The next day passed by in a blur. Tyler didn’t speak to my once, thank goodness. As I walked home that afternoon I thought over all of my homework and everything I had to do today. I had lots of pre calc homework, a lab to type up for physics, and finish research paper for American literature. Letting out a long breath, I then thought of my chores. I had to fold the clothes, clean my room, clean my parents’ bathroom, and make dinner before both my parents got home. I had a lot of work cut out for me this afternoon.
When I got home I immediately got to cleaning so that I could get it out of the way. I was on my knees, scrubbing the tiles in my parents’ bathroom when the home phone rang. Standing up too quickly, I became dizzy. I took a step, and my right foot flew out from under me, sliding on the slick tiles. I landed on the tiles with a loud thud.
“Ow…” I moaned. Carefully, I got up and walked out of the bathroom. I was able to get downstairs and pick up the phone just before it went to the answering machine.
“Hey, it’s Peter.”
“Oh, hey, what’s up? Why didn’t you just call my phone?”
“I don’t know, I guess I accidentally pressed on your home phone number instead of your cell. Anyways, getting to more important things, can I come over?”
I snorted, “No, not today. I have a bunch of stuff to do.”
“Oh, well, okay, guess I’ll leave you to it then,” he said.
“Yeah, okay, well, see you tomorrow.”
“Yeah, you too, bye!”
I put the phone down and went straight back upstairs to finish cleaning the bathroom. I got back down on my knees and started scrubbing again.
Two hours later I was sliding a casserole dish full of meatloaf into the oven. I got all the dishes together in the sink and began washing them. Just then I heard a car pull up in the driveway. I frowned, wondering who it could be. My mom and dad weren’t going to get home until at least another hour.
Someone walked in through the front door.
“Hello?” I called out.
“Alex, where are you?” I heard Peter say.
“Peter? What are you doing here?”
“I decided,” he said, coming into view, “that you could use a little help!”
I walked over to him and gave him a hug. “You’re the best, you know that?”
“Of course I do! Now, what do you need me to do?”
“My homework!” I said.
“Besides your homework…”
“You could fold the clothes if you wanted,” I suggested.
“Sure! But what have you been doing since I called?”
“Well, I did my pre calc homework and then dinner.”
“What else do you have to do tonight?”
“Um, well I have to clean my room and then do some other homework.”
“Hm, so I wasn’t really needed, was I?”
“Yes! You are needed! You’re going to fold the clothes for me!”
Peter laughed and then walked over to the laundry room.
I raced upstairs and grabbed my laptop, carrying it back downstairs. I found Peter sitting down in the living room, folding clothes. I sat down on the floor across from him and opened up my laptop. Once I got it on, I continued typing my research paper where I had left off from yesterday.
“Hey, Alex?” Peter said suddenly.
“Yeah?” I said, not looking up from what I was typing.
“Do you think I should ask Celina out?”
“What? I thought you were already going to Homecoming with her.”
“Yeah, I am. But do you think I should ask her out? Like, to be my girlfriend?”
I then looked up at him. “Sure, if you like her.”
“Alex, you know I like her.”
“Then ask her out!”
“Do you think she’ll say yes?”
“Yeah, she seems to like you,” I said, looking back down at my laptop.
Even though I wasn’t looking at him, I could tell Peter was smiling. We sat there in silence for the next thirty minutes as I finished up typing my research paper and Peter finished folding all the clothes. I then moved on to typing my lab. I was aware of Peter getting up to take the meatloaf out.
“Do you want me to put it on plates?” he called from the kitchen.
“Yeah, just put some on two plates,” I called back.
“Are you not going to eat?”
“I don’t have any time!”
“You need to eat,” he said.
“I need to finish all the stuff I have to do!”
“You have plenty of time, plus, you only have the lab to type up and then your room to clean. You have enough time to eat, Alex!”
I sighed and then said, “I’ll get some later!”
“I prom—” I was cut off by the phone ringing. Pushing my laptop out of my lap, I stood up and picked it up. “Hello?”
“Alexandra, listen, did you clean up the living room?”
“What? No, you never told—”
She cut me off, saying, “Well clean it up! Quickly! Your father’s having clients over for dinner. I told you that yesterday. You’re quite forgetful. Anyways, I did tell you that we were picking up something more,” she paused, “elegant to serve to the clients, did I not?”
