My daughter's Best Friend

Alissa Smith dives into the trials and tribulations that seem to engulf her male best friend Payton. His father a traveling musician who never seems to stick around long enough to settle, and his mother a former gospel singer battling addiction. Its no wonder the Smith home has become a safe haven for the Charismatic teen over years of friendship. its even to the point where Alissa's dad sees Payton like a son. But once Payton's living situation abruptly comes to an end; Alissa's father has only a few days to make a quick decision of moving him in or letting him fall into foster care.
A million questions suddenly begin to swirl in Mr. Smiths head. What if they Alissa and Payton start to like each other while living together? What if his family issues bring unwanted harm to Alissa? if he said no both teens worlds would be torn apart without each other. But If he said yes, Can boy and girl truly be platonic friends while living under the same roof?

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2. The UHAUL

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     Breakfast went the norm; Payton and me fighting over the perfect pancakes. He always tried to stick me with the deformed ones. Chiming 

     "No you take that one you're perfect for each other. Your both deformed and odd looking." 

 "Bite me!" I said with a play punch to his arm. He only laughed and eventually gave me the normal pancake. Shrugging

     "I'll take it cause hey a pancake is a pancake to me. Aint that right Mr Smith?"

  "Right." He said cooley while sipping his coffee. He was looking over some of the properties he had contracts on gardening and tending too. He then pointed going

    "mmm This one here son. Friday around 7 we got a few acres over at the college that we need to do. If you need a little extra cash; I be more then happy to have a extra man."  

   Usually Payton eyes lights up when my dad offers him some work to do. 200 dollars for a few hours worth of work is a pretty penny for a 16 year old boy. But he actually just stood there still. Not even a smile or a silly joke he is normally known to shout out. He just went

   "Ohhh...Friday huh?"

My dad nodded refilling P's glass with orange juice.

  "Yup a few hours and then your all set. I remember you told me you needed to go shopping for some school clothes. And I know the money would help out with whatever else you need down at Rita's."

    I knew what my dad wanted to say; but was too nice to say it. Rita gives bare minimum and hardly that sometimes. Payton told me once that even though Rita was his foster parent and got money from the state to care for him. Most of that money went to "Bills" as Rita saids. But in truth it went to her and her live in boyfriend. As Payton puts it, its her play money. That's why my dad helps out as much as he can. But even that money Rita dips in a little. That's why he lies to her sometimes about the amount. My father knows this...which is why he normally pays him half up front. So she'll take half of that and later he gives him the rest. Messed up...but it is what it is.

   But that's why I was curious as to why he didn't seem happy about it. I wish my dad would take me out. But he just said "Be grateful with your weekly allowance; moving on."

   Payton looked up to my dad and pushed his plate back

    "Thank you mr. Smith...but I'm not sure i'll be here on Friday....I...well."

The look on my dad's face was confused; he never turns down work. But instead of prying he said

   "Oh you have other plans? Rita need you home that night?"

I waited for his reply along with my dad but my Friends eyes just turned cold.

 He pushed back his chair and said

    "Sorry I don't mean to be rude I just remember I have to run somewhere."

"Where you going?" I asked getting up

"You've haven't even finished eating."

  "Ali i'll tell you later please. Mr. Smith thank you for Breakfast ill talk to you guys later."

As he rushed out the door...I came around the table

  "Payton!" My dad's arm stopped me.

 "Alissa let him go....Finish your breakfast."

  I slowly sat back down with a look of worry spread across my face.

 "Its not like him to turn down work. And where does he have to go Friday? And why has he been acting funny these last few days anyway?"

  My dad took a sip of coffee then said

  "Sweet heart please...don't work yourself up. You know he is going through a lot with him mom and Rita and his cousin Nikki. There's probably a lot going on that he needs to sort out. So let him do that. He'll tell you when he is comfortable."

  "So you agree that something is wrong with then?" I asked in worried tone

My fathered sigh....

   "yes sweetie....I clearly see something is going on. He'll talk to you sooner or later. Don't bug him though okay."

 I nodded and tried going back to eating the rest of my spinach and cheese omulet. But thinking about the many bad scenarios that could be wrong with P only made me lose my apetite.

     Afterwards I went on to do the dishes and I thought about the night he got kicked out again. I don't know why but I had a gut feeling that whatever was wrong had something to do with Rita. I was sure of it.

