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Chapter 7

When I walk into my apartment, I see Tomás sucking on a crack pipe while my mom is hooking up with a man on the couch.

"¡Qué diablos está pasando aquí!" (What the hell is glowing on here!) I yell out.

Then I grab Tomás and take the pipe out of his mouth.

"Get the hell out of here," I say to the man.

"Don't talk to him like that." My mom says as she gets up.

Her pupils are huge. "Your high, really? Mom, what's wrong with you?"

The man grumbles and goes into my mom's room.

"That's my new boyfriend. He will be staying here for a while. We'll talk in the morning." She tells me as she also retreats to her room.

Why is she like this? All I needed was for her to look after her son for a weekend. But instead, she gets high and invites a man to live with us. I was furious. If I could get custody of Tomàs I'd leave her.

Well, I probably wouldn't, I loved her, and she was my mom. It was partially my fault she was like this. My dad kept her together. Since he died, she has been out of control. I think losing my older brother really did it for her though.

I gave Tomàs a bath and put him to bed. Then I called Diego and Marcus and told them what happened. Once they were all caught up, I went to bed.

The rest of the summer consisted of me working at the diner, training with Leo, and looking after Tomàs. I was getting $1000/month from Xavier until September. He had me report any info I could get from people I knew about where the drugs were coming from in the city.

I lost 1 fight but won the other 2. I had one left. It was going to happen 2 weeks after school started. I was hoping I wouldn’t get beat up too bad but I really wasn't that good so I may not have a choice.

My mom's boyfriend had stuck around and paid 1/3 of the rent. I didn't like him but put up with him. My mom was clean for the most part, so I let the situation be.

I was going to be starting school tomorrow. I was a bit nervous but excited. Yeah, I had to deceive a boy who I’ve never met, and I'm sure didn't deserve it but I was going to one of the best schools in the city.

Diego and I hadn't seen each other much and had only hooked up 2 times since I made the deal with Xavier. I felt like we were growing apart. Which I was supersizing okay with. Diego was always going to be there when I needed him, but I didn't want a relationship with him. We were too different. I was glad that we were able to explore whatever it was between us and still come out being friends.

I was going shopping for school stuff with Theresa and Sofia. They were my friends since I was little. My mom had grown up with their moms and we used to play. When I was growing up, I went to a different school since my family lived in a better neighborhood. My dad had his police income and some inheritance. My dad never liked that my mom would take me to her old neighborhood.

Theresa and Sofia were both a year older than me. Theresa had an 18-month-old boy named Luca. She wasn't with his father anymore.

I saw Theresa's minivan pull up, so I went out with Tomàs and his car seat. Once we were all buckled in Theresa started driving towards the mall.

"So, you're going to a private school now, how'd you swing that?" Sofia asks.

"I applied for a scholarship. Since my mom makes next to nothing, I got a full scholarship. My grades from grade 9-11 were good enough to get in. I had to write an essay about why I didn't complete my senior year." I tell the lie I had practiced with Leo.

I did have to write an essay about why I failed last year. I said my mother had health issues, so I had to stay home and look after my brother. I also added that a close family friend had died. I ended my essay by saying my mom was better and that I was now able to give my focus to school like I had done from grades 9-11.

I also had to meet with them and explain it all again. They seemed quite impressed with me and welcomed me as soon as the interview was done.

I got a scholarship, but it was only for half the tuition, Xavier was paying the rest. My grades were actually pretty good. Even better considering that I had to work and live through chaos while doing high school.

The real reason I failed last year was that I was kidnapped and missed 2 months of school. I was so messed up when I first got back that there was no way I could have caught up.

"Todo su peso debe estar en su cerebro." (All her weight must be in her brain.) Theresa says with a laugh and Sofia joins in.

I don't know why I hung out with these 2. Maybe it was because they were my only female friends. They always picked on me; my mom told me they were jealous. That they wished they were as smart and beautiful. But I didn't feel smart or beautiful.

When we got to the mall, we started with getting school supplies. As I was picking out pens, I saw Leo across the store. He insisted on following today. I doubted anything would happen, but I just let him.

Once we were done with school supplies the boys were getting fussy, so we took a break at the food court. I got Tomàs a smoothie. As I poured it into a sippy cup Sofia spoke up, "so are you dating Diego? I heard he was with Sandra last week."

"No, I'm not, we are just friends," I tell her.

"I thought you 2 were hooking up though. Why would he be with another woman then?" Theresa pipes up.

"That was a while ago, we stopped. Why so many questions about Diego, do you guys like him or something?" I ask getting a bit offended.

"No, we don't but I think Sofia likes Marcus. He turned her down last night though." Theresa says with a laugh.

"Shut up, I don't want her to know," Sofia says.

"Well, maybe she can help. We all know Marcus is like in love with her. Maybe she could convince him to ask you out. I mean he let her hook up with his brother and still he follows her like a lost puppy." Theresa says. She's such a bitch why I am even hanging out with them.

"Let's get back to shopping," I say as I stand up.

We go to a thrift store where I get some clothes for school. I don't have enough money to afford new clothes. I also don't think I'll be buying anything new once I start getting paid more. I'd rather save the money for school than waste it on clothing.

We all go to the change rooms. The two girls insist that we show each other. So, I step out in my first outfit. A pair of jeans that are too big and a red t-shirt.

"Those are too big; you need a butt for them. But the top is really nice." Theresa says.

Sofia steps out in a dress and says, "I think that shirts too tight T. Your tits are hanging out."

The try one session goes on like that, us commenting on the garments and how we look in them until we have each picked some clothes to buy.

Once we are done Theresa drives me home. As I'm getting ready for bed, I can't help but be nervous. Tomorrow is the first day at my new school. I'll probably stick out since most of these kids come from rich families. Not only that but I have to trick that Cade boy into becoming my friend. What have I gotten myself into?
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