Something Wicked

Something Wicked by Lesley Anne Cowan Page A

Book: Something Wicked by Lesley Anne Cowan Read Free Book Online
Authors: Lesley Anne Cowan
end of the night, she drops me off at a convenience store a few blocks away from my home because I don’t want her to see where I live. It’s partly because I don’t want her to get all clingy and show up unannounced, and also because I don’t want her to see my crappy apartment. In her chipper voice she tells me she had fun and that we should do it again. I say, “Yeah.” But I’m just so happy to get out of the car because I find her totally boring. And I can’t imagine living like this forever: not partying, just going to movies and living life sober.

Twenty-Two
    My mom has been trying to turn things around too. She has a new boyfriend named Scott. Current boyfriend, that is. As in, tonight . This one seems okay. He’s a Suit. That’s what she calls him. Which already puts him miles ahead of any man she’s ever brought around here. He’s an accountant at the firm where she’s been temping. Just got divorced. Probably on the rebound with my mom, but that’s okay. As long as they’re not assholes and don’t play stepfather, I’m fine. And as long as they make my mom happy, I couldn’t really care less.

    After only three weeks of dating, Scott takes my mom and me away for the weekend to a resort in the country. I sit in the back of his BMW SUV and watch a DVD on the screen hanging from the roof, while my mom keeps going on about the brilliant colour of the fall leaves, like she’s seventy years old and this is her first trip out of her home in years. It’s like she’s never seen a tree before.
    We stay in our very own little house, with two bedrooms, a living room, a kitchen, and a deck. It overlooks the lake. The bathrooms have fancy soaps and shampoos and lotions. My room has its own personal balcony.
    “Look at the reflection of the leaves in the water!” I shout from the deck, sounding now like my mom. But it truly is amazing, that watery fire of red and orange and yellow.
    We are this instant little family. The Suit’s family. We’re like dolls he’s playing house with. My mom and I go along with this pretend world ’cause we both know it won’t last. We go hiking, mountain biking, and swimming in the indoor pool. My mom and I get facials at the spa while Scott plays squash with some guy. We get dressed up for dinner and walk to the dining room, where we have the fanciest, most expensive meal ever.
    I excuse myself to go to the washroom but instead go outside for a quick smoke. When I return, Scott and my mom have ordered another bottle of wine and I get the feeling I should cut out. As I walk back to the table, I see them as if they were any other normal couple in the lodge. My mom looks nice in her black dress and all made up. And Scott, well, he looks like Scott, the way any man in a suit would look.
    “I’m gonna go back to the house,” I say, standing by the table instead of sitting down. I like saying that word, “house.”
    “What are you going to do?” my mom asks.
    “I don’t know. Sit by the water. Watch a movie. There’s a pool table below the restaurant.”
    “Okay. Have fun, Hon. There’s stuff in the fridge. But don’t drink the beer. Maybe two, but no more. I’m going to count—”
    “She shouldn’t be drinking beer,” Scott interjects, but then is silenced by my mom’s evil glare.
    “Relax,” I say to both of them. “I don’t want the beer. I don’t even like beer.”
    Scott reaches into his pocket and gives me twenty bucks, but I’m embarrassed to take it.
    “What does she need that for?” my mom asks, as if she’s embarrassed too.
    “I don’t know. Maybe something from the candy machine.”
    “If he wants to give it to me, I’ll take it,” I say, stuffing the money in my pocket and glaring at my mom. It feels good to finally have someone on my side. It feels right.
    I wander downstairs to the “teen room,” where some rich guys my age are playing pool with what looks like their little sisters. The second I appear in the doorway, I regret

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