Okay, I'm going to try this. Feel free to rip it apart.
"Mom! This is like... SO unfair! I can't believe --"
"I'm sorry, but the answer is still 'No.'" Tina calmly placed her purse on the kitchen counter, and began going through the day's mail.
"But... but... Ash and Tiff are going! Their moms don't care! You are just -- I can't believe -- O... M... G!" Jocelyn stomped from the kitchen into the living room, hurling her book bag to the floor. Dropping to the couch in a huff, she pulled out her cell phone to check for text messages. Her mother, angered at hearing the young girl's exclamation, followed close behind.
"Now hold on, young lady," Tina began, "let's go back and review a couple of things here. The movie title has the words 'Axe Murderer' in it. Hello! This isn't some silly movie you're wanting to see! It's going to be graphic and it's going to contain scary details, and..."
"MOM. I'm 14." Jocelyn stared at the floor as she proclaimed the number, and then turned her attention back to the phone.
"Let. Me. Finish." Tina's voice was stern enough to elicit a look from her irritated 14-going-on-30 daughter.
"Fine." Jocelyn sat back, crossed her arms and sighed noticeably.
"Look, young lady, I was 14 once too, and it was't that long ago! There were times I didn't get to do what everyone else was doing. And it wasn't fun. But it was for my own good. You have to remember, Jocelyn Nichole, I make the decisions I make because I care about you. I'm not responsible for Ashley and Tiffany. I'm responsible for YOU. I'm not trying to be mean.."
The cell phone buzzed, distracting Jocelyn. Tina waited. She knew there was no point in continuing while a text message was coming in. Because ALL text messages are more important than Mom! She frowned as she watched her daughter's face for some hint of what this new message was about.
"Perfect!" Jocelyn threw up her hands, tossing the cell phone on the couch. As her hands dropped to her sides, she tilted her head back and moaned. "Why me?"
"What is it this time?" The constant teenage drama was wearying, but Tina really was interested in whatever had made Jocelyn's countenance grow darker.
Jocelyn sat upright and grabbed the phone to spout the newest information at her mother. "Everyone going. Can pick you up. Gonna be wicked cool!" The anger was all too evident in her voice now.
"Jocelyn, I just think --"
"But Mom! Everyone is gonna be there! Everyone! Not just Tiff and Ash! And tomorrow? What's gonna happen? Everyone will be talking about it... but ME! Because MY mom decided... oh, whatever!" Jocelyn jumped to her feet in disgust, jerking her bookbag from its resting place.
Another text came. Tina watched as Jocelyn read the message and then closed her eyes.
"Great." The word was almost imperceptible. The two stood like statues as silence enveloped the room.
Tina rubbed her forehead and sighed. "Jocelyn, come here, please."
"What?" Jocelyn turned to face her mother, bracing herself for yet another string of reasons why the movie was not acceptable.
Slowly, Jocelyn let the bookbag drop to the floor, and trudged toward her mom.
"You really want to do this, don't you? It's that important?"
"Mo-o-om!" came the whiny plea. "Everyone, Mom! Everyone is gonna be there! Just this once.. can't you... please?"
The big puppydog eyes and the lower lip that appeared to fall all the way to the floor were too much for Tina to resist. My gosh, she is just like me, Tina groaned to herself. Crossing her arms, and squaring her shoulders, she locked eyes with her daughter.
"We have rules, young lady."
"You WILL call me when you arrive at the mall."
"But... Ash's mom is gonna drive us! Why do I --"
The response was quiet, and controlled. "Yes, Ma'am."
"You WILL text me when the movie is over."
Jocelyn's face slowly brightened. "Yes, Ma'am."
"You WILL call me when Ashley's mom arrives to bring you home."
The look from her mom was all it took to stifle her disagreement. "Yes, Ma'am."
Jocelyn began to fidget in place. "Wha-a-a-at?"
"You will NOT be anywhere but at the theaters. No hanging in the parking lot. No running all over the mall. No talking to boys you don't know. And you especially will NOT get into any other car, other than Ashley's mom's car. Is that understood?"
Jocelyn's face was as bright as the noonday sun. "Yes, Ma'am!" The warm hug she gave to Tina clearly showed her change in disposition. Tina returned the gesture by hugging her daughter just as warmly.
"I love you, Joc."
"I love you, Mom."
Jocelyn grinned and giggled. "Always, Mom." She wiggled free from her mom's embrace.
"Gosh, I gotta text Ash back!"
Fingers flew over the small keys, as a weary mother watched, wondering if she'd won this battle, or lost. She is SO much like me...