Dad, I don't like Leah
She rolled her eyes, cursing the paper thin walls under her breath as she tossed a shirt into her duffel bag.
She couldn't wait to get away from that - that thing her dad was dating.
She zipped up her bag and set it near the door.
Kendall turned off the lights and slipped into her bed, closing her eyes.
Minutes later she slid headphones over her ears, as the noise had become more than she could take.
Within moments she drifted off to sleep.
"See ya, Lee," Patrick said, kissing her on the cheek as the bus rolled up to the curb.
"Bye Patrick! Bye Kendall" She waved, saying Kendall's name as though it sickened her.
They stepped onto the bus and watched the house pass out of view.
"Kendall, you OK?" Joe asked, seeing Kendall laying on her bunk, a sour expression on her face.
"My belly hurts," she mumbled.
Joe placed his hand on her forehead.
"Have you gone to the bathroom?" he asked bluntly.
"Go try," he suggested, helping her out of the bunk and into the tiny bathroom.
"Dad!" Kendall shouted as Patrick came running.
Kendall sat on the floor, hugging the toilet bowl, her skin pale and pasty looking.
He knelt down next to her, wetting a washcloth and wiping her face.
He held her hair as she leaned back into the bowl, wrenching while Patrick rubbed her back and whispered to her soothingly.
Finally the wrenching stopped and Patrick filled a cup of water, handing it to her.
He picked her up and carried her into the common area, laying her down on the couch and sitting down next to her, running his hands through her hair.
"Are you OK, Ken?" he asked as she closed her eyes,"Maybe we should just take you back home and let you stay with Leah."
Her eyelids flew open,"No, no, I'll be fine."
"Are you sure?"
"Dad, I don't like Leah," Kendall announced.
"Huh?" he looked confused,"Why not?"
"She's always mean to me, and I just get a bad vibe from her. You can do better."
Patrick gave his daughter a look that screamed, "You can't be serious."
"One of these days you'll figure that out," she said thoughtfully,"You'll see."
Patrick smiled warmly down at her, "I doubt that, Squirt."
At that moment he had no idea how right she really was.