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Kevin made his way to the principal’s office, frowning the entire way. Walking into the office, he stopped at the desk.
“Can I help you?” a middle-aged woman asked him.
Kevin had prepared his answer on the way in, “I’m here because you called. My first grader, Kaylin, seems to be a problem today.”
The woman smiled being a principal at this age level she knew who was standing on the other side of the counter. After having many conversations with Kaylin’s mom over the last two weeks, she knew what the man was to Kaylin. A twinkle came into the woman’s eyes. “Kaylin, yes we’ve seen quite a bit of her lately.” She offered her hand and smiled. “I’m Principal White, it’s a pleasure to meet you Kevin.”
Okay so much for not recognizing me, Kevin groaned in his head. “Can I speak to you privately first, without Kaylin?” Kevin had noticed that the office was beginning to get a little crowded with onlookers.
Glancing to the open conference room she headed towards it. “We can talk in here.”
Kevin entered the room and they spoke for over twenty minutes. He was informed of what had been taking place over the last two weeks. He was slightly embarrassed for not being in the know. He explained what had been going on at home and what he thought was going on with Kaylin. He used as little detail as possible and profusely apologized to the woman for the inconvenience. Giving her his cell number for future problems, he insisted that he be called along with his wife.
Standing up Mrs. White smiled, “Well I hope you’re right Mr. Richardson. Kaylin is a sweet little girl and up until now, she hasn’t been a problem. Don’t worry our talk will not go beyond these walls.”
“Kaylin is a good kid but when she wants to be a problem, she knows how,” softly he chuckled.
“Lets go to my office, she’s waiting for us there.” Mrs. White ambled out the door, with Kevin following behind her.
Opening her own door, she walked in wearing a stern face. “Shall we try this again Kaylin… Let’s see this is the sixth time.”
Kaylin smiled, not at all fazed by the comment. She sat in the chair swinging her feet. “Is my mom here yet?”
Kevin watched her; the little shit was the carbon copy of her mother. “No, just me,” he glared at her.
Kaylin’s face fell to the floor, “UH-Oh, I’m dead.” This was not going to go the way it was suppose too. Some how she knew Kevin wasn’t going to take her to McDonalds like mom did when this was over.
“Ya got that right,” Kevin frowned as he strode into the office and sat down in the chair next to her.
Kaylin took one at him and promptly burst into tears and began wailing for her mom. “Where’s my mom? Is my mom okay?”
Principal White nodded at Kevin and quietly left the two of them alone in her office.
“You’re mom is fine Kaylin,” he tried to reassure her. His guess was right all this trouble was over Kaylin not being told what was going on. All she saw was her mom sick, she had lost one parent and thought she might lose another.
“But mom would come for me. Is she sick? Is she in the hospital?” Kaylin was in a complete panic over this. She was babbling and crying faster than Kevin could calm her down.
“Kaylin stop,” as he pulled her from the chair and into his arms. He was trying to talk her out of this as the hiccups settled in. “Listen to me please, you’re mom is home sleeping, she’s very tired.”
His face met hers and he could see she was genuinely worried about her mom. Brushing her wet face with a hand as she tried to talk and hiccup at the same time.
“But… mom… she’d come get me… she’s always sick… she went to the hospital,” was all she could manage to get out in between hiccups.
“Yes she was and now she is home and going to be fine. Kaylin did you get into all this trouble just so you would know that your mom was okay when you weren’t around and couldn’t see her?”
Kaylin’s head bobbed up and down.
“I thought so, no more,” Kevin grimaced at her. “You’re mom was in the hospital but she is going to be okay, I promise”
“She still sick, she’s always barfing,” Kaylin didn’t believe him.
Kevin was getting frustrated, he need to make a decision. No matter what he said, nothing was going to make this better but the truth. “We need to talk, but not here. Get your things we’re going home,” he sighed.
Quickly she grabbed her coat and backpack. Kaylin got as far as the counter before something tugged her backwards. She froze in her steps. She was turned around and now faced Principal White and Kevin.
“Apologize and tell her it won’t happen again.” She heard in a voice that Kevin usually saved for talking to her mom.
