She gently stroked Tom, her cat – but her mood was anything but gentle. She was mad – the kind of anger every teen has when their parents just don’t understand how hard it is to be a teenager in this day and age.
Her anger was focused on her dad. He had just reminded her that she needed to do more to help out around the house since both her Mom and Dad had to work to make ends meet.
“Tom, Dad just doesn’t get it,” she began confiding in her ‘best friend.’ “Doesn’t he know how much homework I have. That, alone, limits my social life. I barely have time to text my friends and keep my Facebook and Instagram accounts current. And then there is Twitter. Nobody can be popular if they don’t stay current.”
Tom purred and moved closer so she could scratch his ears. “How can I possibly help with the dishes and fold laundry? He’s just trying to ruin my life. Next thing you know, he’ll want me to start cooking. I know he has been hinting.”
Tom looked at her and she just knew he was the only one who truly ‘got’ her. “I bet if he knew I liked Bobby he wouldn’t let me out of the house until I become an old maid. I just hate him!”
She picked Tom up and held him close – still feeling the softness of his fur as she petted his head. The longer she sat there in the silence, the more angry she became.
Then she heard her phone. A text – finally – something that will make her happy. She sets Tom on the floor and picks up her connection to the only people she feels she can care about since they don’t nag her about ridiculous responsibilities.
It was her best friend, Sally. She opened the text – excited for the first time all night.
“Cop shot during armed robbery. Your dad ok?”
She was amazed at how quickly all her anger disappeared. Now all she could do is reread those words over and over. Her hands were shaking when she dialed her Dad.
“Hey, Kiddo. Everything okay?”
She could feel her heart slowing down, “Yeah. I just needed to hear your voice.”
“That’s sweet but it’s kind of crazy out here right now. I will explain later. Give your mom my love. Love you, Kiddo.”
The phone went dead. As she laid the phone down, she whispered, “Love you, too.”