An Interesting Thanksgiving Pt. 01

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Amateur

Quick author’s notes:

– This is my first story, so go gentle on me!

– I use Canadian spellings, so there are may be slight differences in some words

– This is very much a prequel/intro: lots of scene-setting, not a lot of action

That said, enjoy!

*****

“Jaaaaake!”

I heard the call from down the hallway and groaned – I’d been dreading it for six weeks, ever since my parents told me they’d bought my sister a laptop for her birthday. See, before I left for college I was the resident ‘tech expert’ which basically meant I could google any problem that happened to come up on my parent’s computer and fix it for them. Before I left for college I locked down their PC: a decent firewall, no UAC privileges, some spyware I trusted and – most importantly – a remote log-in so that whenever they did call me with a problem I could tell them to “just restart it and leave it alone with the screen off for ten minutes” and when they came back to it the problem would magically be gone.

No such luck with my sister’s laptop, unfortunately – I’d left for my first semester at State a few weeks before her birthday and my parents hadn’t given any warning that they were planning to get her a laptop. So no doubt it was A) an overpriced piece of shit and B) currently chockfull of malware, toolbars and who knows what else. Which – of course – meant it became my job to fix it while I was home for Thanksgiving. As if my stack of readings for the classes I was already behind in wasn’t enough, suddenly I was looking at a good two hour chunk of my evening with my sister bitching at me to get her laptop up and running again. Fucking great.

“I’ll be there in a minute.”

I sighed heavily, shut the lid on my own laptop and walked down the hallway to my sister’s room. It felt strangely foreign making the walk – despite the fact I’d only been away for under 3 months – but then it wasn’t like she and I had been hanging out loads before I left: I had my life and my friends and she had hers. Aside from the odd night that our mom insisted on a family dinner we had barely been in the same room at the same time for months. I stopped outside her door and knocked.

“Come in, it’s my-“

“It’s your laptop, yeah?”

She looked up from her phone with a confused look on her face – amazed at my psychic abilities, no doubt.

“Call it a lucky guess. Let me make another one: it’s running slow, there’s a bunch of stuff on it you don’t want and you need your amazing, kindly, wonderful big brother to fix it for you.”

She wrinkled her nose at me and just nodded over to her desk where the laptop was sitting, before engrossing herself in her phone again.

“Can I get a pretty please, at least?”

It was a long shot, but I got a melodramatic sigh, a championship-level eye-roll and an answer positively dripping with sarcasm:

“Oh Jake, casino oyna incredible brother of mine, please take pity on your poor, feeble-minded sister and help her with the scary technology she’s too blonde to understand. Pretty fucking please. With a cherry on top.”

“You know… you’re a pretty sweet kid when you let your tough exterior crack. I’m glad you feel so comfortable baring your innermost soul with me, oh darling sister of mine.”

“What can I say, it’s that deep sibling bond we’ve always had. I gotta run, Amber’s calling me.”

She sat up from her bed and walked over to where I stood in her doorway, leaning against the frame. She stood on tiptoes and kissed me on the cheek, the way she always did when I finished helping her with math homework when she was twelve, and headed off down the hall. I looked back over my shoulder, waiting for the moment she got the phone to her ear so I knew the call was active before I yelled:

“Is Amber a stripper yet?”

I got a middle finger over the shoulder for my trouble. I think that meant “Yes”. I headed over to her desk, looking at the metallic pink heap of junk I’d be wrestling with for the next few hours and signed again.

Forty minutes later, Lexi wandered back in the room – barely glancing up from her phone – and appeared beside me.

“Are you done yet?”

“Not yet, but I think I’ve got the worst of it. Tell me, though, did you click every single thing you saw that said ‘free download’? I’ve honestly never seen this much shit on one machine.”

“I dunno – it just clogged up the more I used it.”

I’d only been back in the house three hours and this this was my third dramatic sigh – not a good sign.

“Okay. I’m going to install some stuff that should help keep the worst of it wat bay, but Lexi, Jesus… you need to be more careful with what you download. Let me show you.”

I opened Chrome (IE was one of the first things I dropped – no way was I going to waste my time on fixing that) and pulled up a random sketchy torrent site. I moved my chair back a bit so Lexi could get a clear view of the screen and turned to her.

“Now, if you wanted to download a song here – what button would you click.”

Her eyes didn’t leave her phone for a second as she answered:

“The one that says download.”

I just stood up that and headed for the door. Lexi turned, confused and shouted after me:

“Hey! What the fuck?! I thought you weren’t done yet.”

Finally I actually had her attention: her hand holding her phone had moved all the way down to her side as she stared at me angrily.

“If you don’t want your laptop to run like a three-legged sausage dog you need to be more careful with what you do online. If you’re not going to pay attention to what I’m showing you, your laptop will be back to being an expensive paperweight on your desk in slot oyna a week – I guarantee it.”

