1 - Late

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Today is the day.

She could feel her heartbeat booming out of her nicely tailored blouse. She used it to count the seconds until someone came downstairs, though she knew that it was going much faster than one beat per second.

More seconds passed. She felt her heartbeat speed up each time she called attention to it.

Evergreen stared down at the bowl of Special K in front of her. Typically, her cereal didn't get her this nervous.

As the flakes submerged in the milk, she thought of how the people submerged in the Atlantic Ocean during the Titanic sinking. It was her lame attempt to focus her mind on something else, but it wasn't really working. Not to mention, she hated "The Titanic".

How can someone enjoy watching an hour of complete and utter chaos in the dark abyss of the Atlantic Ocean?

She was about to pride herself for getting her mind off of waiting, but of course, her mind went straight back to it again.

She silently reprimanded herself before repeating her speech in her head again.

I'm sure they won't freak out as much as I am right now. It'll be fine. They'll understand.

With her shaky hands, she reached to her coffee cup for warmth and reassurance. However, her hands didn't warm when they touched the cup. Hesitantly, she took a sip.

The cold, milky mixture entered her mouth with a rude awakening.

How long have I been down here? Should I go upstairs and check-

Her thoughts were cut short by the soft click of her mom's heels. How her mom could balance those death traps, her five-inch Jimmy Choos, on the balls of her feet was beyond reasoning for Evergreen. If Evergreen ever tried to wear any shoes that extravagant, everyone could hear the clomping from a mile away.

Evergreen recollected herself, gently placed the coffee cup down, and stood up as her mom entered the room.

Of course, her tall, skinny, and beautiful mom had already put on a full face of makeup and done her hair up on a day she didn't have to work when it was only 7:30 am. Evergreen looked up at her mom in fear, timid of her mom's response to what she was about to say.

"Good morning, honey." Evergreen's mom walked over to her with her award-winning smile, wider than the Cheshire Cat's. She briefly hugged Evergreen and kissed on the cheek. For a moment, Evergreen was concerned there'd be light pink lipstick on her cheek, but then she realized that her mom would never be that careless.

Her mom glanced down with disapproval. "Are you not hungry today? If it's just the cereal and the coffee, I'm sure Gabriella would love to whip something up in the kitchen. That is her job, after all."

Evergreen glanced to the door that connected their dining room to their kitchen before responding. "Of course not, Mom. I don't want to bother her, but I'm not really hungry, anyway." Evergreen smiled reassuringly, careful not to waiver. If her mom and grandmother hadn't taught her how to do that when she was little, she'd be out of luck at this moment.

"Oh. Okay. Well, I think I may go into town and go shopping this fine morning. Would you like to come?"

Uh, what do I do? I can't let her go without telling her, but she's much better than Grandmother. Imagine if I told Grandmother first...

"Wuh-wuh-wait!" she started as her mom turned to leave. "You aren't going to eat breakfast first? Gabriella brewed a whole pot of coffee, and you know that Grandmother won't drink any of it. Plus, most shops aren't even open yet." Evergreen took a sip of her coffee to calm herself down.

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