I padded up the stairs to my bedroom on the third floor, absolutely disgusted. I slammed my bedroom door shut, and was for damn sure going to keep my promise not to come out until morning. Here I am, 10 years old, and mom and dad were still insisting on a baby-sitter. They were only going to be gone until 2am or so, until after the party was done. Girls in my class were starting to baby-sit after school for people around town, and here I am stuck with Old Mrs. McGenty. She was a nice enough old lady, a lot like Gramma, but still. I was so peeved at mom and dad I never even heard that Mrs. McGenty was in the hospital.
An hour later, when mom and dad called out that the sitter was there and they were leaving, I watched from the window as they left, sighed, and then went downstairs. At least Mrs. McGenty always made me some cookies before she came over, I would drown my problems in chocolate milk and double-fudge cookies.
I had changed into my PJ's, since I already had my bath, and they were ridiculously small for me now. They were Marvin the Martian, my favorite, and I hated the fact that I was outgrowing them. I heard a noise in the kitchen, and turned the corner to go in.
I froze. I couldn't believe it. Karen Carter! What was she doing here? She was only a couple of years older than me, like 14 I think, but we rode the bus to school together every day. Of course, I went to the elementary school, and she went across the street to the Jr. High, but still. This was going to be damn embarrassing.
"Hi Jimmy" she said in a friendly voice, "Your parents sure surprised me. I came over, figuring that you had a whole bunch of younger brothers and sisters, and it's just you. I mean, how embarrassing for both of us. No big deal though, right?" "Um, right" I somehow managed to get out, as she came around the table and reached out and touched my shoulder. "We can just pretend this is a date, instead of me being a baby-sitter, okay?"
I relaxed a little bit now. A date? Huh, how about that. This might turn out okay anyhow. "Wanna Coke?" she asked, "or a little bit of my beer?" I noticed for the first time that she had fixed two sandwiches and had poured one of dad's beers into a glass. "Um, I'll have the beer, I guess."
She carried the sandwiches and I carried the glasses to the living room. She plopped down on the sofa, and I turned on the TV. Some dumb sitcom was on, and as I quietly sipped my beer and ate my sandwich, I noticed that Karen was slowly sliding herself across the couch to get closer to me. Finally, our legs touched. She set her sandwich down on the end table and took mine from me. She reach out and ran her fingers through my hair. I kind of was surprised, but didn't pull away or anything, in fact, I reached out and gently stroked her arm with my hand.
This story is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are products of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events or locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.
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Changes last made on: Sunday, September 14, 2003