Chapter 1 - Carter's POV
------·͙*̩̩͙˚̩̥̩̥*̩̩̥͙ ✩ *̩̩̥͙˚̩̥̩̥*̩̩͙‧͙ Carter .·͙*̩̩͙˚̩̥̩̥*̩̩̥͙ ✩ *̩̩̥͙˚̩̥̩̥*̩̩͙‧͙ .------
“What do you mean you got fired?!” Mrs. Lillington said in an ear-piercing tone. Yet you could still tell she was on the verge of tears.
This wasn’t like Carter’s mom, she didn’t yell- especially at Mr. Lillington. Yet Mr. Lillington responded sharply
“Well, I wasn’t trying to! They had a budget cut so I got fired!”
“Damn racists…” He murmured
“What do you mean?”
“They so happened to only fire people of color”
Mrs. Lillington put her head in her hands and made sniffles fill the air...
“N-no, it can’t be... not right now! With Hudson in college and Carter also going soon-” Ms. Lillington choked out
Her words lingered in the air along with her soft weeps. Carter was listening to the conversation dreadfully, from the other room. She couldn’t stand hearing her mom in such pain, and learning that her dad has lost his job- it was too much! But she just couldn’t stop listening.
“I know…I’ll get a new job soon.” Mr. Lillingtons voice was shaky, as a tear dropped from his eye onto the cold hardwood floor.
The Lillingtons were in no state to be able to lose a job. They were already a few hundred dollars in debt so Mrs. Lillington had been trying to get a job for the past eight months, yet, no luck. The Lillingtons were trying to become ready for Carter’s college bill no matter if it was still two years from now, this was not helping.
“And I’ll keep looking for one”
Everything was silent, and nothing felt real to Carter. This had to be a dream she thought, right? She started to feel dizzy, but she couldn’t tell if it was because she was so tired or because everything around her was so chaotic, maybe it was a horrid mix of both she thought menacingly. Carter decided to fall asleep, it was for the better considering it was 11:56 PM- thankfully tomorrow was a Saturday.
The next morning she woke up with a start, tears were sliding down her usually rosy- now pale cheeks as she recalled the events from last night. She started to realize in her consciousness, it wasn’t a dream. Her tears kept shedding from her eyes uncontrollably, but somehow she was still as quiet as a mouse. Carter was still trying to process what had happened the night before. Her dad had gotten fired- making it so now both of her parents were unemployed, yet still had to pay for two kids, including college. Then it dawned on Carter.
“Nobody knows I know...” Carter whispered out just so loudly she could hear her voice.
Were her parents gonna tell her? Carter wondered if they did would she act surprise-
Carter was about to finish her thought when her mom called her name
“Carter! Breakfast is ready”
Carter tidied herself up before coming down, she didn’t want to look like she had been crying knowing her mom would question why.
“What do you plan on doing today?” Mrs. Lillington asked as she served Carter three chocolate chip pancakes.
“Maybe go to the pool?” Carter said still unknowing of what she would do
“That sounds fun. You should invite August. I bet she would love to hang out with you!”
Carter truly liked the idea and said “Yeah, that would be nice!”
Mrs. Lillington just smiled
“What are you doing today mom,” Carter said while eating a pancake
“Oh I’ll just be looking for a job, and don’t talk with your mouthful,” Mrs. Lillington said and chuckled
“Oh, I thought you didn’t do that on weekends? And sorry, they’re just really good!”
“Normally I do but things have come up so now I want a job more than ever,” Mrs. Lillinton said as she sighed.
“I’m also glad you like them,” She added
Mrs. Lillington was wearing an ocean blue suit, opal earrings, her favorite blue pumps, a white leather watch, and a fancy white leather purse from marshalls. Carter knew this outfit well, this outfit was the outfit her mother wore when trying to look better off than they were. Mrs. Lillington wore it too expensive company interviews.
“Oh, what happened?” Carter asked though she already knew exactly what had happened.
“I just realized I have too few hours of work to retire so I need to get more-- and it’s better to do it sooner than later...” Mrs. Lillington was hesitant about every word as she “explained”.
Carter gasped in shock, her mom was straight up lying to her!
“Are you okay sweetheart?” Mrs. Lillington asked looking concerned
“Yeah I just uh, thought I was choking…?”
Carter was just as bad at lying as her mom but her mom didn’t question her.
“Oh, well good thing you weren’t!”
Carter was now done with her pancakes when Mrs. Lillington looked at her watch. It was 9:30 AM.
“Well I have to go, I’m supposed to be there by 10:00 sharp! Love you Hunny, oh by the way your dad is at the gym he should be back around 1:00 but you can go to the pool before that.”
“Bye mom, love you! Good luck!”
Swoosh, bang! The door opened then closed, vroom...zoom. The car ran out of the driveway.
Carter put her plate into the dishwasher then went up to her room. She looked at her phone, then felt disgusted- her parents could sell this then maybe they would be in a better position, then she looked around her room- maybe if they sold everything they would be better off. She called August, not wanting her thoughts to get worse.
“Hey!” August said in a noticeably excited
August Sierra was fifteen, just a few months younger than Carter. She had deep brown hair, icy blue eyes, had beautiful chocolate skin, and a bunnycore type style. August was adopted at age five by now moms Ichika and Erinna. But none of those things would ever top her gracious, upbeat personality.
“Hi, August! You wanna go to the pool later?”
“Yes yes yes!”
“Yay! Okay, how about you come to my house at 10:00? We work on our project for school till 11:00 then we go to the pool?”
“Sounds like a plan! Should I wear my bathing suit over?”
“Yeah! See ya!”
Knock clang knock
The two close friends embraced in a hug.
“Okay so let’s work on the project,” Carter said while leading August to Carter’s room
“So since it’s about ancient myths what ancient myth do you think we should do?” Carter asked August
“I was thinking of a siren?”
“Ooo! That sounds interesting,”
Ding Dong Do Ding Dong
“That’s the timer, we can go to the pool now!” Carter explained
“Yes!” August said with child-like excitement
Swoosh, bang! The door opened than closed.
Click. The key turned then the door locked.
“Let’s go!” Carter said while putting the ocean-themed key to her house in the bright red pool bag.
“I’m glad we chose to go to the pool on such a hot day!” August noted
“You think we should inflate the floaties?” Carter question, though she assumed the answer would be yes with flying colors.
“I’m so excited that summer break is coming soon”
“Same, I’m getting so tired of school” Carter agreed
“Especially calculus” August said with a dreary look on her face by just thinking about it
“Yeah calculus can go die in a hole”
The two girls started laughing contagiously and kept chatting till they go to the pool.
“Were here” August said while gazing at the beautiful pool in astonishment
“Yes! Now let’s just check-in,”
“Okay” August responded
“Welcome to Bright Skys neighborhood pool!” Said the boy behind the register.
His name tag said he was Elijah Brown. Elijah had flowy blond hair and bright hazel eyes that shined in the light. He had tanned skin that had obviously seen the hot sun too many times with too little sunscreen. His outfit was the work uniform, a lavender polo shirt with an embroidered yellow sun, & underneath the sun the words ‘Bright Skys Neighborhood Pool’ which were embroidered too, lastly he had beige cargo shorts.
“Thanks, are you new?” Carter asked hesitantly, she didn’t think she had seen him before. He looked about their age so Carter thought she would’ve remembered him for sure.
“Yeah, is it that obvious?” Elijah responed nervously
“Oh, no! We’ve just haven't seen you around,” August pitched in reassuringly.
“Yeah” Carter said while smiling
“Oh yeah, I just moved here about a month ago and have been looking for a job. Now whats your names- I need to sign you in!”
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