Rules of a Rebel and a Shy Girl(3)

By: Jessica Sorensen

Only one person knows about what goes on at my house, and that’s Beckett. He’s been one of my closest friends since grade school. I told him about my mom a couple of years ago when he came over to my house to work on a school project and my mom wasn’t home by the time he was leaving.

“Are you sure you’re going to be okay being here all by yourself?” he asked, reluctant to leave even though his mom had honked the horn five times already.

I nodded, cringing at the shouting floating through the walls from the neighbors. “I’ll be fine. I’m home alone a lot, actually.”

He slung his backpack onto his shoulder with worry in his eyes. “Really? That doesn’t seem okay. I mean, my parents aren’t that great, but they don’t leave me home this late unless the maid or Theo is there with me.”

“It’s fine.” I felt stupid and silly and embarrassed, not just for having to defend my mom, but because of how loud the neighbors were screaming. It was bad enough bringing Beck to my tiny, broken house located on the crappy side of town when his house is so fancy and big. But we needed some rocks from my rock collection to do our project, so I didn’t have much of a choice. “I can take care of myself.”

“But you shouldn’t have to.” He lightly tapped me on the nose, something he did to try to cheer me up. “Why don’t you come over to my house and hang out until your mom gets home?”

My shoulders slumped even lower. “She might not be home until morning.” Or maybe even for a couple of days, but I didn’t want to tell him that.

He blinked in shock, and I waited for him to call my mom a weirdo and a freak like other kids did, but all he said was, “That’s okay. You can spend the night.”

I almost smiled. I should’ve known Beck would never call me a freak. “You think your mom will let me?”

He shrugged. “I’ll just tell her that we have to finish our project and your mom will pick you up in a few hours. She’ll be asleep by then, so she won’t notice.”

“But what about in the morning when I’m still there?”

“She has tennis practice at, like, eight and won’t be back until noon.”

I nodded and then packed my things, glad I didn’t have to sleep in the house alone again and thankful Beck was my best friend.

I glance at my mom, wondering how she would feel about me spending the night at a guy’s house or if she found out that I had already done that a handful of times over the years. Honestly, I don’t think she’d care.

I dial Beck’s number, crossing my fingers his dad doesn’t get angry that I called. He can be kind of grumpy sometimes.

The phone rings four times before Beck picks up.

“Since when do you stay up this late?” he asks in a teasing tone. “I thought you were on a schedule so you could get maximum study hours in or whatever.”

“I am on a schedule.” I turn my back to my mom as she examines me inquisitively. “But the schedule got interrupted.”

He sighs. “Let me guess. Boyfriend number twenty-seven is over and is being loud and annoying.”

He knows me too well.

“Yes to the last.” I glance at mom out of the corner of my eye. “No to the first … I’m pretty sure she’s above twenty-seven.”

A pucker forms at my mom’s brow. “What are you saying to him?”

I shake my head. “Nothing.”

“Okay …” Her gaze roams to the doorway. “I’m going to go check on Bill. I’ll be right back.”

After she walks out, I wander toward the window and close my eyes, shame washing over me. While I doubt Beck will judge me, it doesn’t make asking for help any easier.

“I need a favor.”

“Sure,” he replies easily. “What’s up?”

I rest my head against the frosted window. “I need a place to crash for a few days.”

“Why? What happened?” Nervousness creeps into his tone. “This boyfriend dude didn’t try to get into your room like the last one did, did he?”

“No … Well, he did, but only to try to get me out of the house,” I say quietly, “which is why I need a place to crash.”

“Your mom’s letting him kick you out of the house?” He doesn’t sound that shocked.

“They’re not really kicking me out …” My cheeks warm with my embarrassment. “My mom just asked me if I could sleep in the car or go spend the night at one of my friends’ houses for a few days. I don’t really like sleeping in the car … so I called you.” I shrug, even though he can’t see me. I feel so pathetic.

Hot Read

Last Updated


Top Books