He surveyed his room one last time, checking everything over. Glancing down at his list, he dragged his pen across the very last item. “Finally,” he breathed, sitting down on his bed, wiping the sweat from his forehead. The fan blew in his face, and he closed his eyes and sat in the stillness of his room for a moment. Down below he could hear his mother moving around the kitchen, her voice carrying through the house as she conversed on the phone, with who he wasn’t sure. “No, no. I’ve been assured it is perfectly safe. They have guidance counselors and activity managers and chaperones and everything else he could possibly need. It’ll be fine, Matt. I’ve checked it out several times. Plus, Nathan’s already said he would go. His things are all packed and everything.” Nathan sighed, standing. He brushed the wrinkles from his bed where he’s just been sitting and grabbed his suitcase and duffle bag, moving to go downstairs. He wasn’t really looking forward to this, but diligence and obedience insisted on guiding his conscience and consequently his actions. At the bottom of the steps, he mother spotted him as she passed into the kitchen, lowering her voice to a near whisper. This he wasn’t supposed to be listening to, but he could hear her. She really needed to get a better grasp on her own vocal chords or realize her perception of her own frequency was far more inferior to that of her peers. He went over to the kitchen table and sat down, looking out the window. The dog was laying lazily in the grass, it’s ears perked up although otherwise unresponsive to the squirrels burrowing into the neighbor’s roof. “Well, what else do you want me to do? You know how hard it’s been for him since the fire.” Her voice dropped to a softer volume, and she maneuvered into the farthest corner of the kitchen. Nathan clasped his hands together, looking towards where his mother was leaning against the counter. This is now the accepted excuse. Nathan was unresponsive because of the fire; Nathan was quiet because of the fire; Nathan had secluded himself because of the fire. He smiled. If she wanted to carry on with that delusion, he wouldn’t keep her from it, but it was beginning to become too much. The coddling could only go on for so long, and now was well beyond the line in the sand. “You ready?” His mother appeared in the doorway, her hand wrapped around the black plastic phone. “Yeah.” He stood slowing, picking his things once more. Trailing behind his mother, he looked back up at the house before turning to the black sedan before him. ‘Fourteen hours of driving.’ He grumbled to himself, ‘Fourteen hours of driving.’
"MARIE, you better be packing." yelled Karlena. I yelled back "of course I am." By that time I had everything ready and I just needed to bring it all down stairs. "I'll be right down." I called. My mom sighed and went back to hurrying about the kitchen. When I got down stairs I found my dad reading the paper as normal and my mom ragging on him to get a job. I sighed and sat down to have some breakfast. "Marie what do you think you’re doing?" asked my mom. I said "I'm having breakfast." She grabbed my plate away and told me to take my bags to the car we were going to be leaving any moment, for the camp that my mom decided I needed to go to instead of being a hermit. I was never going to forgive her for this. I was dreading the 14 hour drive with my mother but I thought that at least I will be getting away from them for 3 weeks. I dragged my bags outside and put them in the trunk I got in the front seat and I turned the radio up really high. When she got in she turned it down and told me to hush up and enjoy the ride. I was wrestling with my better judge meant not to strangle her.