Over the last year and a half or so nothing has changed much. I still get up, crawl out of bed, and go to school – well, for the most part. I’ve been grounded on more than one occasion because of my adventures, but I can’t help it. I need to get out of that place. School bores the hell out of me. Seriously, who ever invented school should have been shot by all the kids in the world. The worst part about attending a private school, its a private school for boys. UHG! A guy can take only so much.
My dad hasn’t faired much in the year and a half. His work keeps him busy and you can tell just by the stress how much he has aged. He’s even thinning. I bet mom he’d be bald by Christmas – she has a hundred on for it to be as early as Easter.
My sister, the little brat is now in school. She’s just starting out. She goes to Madison Girls for the Gifted and Talented. My sister is bright, very bright. We have no idea where it came from. Most likely mom, but she’s not the sharpest tool in the shed.
But life goes on. I woke up happy this morning, and I mean really happy. Mom was screaming at me to get out of bed. “I’M UP!” I yelled back. “Gah Mom! Take a chill pill.”
Mom didn’t like it when I said that. She walked right into my room. “Excuse me Parker?”
“MOM!” I said grabbing my pillow and hiding myself. “Privacy please.”
“Don’t take that tone with me Parker. Get up, get dress, and get your ass into gear, do you understand me?”
“Yes.” I said through gritted teeth. She and I were on good terms on most days. Today was not going to be one of those days. “Now, can I please have some privacy?”
“Yes.” And she walked out the room.
I grabbed my backpack and put an extra change of clothes in it. I needed another adventure. I really did. I looked down at grandpa’s photo and smiled. I always smiled when I saw his photo. “Where shall I go to today gramps?” I asked the photo, knowing his answer would be school. But I’d like to think he would say, this place or that place.
Then my bratty sister walked in. “Can I go?”
“No.” I told her. “You have to go to school.”
“Paaaaarkeeeer!” she whined.
I turned and faced her, “Look Les, I love you. But you gotta go to school. How else are you gonna learn how to read and write?”
“I know how to read and write.” She snapped back. “Please, Parker. Let me go, just this once.”
“No. Mom would shoot me dead if I encouraged my bad behaviors on you.”
“Fine, then I’ll just tell her you packed an extra set of clothes and plan on ditching again.”
So this is my dilemma I am faced with. I could take Leslie with me or go to school and then ditched after homeroom. However there’s that one huge problem – all the security guards know me and know not to trust me. I have a bad rep for taking off. I’ve been caught on several occasions trying to get off school grounds. I looked at my sister as she waited for an answer. She wasn’t going to back down.
“Fine.” I sighed. “But if you get me into trouble, I’ll never let you in on one of my adventures again. We get caught it’s on you. You can’t use me as a scape goat.”
“Deal.” She spit on her hand and put it out for me to shake. I followed her gross example and we shook on it.
Leslie and I ate breakfast together. Cereal. Dad joined us after he crawled out of his own bed. “Well, look what the cat dragged in?” I snickered to Leslie.
“When’s the last time you shaved dad?” She asked, and we both laughed at his overgrown beard.
“Shut up. I am under a lot of stress right now at work. I have meetings late at night and then I have to wake early enough to catch an early meeting with the board directors and the CEO’s.”
“It sounds like someone needs a vacation.” I hinted. I’ve been dying to go on a vacation for two months. I want to go to France so badly, its not even funny.
“Show me those grades I told you, you need and we can go on vacation Parker.” He said coldly. My parents wanted a minimum of a B- average. I had a D average with all the school I missed. I went back to eating my food. “That’s what I thought.” He said to me and got up.
Leslie and I were just getting ready to leave when mom walked out of my bedroom. “Mom, what the hell were you doing in my room?” I asked. It was seriously freaking me out. I had stuff in there that no mother should see – like my dad’s collection of Playboy.
“I was cleaning it Parker. And what I want to know is, why is your dad’s magazines under your pillow?”
Crap. I totally had meant to hide that when I got up this morning, but with mom barging in all I could do was hide it under a sheet. “Uh, I don’t know what your talking about.” Yeah, probably not my greatest defense. Luckily the bus downstairs showed up and honked.
