Authors: Bethany Crandell
Copyright Â© 2014 by Bethany Crandell
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Save a place for me
ess than forty-eight hours ago I was in the comfort of my room, thick in a conversation with my best friend about those red patent Miu Miu ballet flats we saw in the Neiman's catalog, when in full, dickhead parent mode, my dad stormed in and single-handedly destroyed my entire summer.
“Constance Elaine,” he said in a deep voice. “I have never been more disappointed with you in my entire life. You should be ashamed of yourself.”
We'd had conversations like this before, so I knew there was no reason to get my panties all twisted up. I just responded the same way I always do: I dropped my head slightly and conjured up my best Bambi eyes. “Aw . . . come on, Dad. It wasn't
“Actually, yes!” he said, surprisingly unaffected. “It really
Looking back, I admit having an impromptu party in the riding stables wasn't the best idea, but I'm seventeen. If I can't screw off a little now, when can I? And who was that stable hand to call
out anyway? Doesn't he know my father practically owns that place?
“So what?” I challenged, surprised by his sudden display of
badassedness. “You going to ground me or something?”
He sighed deeply and his face contorted into that sad, wounded puppy look he hasn't worn since the last time I asked about my mom. “Honestly, Cricket . . . I'm not sure what I'm going to do with you.”
Well, he might not have known right that minute, but he figured it out pretty fast. The next morning he chewed my ass about the privileged life I lead, going on about how I have no concept of what happens in the real world and how my selfish behavior is getting out of hand. He puffed up like a bullfrog and croaked something about making sure I leave for college next year with a good head on my shoulders and my feet planted firmly on the ground. It was one of those lame, parental speeches that was supposed to motivate me to change my ways, or start journaling my feelings. In the end, all it did was piss me off.
And as if lecturing me until I was ready to ram scissors in my ears wasn't bad enough, he salted the wound by announcing that not only was he confiscating my credit cards until school started, but I would not be flying to Maui with Katie and her family as planned. Instead, I would be spending the rest of my summer acting as a camp counselor to a bunch of tweens who are too lame to know that summer camp stopped being cool when you were seven. Surely this was some sort of sick joke.
e've been driving nearly two hours and I'm beginning to suspect that my dad wasn't kidding after all. The landscape outside the town car has steadily evolved from the buildings, shops, and urban life that are familiar sights in downtown Chicago, to this . . . I don't even know what you'd call it. There's just a crapload of trees and more Buicks than a car dealership.
I pull out my iPhone for the fourteenth time, hoping maybe this will be the minute Katie decides to turn her phone on, when I see Sean's dark eyes glance at me through the rearview mirror.
“This is going to be a good thing for you, Constance.”
“Don't call me that. And mind your own business!” I glare back at him, my phone shoved against my ear. The last thing I need is my dad's personal driver thinking he can offer me any reassurance that this situation isn't as completely jacked up as it is.
“Katie, it's me,” I whine into her voice mail. Again. “Pleeeeease call me. I'm dying here.”
Through the rearview, I see that Sean's eyes are still steady on me. I turn back to my phone and update my Facebook status. It now reads:
WANT TO HANG YOURSELF? COME TO MICHIGANâ
PLENTY OF TREES!
An eternity passes without any response from Katie. I'm seriously considering opening the door and giving myself a road rash tattoo, when Sean has the balls to say, “Your dad thinks this will be a good learning experience for you,
. You know, he's doing this because he loves you.”
“Oh please! Spare me, Sean. Just because you drive me from point A to point B doesn't mean you know anything about my life. You drive the car! And as for my father doing this because he loves me . . . well, he obviously doesn't love me enough to cancel his trip to Madrid so he can drive me up here himself. So just do me a favor and keep your opinions to yourself, okay?”