By: J.L. Perry

When he’s doing day shift we always eat together. When he’s not, I usually get things prepared for him. Not that he expects it, but I like doing it for him. I’m sure being a single parent for the past ten years hasn’t been easy for him.

I was around two years old when my mum’s headaches first started. She would spend days, sometimes weeks in bed because of them. My dad tried to get her to go to the doctor, but she refused, saying they were just migraines. My dad said she was stubborn like that. It’s a trait I’ve inherited I’m afraid.

By the time she finally did go for tests, the tumour on her brain was so large it was inoperable. They tried chemo. It was her only option. It wasn’t successful. It made her so sick. She spent the last six months of her life bedbound. She died when I was six. Her death broke my dad’s heart. They were teenage sweethearts. I’m not sure if he’ll ever completely get over it.


I open the blinds in my bedroom before leaving for school. I’m not going to be home all day, so I don’t need to worry about stupid Carter taunting me. I don’t even bother to look in the direction of his house. I’m not going to let him ruin my day again.

Heading out back, I give Lassie a quick pat before I feed him and replenish his water dish. “I’ll see you this afternoon, boy,” I say as I leave. He’s too busy eating to even notice me disappear through the side gate.

Just my luck as I walk down the drive, Carter and his mother come out of their front door. “Morning, Indiana,” she says to me. “This is my son, Carter. The one I was telling you about.”

“We met yesterday,” I reply, plastering a fake smile on my face.

“Oh, you didn’t tell me that,” she says turning her attention back to her son. I use that time to narrow my eyes at him. I have a good mind to tell his mother how rude her son is. Maybe he’s adopted. How else could someone so lovely have such a prick for a kid?

Now that he’s standing by his mother, I see they have the same eyes. That’s pretty much it though. He must get his looks from his father. I bet he’s good looking. His mother is extremely attractive, but her features are fairer than Carter’s.

“Slipped my mind, I guess,” he says, looking my way and winking. Ugh!

“Why don’t you give Indiana a lift to school, since you’re both heading the same way? It’ll give you a chance to get to know each other better.” What little I know about him is enough.

“No,” we both say in unison.

“Carter,” she scolds, causing him to frown at me. “It will do you good to have a friend on your first day.” I almost want to laugh at her comment. Friends is something I doubt we’ll ever be.

“Thanks anyway, Mrs. Shepard. I usually get the bus to school.”

“Don’t be silly. Carter will drive you. Won’t you?” she says nudging him.

“Fine,” he exhales while rolling his eyes in frustration. Even when he’s angry he still looks sexy. That just pisses me off even more. Getting in the car with him is the last thing I want to do. If giving me a lift is going to annoy him though, then I’m all in. I’ll take pleasure out of giving him a taste of his own medicine.

“Okay. That’ll be great,” I say smiling at his mother. When she turns to look at her son, I wink at him. I grin when his eyes narrow. Two can play at this game buddy.

“Have a nice day you two,” she says sweetly. How she could’ve produced such a monster is beyond me.

“Bye, Mum.” I’m surprised when he bends down and gently kisses her cheek. She smiles up at him. He’s so tall he towers over her petite frame.

“Nice car,” I say once I’m seated in the passenger seat. He grunts at my comment. I roll my eyes. I should’ve known better than to give him a compliment.

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