“What is wrong with him?” Derek asked as Angie got into his car. “Why would he just leave you there?”
“I don’t know! He’s freaking crazy!” Angie answered.
“That’s an understatement.”
“Well, your parents are going to do something about this right?”
“I would hope so! He left me on the side of the road, 20 miles away from home. It would take years to walk to my house from there.”
"Well, not years, but it would take a long time.”
"If I was the one walking, trust me, it would take years.”
“This is my house up here; the blue one.”
“Okay,” Derek pulled into the driveway. “Well, here you…” Derek was interrupted by a kiss from Angie. Right after she kissed him she pulled away. But Derek leaned into her and kissed her again.
“What are you doing?” Alex walked over by Angie and Derek. “Get out of the car!”
“Man you’re good at kicking her out of cars, Anderson,” Derek said as he got out of his car.
“Shut up, Michaels,” Alex said.
“You think I’m scared of you, Anderson?”
“Well, you should be.”
“Alex, Derek, stop!” Angie butted in.
“Shut up, Angie. Go inside,” Alex commanded her.
“No! Alex, you go inside.”
“You’re not the boss of me! Who do you think you are? Dad?”
“I have to get going. Bye, Angie,” Derek blurted out.
“What are you scared?” Alex asked.
“No, I’m late.”
“Where do you work?”
“Figaro’s Food Mart, why?”
“I’ll make sure to never go back to that store again.”
“Okay, was that supposed to offend me? See you tomorrow Angie.”
“Bye Derek,” Angie said as she headed towards the front door.
Derek got in his car, and drove away. Angie tried to get inside before, “What the heck did you think you were doing? I can’t believe you would even pretend to want to make out with him,” Alex said.
“Leave me alone! I’m not a little girl! I can take care of myself, thank you.”
"But that’s where you are wrong! You are a little girl, Angie.”
“I’m fourteen, Alex! I don’t need my big brother telling me what to do.”
“That’s just it! You’re fourteen and you are making out with a sixteen year old.”
“Leave me alone!” Angie ran upstairs into her room. She put her head under her pillow and began to cry.
Not but two minutes later, Allison walked into Angie’s room, “Honey, what’s going on?”
“Angela, don’t talk to me like that!”
“Mom, Alex is ruining my life! Tell him I hate him and never ever, ever, ever, ever, ever want to talk to him again!”
“Angela! Don’t say you hate your brother. That’s horrible!”
“Well, I do! I never, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever want to ever talk to him ever again!”
“Mom, he left me on the side of the road!
“I know. We tried to call your cell and when you didn’t answer we figured…”
“I got kidnapped and you wouldn’t have to even try to come and look for me?”
"No, we figured you found a ride. And Alex is grounded.”
“Yeah, for leaving me on the side of the road. But would he get grounded for lying?”
“Lying about what?”
"Why him and Derek got into that fight so long ago.”
“Who cares, Angie?”
“Derek was going out with Sally and Alex made out with her. Derek punched him the next day for telling him Sally was a good kisser.”
“That can’t be true.”
“Ask Alex! It is most definitely true, Mom.”
“I can’t believe this. Are you sure Derek wasn’t lying when he said this?”
“How are you so sure?”
“When I confronted Alex about it, he kicked me out of his car!”
“That’s why he kicked you out?”
“Why what did he say?”
“He just said you frustrated him. Andrew and Aden didn’t want to get too involved.”
“Well, whatever! Can you just go now?”
“I’m sorry that I can’t help you get through this, maybe you should see that councilor. What’s her name, Mrs. Chuck?”
“Yes, that is her name.”
“Why don’t you go and see Mrs. Chuck?”
“Whatever, Mom. I will go to a therapist if you think I’m that freaking crazy!”
“I just want you to vent about your brothers and whatnot. Talk to someone who can’t ground you for what you say about your brothers.”
“Fine, if you really want me to, I will. Can you leave NOW?”
“Fine, go see Mrs. Cluck…”
“Right, Mrs. Chuck, talk to her, see what she can do for you. I’m going to go lie down. I have a big headache. Now why don’t you start your homework?”
“Okay, goodbye, Mom.”
Allison walked out of Angie’s room, closing the door quietly behind her. She was relieved that she didn’t have to talk to her daughter about all of the new high school drama stuff going on between her and her brother. She went downstairs a couple hours later to talk to Alex, “Why did you kick your sister out of the car?”
“Why are you asking, I’m sure Angie already told you that!”