 

    I remember how I was in and out of sleep. Tossing and turning knowing that my friend was in my brother's room in the basement. Most likely not sleeping...pondering over what Nikki had said; and the attack that brought him over to my house that night. I couldn't bare it anymore...I looked at the time and it was 4am. I pulled down my anime night shirt that came just to my knee. And slowly opened up my door. I peaked into the hall and could see in my dad's room. He was fast asleep; snoring like a train. I knew if I was going to check on my friend it was now or never.

       Slowly quietly I crept down the kitchen stairway and once at the bottom I walked over to the basement door and walked down into the damp area. My brothers room was on the otherside in a spare room. As I cracked open the door I saw Payton staring straight up at the ceiling. Anger in his eyes....red..and fighting tears. For a moment he didn't even see me there. But when he did he just looked at me...we didn't say anything to each other that night. I just laid down next to him and laid on his shoulder. He leaned his head against mine...and in that moment I knew for sure he would never hurt anybody without a reason. And I think he could feel that I had his back; no matter what.

     Suddenly I was snapped out of my train of thought when I knicked my finger on the tip of a knife. It bled on a little and as I sucked on my index I looked out the window and saw Rita's Boyfriend driveby.....in a Uhaul truck? 

   "What the hell was he doing with a U haul truck? Was he moving out? Or??" My heart sanked and I dropped the rag and quickly through on my shoes and ran out the door.

    As I speed walk down the street to Rita's duplex at the end of the block I saw her boyfriend Larry open the back of the Uhaul and pull out one of those Box carriers and headed down the path.

    " Hi Mr. Larry? Is Ms Rita or Payton in the house by any chance?"

Larry's face looked confused at first and then he said 

  "Oh yea your that girl that lives over there in that big tan house. Payton girlfriend right?"

I frowned He knew damn well who I was and he knew dog on well I wasn't P girlfriend. But I didn't have time for the bullshit I just sighed.

    "yea I live there....why is there a Uhaul here?"

 Larry looked a little annoyed at me being so demanding but soon Rita came to his rescue and cheerfully said

   "Oh hey Ali baby how your daddy?"  I answered quickly

   "Good what's going on?" I asked flatly...She looked a little taken aback by my straight forwardness and probably took me as being rude. But I didn't care and my face and body posture said so too. She put her hand on her hip and said

     "Well if you must know I'm trying to move my stuff out of this little bitty apartment so I can move in with my man out in Delaware."

  My eyes grew wide and she had the nerve to be smiling....

       "Delaware?....you guys are moving? Payton is moving out of the state?"

 She raised her hands "Now hold on now...I thought he told you I was going. Larry got a house out there and Nikki and I been planning to leave for a few weeks now. Payton didn't tell you that? Where is he anyway he need to help with these boxes."

    My heart felt like it would rip right out of my chest. My best friend...Is moving out of town.

   "No....no he didn't tell me nothing. He didn't tell me he was moving no where!"

 Rita's eyes grew wide "Now hold on sugar Payton is not going with us...He can live with his daddy when he gets back in town or his MAAAMA when she get her stuff together. But really who knows when that will be. Til then he is going into foster care."

    My heart sanked......my ears stopped hearing sounds...my face felt like it was breaking into pieces....My eyes were stingy and from the Look on Rita's face she could tell that my heart was breaking. She knows how close we been all these years. Hitting me with all this like its nothing...How could she be so selfish...so damn....so damn...

  I literally burst into tears on the spot and ran back to my house. Not caring who saw me or the scene I was making. My neighbor next door was looking at me like I was crazy. Ms Terry Wallis and she quickly intercepted me as I fumbled for my house keys in front of my door.

   She grabbed me by my arms and said

"Ali! Omg are you alright whats wrong! Did something happen to you!"

   I couldn't get my shit together...snot was rolling down my face with a mix of tears. My eyes blood shot red. I sniffled  "I need.....I I gotta talk to my dad! I gotta find Payton I gotta find him!"

 She grabbed me by the arm and knocked aggressively on my door until my dad answered. Immediately he was alarmed.

        "What happened! What's wrong with you Sweetie?" All I could was point at first then I screamed to the top of my lungs     "she's moving away! After all the times she kicked him out, and lied about him hitting her she is going to move away! and send P to foster care!!!!!" 

   My dad just grabbed and jester me into the house with Ms Terry alongside. Rita saw everything....My dad just glared at her. She quickly turned and continued packing her belongings.

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