Colton got home late that afternoon, having spent the previous couple hours with his closest friends Dalton, Mark and Ethan. They were, of course, not alone as the majority of the girls from the school (honestly, even some of the other guys were there, too) had followed them there to watch them play pool and video games in the game room at Mark’s house.
Honestly. Did they have nothing better to do other than obsess over them?
He walked over to where his dad was making dinner, setting the keys on the dining room table. “Hey dad.”
“You sound like you had a fun day,” his father said, a hint of sarcasm evident in his tone of voice.
He sighed. Always count on his father to know when something was wrong. “Today was… eventful, I suppose.” He turned and headed into the living room, sitting down in one of the soft chairs and resting his head against one of his hands. “Ran into a girl in the hall after school. Well… Actually, she ran into me. But… I don’t know. The look in her eyes afterwards, when she caught herself… She looked almost- frightened? I’m not sure if that’s the right word. I just saw them for a brief moment. Afterwards, she just… ran off.”
His father hummed, nodding. “I see. Well, from what I’ve heard about her, she’s bullied. I mean, that’s what you’ve told me. You know. By Jess. She’s rich, like us. She could think the same towards everyone like us. Don’t think too much about it.”
He nodded a little bit. “Okay.” He took a deep breath, then slowly let it back out. “I don’t really want to talk about this anymore…”
“Colton? Is that you?”
He looked up to see his mother walking into the room. He smiled a little and stood. “Hey ma’.”
She grinned and walked over to him, pulling him into a hug for a few moments. “I’m so glad to see you!”
“Where’d you go, anyways? You were gone for a month.”
She shrugged. “Oh… just visiting my sister. Nothing special.”
Colton nodded, then his brows furrowed. “How come I haven’t met Auntie Carol? She never comes over to family dinners.”
His parents shared a look before looking back at him.
“She’s… not the best person to be around,” his father answered for his wife.
Colton didn’t miss the relieved smile his mother gave her husband. This only made his confusion grow. “Why?” he asked, raising a brow.
“She’s just not. Alright?” she nearly snapped. “She’s a bad influence.”
He sighed, turning and walking over to the couch, where he laid down. “Right…” He didn’t look at either of them.
His father heaved a sigh as he set the table. Once he finished, they all ate dinner in silence.
When they’d finished, he stood and loaded his plate in the sink. “I’ve got to go pack. I leave in the morning.” He went upstairs without another word.
“I’ve… got to start planning for my next trip.” His mother stood and walked over to Colton, dropping a kiss on his hair before she left herself.
Colton remained where he was seated for a few more minutes as he finished eating the remaining bit of his food, then stood and stated cleaning up dinner since his parents were too busy to do that themselves. As usual.
To keep his mind off of how his parents were always too busy, he started humming to himself. That always clears his head when he thinks about it too much.
His father was always traveling for his work. Going to business conferences and whatever else he did while away on business. He hated it, yes, but it was how they got money. Normally he wouldn’t mind it, because him being home sometimes was better than not at all, but his mother traveled too. Her job could be taken anywhere, so it didn’t matter if she went to Europe, or Japan, or Mexico, or wherever else she went. She could take it anywhere, and it didn’t matter where.
Most days he came home to an empty house. On the rare days his parents would be home, or at least his mom, they were always planning for another trip. He didn’t know why they didn’t bring him with him once and a while. Didn’t they want to spend time with him before he went off to college at the end of the year?
He sighed. Whatever he wanted them to do didn’t matter. They were going to do their jobs and put themselves first like they always did. At least his mother wasn’t as bad as his father. She still spent some time with him. But all he wanted was to have at least one day where his parents would set their jobs aside and spend some time with him. That’s what he wanted most of all. That, or someone to spend time with him.
Colton finished cleaning up only a few minutes later. Then he walked upstairs and into his room, where he flipped down onto his bed and pulled out his computer for help with the science homework. He wasn’t that good with the constellations. He knew the myths, but not what the constellations looked like, when you could see them, and what they looked like.
Why the school had the science teacher give them constellation homework from the fifth grade, he had no idea. Then again, it was an astrology class, and they were supposed to learn a lot about space. It’s a rare class, but then again, this city was a strange one.
Once he’d finished his homework, he shut off all the lights, and went to sleep.