“I hope you’ll feel better,” Phoenix said.
Kaiden had been mopey all day. Last night, at dinner, Kolby announced he had found an apartment and would be moving out tomorrow. He kept the discussion between their parents, so the announcement came as a shock to Kaiden. His friend, Kori Dandridge, thought it might be a good idea to take him bowling after school to lift his spirits. They also grew up together, and she was his closest friend. As luck would have it, she seemed to be the only girl in school who didn’t have a crush on him and decided to entertain herself with a little drama. She invited Phoenix and Breanne along as they seemed to be the biggest contenders for his heart. They also were unaware that she was not their competition.
Kaiden didn’t really feel like bowling, so he let the ladies go first.
“I think that’s enough for me. You’re up, Kaiden.”
“Nah, I’m good. Kori can go again.”
“Are you sure you don’t wanna play?” Kori asked.
“Yeah, go ahead.”
Kaiden dampened the mood, and when he said he wasn’t interested, all of them lost interest. Instead, they went upstairs to chill.
Phoenix tried to cheer him up. “It won’t be so bad. I miss my brother too, but he’s so old. We wouldn’t hang together much anyway.”
“I don’t think that helps,” Kori whispered.
“That’s all I got! I don’t see you trying to help.”
“Where’s Breanne?” Kaiden asked.
“Who cares,” Phoenix said.
He didn’t realize she went home when she said she was done and sent her a text stating they were coming over. “Let’s go over there.”
Upon entering the Pancakes residence, Kaiden saw Eliza and chatted with her for a bit before seeking out Breanne.
“Hi, Mrs. Pancakes.”
“Oh! Hello, Kaiden! How are you?”
Meanwhile, Breanne was not happy about her other guests.
“I don’t want you here,” she whispered harshly.
“I was invited,” Phoenix sang in a taunting tone.
“You stay away from Kaiden. He’s mine!”
“He’s not yours until he says you are.”
When she finally ceased throwing eye daggers at Phoenix, she looked around and saw that Kaiden and Kori had left. “Where’d they go?”
They both rushed toward the back door. Outside, they found Kaiden crying and Kori sitting with him.
“I know how you feel, Kaiden. I was pretty sad when my brother moved out too. It’ll get easier though. At least you have other siblings at home. There’s only two of us.”
“It’s just happening so fast,” he whined. “He never said anything!”
“I’m sorry, Kaiden,” Phoenix said.
“I think you guys should go,” Breanne said.
“Kaiden, do you want us to go?” Kori asked.
“It’s MY house and I want you to go!”
“See ya, Kaiden.”
“Yeah, yeah, goodbye!”
“What is wrong with you?”
“You don’t need them! Besides, we have important things to discuss!”
She had never seen him upset before. It broke her heart. “Are you mad at me?”
“Why did you have to do that? They were just trying to be nice!”
“I just didn’t want them here.”
“Ok fine, but you didn’t have to throw them out like that. And, if you didn’t want them to come, you could have told me.”
“Well, yeah. What did you want to talk about?”
She didn’t feel like it was the right time for the conversation, but in light of recent events, she needed to move quickly.
She cleared her throat. “Well…in light of your brother leaving, and us being at the center of our teenage life, I think it may be a good idea to begin thinking about the future…”
“Of course! You may not be the main Pruett family, but it is still your duty to maintain and continue everything the Pruetts stand for.”
“Okaaaay. So, what does that mean?”
“That means you need to start thinking about your future family! What do you want it to look like? Who do you want to start said family with?”
“Uhhhh…do I have to decide right now? Can we just do our homework?”