She fixed me with her ‘fuck you’ stare but I held firm, starting to turn again to leave.

“Okay, okay – fine. Please show me.”

I stopped (again) and turned toward her (again), grinning a little now I finally had a bit of power in the situation.

“Careful now, Lexi: that sounded almost genuine.”

She cracked a grin at the corner of her mouth and tucked her phone in her pocket as I sat back in her desk chair.

“Okay, now I can see… six different buttons, links and things that say ‘Download’. Which one do you click?”

Lexi leant over, resting her chin on my shoulder to look closer. As she mumbled a ‘Hrmm’ to herself I could her breast pressing into my back, warm and soft. I coughed and shifted myself a bit as I suddenly realised I wasn’t thinking entirely pure thoughts about the feeling. Lexi leant forward again, though – her breast squishing right against me as she pointed her finger at a bright red ‘DOWNOAD FREE NOW!’ button.

“Sigh. Not even close.”

She straightened back up and crossed her arms over her chest defiantly.

“Fancy explaining to me exactly why the fuck not?”

“Whoah, calm down… It’s this one.”

I highlighted the unremarkable [Start Download] link at the top of the page.

“All the rest of them…”

I circled the four or five giant red, green and flashing yellow buttons with the mouse.

“…they’re designed to trick you into downloading the stuff that jams up your laptop. I’m going to install some stuff that will block a lot of it, but I can’t stop everything. Here, I’ll show you another.”

I spent another ten minutes pulling up sites and showing her the difference between something she could trust to give her what she was looking for (with a bit of careful attention) and sites that were just going to scam her. Evidently she was actually paying attention to what I was saying, as she didn’t touch her phone the whole time, despite me hearing it ding, buzz, whistle and beep a few dozen times in the process. Eventually I let her go again and got back to work on cleaning her system out. But Lexi didn’t even get out her room before she groaned loudly and trudged back over to me.

“Mom just texted to say Grandma’s staying here tonight: she’s taking your room and you’re on the campbed in here with me. You better not still snore.”

“Seriously? I’m back home for three days and I don’t even get to sleep in my bed? I just unpacked all my shit through there! Fuck…”

Lexi just shrugged and went back to catching up on ten minutes’ worth of facebook messages, tweets and texts. I cursed under my breath and dropped my head in my hands. I’d been looking forward to three uninterrupted nights in my room. I’d planned it all out: retire early to ‘study’ and then – with no canlı casino siteleri roommate, no download cap and no morning classes – I’d have hours of uninterrupted porn torrenting and one-handed browsing time to myself. Now my grandmother was going to be in my room from 8pm and – at best – I might be able to sneak one or two quick session beating the bishop to some low-res shit on my phone on the toilet. Finally, I resigned to accepting my fate and got back to clearing all the shit off Lexi’s machine.

Another half hour later and I’d cleaned the last of it, installed most of the same software that I had on my parents’ machine (I’d seriously had to pause and consider whether I wanted to install the remote access software before I decided it was a terrible idea and I should accept I was probably going to deal with doing this again at Christmas and Easter, if need be) and finished up by setting up few nice extras for her. I headed for the door and yelled downstairs for Lexi to come up. When she arrived I spent a few minutes showing her how to work Chrome, how I’d simplified her launch bar and had reached my last little surprise for her:

“Have you ever seen how my desktop wallpaper changes every half hour?”

Lexi nodded, at the point where her enthusiasm wasn’t even feigned any more – I could tell she wanted her room back to herself or a few hours before I crashed it again tonight. Neither of us were particularly looking forward to that arrangement.

“I’ve got movie posters, videogame characters, bands and it just randomly switches them up. Anyhow, I can set that up for you if you want. Do you have pictures on your computer already?”

She dropped her phone hand down to her side again, suddenly clicking that this might actually be a cool thing to have.

“Yeah, I’ve got a bunch of pictures of nights out, that camping trip I went on with the girls – ohmigod, those pictures would be hilarious to have coming up randomly!”

I have to admit, my sister can be cute when she’s genuinely excited about something – her face lights up, her smile is infectious and she can energise a whole room when she wants. Which made what happened next all the more crushing.

“Okay, there you go – I’ve set it to pull randomly from all the photos in My Pictures, changing every half-hour and it should be-“

I hit Win+D to return to full desktop view and froze. I had no idea what to say and neither did Lexi. All I heard was her long halting intake of breath. I didn’t need to look at her to know she was struggling to hold back tears. I was like a deer in headlights: I had no idea what to do, how to undo what had just happened or what to say. After what seemed like an eternity – but was probably closer to three seconds – I just stood up and went to my room without saying a word, leaving Lexi with the picture that her computer had randomly selected – from the probably hundred in that folder – of her, naked as the day she was born, on all fours on her bed with her legs spread, clean shaved and shooting a sultry ‘Hello, boys…’ look back at the camera.

It was going to be an awkward Thanksgiving…

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