Chapter Twelve, Kids
I rubbed the back of my head as I exited the bathroom and walked to the kitchen. The house was way too quiet, but I was still tired and tried not to yawn with my mouth wide open. It's like the hardest thing ever and I felt like a lion. I passed by my dad's office and didn't see him inside and my mom wasn't in hers. I decided to ignore the fact that the house was weirdly empty and went to raid the kitchen cupboards for cereal. Of course my parents were sitting at the table quietly eating their breakfast while they shared the newspaper, more specifically the business section. If I'm quiet enough, they won't notice me.
"Look who woke up." My dad joked to my mom right as I was pulling out the box of Frosted Flakes and mimicking Tony the Tiger in my head about how they're great. Stupid cereal shaking inside the box like its a maraca.
"Why don't you have a bowl of oatmeal instead of cereal?" My mom suggested like she does every single time she sees me with cereal, so I told her my overused answer.
"Because oatmeal is gross and disgusting and isn't food." I continued serving myself cereal and chose to sit on a bar stool at the counter instead of with them at the table.
"It is food and it's healthier." She replied and I mocked her in my head because it's the same thing every time. I liked it better thinking they weren't home. I heard the paper rustling and knew it was my dad straightening it out.
"What are you going to do today?" He asked as I loudly chewed and played with the flakes of cereal in my bowl.
"I dunno." I answered with my mouth still full.
"Have you finished your paper?"
"What?" I paused and tried to remember when I told them I had a paper to write because- oh, that paper. That was my excuse to be left alone last night so I could sneak out. They were more than pleased because it showed I was taking initiative and working on improving my many Cs. "It's, uh, going well." I continued to lie and eat.
"Stop lying to your father, Niall. You weren't writing a paper or studying or sleeping or whatever excuse you have this time. Your car wasn't even here. Where were you?" My mom asked in the tone she uses when she knows I'm going to say the truth because if I don't, she'll get it out of me somehow. Sometimes I think my mom has such a high position at her work because everyone is afraid of her.
"I have been giving a ride to a friend and she didn't have one to the dance, so I offered so she wouldn't have to miss it." I purposefully didn't mention that I didn't want to waste my ticket.
"What friend? Who is this girl?" My dad quickly questioned and now I realize I shouldn't have said that. I should work on my lies more. I think I'll watch Ferris Bueller's Day Off today while I'm stuck in this house.
"She's new this year and her name is Carmen." I explained before shoving a large spoonful of Frosted Flakes in my mouth.
"And?" My dad pushed. "You sneaked out of the house for this girl and you're looking at having your car keys taken away. Is she your girl-"
"No, she isn't so can you leave me alone about it and please don't take my keys away because I'm her ride home and I'll feel bad." I cut my dad off which was a stupid mistake because pieces of food almost flew out of my mouth.
"What do you mean you are her ride home?" My mom asked and I dropped my spoon in my bowl so I could turn around and face both her and my dad at the table. They are intelligent, intellectual people. Why must I explain further every time?
"Her mom can't pick her up from school because she's busy with her younger sisters and her dad works, plus her grandma is ill and so her parents are busy. She doesn't have a car and so when she said she needed a ride home on Thursday, I offered. I don't know, I feel kind of bad if I tell her I can't anymore since she told me about her grandma. I'm sorry I sneaked out of the house last night to take her to the dance and the night before to take her to the football game. Please don't take my keys away, I'd rather you take away my phone or laptop or my Xbox or something else."
I'm not one to beg, especially to my parents. I normally take their punishments quite well, even though I don't always obey, and I'm not the type of person to confess or own up when I've done something wrong. Obviously there is something wrong me and I think Carmen is my bestest friend in the world because I'm doing this for her. I really wish the house was empty.
"If it's this important and you really are concerned for Carmen that you are trying to persuade us with this much effort," My dad paused to look at my mom for her approval to continue. Like I said, I don't beg. "Maybe we'll reconsider taking your keys away." Thank the lord I have such understanding parents when they want to be.
"You're still grounded and we're thinking of a way to punish you for breaking our rules. I'm happy that you're being less selfish and thinking about other people, but you can't act like a kid and think you can do it by disobeying us. Ask us next time for permission to go out when you're grounded." My mom added.
A kid? Did she just compare me to a kid? I'm not a kid. I am sixteen going on seventeen.
"Yes, mom, and thank you." I smiled at my dad and her before turning back around to finish my cereal before it could become soggy. I hate soggy cereal and that can be added to the list of things I hate along with being lectured by my parents and begging. I really hate begging.
"Oh, it's almost nine. We should start getting ready so we can take the car in and meet Barry." I heard my mom say in a rush before the sound of the newspaper rustling.
"We have to make it quick because I have another meeting at three and an important call after." My dad added as he took his dirty dishes to the sink and prepared a thermos of coffee.