“We’re not through discussing this Parker Rain.”
I nodded and ran out the door.
Leslie had held the elevator for me. Inside she looked at me, I knew she was debating on asking what mom’s and my conversation was about. “You gonna tell me?”
“It’s none of your business.” I said. She just rolled her eyes. I smacked the emergency button on the elevator. “Did you bring a set of clothes?”
“Put them on.”
“I’m not gonna get dressed in front of you! That’s totally disgusting.” She yelled.
“You either do this now, or get on that bus to Madison.” I threatened. She finally did what I asked and we both dressed out of our uniforms and put on our normal street clothes.
Outside of the apartment complex we walked away from the bus and headed for the subway. “Where do you wanna go?” She asked me as we walked.
“I dunno. I normally just pick a random place and head over there.” I answered.
“Hey, I know! Lets go to the butterfly park!” She said. She was really excited about that place.
I shrugged my shoulders. “Alright, if that’s where you want to go for your first adventure then we’ll head over there.”
I took my sister’s hand and we walked down the subway and made our way across town to the Butterfly Sanctuary. I have to say, this was my first time over here and I really quite enjoyed it, but not as much as my sister. Leslie loved it. She loved the butterflies and caught many of them. I took my camera my grandpa bought me and snapped a ton of photos. Mostly of Leslie trying to catch a butterfly.
That’s where I spotted her. She was gorgeous. I didn’t know many teens of the opposite sex. I took a picture of her from afar. She was just cute, sitting there and reading her book. I walked over after. “Hey, mind if I sit?”
I sat next to her. I was really nervous though. “Names, Rain, Parker Rain.” Yeah, okay I know its so James Bond, but he is my idol.
“Natasha.” She said.
“So, what’s a pretty girl like yourself doing here alone, and not at school?”
“I just moved here and my folks are still in the process of signing me up for school. How bout yourself? Why aren’t you and the little kid over there in school?”
“I’m on one of my adventuresand my sister caught me so she threatened that if I didn’t take her she would snitch on me. So, I took her.”
“So you’re ditching school?”
“Yup.” I confessed. “I hate the damn school I go to. It’s all boys, boring as hell, and it’s just too confined for me.”
She laughed at me. “You are so cute.”
I blushed. I was so red in the face. She found me to be cute. So, I took my shot and made my move on her. “So, Natasha, would you ever consider going out with someone as cute as me?” I smiled like Sean Connery would in all his amazing movies.
“Yes. If he knew how to ask me out.”
“Alright. Natasha, will you go out with me?”
“The movies, Friday night.”
But little did I know that I would not be doing anything for a while. While Leslie and I were at the park and I was scoring my first girlfriend, my mom was receiving two phone calls. The first one I was told was about me not being in class by one of my teachers. The second was Leslie’s school asking if she was sick. When my mom told them no, they asked her why she hadn’t shown up to school. My mistake: Listening to Leslie.
Later on in the afternoon, after a small picnic at the park that Natasha had brought and chatting away to my new girlfriend, Leslie and I headed home. In the subway I looked at my little sister, “You are not to say anything to mom and dad about anything, especially about Natasha.”
“Hello, why would I? We both ditched school, remember!”
We walked inside the door and mom was standing right there tapping her foot, and waiting for us. “COUCH NOW!” She yelled.
Leslie and I looked at each other. Busted was all I could think of.
We sat on the couch and mom ripped into us. “WHERE THE HELL WERE YOU TWO!?!”
“School.” Leslie replied. I smacked my head. Leslie had no clue that our cover was blown.
“NO YOU WERE NOT LESLIE ANNE!” Mom yelled. “I got a call from both your schools. I expected this from him, but you young lady, I know you know better!”
“Parker made me.” She said. My eyes widen in horror.
I looked over to my sister. “I DID NOT YOU LITTLE BRAT! Your the one that wanted to come. Your the one that begged and then threatened to snitch if I didn’t take you.” I know it wasn’t the brightest thing to say, but I was pissed.
“PARKER RAIN!” Mom yelled and I gulped. “Do you mean to tell me you planned on ditching today!?!”
