Seven: Near Death Grocery Trip

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"Your life can't fall apart if you never had it together."

~Anonymous


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I just get to the kitchen when I hear my phone go off. I reach over the island and slide it towards me. It's from Aimee.

~Baths every other day!

~Join the PTO!

~Don't forget—no sugar for Dusty!

~Parent pickup is at three-o'clock!

~NO JUNK FOOD!

~Books, outside activities, or other enrichment activity during the weekends!

~Screen time is ONE HOUR per day!

~No PG-13 movies!

~Most importantly, HAVE FUN!!!!

"What the..." Have fun? With all of those lame rules? You couldn't even breathe if you had to follow all of them. And what's up with all the exclamation points? They're almost blinding.

My phone rings in my hand and I flinch. "Hello?"

"Beverly! How'd it go? Did Aimee drop off the girls yet? Tell me all about it!"

"Yes, Sacha, it all happened," I sigh, resting my throbbing head against the counter.

"Well—tell me!"

"I have to join the PTO," I whimper.

"Oh, that won't be so bad," she says. "You'll get to know other parents and their kids!"

"On what planet do you think that would be a good thing for me?" I grumble.

"Aw, come on! It'll be an adventure!"

"Right. Sure."

"So how are they? Are they cute?"

I glance at the stairs and shrug. "I mean—they're small, so I guess they're cute. The middle one is like an edgy goth David Bowie-type, so we'll either get along really well or I'll have to take her hipster vinyls away for a week after she yells at the neighbor to stop killing the whales or something."

"Yikes."

"Anyway, I think I hear them starting up the lawn mower to run over the neighbor's cat, so I'll talk to you later."

"Hang in there, sweetie."

I end the call and sigh.

I only get a few seconds of quiet before I hear a herd of feet coming down the steps.

"Aunt Beverly?" Eloise asks, her eyes wandering around the kitchen. "We're kinda hungry."

"Hungry," I repeat. I'd forgotten about food... "Did you guys eat lunch?"

"Yeah, but it's snack time now!" Dusty informs.

"Snack time. Huh." So they'll be eating more than three meals a day?

I rummage through my cupboard and find a roll of crackers stuck behind one of the sliding drawers. "Perfect."

I slide the package across the island, where the girls have perched like three vultures waiting for prey.

Eloise takes the crackers and opens it, sending a waterfall of crumbs onto the counter. Inside, they're almost smashed to a pulp.

They all look at me.

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