- The Games Are Coming -
We saw the announcement in the paper on my 15th birthday. The Parfait Games would be starting in a few weeks and I was old enough to enter. You had to be between the ages of 15, the adult age in Parfait, and 20 to enter your name in for the drawing. Two people were picked at random from each county; a boy and a girl. They wouldn’t know each other before the games, which were designed to test teamwork under pressure with someone you wouldn’t already know how to work with. The teams had to compete in five different tasks, one held in each county, and won points according to the places they got. From the second task on, the team with the least amount of points would be eliminated.
“Are you gonna enter, Trace?” my little brother Nash asked me, his mouth full of cake.
“Maybe,” I said, stabbing my piece of cake with my fork.
I had seen the games before, so I knew in general what to expect. You either had to be really brave or really stupid to put your name in. People can die in the games. It doesn’t happen much, but it’s always a risk.
“You should put your name in, Tracie. You might get picked,” my mom commented.
I snorted. “Really? There are probably hundreds of names going in, and that’s Blue River alone! What about the rest of the county? Most people would love a shot at eternal glory!”
“And you don’t?” my father asked, raising an eyebrow.
That shut me up. Of course eternal glory would be nice; who wouldn’t want it? You’d have to be crazy to turn it down. But I already had other plans. I was supposed to move out and go live with Zedd, my boyfriend, in a few weeks, not end up being a contender in the Parfait Games. And that was only if I got picked, which could only happen if I entered my name in the drawing.
So it was final. I would not be entering the Parfait Games.
“Maybe I do, just not through the games,” I mumbled. “Besides, you know that I already have other plans this summer. Or did you forget?”
My mom and dad looked at each other across the table, wearing matching sour expressions. They didn’t like Zedd much. Probably because he was five years older than me and we started dating when I was still a minor. We had been going out for two years, so since I was 13. My dad did whatever he could to break us up, but nothing ever worked. Zedd was persistent and I was always letting him in.
“You’re actually serious about that?” my mom inquired, hoping I would say no.
“Yes, I am. When are you two going to accept that Zedd and I are together? He loves me,” I said back snappishly.
“You may think that, Trace, but boys like Zedd only stick around until they can get their hands on something better,” my dad warned. “You haven’t slept with him, have you?”
I gaped at him, completely appalled. “I don’t see how that’s any of your business,” I huffed, my face burning.
“Well it is!” he shot back, his face going red too. “Before tonight you were a minor! That makes anything before now my business!”
“No, I haven’t then if that’s what you want to hear!” I shouted at him.
I flew out of my chair so quickly that it fell over backwards. Flipping my parents off, I stormed out of the room. I was halfway up the stairs when my dad roared, “TRACE AVA NORTON, YOU GET BACK DOWN HERE RIGHT NOW!”
“You don’t control me anymore!” I yelled back.
I went up to my room and slammed the door. This wasn’t the first time my dad and I had argued over Zedd, but it was the worst. The other times, I had to submit to him.
Not anymore. In the eyes of the law, I was free.