I nodded. I was so fucked.
“And you decided that rather than setting a good example, you took your sister out!”
I only nodded. I had dug this hole deep. I was more fucked than I could imagine.
And that’s when dad decided to come home. He walked into the house just as I confessed to taking my sister on an adventure. “I’m home!” My dad called out from the hall.
“IN HERE!” Mom yelled. Both Leslie and I looked at each other and started to panic.
Dad walked in and spotted us sitting there and mom standing there all pissed off. “What’s going on?” Dad asked all of us.
“Tell him Parker.” She demanded.
“Leslie and I went on an adventure today.” I mumbled. “And we are both terribly sorry.”
My dad narrowed his eyes at both of us. “Leslie is this true?”
Dad looked over to mom. They were both pissed off. Truly pissed off. Dad bent over and got to Leslie’s level, “Leslie, why didn’t you go to school today?”
“Because I wanted to go with Parker. He always gets to go to fun places.” Leslie whined a bit.
“No, he just goes to places, but he is never allowed to ditch school and neither are you. You know you are in trouble, right?” Leslie nodded. “Then I want you in your bedroom and on your bed. You are grounded for the remainder of the week.”
I stood up. I was now pissed. “THATS UTTER CRAP! How come she gets off this easy!?!”
Dad stood and looked at me. “How come? Maybe its because this is the first time she’s ever disobeyed her mother and me. YOUon the other hand have been doing this since you were seven Parker! You know better, but you don’t give a care about anyone but yourself.”
“WELL MAYBE IF I HAD FUCKING PARENTS MY WHOLE LIFE I WOULD DAD!” I yelled.
I ended up storming out of the room and into my own. I wanted to say more. I did care about others. I tried to be polite on most days. I was raised by the right man, my grandfather. He taught me to respect those around me. But its so hard to respect that man out there when he didn’t love me enough to even bother raising me.
Dad stormed into my room. “YOU WANNA HASH THIS OUT? Because I am fucking tired of this same damn excuse Parker! YEAH I FUCKED UP WHEN I WAS EIGHTEEN!”
“Sixteen dad, remember.”
“NO EIGHTEEN! I don’t regret sleeping with Rose, Parker. I regret leaving you behind and you fucking know it. So I am fucking sick and tired of you pointing out that I wasn’t fucking there!”
“Well, you weren’t dad and I am gonna make sure you always remember that!”
“Oooh don’t worry I’ll never forget. I could never forget. So. I want this to stop, NOW! Got it!”
I didn’t say anything. My only defense in ever fighting with dad was telling him he was a lousy father. I always held some leverage with him. I wasn’t about to give it up.
“PARKER! DO YOU UNDERSTAND!?! NO MORE!”
I sighed, “Fine. Now can you get the hell out of my room.”
My dad straightened up. “No. I’m still not done. You ditched school, again. And this time you got your sister involved.”
I nodded. This is where he grounds me and I just listen. I was sick and tired of the same lecture about skipping school.
“Parker, this is serious. You are almost failing. The school is ready to kick you out. I had to make a hefty contribution to the school to keep you in.”
“WHAT! WHY! I HATE THAT PLACE!” I yelled.
“Because I rather have my kids have the best damn education that money can buy than send you through the awful public system that Bridgeport has. Now you are grounded and you are to make a promise that you will never go on an adventure until after you graduate high school. And if you don’t I’m taking that trust fund away and giving it to your sister.”
“WHAT!” I yelled. I was flabbergasted. He couldn’t do that to me. That money is basically fourteen years of life savings for me. “You can’t do this dad.”
“I can and I will. I want those grades up by the time you graduate. Anything lower than a C and I will take that money away.”
I narrowed my eyes. “This isn’t fair dad. That’s my money!”
“No, it’s mine that I put aside for you.” He looked around the room. “I want these off your walls, and I don’t want anymore lip about this.”
“How long am I grounded now?” I asked. I felt so defeated by this.
“Six weeks.” My mouth dropped. I had never been grounded that long for ditching. “A month for ditching and two for your sister. You set the example, you get to pay.”
