My mother had dressed up fancy for her date tonight. Ever since the divorce its been man after man coming in and trying to impress my mother. I stayed home with my little brother forced to relinquish any hopes of a social life outside of school because of his age. Tonight should have been no different from before.
Until the doorbell rang a little bit too early.
I was laying, sprawled out on the couch in my PJs, flipping through channels. My little brother, Mason, was playing with the blocks, banging them against each other. My eyes flickered to the clock, noticing that whoever the man was had shown up fifteen minutes too early.
My mother’s high-heels clanked down the stairs as she rushed to the door. I didn’t move from my position, not caring whoever the hell was there. Not like he would stay here long.
She opened it, saying hello so the whole neighborhood heard.
“Hello Ms. Johnson!” A voice said from the door way. Their conversation was drowning out my television. I turned the volume up a few notches.
“Come in! Come in!” Mom said, ushering the man inside our home. “I’ll show you around before Phil comes”
Her heals headed towards the couch I was laying on. I assumed the other set of feet belonged to the stranger inside my house.
“Alright, these are the two” Mom said from right next to me. I didn’t look up to see who he was. I didn’t care. Neither did Mason apparently. He continued to play with his blocks.
“That’s little Mason. He’s only 3” Mom introduced “And that’s Joanna. She’s pretty good about doing her own thing. Just leave keep her on track with her chores and stuff”
I turned the volume up more, a signal Mom was talking to loud.
“Turn the damn TV down, Joanna” My mother snapped. I rolled my eyes, muting it and rolling over to face her. My eyes fell on the stranger, noticing the age difference.
He looked to be only a few years older than myself. He was easily a good five inches taller than my mother, which meant five inches taller than me. He was pretty cute. For a second, I was actually jealous of my mother.
“Joanna” Mom said in a voice that was “This is Caden”
I waved a mocking hello at him. He smiled tightly, nodding once
“He’s going to…take care of you and Mason while I’m out on my dates from now on” My mother said, heading towards the door. “So beha—”
“Excuse me?” I interrupted, laughing once sarcastically. “I’m 15. I’m perfectly capable of taking care of myself and Mason”
“Sweetie, Caden’s just a precaution. Incase something would happen to you and you wouldn’t be able to get to Mason”
“Mother, he doesn’t need to be here” I said, sitting up.
“Yes he does. I’ve already paid him for tonight.”
“This is an insult to me, you realize that right?” I said, raising my voice “You’re saying you don’t trust me enough to watch over my younger brother for a few hours while you go off and get drunk with some pedophile like you have every other night?”
“I never said that, Joanna. I’m simply saying, what if you fall asleep and Mason hurts himself? I want an extra pair of eyes watching over Mason”
“So you don’t trust me?”
“I do trust you!”
“Then why the fu—” I caught myself before cussing around Mason “—frick is he here?!” I pointed to the strange man standing next to me now.
“Joanna, just shut up for once. I need to leave. Phil will be here any minute.”
“I’m not putting up with this! This is bullshit!” I yelled, stomping my foot.
“DO NOT CURSE IN FRONT OF YOUR BROTHER” My mom yelled at me.
“Then make him leave!” I yelled “Or I swear I’ll fr—”
A hand clamped over my mouth, silencing the rest of my threat to my mother. Anger boiled up in me as I felt an arm wrap around me, holding down my arms. I struggled against my bonds, trying to free myself to continue the argument.
“Don’t worry Ms. Johnson. I’ve got it under control” A voice said from behind me. My mother gave a weak smile.
“I’m terribly sorry Caden. She’ll calm down eventually. She’s just really stubborn about some things”
“Aren’t all sophomores?” He teased
My eyes widened. How’d he know I was in tenth grade?... mother must’ve told him. I glared at my mom as she smiled at me.