Tuesday morning, the Jones residence got a slow start on the day’s activities. Mary was usually the first one up and prepared breakfast, but she gave herself a rest. There were plenty of leftovers for everyone. Tim and Susie awoke with just enough time to have breakfast before the bus arrived. John, who didn’t go to work until 9:00, seized the opportunity to have a few moments alone and plopped in front of the television before breakfast. Tim was the first in the kitchen followed by his sister, and man oh man did she surprise him.
“Good morning,” she sang.
“What are you wearing?” His mouth was full of leftover salad.
“Clothes,” she said matter-of-factly with a cheeky grin.
“Mommy is going to kill you.”
“I’d like to see her try!”
Mary would never admit to this, but she heard their entire conversation. She had emerged from the bedroom just as Susie was sitting down and was very hurt. She couldn’t understand why her daughter hated her so much and what she had done that was so terrible. However, she fought back the urge to cry and proceeded to the kitchen. When she was in front of Susie, she gasped at the sight of her face. She wasn’t aware her little eyes could withstand so much mascara.
“Susie…where did you get that outfit?”
“I don’t think that matters, mom.”
Mary was getting nervous. She could picture the headlines. Socialite’s daughter goes goth… Joneses can’t keep up with themselves… “S-Susie, please go back upstairs and change. That outfit isn’t suitable for school.”
“There isn’t any time, mother. I can’t be late for school.” She loved taunting her mother.
Mary felt like her world had begun to spiral out of control as soon as they moved to Willow Creek. She blamed it on the move, citing that uprooting a family may have negative yet temporary effects. They only need more time to adjust…that’s all. And, with that, she turned around and prepared pancakes. John was in the shower by then. After the shower, he was too impatient to wait for Mary to finish cooking and got whatever was left in the fridge.
“Good morning, dear,” she sang.
He woke up frustrated after having an unfulfilling dream about Jade.
“Don’t you want some fresh pancakes? They’re nice and hot…and buttery…drowned in syrup!” She stuck the plate under his nose and teased him.
“I’ll stick with the salad,” he said. “It’s cold…just like this house.”
“Oh? I’m quite warm myself…”