“That’s so not fair!” I yelled. “She should have done the time. Or better yet, rather than beg me to take her she could have just ran to you and mom after discovering I was gonna run. It was her choice dad, NOT MINE!”
“You still set the example Parker. She’s seen you ditch this past year so many times that she saw this as a cool thing. If you have never ditched, she wouldn’t have wanted to in the first place. Now, you are paying for putting this idea in her head that its cool to ditch school.”
Dad had me in a bind after that night. I honestly didn’t want to go back to Green Water Hill. I called up Natasha and asked her what school she was going to. She told me the district number and where it was located. I told her what I wanted to do, and she decided to help me get into the public system.
I went to school, for the next two weeks and their Saturday schools. I was at the library every day during lunch, trying to hack into the systems. I needed my transcripts. I finally got a teacher’s password in and was able to hack through the rest of the system. I printed out my transcripts with the student computer.
After School, I headed over to Natasha’s school and applied. Natasha paid some bloke to act as my father. He was homeless, and needed the cash. She schooled him in what to say and how to act. He was drunk and dressed in some ragged clothes, it look like I came from not such a nice family. The school bought the story and enrolled me. I was in, and even better I got in the same classes as Natasha since she had just enrolled.
The next day, I headed onto the bus with my sister in my uniform. She got out and I stayed on till the bus made it to the public school. I got out and ran to the park across the street to change into normal street clothes before heading to school. This was going to be a huge adventure for me. I told myself that I would go to this school and try my best. I needed to prove to my parents fast that I could do well in the public schools. They would find out eventually.
My private school did call my folks again. This time though I had homework to prove I went. Mom yelled at me as soon as I got to the door, hell I didn’t even make it into the apartment. “AGAIN! AND THIS TIME DURING A GROUNDING!”
“What are you talking about?” I asked. I had dressed back in my uniform in the elevator.
“YOU KNOW VERY DAMN WELL WHAT I AM TALKING ABOUT PARKER!”
“No, I do not. I went to school. I got homework. So, I have no clue what you are talking about.”
“Prove it.” She said. So I took out my homework and showed her. I had stuck all my work in my private school’s binder. She looked at it and handed it back to me. “Sorry. I guess the school’s system was wrong for once.”
And it was wrong for weeks. . . .
I had been going to school with Natasha for three weeks. I had good grades. I often sat next to her at lunch and homeroom and we would do our homework. We were an it couple, I have to admit. Next to the lockers is where we shared our first kiss. School had never been more fun. It was probably even better, since for me it was an adventure going to a new school without my folk’s knowledge. It was as if I was some kind of spy or something, blending in with the local kids, and even making some friends. Heck, I even did homework at home!
Then it all came crashing down. My parents took Leslie to a movie she had been begging to see. I was still grounded. They waved their hands when they left me to my homework. The homework was just a ruse. I planned on not doing homework that night. As soon as dad and mom walked out I called Natasha.
Natasha came over about twenty minutes later. It was kind of funny, she lived in the apartments across the street. She had to beg her mom though to let her go visit some friends. Now she was over. I opened the door and we kissed. Tonight was date night. I couldn’t take her out, so we decided the first chance I got, I’d invite her over.
We sat on the couch and cuddled. We watched an episode of Spartacus together. It was bloody, sexy, and just pure awesome. I found that Natasha, like me, loves adventure movies. We started to make out on the sofa.
But soon we moved into my bedroom. We were only making out, I swear. The most we were doing was – well lets say both of our tops were off and my pants were unzipped. She wanted to go further, but I told her that I wasn’t ready. She liked that in me. So that’s where we were, in the bedroom.
And that’s where my father found us. Yup, the movie was over and my parents were home. Dad came in my room to turn off the music I had on with the computer (dad let me keep it so I could do my research papers on it). Dad just stopped dead in his tracks when he saw us. I looked up from kissing Natasha. FUCK!
“Get dress and the two of you get into the living room.” Dad said, surprisingly with a very calm and steady voice. I nodded and grabbed Natasha’s shirt from the floor. She was totally embarrassed, and as for me, I was a bit scared.
