Kendra and Ofir are characters in Addergoole
One week into Summer vacation after Year 5
Kendra had been home for nearly three weeks before anyone came to visit.
She had been settling in, having long conversations with her father and shorter, more uncomfortable conversations with her stepmother and her younger brother ‘Deus.
Her son Falke was still tiny, hungry all the time and cranky when he wasn’t hungry. “Just like your daddy,” she teased him, when nobody else was listening. The truth was, she didn’t mind. He didn’t take that much effort, and her stepmom and dad were more than willing to take most of the burden.
When the doorbell rang, Falke was finally settling down for a nap, so she slipped out the door before the noise could wake him up. “‘Deus is out… oh. Hi.” She swallowed a squeak. These weren’t her brother’s friends, or, at least, they hadn’t been when she left a year ago. “Kale, Nancy, Ashley, Hi. Brittany – are you pregnant? Oh, wow. Justin, you look… good.” Really good. “Hey, Jasmine. New hairdo. Um. How did you all get here?”
“Courtney’s mom let her borrow the van. We heard you were back, but you didn’t stop by.” Brittany’s hands were over her full stomach protectively. “So we thought, you know, maybe we’d stop by…”
“Oh! Hi.” She remembered how to smile after a moment. “Sorry, it’s just been…” Inside, Falke started wailing again. “Well, let’s just say, Brit, if you’re having a boy, I can pass you down a whole bunch of clothes in a month or two.”
She shared a grateful smile with the girl who she’d barely known before she left. At least with Brit pregnant, there would be less questions. Maybe she wouldn’t have to try to explain Ofir, or Jamian, or anything else over the last year.
“So, who’s the dad?” Trust Justin to ruin her plans. And the way he was looking at her, he was remembering that kiss before she left. Kendra flushed.
“Just some jerk.” She hunched her shoulders, thinking about it, thinking about the day he’d lost her. “We’re not together anymore.”
“Just like that?”
“Things were… complicated.” Things were always complicated at Addergoole. “But, ah, I’m home now.”
“Come on, let’s see the baby.” Jasmine pushed the door open. “and then you can tell us all about your year at school, and this jerk. And oh, my god, you would not believe what Terry did to Anna.”
Lock her in a closet? Sell her to his friends? Turn her into a toad? “This way, follow the screaming baby noises. What did he do?”
“Totally cheated on her with Amber. And then pretended it was all her fault.”
“Oh, that sounds… horrible. What did Anna do?” I’d get someone to do a tlacatl on him so he couldn’t get it up for weeks…
“Oh, thats… awful.” She paused in the doorway to her room; Falke had settled down to little burbling noises. “Maybe I’ll talk to her.” Give her some pointers.
“And then Amber…” they were on again, and it all sounded so dire, until she thought about a collar locked around her neck. It was going to be a long summer, wasn’t it?
She caught Kale smiling at her, those blue eyes so sincere. But possibly a fun summer, too.
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