“I want to hear it from you, Alex.”
“I made out with Sally, when she had a boyfriend. When she had Derek as her boyfriend. Happy now? You’re son is now going to be known as a man whore.”
“I’m surprised you weren’t already. The way you talk about how Derek is such a horrible guy, you think he would have spread all kinds of rumors about you.”
“Little Mr. Perfect wouldn’t do that.”
"What do you mean?”
“Derek, he’s perfect! Never gotten a referral or even a lunch detention. He got suspended, but that’s because I’m a total jerk.”
“Alex, we have thought of Derek Michaels was this horrible rebel of a kid and come to find out, that’s not how he is at all! I feel horrible.”
“Yeah, how do you think I feel?”
“If he’s so perfect, why did you forbid your sister to see him?”
“I didn’t want her to know the truth. And Derek doesn’t have time for a girlfriend anyway. He works at the grocery store, he works on his uncle’s farm and he works for his aunt, I don’t remember what he does for her though.”
Angie was sitting at the top of the stairs now. She wanted to know what her brother had to say about her and Derek. When he was saying good things, Angie was very surprised.
“And his parents let his aunt and uncle work him like a dog?”
“Well, his mom died of leukemia when he was six. His father turned into an abusive alcoholic after her death.”
"What do you mean abusive?”
“Derek’s father hit him, all the time. He didn’t do it when I was over though. That’s why I was always over there. I wanted to turn in Derek’s father, but Derek had faith in him. He told me his father would get better and would stop hitting him. That never happened. When Derek was thirteen he finally told his father he had enough. He called his aunt and she came over and took Derek away from his father. She called child services. Now Derek’s aunt and uncle have custody of him. And I was no help making out with his girlfriend.”
“And he has no other family?”
“Well, he has an older sister. Her name’s Darcy. She was eighteen when Derek’s mom died. She moved out and got married to some guy named Thomas. She didn’t think she could raise Derek, so she left him with her father.”
“That’s horrible! Why would she do that?”
“Well, me and Derek haven’t been very tight lately. So I don’t know if he still doesn’t know why, or if he found his sister or whatever.”
“Wow, the poor kid, he’s been through so much for such a young boy. You would think he was much older if you heard his life story before his age. I mean, losing his mother, having child services called on his dad, moving out and living with his aunt and uncle, loosing his now married sister, working three jobs! You would think he was in his thirties!”
“Oh, yeah, don’t let me forget, his girlfriend cheated on him with his best friend too.”
“C’mon, Mom! Don’t make me feel all guilty now! I’ve already gone through all the guilt. Every time I‘d try to talk to him he wouldn’t respond. I never wanted to loose him as a friend. He was the best friend anyone could ever have! And I blew it. I guess I’m just jealous that he now likes Angie. I don’t want her to be friends with him if I can’t, you know?”
“Yeah, I understand. Why don’t you go upstairs, get some sleep.”
“Okay, night, Mom.”
“Goodnight, Alex. Love you, see you tomorrow.”
"Love you too,” Alex went upstairs. He found Angie standing outside of his door.
“I was going to go in there and wait for you, but I didn’t want wake up Lukas,” Angie explained.
Alex’s bedroom door opened just a couple seconds after that, “I’m not sleeping. I’m just being bored like always. At this rate, I’m going to fail tenth grade and I won’t be able to graduate next year!” Lukas said, “I just want to go back to school!”
“Well, your step mom is stable enough to sign papers for my mom and dad to take custody and put you into our school,” Alex explained.
“Alex, I need to talk to you,” Angie looked over at Lukas, “Privately. Can you come into my room?”
“Sure, why not?”
They both walked over to Angie’s room. When she got inside, Angie closed her bedroom door. “Listen, Alex, I heard almost everything you and Mom talked about.”
“Well, I wasn’t expecting you to, because I wouldn’t have said any of it to you. Now you’re going to go tell Derek I was jealous and that you know his dad beat him.”
“Alex, I’m not done. It meant a lot to hear you say all of that.”
“Well, I didn’t mean a word of it. I guess now you know I can be a good liar when I want to be.”
“You didn’t mean any of it? At all?”
“Nope. I don’t care about Derek. Yeah, he’s a goody-goody. Yeah, his life sucks, yeah, you are making him real happy. I don’t care.”
"You’re horrible, Alex!”
“What I’m a good liar when I want to be. Enough said,” Alex got up off of Angie’s bed and headed towards the door.
All Angie could do was smile.