”
I grinned and nodded; simple rules to get along with others, it made sense.
“Rule number three: everybody helps-out; we share the chores, we all clean the house, help with the cooking, Yaz will help you there, she’s a great cook, you’ll learn good basics from her, and we all tidy-up, take out the rubbish on bin-days, take our turn doing the shopping, and mummy will show you how to use the washer-dryer if you need to do some laundry, and of course we all do what we see needs doing as and when. If the carpet needs vacuuming and you’re there, you just do it, don’t wait for someone else to come along and do it for you.”
She patted my leg reassuringly.
“Final rule: if someone needs help, then help them out, or find someone who can, we’re family, not roomies, and there’s none of that ‘I did it yesterday so I’m not doing it today’ stuff and pouting about it; there’s no maids and housekeepers here, this is our home and our family, and we keep both in good shape. Pick up after yourself, clear up if you need to, and take your turn making coffee, tea, hot chocolate, cold drinks, and especially hot buttered toast and marmalade; if you make some for yourself, you’d better make some for Yaz too, otherwise all Hell will break loose, got it?”
She dimpled at me too, looking incredibly like Yaz when she smiled.
“Finally, a solemn warning, Richard Davis; if you dare to bring chocolate into this house, you’d better have enough for everyone, because Yaz and I will find out and hurt you if you try and sneak some in and don’t share, got that? This is not negotiable; secret chocolate stashes are grounds for nailing you to the floor and trampling on you, so listen and learn. That’s all, Ricky; when we find out what you like, we’ll do it for you if you ask, but you have to ask, or let us know, no telepaths or clairvoyants here, Brand-New little brother!”
Of course I nodded happily; if she’d made a thousand rules I’d have agreed to them just so I could stay with my…family. I liked the sound of that, it made me feel good in a clean, special kind of way. As I was enjoying the feeling, a second pair of arms wrapped around my neck, and a soft “Boo!” made me grin. Yaz smiled back at me and hugged me closer for a second.
“Welcome to the family, Ricky; you have no idea how nice, and a little bit weird, it feels to have a for-real, actual big brother pop-up out of nowhere! We’re going to be a good family, Rick, this is going to be fun, I can tell! When we’ve emptied the dishwasher, and yes, you’re helping, I need to ask you a favour, and you need to say ‘yes, Yasmin’, got it?”
After putting the dishes away and getting the dining room cleared away, Yaz led me back to the sitting room and pushed me into the sofa, before plumping down next to me.
“OK Ricky, it’s like this; I have to go to my school prom in July; that’s three months; I don’t know why we need to have one, we don’t graduate, we just pick up our exam certificates and transcripts and bugger off, school done, hurrah, hurrah, let’s get the flock out of here. Now this American-style Prom nonsense has taken off here and we have to dress up in silly expensive dresses we can’t afford and will never wear again, to mingle with people we never liked, in a place we definitely don’t want to be, that we’ve been trying to escape from for years, being polite to teachers we really couldn’t give a shit about anymore. It’s supposed to be couples, but bursa escort bayan everyone who’s leaving is expected to attend, so the school creeps get one last chance for a quick grope.”
She grimaced, scrunching up her pretty face that somehow made her look even more adorable, before dimpling at me again.
“I hate those spotty weasels, I didn’t like them all the way through school, and I’m not dancing with them now; they’re a bunch of creeps, them and those bitch girls who hang around with them, I hate them looking down on me and sneering at me and calling me ‘half-caste’, ‘wog’ and ‘Paki’ behind my back because I’m not white enough to be in their gang. So, your first job as a big brother is as follows: you’re coming with me. You’re going to wear that hot suit we got you, that designer shirt, and those on-trend shoes, and you’re going to be my shit-hot secret boyfriend, and anyone who says anything out of order to me is going to have to deal with you, got it?”
I stared at her, actually lost for words at her plan. Only a couple of things registered, it was too much to try and take in all at once; was this why she lobbied to have me stay? I was a little hurt, to be honest, so I asked her if that was all I meant to her and she looked shocked.
“No! you’re our brother, you belong with us! I don’t want to use you, if you think that’s all I wanted you here for then don’t come with me, but I wanted you to be my big brother and have my back and keep the creeps and dickheads at arm’s length. I’m sorry I let you think that I was using you, Ricky; I didn’t mean it that way at all. Please don’t be mad at me, I don’t want you to be mad at me, Oh God, Ricky, I’m sorry you thought that’s what I was doing, I wasn’t, cross my heart!”
When she put it that way, of course I couldn’t let her go alone and unprotected; if this was the way to start being a big brother, then so be it.
“Yeah, I get it, Yaz, and sorry, I thought…” I started, but she dimpled at me, she had a really beautiful smile and I couldn’t stop myself grinning back.
“Never mind all that, Ricky, just so you know I wasn’t using you! Just come along with me, you need to learn how to be a big brother; I want all those tarts and sluts to see my tall, handsome boyfriend, and we can watch them chew their own faces off with envy, and it will be all for nothing. You game, Big Brother?”
I had to grin.
“I’m game, little sister; let’s stick it to ’em!”
We bumped fists solemnly, and Yaz bounced up off the sofa and disappeared into the kitchen, then stuck her head back through the door.
“They’re going to hate me even more when I show up with you; I dunno if anyone’s ever said this to you before, but you, Ricky Davies, are gorgeous!”
One last dimpled grin and she was gone, while I sat there slightly bemused. Gorgeous? What did she even mean by that?
Ayesha came into the room, walking slowly, she was obviously very tired and she leaned heavily on her walking cane.
“Did Yasmin tell you what she wants you to do for her?” she smiled, taking my hand as I helped her sit in her armchair. I grinned and nodded, there didn’t seem to be much else to say.
