Trade For Me

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Young Adult  |  House: Booksie Classic
13-year-old Jason is fed up with his family not appreciating him so he hatches a plan to raise money for his escape.

Submitted: July 18, 2008

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Submitted: July 18, 2008

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*One*
“Jason! You stupid little shit! Just leave me alone.” My sister Anna screamed at me and slammed her bedroom door in my face. I was only asking her for a bit of help with my homework and I get this. Maybe Anna was just a psycho. Or maybe my entire family didn’t appreciate me.
 
That’s where this entire idea stemmed from. The fact that they wanted me gone from their lives and being 13, I was too young for a job so if I was to leave on my own I would need to make my own money.
Anna was the most awful big sister you could imagine. She was always picking on me and putting me down in front of my friends so she could look better. So that’s when I decided to steal some stuff out of her room. I took her diary first and published a few entries of it on an anonymous MySpace page that mysteriously added all of her friends. Thinking back I guess that did turn out well, her crush found out she liked him and he ignored her from the day he read them. It served her right for taping over my tape of cartoons with some stupid movie.
 
But then I got this brilliant idea of how to get funds to support my deliverance from this unappreciative family I had accidentally been born into.
TradeMe.
I thank the genius that came up with such a brilliant scheme.
I planned it all out and estimated that I would reach my goal of two thousand dollars in about six months if I worked steadily and secretively.
First took a photo of a gold necklace from Anna’s jewellery box and posted it online with some vital information about it. I made the reserve price $15 and in three days the highest bid had rocketed up to $45. Four days later and the necklace had been sold to a woman in Wellington for $57; I sneakily took Anna’s necklace, sealed it up and posted it up to the buyer. In return $57 was credited to an online bank account I had set up in my name.
 
*Two*
I felt it was only fair to sell a family member’s possessions if they hurt, upset or annoyed me in any way. So I provoked my dad for a change after spotting a valuable-looking watch with a flat battery on his dresser. Sure enough he swore at me after I changed the channel right as someone was about to score the match-winning try.
Thanks Dad. I’ll have your watch.
Twenty-four hours later, his watch is on TradeMe, being bidded on by a man from Tauranga and a lady from Dunedin. The bid closed at 10 o’clock Wednesday night, so I had to wait until Thursday before I knew who won. The guy from Tauranga won the auction so I replaced the battery and sent the watch off to him and collected $95 to add to my escape fund.
All was going great and I had about $500 in my online bank account when Anna noticed she was missing a few things from her room. I honestly didn’t think she’d notice. She has that much crap in her room that she doesn’t even use and I only sold off the small stuff she wouldn’t really miss.
“Where did you hide that new ring I bought?!” Anna barged into my room and screamed at me. I quickly minimized my TradeMe window on my computer.
“What ring?” I asked innocently, spinning to face her in my chair.
“You know what ring. The one I bought for Johnny.” Johnny was Anna’s new boyfriend, it’s amazing how two people can really “fall in love” after only being together for a week. I sold Johnny’s MP3 player when he accidentally left it at our place one afternoon after visiting Anna. And now I’d sold their “engagement” ring.
“I don’t even know what ring you’re meaning.” I replied feeling a slight pang of guilt but it quickly passed when I reminded myself how mean she was to me and how I was really doing her a favour by moving out.
“ARGH!” Anna stormed angrily out of my room, off to interrogate mum.
I hoped for a moment that the ring I sold for $20 wasn’t really an expensive one – someone would’ve got a bargain from my mistake.
 
*Three*
“Jason. Have you seen my earrings? The little gold hoops ones?” Mum asked one night when she was getting dressed up to out for tea with Dad.
“No.” I replied, swinging on the doorframe watching her get ready and trying to remember the exact price I had just sold the earrings for.
“They were on my dresser a week ago. It’s like they’ve just disappeared.”
If only you knew mum. If only you knew.
“I haven’t seen them.” I must say I felt a little guilty lying to mum like that. It was easy to feed Anna stacks of lies but it was harder with mum because she wasn’t a bad person and didn’t really deserve to have what was better known as a thief, in her house.
I guess this is what it means to have a conscience.
 
I sat in my bedroom with mum’s hoop earrings in my hand. The auction had closed and the earrings had sold for $15, a woman in Auckland would be waiting for her delivery. I had addressed an envelope and had it sitting on the bed beside me. Carefully I slipped mum’s pretty gold earrings into the envelope.
“Jason.” Mum entered my bedroom without knocking, I hurriedly searched for a place to hide the envelope and in finding nowhere suitable, I sat on the incriminating evidence of my disloyalty to my family.
“I’m sorry if I’ve been ignoring you lately honey. I’ve just been busy at work.” I nodded at my mother’s words, feeling the earrings digging hard into my backside from under me. I hoped she wouldn’t stay talking to me for long.
“We’ll go out mountain biking on the weekend. Just the two of us.”
“That’d be great mum. Thanks.” Mum kissed the top of my head and left, closing the door behind her. I shot up and inspected the now heavily creased envelope that had been beneath me. It was still sendable.
 
*Four*
A few months later I had finally reached my goal of two thousand dollars and I was ready to leave home when I discovered I had to be at least 18 to claim the money out of my account. Blast! Why didn’t I check this out first? Stupid Jason.
“Hey, can you do me a favour…?” I was making a secret phone call to my uncle when Anna burst into my room one day after school.
“I know what you’re doing!” she pointed an angry finger at me, I politely told my uncle I’d just be a minute and cupped the speaker on the phone while she screamed.
“You’ve been selling all our stuff on the Internet you little shit!”
“What are you talking about?” I played it cool and swung on my computer chair.
“I got this statement in the mail today for a TradeMe account saying it can’t pay out the money you requested because you’re not 18 yet!” Anna waved a sheet of paper with envelope crease lines in my face.
“It’s not mine.”
“Whose else is it? You used my name you idiot! Why the heck did you ever think that’d work! I’m not dumb Jason – it all fits.”
“It was for your benefit, you’re so ungrateful! I was getting money to leave home because no one here appreciates me!” I didn’t want to lie anymore especially since I couldn’t claim the money for 5 years and she had evidence to show mum and dad.
“What, are you crazy? Of course we appreciate you. I’m the one who isn’t appreciated.”
“I’m the one who no one cares about…” I replied, gosh Anna was so selfish.
“Everyone cares about you, cause you’re the baby of the family. We all feel like we have to protect you.” There was a moment where I really did think Anna cared about me, and if she did then mum and dad must do as well.
“I’m still telling mum what you did.” Anna turned to leave but I pulled her back.
“No don’t please! I’ll give you part of the money I made, I learned my lesson!”
“How much?” her eyes narrowed at me. Wow she was just as much of a tight-ass as me.
“20 percent…?” I asked, more than told.
“50. And I’ll be quiet.” I shook Anna’s hand reluctantly and she ripped up the TradeMe statement in front of me. She poked out her tongue at me and then left my room. I picked up the phone.
“I think everything’s going to be okay now after all. Thanks anyway though. Bye.”
So all in all, I guess all the abuse, blackmail and anger is just what makes my family like any other family. Everything is exactly as it should be.
Psycho.


© Copyright 2017 AJ Benjamin. All rights reserved.

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