“No,” I said, “actually you never—”
“So,” she continued, ignoring me altogether, “you need to clean the kitchen as well. Or actually, the living room is in decent shape already, is it not? Just focus on making the kitchen and dining room spotless. Okay, we’ll be at the house in about thirty minutes.”
“But Mom,” I started to say, but it was too late. She had already hung up. I sighed and put down the phone. “I knew something like this would happen,” I said.
Peter walked into the living room, still holding a serving spoon. “What happened?”
“They’re going to be home in thirty minutes,” I said.
“They’re bringing clients over.”
“Oh, so do you need to make more meatloaf?”
“No, ha, my mom is bringing more elegant food over to serve to the clients. Apparently my cooking isn’t sufficient.”
“Your cooking is amazing,” Peter said, walking over to me and wrapping his arm around my shoulders.
“Not amazing enough!”
“Well, at least you don’t have to make more meatloaf!”
“Only you can see the positive side to this.”
“You need to be more optimistic,” he said.
“I’d rather be a pessimist, thank you.”
“Aw, you’re no fun!”
“My mom tells me I’m not supposed to be fun. I’m supposed to be efficient.”
“Well who cares what she tells you?”
“Why do you care?”
“Because without her or my dad, there’s not college.”
“So you only love your parents for their money?”
“No! Of course not, it’s just that sometimes it seems that they only love me for the shit I do around the house.”
“Aw, c’mon, you know they love you.”
“Yeah, I know that, but sometimes it needs to be demonstrated to me, you know?”
Peter sighed, “Yeah.”
“No you don’t!” I said, laughing, “You have amazing parents!”
“What can I say? I’m lucky!”
“Well,” I said, walking back over to my laptop and picking it up off the floor, “I guess you should head home.”
“You sure you don’t want me to help you clean up a bit?”
“Nah, I don’t want to risk you getting caught over here.”
“You know, one day your parents are going to have to meet me.”
“I know, I know.”
“We’ve been friends for forever! I need to meet your parents!”
“They think that friends are a waste of time.”
“Am I a waste of time?”
“Yes, a huge one!”
He scoffed, but then started laughing.
“Okay, now get out!” I said, “I need to clean.”
“Okay, okay, but only because you tell me to leave, I would stay, you know.”
“I know, now, get out!”
He walked over to me, pulling me into a hug. “I wish I could stay and help,” he whispered into my hair.
“I wish you could do,” I said into his chest. I let my eyes close and pretended that everything was going to be okay. My parents would finally pay attention to me and they wouldn’t just order me around.
“Well, I better go then,” Peter said.
“Oh, right.” I released him and he walked out the door. A few seconds later I heard his car start off and drive away. He was gone.
I was alone.
I took a deep breath and got to work wiping down the table in the dining room. After that I set the table. I put the meatloaf back in the casserole dish and covered it, sliding it into the fridge. I wiped off the countertops and put away all the dishes. After that I swept the floor in the kitchen and the dining room. I let out a breath, looking at the work I had done. Not bad. Just then I heard my parents pulling up. I knew what I had to do now. Get lost. I picked up my laptop and walked upstairs to my room. I shut the door right as my parents and their clients came in.
Loud, fake laughter floated up from downstairs.
I rolled my eyes and returned to typing my lab. The fake laughter continued downstairs, getting louder and louder to the point that I could no longer concentrate. Putting in my earphones, I put on an All Time Low song and went back to homework.
Two hours later I was awoken to the sound of knocking on my door. I sat straight up. I had fallen asleep slumped over my laptop. The music was still playing, and had turned to a random song that I didn’t even remember downloading. I yanked out my earphones and pushed my chair back. Walking over to the door, I wondered what time I had fallen asleep. I opened the door. It was my mom.
“Hey,” she said smiling tiredly.
“Would you mind cleaning up the kitchen? There’s not much. I’m really tired, I’m going to go on to bed,” she said, pulling me into a stiff hug, “Night, sweetie.”
She gave me a pat on the shoulder and then turned and walked down the hall to my parents’ bedroom. She closed the door and I heard my parents talking. I hadn’t even seen my dad today. I knew better than to go into their bedroom. I guess I wasn’t going to see him at all today. Rolling my shoulders, I walked down the stairs to see what kind of mess I had to clean up.
An audible sigh escaped me when I saw the mess. There were dishes stacked up everywhere, it seemed. This was going to be yet another long night.
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