Her parents were both waiting in the living room when she came home from her detention. It was extremely unusual and she expected a scolding when she plunked her books on the floor. She didn’t meet their eyes, but started for the stairs; they both said Trish, at the same time
“What do you want? I know I’m late but there was a ruckus in study hall and the bitch made all of us stay for detention. I can’t wait to get out of that place.” She took off her jacket and rolled it into a ball and tossed on a chair.
“That’s no way to talk, young lady,” Jenny started one of her rants.
“Not now, Jen, we have more important things to discuss. Jim silenced both of them with his sharp words.
“Something happened to Mike?” Trish looked about to cry.
“No, Mike’s okay, but that’s why we wanted to talk to you.”
Trish flopped into a seat across from them. “Why do I have the feeling this has something to do with me?”
“It has to do with all of us,” Jim continued while Jenny studied her nails, avoiding eye contact with Trish.
“Don’t use that flippant tone with us.”
“Why not, Mom? You guys always make decisions for ‘us’ like I’m not one of ‘us.” What is it this time? And when do I get to be a voting member of this household. Do I have to be 21? Well, maybe I won’t hang around.”
“Trish, where’s my girl? We always take you into consideration,” Jim held out his hand.
“Dad. You aren’t usually home when Mom and I go at it. Didn’t know whose side you were on.”
“Please sit down. We have a decision to make and I want you to know you’re included.”
Trish sat, hugging her books.
“Thank you,” her father said. He cleared his throat. “Mike hasn’t improved to the doctor’s satisfaction. I feel he would get better if he was around someone who cared about him. I realize he will need some help. I know your Mom will be working, and you have a heavy load with school. I’ve talked to your grandmother about taking her vacation to help take care of Mike.” He sat back looking back and forth between the silent females.
Jenny was the first to speak. “I didn’t know you talked to Mother.”
“I was trying to see if it would all work.” Jim continued quickly. “Emma told he she had never taken a vacation because of her folks being there , but would be happy to help out for that long. Maybe it would be all Mike needs, to see someone really cares about him.”
“Where would everyone sleep,” was Trish’s first question.
“We could move our bedroom upstairs and get a single bed for Mike in our room so he wouldn’t have to go the stairs.
“Where would Mother stay? Surely not in the same room as Mike?” Jenny was way ahead of Jim.
“Of course not, Trish has a double bed so she could bunk with her.”
Trish stood up, dropping her books onto the floor again. “No way am I going to share a room with that snoop.
“Trisha, watch that tongue. What a terrible thing to say about your grandmother.”
Jim held up his hands. “It is just for a couple of weeks. Can’t we try to make the best of things?”
“I’m willing to try anything for Mike, but share a room with my grandmother is asking too much. I will have to put all my stuff under lock and key. You didn’t need to hear what I had to say in this little play, you’re going to put on. You just wanted me here to tell me how it was going to be. If that’s what you really are planning then you will have to get me a trunk I can lock to hold all the stuff I don’t want her pawing through.” Trish stomped upstairs, ignoring the books spread out over the floor.
Jim and Jenny sat on opposite ends of the couch and avoided looking at each other.