“She’s excited you’re here, you know, and she’s completely taken with the idea of a big brother. Just don’t let her push you around too much because of it. Yasmin is not pushy, and it’s not her nature to take advantage of people, but she has something about her, people like to do things for her, help her out, fall-in with her plans, and she lets them because she doesn’t like to say ‘no’, so watch out for that; It’s too easy to get carried away with her plans, just keep calm and watch her back.”
She patted my arm reassuringly.
“She won’t turn you into a doormat, that’s not her way, but she can easily convince you to do almost anything for her, and you’ll just think it’s your idea, so just make sure you rein her in a little. You’re the big brother now, and that means a lot more to than just being older than her; it’s part of your job to damp her down and keep her grounded now, think you can do that?”
I nodded at her words; a lot of what she’d said I’d already seen, but it didn’t make me wary of her; quite the opposite, in fact.
“When I first got here, after all the…shouting, and Shari being so…so angry with me, it was Yaz who tried to help me; she didn’t yell and shout, and get all angry and threatening; all she wanted to do was help me get home safely, to get me something to eat, to be friendly; she was…worried about me, and the look on her face when she realised I was hungry, I was always hungry, that I’d been hungry for so long it didn’t even register anymore…I don’t think I’ll never forget it. If I’m being honest, after everything she and Shari have done for me, I’d do whatever my…sisters want me to do. I’ve never had anyone care about me, I’ve never had anyone try and help me, and then you gave me a chance, but she made me welcome, even Shari helped me when escort bursa I was so sick when she didn’t have to, and I don’t know how I can ever repay you, or Yaz, or her.”
Ayesha looked long and hard at me, her gaze searching, but not threatening; I think she was genuinely surprised at how quickly I’d fitted in with her daughters, my new sisters, but I wasn’t; Shari and Yasmin were genuinely good people, they actually cared about me in a real, family way, not an offhand, helping a casual stranger sort of way, and I could feel their sisterly concern for me radiating off them in waves. I think that was the point I realised I was starting to unconsciously adapt my behaviour and thinking to reflect what I felt was the Ricky they wanted to have around them.
Ayesha’s expression softened, and she reached out to gently pat my hand once more.
“Welcome to your family, Ricky Davies, I think you’ll do just fine.”
Being part of this family came with complications I’d never considered; Yaz was a patient teacher, cluing me in on simple things like proper table manners, something I didn’t even knew existed. She kept me straight most of the time, even if I could sometimes see her struggling to hold back the laughter, while Shari went out of her way to not embarrass me, her corrections of my continual faux-pas’ tolerant rather than hectoring or condescending. Things like burping out loud, for instance; with no-one to tell me ‘no’, that was just how I’d grown up, and Shari gently telling me in private that doing that in company wasn’t good manners at all made me feel two inches tall, but it stuck; I may have been ignorant and uncouth, I don’t think I was stupid, and I realised this was one of the things people learned almost subconsciously as a consequence of being part of a family.
Other things, too, like scratching, or adjusting myself in public; again, a few words in private on etiquette and comportment from Shari and I soon stopped doing those things, and I quickly learned to check her or Yasmin’s expressions before doing anything: a slightly raised eyebrow meant ‘really?’, a fleeting twitch of the lips meant ‘yes’, and a slight squint and slightly pursed lips meant either ‘no’, ‘don’t you dare!’, or ‘absolutely not!’ depending on how pronounced they were. I learned as fast as I could in the next few weeks what normal people absorb gradually as a matter of course from the people around them, manners and behaviours that were ‘givens’ in a normal family, but my upbringing had been anything but normal, and I’d learned absolutely none of the social niceties.
Like dancing, for instance…
Yaz had decided that, as I was going to be posing as her loving, possessive, scary boyfriend, I had to dance with her to make sure those spotty simpletons (as she referred to them) kept their distance, and therein lay the problem. Dancing? I could barely clap my hands in time, I knew almost nothing of current pop music, and how the hell was I going to dance with her like a boyfriend when I didn’t even know how to behave in public? I think Yaz finally twigged the more I thought about this impending charade, the more uncomfortable and just plain scared I became; supposing it backfired and my ignorance made her a laughing-stock instead?
Shari came to my rescue and taught me how, if not to dance, then at least to shuffle around with a girl in my arms and not trip us both up. After several days of patiently leading me around, while her mother and sister watched with barely concealed grins on their faces, she told me we were done, now I could fake it like the rest of the guys had to, so it was time to dance with Yaz and get used to holding her like I was supposed to. I still had some major doubts and lingering misgivings, but I’d promised her, so we went for it.
Actually, it wasn’t that bad; Yaz was a good dancer, as far as I could tell, and she made me look a lot better than I was; even Shari applauded, commenting that she was right, Yaz was good for me, and of course, having an armful of very pretty girl wasn’t too bad either.
The day of the prom eventually rolled around, and Shari trimmed and styled my hair, helped me coordinate socks, shirt, and suit, and pick out and knot my tie, and had me stand on a footstool so she could walk all the way around me to check on how I looked from all angles. I was a little nonplussed at all the attention, but she just grinned.
“Ricky, you’re my kid brother, and I want you to look good with our little sister; you look good, she looks good, that’s how it works. Just think of it as upholding the honour of the family, and relax and enjoy it; when Yasmin’s had enough of the game she’ll let me know, and I’ll come and get you, OK?”
I was still dubious about the whole thing, but then I saw Yaz, and all doubts vanished as I just gawped silently at her. She was dressed in a short, sequinned, figure-hugging, backless Teal-green dress that contrasted perfectly with her hair colour and pale, olive-tinged complexion, her long, flawless legs encased in nude stockings, and teetering, sparkly green high heels; with her hair in a bright, auburn-red cascade down her bare back to finish the look, she was absolutely stunning!
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