Addie shuffled along dragging her feet. Frustration and dread went along with her. I don't care if I'm late. Maybe they'll leave without me. How much can we take. She's nice but ooh ...
Mary Helen slumped at the breakfast table, head in hands. How can I get out of this today? I can't skip much more or I won't pass. What do I do? Her eyes gleamed as she headed for the bathroom; coughing and gagging as she went.
"Mo-om, I don't feel so good."
John McIntyre woke with a stuffy head that morning. "Hun, my dose is stopped up," he sounded almost cheerful.
Hun walked to the bathroom, hands on hips, and eyeballed her husband of twenty years. "Why did you say it like that, John?"
"I can sit by her today, and it won't even phase me. I told you about the problem, right?"
"And what about the kids that have to ride in the car too; Steve, Addie, and Mary Helen? You're the adult, the Drivers Ed teacher, for heavens sake. Get it taken care of."
"You're asking a lot, I'm a guy after all. It would be easier for a woman."
"No excuses, John."
She wagged her finger and jabbed his shoulder. "Man up!"
Steve turned over, smacked the alarm, and sat up. Crud, it's Thursday, torture day. Shallow breaths might work.
Callie rolled off her pallet, pushed her Daddy's old huntin' dog off her clothes, and dressed herself. Stupid dog.
Best get out of here before Dad wakes up.
She opened the fridge, hoping she missed some bite of food. Nope just beer. No food. It'll never change. Dad's worthless.
Callie sighed, glanced at the clock and hurried to the bus stop.
Glad it's Thursday. I gotta' learn how to drive. Then things will be different and I'm outa here.
She looked at him, the question in her eyes. John grabbed his sweet wife, and pulled her into a hug,
"Thank you for being a nag."
"The school nurse talked to Callie."
"That's good … right?"
"Yeah, it was. Real good."
Callie liked the young nurse, Miss Kemple ... Wonder what she wants.
"You asked to see me Miss Kemple?"
"Yes, Callie, have a seat."
Her smile warmed Callie's heart
I miss my Mom, she thought.
"Callie, I need to ask you some questions so I can help you. Okay?"
"Sure, Miss Kemple. You want to help me?"
"With all my heart I do." Miss Kemple smiled hoping to put her at ease.
"Callie, do you have a working bathroom at your house?"
"Would you like to take a shower here at school each morning?"
"Callie burst into tears, "Oh yes ma'am."
"Tell me about your home life."
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