“I’m off to school, are you coming?”
“Nah,” Dylan answered paying a little attention to his girlfriend.
“You’ve been skipping school since we moved in, Dylan.”
“So? High school’s basically over, babe. We graduate in less than a month.”
“Whatever. See you later, then.”
Dakota left the apartment alone. Again.
They moved in together over a week ago and Dylan hasn’t been to school since. All he does is he plays video games and drinks beer with his friends.
“No Dylan again, huh?”
“Nope, apparently playing video games is more important than our future.”
“He’s not the guy for you, Dakota,” Martha said.
“Here we go again,” Dakota rolled her eyes, “why can’t you just leave it alone.”
“Sorry, I just…”
“Miss Cooper? A word in my office please,” the principal cut Martha off and walked towards her office, signaling Dakota to follow her.
“What’s that about?” Martha asked curiously.
“I dunno,” Dakota shrugged, “see you at lunch.”
“Sit down, please,” the principal offered her a chair and she herself sat on the other side of her desk.
Dakota took a seat and quietly waited for her to explain why she’s there.
“How is everything?” the principal started friendly.
“Why am I here? I need to get to class.”
“Don’t worry about it,” the woman smiled at her, “so I understand that you and Mr. Porter are dating, correct?”
“Are you aware he hasn’t been here since last week?”
“Ya, I guess. What does that have to do with me?”
“Well we called his parents, but he doesn’t live there anymore. He moved in with his girlfriend.”
“Oh. So where is he?”
“Well he is….sick. He was sick the whole week.”
“Is that so?”
“Ya, why would I lie?”
“I don’t know, to cover for him? Why don’t you tell me what’s the real reason he’s not going to school. Or would you rather I call your parents and inform them? You know, you’re not eighteen yet. This whole living situation is not exactly standard.”
“You can call who you want, it’s not like my parents care,” Dakota scoffed, “Can I go now?”
Stupid Dylan, I’m so done covering for him.
Dakota and Martha met in the cafeteria later that day.
“What did Mrs. Donahue want?”
“Well, are you in trouble?”
“I would be if I had normal parents, like you.”
“Believe me, you don’t want that.”
“Right. Anyway. We should do something this weekend. Go out and have some fun with Kyra.”
“Yea, I’m in. I have to talk to my normal parents first though,”
“Obviously you can’t tell them you’re going out. Just tell them we’re going to the movies and you’ll be staying at Kyra’s house.”
Dakota got home after school and saw the same picture she saw every single day. Her fiance and his friends sitting playing video games surrounded by beer bottles.
“Dylan, can I talk to you?”
“What’s up, babe?”
“In private, please.”
Dylan stood up, controller still in his hands.
“Dylan,” Dakota raised her voice.
“Yea, yea. Pause it,” he said to his friends and followed Dakota to the bedroom.
“Hey, sunshine,” he leaned closer, trying to kiss her.
Dakota pulled away, “you reek of beer. Is that what you were doing all day?”
“What’s the big deal? I’m just having some fun.”
“Yea, how about you have fun after school. I’m sick of covering for you. I was called into the principal office today. Because of you.”
“Because you haven’t been there for over a week and when they called your parents, they informed them you moved out. With me.”
“Sorry babe. I’ll go tomorrow, ok?” he promised.
“Now come here.”
“You still reek. And I have homework to do.”
Dakota spent the rest of the afternoon in the bedroom listening to the cheers from the living room.
Great. I’m paying for everything and all I get is this tiny room with nothing but an old bed an two side tables in it.
The sound of a door bell pulled her out from her thoughts.
Who is that?
“Honey,” Dylan yelled from the other room, too busy to open the door himself, “can you get the door?”
She was expecting another of his friends or a neighbor complaining about the noise but definitely not her.