Stampede 4

“Yes mother! He actually asked me that!” I cried out. And she shushed me. We were in public. The two of us had gone to eat dinner at Jack N’ Joe’s which was one of those super stereotypical diners that played fifties music and had girls rolling around on roller skates with short skirts and stupid little hats (and okay it’s actually just the super cutest place you could ever imagine). I had convinced my mom that this day had been the worst day of my entire life and she offered to bring me here to make up for it. Despite my not wanting to be seen in public, I agreed, because they had the best milkshakes known to man and since I couldn’t put a burger to my mouth without the help of my mom, I decided to have a milkshake for dinner. Or actually, I decided to have three milkshakes for dinner (one in every flavor) because my mom was literally going to have to pay for not homeschooling me.

“Is this Whitting boy cute?” My mom asked, lazily dangling a greasy fry in front of her face. When I moved my mouth over to the straw of my vanilla milkshake, she reached over and dipped the fry into the chocolate shake, quick enough to escape the swat I had planned for her hand.

“Cute?” I asked back, struggling to pull my brows into an angry furrow, but it is almost physically impossible to speak the words, “Jason Whitting is not cute.” “Of–of course he isn’t!” I stammered and watched my moms lips curve up slyly.

“You’re blushing.”

“No I’m not!” I protested. My voice was shrill and I could feel the heat inch up my cheeks. I was the worst liar, especially to my mom who knew me better than I knew myself.

“If he’s cute, then who cares?” She shoved the massive burger into her mouth and my stomach growled jealously. Ice cream was delicious and all, but it was no match to a big, greasy burger, even if it was in three different flavors and topped with whipped cream with a fresh cherry on top.

“You can’t just excuse someone from being terrible because of their physical attraction level.”

“You can’t? Why not?” She was clearly amused.

I ignored her. It was just like my mom to defend Jason Whitting because she was on her constant quest to set me up with someone who was to-die-for. It was why she was thrilled that my arms were broken because now she had a chance to do my hair and makeup herself and I couldn’t exactly defend myself. She wasn’t a fan of my wake-up-and-go hair or my haphazard mascara job that I did every morning. She complained daily that I could do so much more with my long, not-brown-but-not-blonde hair and that I should because I never knew who I was going to bump into. “You could bump into the love of your life today! And your hair looks like that!” I’d been going to school with the same people all my life. It was unlikely that any of them were the love of my life or that I’d talked to any of them after high school for that matter.

“Is Willie coming over tonight?” she asked, dropping the subject that I was clearly so wrong in bringing up.

I shook my head quickly. I didn’t want to spend any more extra time with Wilson than I had to. It was only going to be more difficult that not only did he have a crush on my mom, but me too. I guess I couldn’t blame him for having a crush on my mom, but being in love with me was a whole other story.

My mom was the sort of girl that you would fawn over in high school, so it was only natural that people continued to fawn over her well into her twenties. And then one guy’s crush on her was so big that he decided to make a baby with her, and that baby was me but they were only twenty-two and twenty-five and once I was a real, live baby, the guy freak out and decided he couldn’t do it and left my mom and told her he would send child-support checks. He thought my mom was going to become a mother and get old and ugly and never lose her pregnancy weight and he was going to be stuck with her, but then the joke was on him because my mom only got hotter and being a hot single mom scored her major points somehow. We still get the child support checks, so this guy has kept his end of the bargain, but my mom could care less because her dad (my grandpa) invented something completely stupid like the pencil grip or something and was stinking’ rich and he passed away and my mother was an only child so now she’s stinking’ rich and that guy could have been stinking’ rich with us, but he chose to leave instead.

So my mom has this super lame daughter who is like ten feet taller than her with weird color hair and bendy straws for legs that is so lame that when you compare them, her points go up cause she is just so much hotter in comparison to me with her small frame and flawless skin and awesome voluminous blonde hair. She’s the hot mom that has it going on, and it’s a rough life for me. Plus she’s got this really loving personality and she’s actually nice and not ugly on the inside that a lot of physically beautiful people are.  I would probably have a crush on my mom too, you know, if I didn’t know the really annoying side of her.

The door’s bell chimed behind me and the all too familiar sound of crutches on tile filled my ears. I twisted around in the booth.

Say it isn’t so.

“I didn’t know you would be here,” Jason Whitting crooned and I kept my eyes closed and my head down, not answering him, willing him to go away. But he crutched on over to our booth. And his scent of gingerbread and boy-sweat filled my nostrils and his closeness was intoxicating but I willed him to go away.

“That’s because I’m not.”

A hand swatted my arm and I snapped open my eyes to glare at my smiling mom. From the look in her eyes, she was already over the moon for the Whitting boy.

“Lacey, be nice!” she scolded happily and turned up to Jason. “Are you a friend of Lacey’s?”

“I’m Jason Whitting, ma’am.” And without even looking at him, I knew he was smiling his super, mega wide Jason smile with all thirty-two of his pearly white blinding whoever he was looking at. “It’s a pleasure to meet you.” And he stuck out his hand, all formal and charming and Jason-like. It was nauseating.


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