Kaylin sniffed trying her best, “I’m sorry and I won’t get into any more trouble. May I have one more chance?”
“Yes Kaylin you may but it’s your last chance,” Mrs. White didn’t smile at Kaylin but she did at Kevin. “I want your homework and missed assignments turned in tomorrow morning.”
“Tomorrow?” Kaylin was confused; she had at least seven assignments. She heard Kevin clear his throat and jumped slightly. “Yes Ma’am.”
“I am truly sorry and you have my cell number if you have anymore problems, but I know you won’t. Will she?” Kevin’s hand settled on Kaylin’s shoulder in front of him as he took a step out the door, reinforcing his point. He stopped suddenly. “And you’re understanding.”
“You gave her your cell, mom is going to kill you,” Kaylin blurted out as he shoved her out the door.
“Don’t push it Bounce,” was the angry comment from Kevin.
The drive home was barely tolerable for both them. Kaylin knew Kevin was just a little too easy on her. Kevin was stewing over not knowing about it and Bron making him look like a complete ass. He didn’t know Kaylin had been raising so much hell at school. To make matters worse, he was at the bottom of the list to notified if something happened. Principal White promptly moved him to the top of the list.
As they entered the house Kaylin headed for the stairs only to be stopped by the words “Where are you going?”
“To do my homework,” she answered without turning around.
“Dining room, no playing in your room. From now on, the work will be done where people can see you and check your work. We’ll discuss how long your grounded for after dinner.”
Kevin left her staring at his back as he went into the kitchen. She wasn’t going to argue, she knew that anything Kevin did would be worse then mom ever would. Kaylin smirked as she did her homework knowing it wasn’t going to be too bad, Kevin was leaving soon for a whole month.
Checking on her occasionally, he saw the defiant chin and little smirk. All he wanted to do was kick her in the butt and hopefully the attitude right out of her.
Kevin paced between the dining room and kitchen as he made dinner. The longer the clock ticked the angrier he became. He took a deep breath when he heard Andrew come in the side door. Bron would be up soon, her internal mommy clock going off.
Hearing the, ‘Hey sweetie, you’re home,’ come from the dining room Kevin gritted his teeth.
Andrew’s discreet snicker earned him a death glare from Kevin. “Oh I know that look, I have seen it on my dad. Kaylin did it again and mom is covering for her.” Andrew just smiled and sat down at the table. He wasn’t going to miss this unless he was booted from the room.
“Thanks for getting up and making sure she got in okay,” Bron yawned as she headed to the coffee pot. She smiled when she saw dinner was almost done. “That was sweet of you Kevin, thank you, for keeping an eye on her.”
“Yep he’s a sweet guy, I bet he’s watching her real close now,” Andrew grinned like a fool.
In the post haze of sleep Bron looked puzzling at Andrew, “You’re weird.”
Ducking into the doorway Kevin called Kaylin to the table to eat. Walking up behind Bron, he set his chin on top of her head. Wrapping his arms around her, he asked, “Do you feel better?”
“Yes but you shouldn’t have let me sleep so long. I’ll never sleep tonight.” Turing her head slightly to see him.
The anger slowly melt away from him, tugging on her ear with his teeth, he let go. “I know how to put you to sleep.”
Bron chuckled, “Are you saying you’re boring Kevin?” as she walked away.
A hand connected on her backside in the form of a light swat, “Very funny darlin’, very funny.”
“I try Master,” she giggled.
“God you two want to make me sick sometimes,” Andrew wrinkled up his nose in disgust.
Kaylin shuffled into the kitchen and she sat quietly at her seat next to Andrew. The food was placed on the table and they began to eat.
Bron watched Kaylin glance too many times towards Kevin and she was slightly worried. Kaylin was normally talkative during a meal; the quietness surrounding her was a sign of trouble.
“How was school today baby?” Bron watched her youngest face. The face she was watching turned to look at Kevin.
“Funny thing you should ask that babe. I met Principal White today, she’s seems to be a very nice woman, not to mention tolerant.” Kevin spoke and was waiting for Bron’s reaction.
Bron didn’t say a word, her lower jaw stiffened and shifted back and forth. She narrowed her eyes and looked at Kaylin. Kevin watched the silent communication between the two. Good you’re both busted he thought.
