Gotta love Lucy.
As she finished playing Joanna smiled at Mikey. “You finished the theory?”
He nodded slowly. “Yeah, it was the-“ A loud knocking at the door interrupted him. Joanna flashed him a quick grin.
She charged down the stairs, tripping over Mikey’s discarded black baseball shoes. As she hit the floor, she was muttering about boys and their lack of tidiness. Groaning, she pushed herself to her feet, and opened the door.
Lara was standing on the doorstep, looking the epitome of girlish innocence, with Benji looking every inch the cool, popular, swimmer he was. Joanna glanced at the clock.
“You’re early,” she commented.
“I remember Mom saying that she was gonna be back by six, so thought I should be back by then,” Lara shrugged.
“Good plan,” Joanna acknowledged, her hands deep in her pockets. “Hey Benji.”
“Hey,” He muttered.
“So I guess I’ll see you tomorrow?” Lara asked, turning to smile coyly at Benji.
“Yeah I guess.” Benji looked awkward.
Joanna’s grin widened, and then faded as Mikey came down the stairs. “I got bored, “ he shrugged. It was Lara’s turn to grin.
“Anyway,” Joanna began hurriedly. “Shut the door behind you.” She then turned and hustled Mikey back up the stairs.
Just what I wanted. Lara getting ideas about me and Mikey, when there was absolutely nothing going on.
It was half one in the morning when Mrs Wilkinson finally came home. Only her husband was awake, waiting for her on the sofa. So nobody else heard the argument that followed.
I guess when I woke up the next morning I wasn’t expecting to see Lara throwing all her belongings back into her suitcase. Turns out that the dates were wrong, and Aunt Sarah and Lara had to leave today. I guess you know how upset I was about that.
She could see Rick walking up the street, as she tried to edge past her parents, her Aunt and cousin. “I’ve got to go.”
“Wait!” Her mother commanded. “Say goodbye to your Aunt first.”
“Bye Aunt Sarah,” Joanna said, looking at her Aunt.
“Jo, I-“ Lara began to talk.
Joanna turned to face her. “See you Lar.”
Lara nodded, and then hugged her. Shocked, Joanna hugged her back and then stepped back. “See you around some time cuz.”
Lara smiled. “You can count on it.”
Joanna then ran down the path and vaulted the gate landing right in front of Rick. “Have a good flight,” she called back, before heading for school.
Rick looked over his shoulder. “So, uh, they leaving?”
Joanna nodded. “Can’t we talk about some thing more interesting then my cousin?”
Rick rolled his eyes as he jammed a hand in his dark jeans pocket. “How about the English assignment?”
I swear my blood ran cold. You know that thing that I couldn’t remember yesterday morning? I’d just remembered it.
“Rick, you’ve got to be goddamn kidding me,” she almost yelled as they turned the corner. Her voice then dropped to a whisper. “He’s so gonna kill me. We had to what? Like read whole fucking book then report on it?”
Rick nodded, slightly alarmed by her outburst. “Yeah. Everyone had a different book.”
“Damn, yeah. Yours was some random fantasy thing about little people,” Joanna panicked. “What was mine?”
“Well, mine was The Hobbit. Didn’t you get some classic? By Jane Austen?” He asked her, running a hand through his dark hair.
“No, it was called Jane something.” Her eyes were wild with alarm. “Rick, what am I gonna do?”
He shrugged helplessly. “Grovel?”
“Wait.” She paused. “Are you wearing eyeliner?”
“What! No!” he protested, frantically rubbing at his eyes. “Oh God, yeah, I went round to Maria’s and Lucy…you know.”
Joanna smiled briefly. “Yeah, Lucy attacked you.”
Lucy was Maria’s younger half sister. Six and three quarter years old and cute with it. But Maria’s family tree was weird. Gimmie a sec to try and explain.
Maria’s parents split up when she was two, and her Dad got main custody of her. She spent every other weekend at her Mom’s. Her Dad remarried, and then his new wife had Lucy when Maria was seven. Meanwhile, Maria’s Mom remarried, and had no more kids. Then when Maria was eight both her parents got involved in a car accident. So they were both dead, leaving Maria’s step Mom with custody of Maria and Lucy, and her step dad retained some custody rights. However, Maria’s step mom then remarried, which means Maria has two step dads, a step mom and a half sister. Which is why Maria spent Thanksgiving with her step Dad. It sounds implausible but believe me, it’s true.
But going back to Lucy, she is extremely cute, excessively bubbly and worships Maria. Oh and adores anyone Maria brings home. And the thing is, that she so sweet that it is impossible to say no to her. Which is how Rick ended up wearing remnants of eyeliner.