"I also have a hair appointment and then I have to stop at Kinko's because our copier isn't working." My mom said as she prepared her tea in a giant mug. Now this is the type of morning I'm used to.
"You're not dying your hair black again, are you? I like it brown. And I thought I fixed it on Tuesday? Wasn't it working?"
"Really? I think I won't then. And yes, but when I went to make copies of spread sheets, it wasn't."
"Wonderful, and I'll have a look at it then later."
"We should also make a stop to return that vase we bought for the family room."
"The green and brown one?"
"Yes, the one with the swirls."
"I like it, though."
"It's too big."
I stopped paying attention as their voices faded while they walked away to the garage. Now the house is empty and I'm alone. I don't know why, but a part of me wished they stayed at least for a minute longer. It's like they have these certain schedules that are set in stone and they never stop unless it's a holiday or break when we go on vacation. Even then, their work cell phones are never off. It felt like they forgot I was grounded and they needed to come up with another punishment for me, but I knew it was all in my head.
Or maybe it's not since my mom still thinks I'm a freaking kid. I'm not letting that go. I wish she'd say these things to my brother, lucky son-of-a-gun is already living on his own. We're both not kids anymore. But I wouldn't mind being one so my parents would leave me alone. At least they didn't lecture me about school before they rushed out of the house. Now I feel like if I bring up Carmen's name again, I'll start getting lectured about girls, too. Ugh, parents just don't understand.
As soon as I finished, I put my bowl and spoon in the sink and left to my room. On the way the doorbell rang and I stopped to answer it thinking it was Esmeralda, our housekeeper who comes by every other week to clean the house because my mom works too much and there's no way I'm picking up a dust pan or broom anytime soon. It wasn't her, but Tony the gardener wanting me to unlock our gate so he could work on the backyard today. So I guess I got the weeks mixed up because when Esmeralda doesn't come, Tony comes. How do my parents keep up with this stuff?
"Do you have the check?" He asked before I walked away to leave him to do what he does.
"Um, are my parents supposed to pay you this week?" I asked because there's no way I can keep up with this stuff and in my parents morning rush, they never told me anything. Or maybe it was after the vase or before my mom's hair was mentioned?
"Yes." I stared at him as my mind tried to recall when my parents told me. Tony is blind in one eye, but you can't really tell unless he moves his good one because the other one won't follow. I could tell he felt about as uncomfortable as I was right now and his good eye was looking around.
"I'll go get it." I nodded and left to go back inside. I really want to ask about his eye because I bet it would be the coolest story.
I swear the world is against me this day because the doorbell rang and this time it was Esmeralda. I give up. I can't do this. I could be leaving the house right now to go hang out with Adrian.
"Hi, are your parents home?" Esmeralda asked, stepping inside the house with her cleaning supplies trailing behind her.
"Um, no, they're running errands. Are you cleaning today?"
"Yes, Mrs. Horan said she needed me to come in and clean the rooms downstairs for a special dinner this week." She answered and I was so confused.
"That's all she told me."
"Okay, do you need your check, too?" I asked just in case. She started to laugh and smiled at me.
"No, unless you want to pay me?"
"Have a nice day, Esmeralda. I'm going outside so don't clean the dining room yet."
"Okay, you have a nice day, too." She smiled before I walked upstairs to my dad's office and grabbed Tony's check.
When I went back down, I heard the doorbell ringing again. Seriously, did my mom and dad call everyone they freaking knew to come over? Is this my added punishment? I just want be alone.
"Hi, I'm busy." I said right after swinging the door opened. I immediately frowned when I saw who it was.
"Liar, you're grounded." My brother smirked. Oh joy, my brother is home visiting.
"We don't want have canned food because my mother thinks it's unhealthy. Bye." I said as if he were one of the Boy Scouts that lived in the neighborhood. I tried closing the door, but he just pushed the door open and stepped inside. Some girl followed behind him and I internally groaned. Now I know why Esmeralda said she's cleaning for a special dinner this week. I don't see what's so special about him and his girlfriend visiting.
"Kelsey, this is Kyle, my little brother." Greg introduced. I glared at him.
"Hi, Kelsey, I'm sorry you're even acquainted with this so called guy." She laughed and waved me off.
"You know how it is. It's nice meeting you, Niall." I think she's okay, but I'm not going to try and be nice and polite to her.
"The lovely and kind Esmeralda is cleaning downstairs, so please go upstairs and get out of her way. Tony is out back, so you can't go there either. I got stuff to do so leave me alone."
"He's sweet, isn't he?" Greg asked Kelsey.
I didn't bother saying anything and went back to giving Tony his check. I still didn't ask about his eye. As I walked up the stairs to my room so I can lay down and probably catch up on my sleep before I watched that movie, I heard Greg giving Kelsey a tour of the house, specifically upstairs.
"And this is the kid's room. Sorry, Niall's room."
I think the world is smiting me. I did something terribly wrong and this my punishment.
did anyone catch my references?? I'm so weird I'm sorry