It's almost six o'clock and Etta's probably scared out of her mind. Money said he was going to buy us both pops from Mr. Jenkins's down the road, but I don't think he's coming back. He does that often; telling me he'll "be back in a jiff" and then explain to me the next day that he "met my mom along the way" and had no choice but to go home. Big Wally says he's just trying to make me more independent; I think I'm getting there.
I got up, brushing the back of my pants of the white powder. Money took my bicycle as always, but somehow it would always manage to get back to the front of my house; he never gives it to me face-to-face. I started walking up the slope, my hands in my pockets. I walked slowly, not all that eager to get home.
At home, Etta would be standing in the kitchen with her apron on, her back against the sink counter. Her arms would be folded and she'd have that sour look on her face and pursed lips. If she was really angry, she'd flare her nostrils, making her look like a pig. On those occasions, I'd try to stop laughing. Oh, she'd be angry alright. It's been three months since I started bunking school every now and then and she's bound to have gotten a call from the principal about today.
Roddy likes to eat Etta's cobbler and Thursday, was Cobbler Day, so he'd come by especially for dessert. Etta likes Roddy, although I never can figure out why. I don't think she knows he's one of the Big Boys as well - Funnyguy Roddy. Gosh, he gives us laughs. Maybe that's why Etta likes him. Today she'll have to put on the mask with the Barbie doll-like smile; acting as if she's happy to have him, but really, she's steaming with anger at me. This Cobbler Thursday was not the best for entertaining guests.
I passed by Mrs. Talbert's sweet shop and waved through the window. The Big Boys liked to steal some of those Jelly Beans from her; I don't think she knows. I've never stolen anything, but I still feel guilty when I walk in there and hear the fake twittering of birds as I open the door. Sometimes, the first thing I do before picking out my favorite sweets, is walk up to the counter with my mind set to tell her the truth. In the end, I just buy something from the counter jars instead and leave with a cheerful goodbye.
My front door is just behind Mrs. Talbert's. The railing and the door needs to be repainted. It had already begun peeling years ago, but no one ever bothered to get to it. Etta's boyfriend, Vikram, said he would when he came for dinner last weekend, but men say untrue things in front of their girlfriends to sound better. Maybe I should get to it during Thanksgiving Break.
I knocked on the door, prepared for Etta's punishment of another week's grounding and extra chores. I just hope the screaming part would be short and not as loud as the last time. I don't like it when people scream at me, especially Etta.
"Luke! Where have you been?!" Domina said as she opened the door. She always manages to look clean and pretty somehow. She was wearing the bracelet I got her for her birthday last year - the one with the butterfly charm.
"Hi Domina. Where's Etta?" I greeted, not answering my sister's question. Well, at least, I consider her my sister but her last name happens to be Darwin and mine isn't.
"She's out at the sweet shop to see if you were there. But she should be on her way back soon. Get washed up before she gets here, Luke," Domina instructed. She's always like the mommy when Etta wasn't around. I guess when you're sixteen you're allowed to act that way.
I went to Domina's bathroom and pinched her shampoo. I took it to my bathroom and used hers instead. It smells nice.