Andrew was amused and he would glance from one to the other.
Kevin figured it was time to continue. “Kaylin, it was brought to my attention today that all of this mischievousness that you’ve been getting into has been caused by your mom. You’re worried about her. Don’t be, your mom is pregnant and going to have a baby. That is why she is sick.”
Bron choked and then spit her drink out, all over the table, “OH MY GOD!” She flung the glass of water in her hand at Kevin and stormed out of the kitchen.
Kevin didn’t have time to react, as the water dripped down his face. Andrew laughing and Kaylin staring at him wasn’t helping. Sliding his chair back, he dried his face with the napkin. “Excuse us, we’ll be back in a minute.”
“Yeah right,” Andrew snorted.
Pointing his finger at Andrew, “That’s enough from you.” Kevin rolled his eyes, “Finish your dinner.”
Kaylin laughed at Andrew getting yelled at for a change.
“Sorry,” Andrew uttered.
Taking the steps two at time, he bounded to the bedroom door, as he opened it, he started bellowing. “You’re ass better not be in that tub! This is you’re fault, you should have told me!”
Bron was standing by the window looking out over the meadow. She turned with her head lowered, a small tear slipped down her cheek. “I can’t believe you told her. How do I explain it to her when something happens?”
Kevin slowly ambled over to Bron, clasping her face between his hands. “You can not live in fear every day that something is going to happen to this baby. She was scared and she didn’t understand, she thought she was going to lose you too. Do you honestly think that is fair to her?”
“No,” Bron croaked as she leaned on him for support.
“I’m really pissed that she has been in so much trouble and you were hiding it from me. Why?” Kevin was determined that this was not going to happen again.
“I thought you would kick her ass for it, she‘s been through enough already,” Bron whispered. “She was worried but I didn’t want to tell her.”
“You’re right, I am going to kick her ass for this. You don’t need the stress but I can’t discipline her for it when it was because she was scared.” Kevin waited for her to absorb what he had said. He didn’t get a reply but he did get half of an understanding smile.
Slowly he towed both of them out of the room and back downstairs. They both sat down to silence that was deafening. Andrew broke the silence, “Do you want a boy or a girl mom?”
Bron sighed heavily, “I just want Andrew, the what doesn’t matter.”
Andrew shook his head, he had seen this so many times.
Kevin looked at Kaylin as he picked up his fork, “What do you want the baby to be, a baby brother or sister?”
“I have a brother, I don’t like him much, so a sister would be nice.”
Bron coughed as her food became lodged in her throat. Kevin had to hide the smile from forming on his face.
“Hey brat, knock it off,” as Andrew poked her with his elbow.
“He’s picking on me again,” Kaylin whined.
“Aww bullshit princess, you are about to be de-throned.”
“Stop!” Kevin yelled as he looked around the table. “This is dinner not a three ring circus.”
“I want a sister but it won’t happen, it never does,” Kaylin frowned.
Kevin knew Bron had Kaylin programmed but he didn’t understand to what extent. “Well you’re wrong, she is going to have this baby in November.”
Andrew’s eyebrows shot up as he looked at his mom, then to Kevin, and then back to his mom. “That means…”
“Say one word Andrew and you’ll be very sorry,” Bron grated out.
He hid his smile behind his napkin but his eyes gave him away. “Sorry mom,” he snickered. He dropped his napkin and smiled. “Dad always said that if you were gonna play be prepared to play.”
“I’ll kill you, you little smartass!” Bron nearly shot over the table at him and would have had Kevin not stopped her. Pushing her down into her seat.
Andrew knew he had crossed the line and needed to apologize. “I’m happy for you both, really I am. I’m sorry mom. I think it would be great to have a baby brother or sister. I’ll even baby-sit.”
“I’m counting on you two to keep you’re mom safe. She needs her sleep, she needs to exercise and eat right, no more junk food or candy.”
Six eyeballs rolled at him and then back up to the ceiling. “Geez, you would think I eat garbage all the time.”
“You do Miss eight pound weight gain,” Kevin spoke softly but not softly enough. Two very quiet ‘Wow’s’ were heard.
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