My mother and father could find anything to argue about, but they choose to argue over me more oft than not. It gives them each some kind of leverage, I guess… It makes the other more right when attempting to make a point. Even if that point isn't necessarily about me.
In this case, my father was winning because I forgot to bring a damn coat and an umbrella to school. It’s not my mother’s fault. It’s no one’s fault… It’s mine for not paying enough attention. I never do. I never think things all the way through…
I took a hot shower and washed the chill of the rain off of my skin and out of my hair. The water didn’t feel hot… or maybe I was just so cold that it felt warm. After a while, I started to regain some feeling in my body, and the water was definitely too hot.
I knew it would be a short while before my mother came up into my room. So, I sat in the center of my bed. And while I waited, I pulled my hair into two damp pigtails… After a while, I grew tired of waiting for her to come up, but I couldn’t fall asleep while listening to my parents' voices intertwined with the heavy rainfall.
I hugged my pillow and waited for sleep to take me. I have to be more careful. I have to think things through.
I opened my eyes, but I didn’t roll over. Maybe she would go away if I didn’t move.
Got damn it… She sat behind me and began petting my head. So, I finally gave up and turned around to look at her.
She looked down at me sorrowfully with the largest brown eyes I’ve ever seen. I stared back at her for a while, and she turned her head away.
“Mom, what is it?”
She laughed in a pitiful way. She was sad, and I had the feeling that it was my fault.
“Why do you have to have your father's eyes?”
I was taken aback… I blinked once, then winced at her. How could she say that? But… how could I deny that what she had said wasn’t true? For once, I felt ashamed of my sage eyes and thoughtfully considered investingin brown contacts.
She sighed deeplyand brushed a few of her large sienna curls back behind one ear, “I’m sorry, Jen--about me and your father, I mean.”
“It’s alright mom.”
“No, it isn’t alright. We should have been more careful… Exactly how much did you hear?”
"Mom, that’s not important.”
“Oh my god… you heard a lot, didn’t you?”
“Mom, it’s not that big of a deal.”
“Damn,” she said in a sigh. “Well, anyway--here." She pulled out a cell phone and sat it on my dresser. "Your father wanted me to give this to you.”
“What’s that for? I don’t need a cell phone..”
A brief smile appeared on her face and disappearing just as quickly. I smiled back at her reassuringly. “Your dad wants to spend more time with you… So, starting Friday, you’re gonna be spending the weekends with him.”
I sat straight up in the bed and stared at my mother with large eyes.
“Moooom, nooooooo. Why?” I whined.
“Because he wants to, Jen. Haven’t you been listening?”
“Yea, but mom! Why now? Of all the years that have passed---of all the times he could have had--why now?”
“I don’t know, Jen. I guess he just wants a second chance.”
“Well, mom, it’s a little late for that.”
“Or maybe not,” she said, kissing my forehead.
“Mom, wait… You know, I had no idea it was gonna rain today, and it was my fault that I got wet. Dad has no idea what he’s talking about.”
She smiled and cupped my face, “Thank you… but he’s kind of right, Jen… I should have made sure you had that stuff. But, I appreciate what you’re trying to do.”
“Alright, mom, don’t go getting mushy on me now,” I said, rolling my eyes. Then I pulled the blankets over my head.
“Okay, okay,” she said laughing, “Goodnight.”
She stood up and stopped in the doorway. She must have been staring at me… I know she must have because it took her about five seconds to cut out the light. Geez, mom. Then she closed the door and went back down stairs.
* * *
It was six o’clock, and I was already in bed. I took the cell phone off of the dresser and put in the top four most important numbers that I could think of, my mother’s cell phone number, the house phone number, Megan’s number, and Cat’s number.
I went through my contact log and saw that my dad had already entered his number as a contact. Omg, that was such a lame move, dad.
When I realized I had no other numbers to put in, I sent Megan a text:
>. > Meg, it’s Jen. This is my new cell phone! …eh? I don’t know if I should be excited or not… but… wooh!(?)
And what did she do…? She called me… Damn it! Why would I text you if I wanted you to call me right back? Damn it, Megan… =__=
“Omg, Jen, your mom finally got you a phone?”
“Um… no my dad… which reminds me, where’s Cat? I have something to tell you both.”
“Oh, wait let me call her. Three way!”
“Omg, Cat, Jen finally has a cell phone,” Megan blurted out.
“Megan, shut up and listen,” I said impatiently. “So, guess what?”
“Um… you’re dating the new guy,” Cat said.
“Omg, really?” Megan asked musingly.
“Omg, Megan, shut up, you’re so gullible and Cat, no. I wish. But anyway, my father came over today. He got me this phone, and apparently, he wants to spend more time with me now. So I have to spend Fridays and the weekend at his house.”
“Omg, no way,” Megan gasped.
“What for?” Cat inquired.
“I don’t know… My mom said something about giving him a second chance or something.”
“Well, if you ever need to escape somewhere, I’m your girl,” Cat said.
“And I’ll nag my mom to take me to Cat’s house!” Megan eagerly interjected.
I laughed. “Yea, yea, thanks guys. I gotta go. Getting kinda sleepy.”
“At six something?!” Megan yelped.
“Yes. So Goodniiiight guys.”
Afterhearing them screech out their goodbyes, I hung up the phone.
© Copyright 2016 Jennifer Brighton. All rights reserved.
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