I walked into the living room with Natasha in hand. Dad was waiting. “Uh, where’s mom?” I asked.
“I sent her with Leslie to get ice cream.” He answered. “Sit.”
We did and we waited.
“First of all, who is she?” Dad asked of Natasha.
“This is my girlfriend, Natasha. Natasha, my father Travis Rain.” Natasha only did a half hearted wave to him. She was really nervous.
Dad didn’t reciprocate the hand wave. “Tell her goodbye.”
I didn’t have to. Natasha left as soon as dad said that. She didn’t need to be told twice to leave.
Dad looked at me and I could see more disappointment in his face than anger. “Out of all the stupid stunts you could have pulled Parker, you had to go and do this.” He finally said after some deep breathing. “I just. . . I don’t get it.”
“Dad, we weren’t doing anything.” I said in an almost panic. “And we weren’t gonna do it.”
“Parker, how do you think Rose and I ended up in bed together? We didn’t just jump the gun. I was in the same position as I just saw you, and look what happened.”
“You don’t think I know that dad! I already said no to Natasha. We were just fooling around.”
“Fooling around will make you want to do more Parker. And I know, you don’t want that. Your not ready to take on that responsibility. Hell, you know I wasn’t ready. I can’t allow you to make the same mistakes that I made at your age.”
“I won’t.” I mumbled. “So am how long am I grounded for now?”
“I’m not gonna ground you for this Park. I should, but I’m not. Instead, I just want you to promise me that you’ll keep everything PG with her. Nothing below the waste, and her clothes still on.”
“I promise.” I honestly said. Dad had a point. I couldn’t end up like him. I wouldn’t end up like him.
Dad sat down and looked at me. “I think we should have a real long talk.”
I looked at him and just stared. “Talk? Your not talking about sex are you? I told you, I’m not going to screw around.”
“You say that, and I really want to believe you Parker. But then I find you with an half naked girl and all I can see is my past. I want us to be honest and open about everything Parker. I don’t want you to come to me when its too late and find out you knocked up the first bimbo you come across. So, lets just – talk.”
And so we did. He talked, I mostly listened. I did ask a few questions, but for the most part I really just sat there uncomfortable. Who really wants to talk to their dad about sex?
Mom and Leslie walked in the house after a while. Dad and I were still on the couch talking about sex. He knew I was curious about it. He knew of the magazines I stole. So, we had the talk. Mom told Leslie to go play when they walked in. Leslie ran to her room. She thought I was in trouble. Mom came in to the living room, “Well?”
“I’ve made a promise to dad that I’ll keep everything PG.”
“And?” Dad asked.
“And if Natasha is ever over, she can’t go into my room.”
Mom nodded. “Good.”
Mom sat next to me. Now I was in the middle of the two. She looked at me, “Well, can you tell us how you two met? And how long this has been going on?”
“We met at the Butterfly Sanctuary, and we started dating a few weeks ago during schoo–” Yup, that’s right I busted myself. I blurted out school before I could stop myself. I broke my own cover, a big time no-no in the spy world.
“School?” Both my parents asked within seconds of each other. “You go to an all boy’s school, how the hell do you see her there?” Dad asked a bit peeved.
I had to tell them. “I actually don’t go there anymore. I enrolled myself into Natasha’s school, and haven’t missed a day since. I even have a B average in all my classes.”
Dad looked pissed. “Dammit Parker! I thought we had a deal!”
“You didn’t say I had to attend Green Water Hill, you just said I couldn’t ditch. I haven’t actually ditched. I been going to school, doing homework, and I have my grades up for the first time since kindergarten.”
Dad stood he was so mad. Mom took him over into the hall. He was pissed off. “Travis calm down.” I heard mom say to him. “Maybe it’s for the best if he just attends this school.”
“We pay good money Claire. Green Hill is the best damn school around.”
“But he hates it there Travis. He likes the public system. We’ve been fighting him with this for almost two years Trav. Just let him go.”
Fine.” I heard dad say. I pumped my fist I was so happy.
Mom was right I did enjoy Bridgeport High School. I just hoped that he would allow me continue my education there.