“Are we there yet?”


“Are we there yet?”


“Are we there y-” I put my hand over Kayla’s mouth, laughing.

“How about I just tell you when we get there?” I said, and tapped my sister’s nose. “Sound like a plan?” we were currently in the back of my Shelby, and my mom was driving. I’d gotten permission to take Kayla out every day this week after I’d explained everything to my mom, but today there had been one condition: she had to drive us.

My mom was very protective of Kayla ever since she’d been moved to the hospital. Before, she would’ve let me drive my sister to the next country and back with no problem. But now, not so much.

“Where are we going? Can you at least give me a hint?” Kay whined.

I shook my head, pretending to lock my mouth shut and throw away the key. She harrumphed and scrunched up her freckled nose.

I drummed my fingers against my thigh in rhythm with a Fleetwood Mac song playing on the car’s ancient radio. Don’t ask me, my mom was the one who was in love with the classics, and she was even humming along.

Today was Day One, the first day of our week with One Direction, and we were meeting the boys at the county fair. I knew the fair was Kayla’s favorite place, and she loved every kind of ride, petting zoo animal, or fattening, greasy food she could get her hands on. Today was the perfect day for it too; the sky was clear, at that moment between afternoon and evening. I watched the other cars through the window as they passed us by.

“Now, Kayla, I don’t want you to wear yourself out today, okay?” My mom fretted from the front seat. “Stay with your sister at all times, and once you start to feel tired, you guys call me and I’ll pick you up.”

“Mom,” I groaned. “Really, just leave the car there, and I’ll drop Kayla off. I can handle it.”

She glanced at me in the rearview mirror. “And how would I get home?” Her voice was measured and flat and I’d learned to hate that voice. I wanted to scream at that voice.

“Aren’t you already meeting a friend for dinner? Just have her drop you off.” I knew I was being kind of difficult, but I really did not want my mom to pick me up in front of five attractive pop stars, you know?

She finally agreed as we pulled into the parking lot of the Birmingham County Fair, and I breathed a sigh of relief.

“The fair?” Kayla yelled, mashing her face to the window. “You brought me to the fair? With One Direction!”

Once we got out of the car, and while Kayla was still on the other side, my mom wrapped her fingers tightly around my upper arm. “Please keep her safe, okay? She really doesn’t need any more problems.” The skin around her mouth was pinched, and suddenly I felt bad for being stingy in the car.

I swallowed. “Don’t sweat it, Mom.”

Kayla popped up next to us, and my mom quickly released me. I straightened my white summer dress, adjusting the thick leather belt around my waist. “Well, see you girls later! Call if you need anything!”

“C’mon, Kay. The boys said they’d meet us up front.” I steered her through the huge throngs of people, but it was kind of hard to see; it was starting to get darker, the bright carnival lights glowing. Maybe my old cowgirl boots weren’t the best idea.

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