“Of course I knew that my dad is a criminal,” I glibly lied, “but you are not the police, so why should I answer your questions?”
“Well, you’re nothing to me either, so do not try to boss me around.”
“Ditto,” was the highly creative reply I managed to come up with.
He glared at me, but was saved from having to come up with a response by Nathan bringing my mom and Abby to the door. He smiled at them, a look which I thought was grotesque, and introduced himself again. I was about to leave when my mom piped up.
“Oh, it’s good that you’re here, Jessie. This concerns you too.”
I rolled my eyes. Just what I wanted! I glanced at Nathan, but he shrugged. “Whatever, but I’ll warn you now that if this guy continues to insult me, I don’t care what concerns me, I’m outta here.”
“Jessie, don’t say things you don’t mean,” was all the response I got, although Nathan appeared to actually believe me. Of course he did, sweet big brother that he was.
“Can I come in?”
“No,” I automatically replied. Apparently that wasn’t much appreciated either.
“Any more comments like this, young lady, and you will go straight to your room and stay there,” my mom said sternly. Yeah, cos that totally bothered me. I wanted nothing more!
“Actually,” I improvised, “it’s a little late for you to be here isn’t it? I mean, I make it a point to stay away from anything that might concern people like you, but from what I’ve had to learn,” which was absolutely nothing, I reminded myself, “it seems somewhat intrusive to come here at nine o’clock at night and ask to come in. Didn’t your mother teach you anything?”
“Miss, I deal with children like you all the time, and I perfectly understand how you feel, however, I have my job to do, so if you’ll excuse me,” he began to move past me.
“You’re seriously going to force your way into this house? I’m calling the police. Get out of here right now!”
“Take your own advice, Jessica Lynn!” came rather sternly from the maternal figure I’d forgotten about. “I don’t want to see you again for the rest of the night, am I understood?”
I rolled my eyes, only hoping that her treatment of me would count against her and not allow Abby to stay. I wasn’t sure why she would want Abby there anyway. I mean seriously, what kind of messed up person actually asks to have their ex-husband’s illegitimate child come live at their house? Oh, and treats that kid better than their own! This was like reverse-stepmother syndrome, if there was such a thing.
While thinking this, I’d walked all the way down the street to Chad’s house, but it would have been too awkward to knock on the door and be all, “I’m in trouble for telling a rude county official to stay out of my house, so can I stay here?” so I didn’t.
Taking the seat that was to become one of my favorite spots across from Chad’s house, I sat down, laid my head on my knees, tried to ignore the cold coming through my jeans, and closed my eyes. About an unendurable hour later, Nathan sat down next to me and wrapped his arm around my shoulder.
“Hey, kiddo. You alright?”
“Yeah. Is she gone?”
“No, she won’t be gone for three years, but he is. They went through a bunch of paperwork, they’ll have to do some other official stuff, but you’d better get used to her.” I sighed heavily. “Hey, it’s not as if she’s taking over your room,” he added, sounding somewhat wounded. “I mean, you still have your own space!”
“She’s getting your room?” I asked incredulously. “Aren’t there two other bedrooms in the house?”
Nathan rolled his eyes. “I’m beginning to understand why you feel the way you do about her,” he admitted. “She really is that bad, but don’t forget, I can come get you anytime you need me to. Just call me, and I’ll come take you away for a weekend or whatever.”
I smiled at him, then “But Nathan, why would Mom even want her here?” I asked the question that had been weighing on me. He shrugged. “Whatever. Thanks for coming and sitting with me.”
“Anytime. Um, you aren’t going to be out here all night, are you?”
“I do it all the time,” I lied. “Love you!”
He didn’t look convinced, but he and I both knew that I’d be in trouble if I went back inside the house, so my lie would have to work. “Love you too,” was all he said as he stood up and walked back up the street.
I let out a deep breath and curled up into a ball. It was going to be a long, long night. My last thought before a fitful, achy sleep was, “This girl is going to be the death of me.” Now, I wish I’d been right.
*NOTE: All characters and events portrayed in this story are purely fictitious. Any resemblance to actual people or events is entirely coincidental.*
Next part next Friday! Title suggestions, names for various characters, or other questions, comments, or concerns can be left below, or you can e-mail me at the address on my contact page.
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