"Quit trippin'. "Vondie said under her breath.
"What did you say?" Verdell asked.
"Nothin'." Vondie mumbled.
"Vondzell, I asked you a question and two things I want you to stop doing right now, rolling your eyes and mumbling."
"I said, Please, quit trippin'. "
"Exactly what do you think I am "trippin' " about?"
"Everything! Vondie said exasperated. "First, you said I couldn't go to the resort with my friends for the weekend and now you won't let me have the car tonight."
"I see, I'm "trippin' " because rules in this house didn't stopped applying to you when you turned sixteen." Verdell said.
"Please Mom, not the rules speech again, I know about the rules, but you know I can be trusted, I'm not going to do anything stupid."
"All right, so which thing do you think I "tripped" about that wasn't valid? "Was it going away for the weekend on an unsupervised trip, or was it the "car" trip"? "Let's see you've had your license all of two weeks and you want to drive the only car we have to a party tonight. Well, if that's "trippin" then I guess that's what I'm doing. The answer is still "NO" and "NO" and let's not discuss it any further."
"See, there you go again "end of discussion." I never get what I want around here. I bet Dad would let me drive his car, he said I could. Now that I'm sixteen, I want to go and stay with him." Vondie said defiantly.
Verdell tried not to let the hurt show on her face. It had never came up before, Vondie going to live with her Dad. Although lately there had been more comparisons of parenting styles since Vondzell had entered her teens. She some time wondered if Vondie realized the sacrifices she had to make around here to make ends meet and keep their heads above water. She doubted if Vondie noticed anything if it didn't have a boy attached to it.
"Vondie, you know staying with your father is not an option."
"Your Dad has little time at home because of his job, and he has a one bedroom apartment." Verdell explained.
"I can take care of myself and sleeping on the couch is no big deal." Vondie countered.
"What about all of your friends? Your Dad lives across town, are you willing to start a new school in the middle of the school year?" asked Verdell.
"I can call them on the cell and meeting new friends would be the bomb." Vondie said, but her resolve seemed to waver a little.
Vondzell and her mother had been a team a long time, in fact all of her life. Sometimes she got mad at her and her rules but in the end her mother was always right. She loved her mother with all her heart and she was very much aware of the sacrifices that her Mom made for her. She had seen the look of hurt that came across her face when she threatened to go live with her Dad. That was not good, one thing she never ever wanted to do was hurt her mother.
"How about I take you to the party, you and your friends?" Verdell suggested.
"No way! That's so juvenile!"
"Okay let's compromise, I drop you and your friends off at the restaurant across the street from the party and that's where I'll pick you up."
"Oh, alright, I guess something is better than nothing." Vondie said as she walked away.
"And Mom, I'm sorry about what I said, you're not trippin', you're just being a Mom."
Verdell smiled and said a silent prayer that future battles would end as well.
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