“Mom, have you seen my sneakers?” asked young Jayden. The twelve-year-old was running late for the bus… again. Jayden was always getting into trouble. He lived on causing mischief. He loved the feel of adrenaline he got after a prank. Of course, he always got caught, but as he saw it, that was just part of the business. He was labeled as the class clown in the entire sixth grade. Everyone loved his humor, except the teachers. His mom wasn’t that fond of it either, but his dad always seemed to feel a certain sense of pride that his son could be so creative. Such as the time he stuck a toad he found on the playground into Mr. McHillen’s desk. That night, Mom gave him a reproachful speech on how he shouldn’t disrespect his teachers as Dad stood by. When she finally was out of air and went up to bed, Dad came over and gave Jayden a high-five. Dad told Jayden that next time, he needed to try not to get caught because his pranks gave his mother headaches. Jayden said he would try his best, and Dad went upstairs to calm his wife down.
Presently, Mom was hurrying down the stairs, for even she was behind schedule that day. She was trying to fix her hair as she walked, but as she reached the bottom, she tripped over her son’s shoes and fell to the ground with a great thud. “JAYDEN!”
The boy came running. “Oh, thanks mom! I knew I left them somewhere.” And with that, he kissed his mother on the cheek and ran out the door toward the black Honda.
Inside his sister honked impatiently. Emma had only just gotten her license and had her parents’ permission to drive to herself to school on two conditions: she had to arrive at school on time (if she came after the first bell, Mom and Dad would confiscate her keys) and she had to drop her little brother off at middle school first. The first condition was never really an issue, but the later had become a problem very quickly. It was only the fourth week of school and Jayden had already ignored his alarm twice. In fact, this morning Emma had to go into his room to tell him to get into the car, and he was still sleeping. Now, driving to school gained a person certain respect at school and gave the boys a reason to notice Emma. Emma’s crush, Lucas, even waved at her yesterday. Maybe if she talked to him today, he would ask her to homecoming, which was a week away. She couldn’t have her baby brother ruin her chances of that! After all, Lucas was mega-popular. In Emma’s eyes, popularity was the only reason for high school. She was only a B-lister right now and she only had two more years to reach her goal of becoming part of the A-group.
Jayden got in the car and Emma drove off, slowly at first, but as soon as she turned the corner out of her house’s view, she shot out like a rocket. She would not allow herself to be late.
Back at home, Dad was washing the dishes from breakfast. Unlike most of the families in town, Dad stayed at home while Mom was the breadwinner. On most days, Mom stayed at home too, for she was an author and could write wherever she wanted (as long as she met her deadlines). Mr. John Jackson was a handsome, cheerful man. He had dirty blond hair that was youthfully long and hung over his bright blue eyes, which always sparkle with life. John rarely complained and had a lot of friends. His neighbors found him friendly and his children liked that he didn’t yell much. He loved his family and was very protective of them. Unfortunately, John acted more like a man-child than a grown up and never handled responsibility well. He was often forgetful and would get caught up in details.
His wife was in many ways his opposite. Mrs. Lucy Vang Jackson was a pleasant woman. She was extremely beautiful, yet in a subtle way that you needed to look twice to fully understand it. She had long and voluminous mahogany hair, a tall slender body, and a type of elegance that is almost fluid. She was often quiet and reflective, in a way most writers are. She was very temperamental and fairly strict. Lucy was dependable, prudent, and played by the rules. She was a very honest and was genuinely caring.
At the moment Mom was downing her coffee. Sophia watched her mother with excessive interest from her seat at the kitchen table. In front of her sat her half-eaten bagel. She’d licked off all the cream cheese.
“Are you done?” Dad asked her. She nodded and he took her plate. Unlike her two older siblings, Sophia was driven to school by her mother, or father if Mom was busy with a project. Her elementary school started a half-hour later, so she still had some time to get ready.