Chapter Two

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29/08/12: This chapter has been edited.

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            An unattractive sounding groan escapes my lips as I roll over under the covers. It’s Saturday morning, and after five consecutive days of being forced to wake up at an inhumanly early hour, I’m not really in the mood to be dragged out of my peaceful slumber by my mom’s loud calling.

            That’s not going to stop her, though.

            It takes all of my strength to push the comforter off me and roll out of bed. The air in my bedroom feels practically Arctic in comparison to the toasty warmth I’ve been basking in all night, but I know that if I don’t go and see what Mom wants, she’ll probably barge into my room with a glass of cold water.

            And I’m not really in the mood for a mid-morning freezing shower right at this moment.

            “Yeah?” I call back. My trusty pink slippers lay by the bed and I slip my feet into them, padding across my room and into the hall.

            When I enter the kitchen, Mom is sitting at the kitchen table, buried between piles of grubby third graders’ homework sheets. Her red marker pen moves swiftly down one of the pages and every so often she’ll grimace at a particularly stupid answer a student has given.

            “I’m here,” I say, stifling a yawn and running a hand through my curly hair, only realizing then that I probably have the world’s worst bed head.

            She looks up at the sound of my voice, her gaze quickly scanning over my attire – my oversized nightshirt embellished with a mildly embarrassing teddy bear print – before returning to my face. “You finally decided to get up, then?” she inquires with an amused smile.

            “Not by choice.”

            “Well, you’ve had enough time to sleep.”

            I narrow my eyes at her. “Did you just call me to wake me up?”

            The corner of her lips tug upwards into a smirk. “Well,” she begins, “yeah. Pretty much. But it’s noon. You can’t lie in bed all day.”

            I groan, rubbing at my tired eyes. After an exhausting week of school, homework and extra shifts at the restaurant, all I want to do is crawl back into bed and catch up on five days’ worth of missed sleep. Even if that means not emerging from under the covers until four in the afternoon.

            I’m not exactly a morning person, as you can see.

            “But,” Mom continues, “I did have something else to tell you. I thought you might be interested.”

            You didn’t have to wake me up to tell me, I add mentally, but I don’t voice my thoughts. Instead, I pull out one of the dining chairs and collapse into it. Well, I’m up now – albeit reluctantly – so I might as well hear what exciting news Mom has to share.

            But if she’s just telling me she went to Walmart earlier, I’ll be pissed.

            She finishes off the homework sheet in front of her by adding a large red C to the top, before transferring it to her finished pile. That’s when she turns her attention to me, the faintest glimmer of mischief crossing her blue eyes.

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