“Harry you really should go tomorrow, you’ve been skipping all the other times you were supposed to be going,” Gabrielle told me through the phone.
She had been trying for the past few minutes to convince me to go to the buffet. She hadn’t realized that I had been skipping it every time so I could hang out with her. I knew I probably should be going more then I have been, but I just don’t want too.
Not everyone is there every time that I go, then again I’ve only gone twice out of the I don’t know five times I think I was supposed to go. I made the mistake of slipping something out about the whole team foundation buffet meet ups or whatever coach is calling it.
“But you’re more fun to hang out with,” I whined back at her.
“Too bad, I’m canceling,” she told me.
“I’ll show up at your house anyway,” I said back.
“I won’t answer,”
“I’ll find a way to get in,” I said.
“Good luck,” she laughed which caused me to smile.
Ever since she told me about her mom, I’ve been really careful around her, making sure that I don’t ever upset her. Seeing her tell me everything about her mom in her room that day was the first time I’d ever seen her cry or be so upset, and I never want to see it again.
When I saw her again the next day I was being too careful around her and I think she was starting to take notice because she made a point to make sure I know that she doesn’t want me to feel any pity over her and to just try and not think about what she told me the other night.
It’s hard to not think about it though because I know what she has gone through and how much it’s affected her more than she cares to admit. She’s never had a mom to even out her family, instead she just has a dad who works too much and is focused too much on making sure Gabrielle is the best skater.
She’s never had a mom to give her advice on growing up and dating and all that girly shit. Instead she just has a dad who is going to start out hating every guy she goes out with because she doesn’t have a mom to tell him that his little girl is growing up and she’ll be fine, he has to accept it on her own. It must’ve been hard for her to only have a dad to help her with preteen struggles, makeup, and god forbid the girls monthly visitor.
“I should probably go, my dad will be home any minute and I don’t need constant questions about who I’m talking to in his attempts to get me to hang up anyway,” Gabrielle told me, and I couldn’t help but think about what I just was. Her dad wanting her to hang up so he could talk to her because he really has no one else, and wanting to make sure he knows everything about his daughters life. “Okay,” I said,
“I’ll see you tomorrow,” I cheekily added.
“No you won’t,” she laughed and with that hung up.
I smiled as I brought the phone away from my ear and set it face down on the kitchen counter I was sitting at.
A few minutes later I was about to get up and go to the living room, but stopped once I saw my aunt walking into the kitchen.
“What are you all dressed up for?” I asked, looking the dress that I’ve never seen her wear before, I’ve never seen her in a dress period.
“I…have a date tonight,” she told me as she grabbed a bottle of water out of the fridge.
“Really?” I asked, raising my eyebrow at her, the topic now grabbing my attention. “Yes really now just leave it at that,” she said.
“Who’s the lucky man?” I asked.
“I’ll tell you when you tell me who your lucky girl is,” she told me.
“Oh come on, that’s not fair,” I complained.
“It is completely fair,”
“But I’m the teenager, I’m supposed to hide things from the adult. You’re the adult you’re supposed to be mature and tell me,” I told her.
“Harry you hardly know anyone here, so I don’t think a name to you will make much of a difference,” she said.
“Maybe I know more people than you think,”
“I don’t think so,” she said as she took a swig from the water bottle.
“Then if you think I don’t know the person then why don’t you just tell me their name?” I asked.
“Tell you what, if the date goes well tonight then I will tell you his name,” she suggested.
“Then if it doesn’t go well you’ll still tell me his name,”
“We’ll see Harry,” she laughed as she put her half finished water bottle back in the fridge to save for later.
“So while I’m gone I need you to watch Ben,” she told me.
“Okay,” I said.
“He’s in the bath right now but he should be done soon, if he needs anything he knows to just holler from the bathroom and someone will come,” she informed me.
“Okay,” I said again.
“Well I think I’m going to head out now,” she said as she walked out of the kitchen. “He’s not picking you up?” I asked.
“Harry it’s the first date,” she told me.
“We met online, I don’t want him to know where I live until I’m positive that I even like him or that he’s not a creep or something,” she said and I just shrugged seeming to think that made sense.
“Well, have fun,” I said as I followed her to the front door.
“Hopefully I will,” she said as she grabbed her jacket off the hook.
“Not too much fun though we already have one little kid running around this house,” I joked and laughed as she swatted my chest.
“I think we have two,” she told me, and I just laughed again.
“Be home by eleven, no later or you’ll be in trouble,” I told her.
“Ten-thirty will be the longest that I’m out,”
“Well hurry up and go before that’s the time you get there,” I said, opening up the front door and making her walk outside.
“I expect this house to be the way it was when I left it,” she told me.
“It will be, now go,” I said and after I waved back at the wave she gave me I closed the door. I walked into the living room and flopped myself down on the couch before turning the TV on.
I left it on the channel that it was already on, which I think was the news, and closed my eyes. I was woken up probably five minutes later by a shouting coming from down the hall.
“Mommy!” Ben shouted again.
I quickly got up from the couch and headed down the hall to the bathroom.
“Ben?” I said once I was in the bathroom, stopping him from shouting again.
“Where’s mommy?” he asked me.
“She went out,” I said, not sure if she wants me to tell him that she went on a date or not. “What’s wrong?” I asked him.
“I can’t find my towel,” he said.
“Towel? You already have a towel,” I said as I motioned to the maroon towel that he had wrapped around his entire body.
“This one is too big for me, I need my blue towel that has the racecars on it because it’s smaller,” he explained to me.
“I can’t find it anywhere in here,” he added.
“Do you have any other ideas of where it might be?” I asked him, not understanding why he couldn’t just deal with a big towel for tonight.
“Maybe the laundry room,” he suggested.
“Okay,” I said and headed out of the bathroom and down the hall to the laundry room.
Sure enough once I turned on the light there was his blue towel with a racecar design at the bottom hanging up on one of the racks. I grabbed the towel and walked back down the hall to the bathroom to give Ben his desired towel.
He thanked me before I left up to get ready for bed and headed back to the living room.
About fifteen minutes passed and Ben came out into the living room dressed in blue pajamas decorated with Spiderman. He sat down next to me on the couch and grabbed the remote to change the channel to some cartoon.
After watching the ridiculous cartoon that he found entertaining with him for a while, I realized that it was getting pretty late for him.
“Ready for bed?” I asked him.
“Well mommy isn’t here so do I really have to go to bed?” he asked me.
“I’ve already let you stay up pretty late, so yeah, you have too,” I told him.
“But mommy isn’t here,” he complained.
“You’re right she isn’t, but if your mommy finds out I even let you stay up this late we’ll both be in trouble,”
“Then we don’t tell her,”
“We don’t know when she’ll be home and my guess is even if you’re in bed before she gets home, one of us will probably let it slip out that you got to stay up past your bedtime,” I said, referring to him.
“Well then don’t let it slip out Harry,” he told me, and I couldn’t believe that I was here negotiating with a six your old about his bedtime.
“I was talking about you,” I said and poked his nose.
“Tell you what,” I began and picked him up to sit on my lap,
“If you go to bed now, later this week I will take you anywhere you want to go, just you and me. How’s the sound?” I offered.
“Okay,” he agreed with a big smile on his face.
“Now lets get you in bed,” I said and picked him up and set him on top of my shoulder.
He was laughing as I carried him to his room and laid him down on his bed and pulled back the covers for him.
After exchanging goodnights, I turned off the light and closed the door, and then headed back out to the living room since I was no where close to being tired, and even if I was I needed to stay up so I could talk to my aunt about her date while Ben was asleep.