The next morning, I woke up to the sound of screaming coming from the kitchen. I laid there as I listened to the muffled yells, trying to figure out what was being said. I sat up, prepping myself for whatever was going on. Before I could toss the covers off of me, my door flew open revealing Tammy standing there. He face was beat red and she looked like she could rip someone’s throat out with her bare hands. I looked at her in shock.
“Kerri, did Hannah slash Blaine’s tires last night?” She asked in a very demanding tone.
“Uh--” I started.
“Of course she’ll say yes! She’s so far shoved up Blaine’s ass--” Hannah’s voice said on the other side of the door. Tammy glared behind her.
“SHUT UP!” She turned back to me, her face looking more concerned now. “Kerri, did she?” I shrugged.
“They were slashed when we got back to the truck but it was right after we saw them at the county fair.” She gave me a small smile before turning back to face what I assumed was a pissy looking Hannah standing in the kitchen.
“You are grounded for the rest of the summer.”
“What?! No fair!”
“I don’t care, Hannah. And you will be working at the Wharf three hours every day until you pay for new tires for his truck. Chris and Blaine had to tow his truck back home this morning because of the little stunt you pulled. Someone could have gotten hurt. You’re lucky he isn’t going to press charges against you since it’s a damn crime, Hannah. Go to your room and get your cell phone, computer and tablet. I want them on this kitchen counter in five minutes. Do you understand?”
“Do you understand?!”She repeated but in a more dangerous sounding tone. She reminded me of my mother for a second. Hannah didn’t reply but I heard her storm up towards her room. Tammy turned back to look at me. “Sorry for barging in like that, sweetie. Can I come in and talk to you?” I nodded. She came into my room, closing the door behind her. Sitting on the edge of the bed, she smiled at me.
“Sorry about that.” I said, fixing my pony tail. She waved her hand at me.
“It’s me that should be apologizing. I’m sorry how wretched she’s been to you, Kerri. I suppose she learned it from me. I was the same awful way as a teen. She’s never had it rough that’s why. As a mom, you kinda just want your kids to have the things you always wanted without worrying about money. I guess Hannah’s father and I tried to do that but we ended up bypassing it for spoiled. She’ll learn soon enough I guess. Maybe some hard labor shucking sea food for the rest of the summer with instill some values in that thick skull of hers.” Shaking her head, she ran a hand through her blonde hair. For the first time since I’ve met her, I realized that she had a streak of grey running down the middle of her part. Had it been there this whole time? It dawned on me that I never took the time to notice. “So!” She said, smiling at me. “How was your date? Blaine’s such a nice kid!”
“It went well.” I said, trying hard not to smile. I did any way as I looked at her. She grinned at me.
“You don’t have to go into detail if you don’t want to. I’m glad you guys are getting along so well. You and him fit better together than him and Hannah ever did. I think she just doesn’t understand that yet. If she bothers you again like that, please let me know. I have a few rooms that need a fresh coat of paint on them.” Standing up, she headed towards the door.
“Hey, Tammy?” I said, looking over at her. She stopped, turning her head to look at me. “Thank you for letting me stay here with you guys. I know I haven’t been the easiest thing to live with and you shouldn’t have to put up with two moody teenagers. Especially when one isn’t even your own.” She smiled.
“You’re family, dear. Besides, wait until my other daughter comes home. She’s the sweet one.” She winked at me before shutting the door behind her. Chuckling to myself, I stood up out of bed. Walking over to my computer, I turned it on. It loaded as I opened my windows, letting the warm sea salt filled breeze in. When my computer finished loading, it made a beeping noise as it indicated I had new emails. Sitting at the desk, I clicked on the envelope symbol. It opened, revealing some junk mail and then an email from Blaine’s mother, Jenna. The subject said TOMORROW in all capital letters. Double clicking on it, it popped open on my screen.
KERRI! I need your help. I know we aren’t suppose to start you until I talk to your father but something came up. I need someone here tomorrow to be a body in the gallery while I head to major meeting at the county building. If you can come by today around ten, I can train you on the cash register and how to restock somethings. It’s one of our busier weeks so I would hate to not have someone there. Bring Blaine with you if you want! See you then!
Glancing up at the clock in the corner, I noticed it was a little after nine. Jumping out of my chair, I headed up for a quick shower.