narrated by: Dean
I begged Mom for a junk car, we don’t use the parking spot by the alley. She parks her car in the garage, and Dad doesn’t ever leave the house unless we force it upon him. But that wasn’t what persuaded her, mostly I told her that it would give me a hobby and a focus so that I didn’t get into trouble as a teen, and learn real world experience for when I’m an adult. She was sold. She spends her life at DHS, helping people of all ages that have lost their way, or were down on their luck, and she’s all about staying out of trouble at this age.
Mom surprised me with it, dragging Dad away from his novel, and showed us what she got. Dad was not impressed. He isn’t mechanically inclined, and all he saw was a pile of junk that vaguely resembled a vehicle. He also didn’t think that a kid like me could fix it up, but Mom didn’t let it dampen her mood. All she saw was, no teen pregnancy when she looked at that car. She didn’t have to worry, I’m thirteen, with no girl prospects in sight.
It’s not that I don’t like anyone, cause I sort of do, it just boils down to no one liking me. One day while me and Lewis were working on it, Jill Popper came by.
I tried impressing her with my car, when I’m sixteen I will have a ride, and I could pick her up. But she was not interested. She’s a freshman, and apparently she thinks of me as a baby.
The whole thing frustrated me, Lewis laughed, he’s a sophomore, and could get Jill if he wanted, I’m sure. Being a younger guy really sucks. Lewis is adamant that in time, I will get a girlfriend, and to just enjoy the car in the meantime, because one day, it will matter.
I did do that though, focusing on the car. I hope that it will be finished before my sixteenth birthday, maybe get my driving lessons with it. Dad is still convinced it’s a piece of junk, and that we will have to tow it away at some point. I don’t think he was such a sour puss when Zeke and Lorelei were kids, but it’s pretty clear that they are middle aged parents now, and are past their prime.
Dad spends all of his freetime on the computer, he wants to work on his novel, or start a new one, there is barely any downtime for him. But when Mom gets home, she forces him to the main floor to spend time as a family. Sometimes if she is running late, she asks Dad to cook a frozen pizza.
It is never successful. I don’t know how, but he always burns it. Set the temperature, set the timer, and that is all there is to freezer pizza. Even I could do it, but I’m not always home to help out.
I really just wish that Mom would bring take out home, and save us all the suffering. Though Dad is never perturbed by it, so he ether prefers burnt pizza, or he’s so old that he lost all his tastebuds. The verdict is out on that one.
After dinner, I get to clean the kitchen up, and Mom plays on this old ninteen-seventies toy cube. She protests that it keeps her mind sharp, and maybe it does, or at minimum her tastebuds have remained intact.
Then we settle in for a few hours of television, Dad reads some novel in the same genre he’s working on, and I look over my car magazine, and Mom chats our ears off, while she tells us every detail about the show she is watching. I don’t know if they’ve always had this weird television-talking-reading combo going, but they have for as long as I can recall. I used to watch TV with Mom when I was younger, and sleep on the sofa beside her until she went up to bed, but I’m into the magazines these days.
They are off to bed early too, usually nine on the dot, and that leaves me in my room. Our rooms are connected, so I have to keep it down, and no electronics are allowed after nine, so there’s not much to do.
The nice thing is that I get some personal space, and Mom took me out for my twelfth birthday to redecorate, and I really like my room now. It actually feels like my own personal space, and all my old toys are long gone now.
Mom’s been busy helping Morgan and Zeke find a new house, they decided suddenly to move to some place bigger. Mom says that Morgan is the pickiest house hunter. She’s never been picky personally, she got her first house for Zeke with a jazzercise job, I don’t even want to know what that uniform was, and she was just happy to have a roof.
Mom tries to impress her ideas onto Zeke, but he’s about as receptive as a wood pole. Mom forgets she can’t weasel her way with them, they are both very headstrong, though Zeke barely cares about their new house, it’s all Morgan’s doing. Mom can barely get her way with Lorelei, I thought they were going to call off their Mother-Daughter relationship during the planning of the wedding, thankfully that’s all calmed down.
I’m much more laid back, and don’t mind doing nice things for Mom if it makes her feel good, and doesn’t infringe on my standpoint.
My only real issue I got going for me now is our pet cat, Tailee. She’s getting up there in years, and she basically despises me. Mom insists that I pulled her tail a lot as a toddler, but give me a break, that was more than a decade ago.
When I go down to get breakfast before school, she likes to pounce me, scares me half to death too. Mom thinks I’m exaggerating, and that Tailee can’t jump like that anymore, but she has no idea what her devil cat can do.
Sometimes she will jump next to me while I play a few video games, and I think we have made some sort of peace offering. I think she just likes watching the animations bounce around the screen.
Then a day later, I’ll be coming back in from working on the car, and she’s guarding the house, and won’t allow me to pass. She’s scratched and bit me more times that I can count, and Mom thinks that I’m the one instigating it, like I’m still a toddler. I don’t want to even be near the cat, let alone would I pick on it until it drew blood.
Because of this, I like to avoid the house in the afternoon before Mom gets home, and Dad is still writing. I want to be an FBI agent when I grow up, and Mom immediately set up a tour of the South Port P.D. for me. It really pays having a Mom that works on the county level, and has connections everywhere.
Officer Tim Grimsley gave me a behind-the-scenes tour. It was a little dry at first, his computer had a hiccup as he put it, and he fumbled around with it.
Everyone was really nice, giving me tips, and encouraging me to go for my dream, saying they need more good guys in the field.
We took a break and Tim gave me some tips on protecting myself against a perp, it was a new experience for me.
He even gave me an old defunct piece of equipment to fool around with, and I spend more time trying to get it to work, but I’m good at tinkering around so I think I’ll get it fixed up.
I play on the Jefferson Basketball team, we are a team of six, so someone always has to sit out for games. But it’s a good time, and keeps me occupied most afternoons. I’ve been making friends with Jett Picaso, we’ve been in the same class since preschool, but it wasn’t until basketball that we started being friends.
His twin brother Flint isn’t so nice, he seems to pick on most of the guys on the team. Jett says he just likes to horse around, but I’m not sure how true that is. He isn’t malicious, but no one appreciates being ruffled up.
Most of the time, I feel like the only one that cares about practice, quite a few have girlfriends that sit on the stands or are cheerleaders. They can barely keep their focus, but I don’t have any such distraction.
Some days I go to Jett’s apartment, and work on our homework.Sometimes Flint gets his brother to do his for him, while he plays video games, they seem to have some arrangement.
Flint does seem fine at their place though, he doesn’t act like a jerk when we play on the game system. The weirdest part about being there is when their Mom is home, and she’s making out with her boyfriend. They seem to like Warren alright, but it skeeves me out. I’m glad that my parents are married more than ever before.
My biggest problem is the cat, and no girlfriend, I’ve decided that I’ll start feeding the cat, and hope the girl situation figures itself out. Maybe Tailee will warm up to me, then she can stop trying to kill me, that’d be a win.
Notes: That cat does not like Dean, and that cat is old, my 13 year old daughter named her when she was 8, which is why the name Tailee is such an odd one. Each of Kenzie’s kids are so far apart in age, that they’ve mostly been raised as only children, and I was reflecting how different each of their childhoods had been. Dean definitely has the nearly sixty year old parents, Tyler has always been a bit of an old soul to start, and he’s ready for Grandpa pants.
I did a family portrait for Kenzie and her immediate family. I’m not very excited to do Kenzie’s extended family, at all, but I will do it sometime before Ethan or his sisters kick.
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