P.S. I Like You(10)

By: Kasie West

“Impressive,” Isabel said when we had made it outside.

“What? I just did what I always do.”

She laughed. “But you did notice that he was civil too, right? See what happens when you are nice?”

“Yes … ” Wait, what? Was she implying that I always started arguments with Cade? He started it most of the time. I sighed. I sounded like my seven-year-old brother. Maybe she was right. If I were the bigger person, he’d at least leave me alone. I liked this thought—Cade leaving me alone. Us leaving each other alone. It would make school much more pleasant.

My sister, Ashley, was waiting in a No Parking zone when I climbed in her car.


“Hi,” she said. “How was school?”

“Same.” For a second, I thought about mentioning the desk-writing, but decided against it. If Isabel didn’t get the significance, there was no way Ashley would.

She waited for a group of girls to cross in front of us and then eased forward. “When I went to high school—”

“Last year,” I interrupted.

“Yes. I had to take the bus home or have mom pick me up in the minivan.”

“Mom picked me up in the minivan last week.”

“Well, that was every day for me. Every day, Lily. And I still managed to have lots of friends. You’re lucky I bought a car. A nice car that isn’t embarrassing.” This was a speech she gave often on the ride home. I’d worn out all my sincere responses already.

“Yes, I’m so lucky. Thank you, Ashley. However can I pay you back?” I leaned my head against the side window, wondering if she’d notice if I took a nap.

“Maybe I should work at the campus store more so that you have to experience the true torture of Mom every day.” Ashley sighed and checked the rearview mirror. “She once honked for ten seconds straight when I didn’t see her. And one time she made me take Jonah to the bathroom and he was screaming the whole time that he was going to pee his pants.”

I laughed.

“You think it’s funny because it wasn’t you.”

“I think it’s funny because I have my own stories, Ashley. You’re not the only one in this car who has three siblings and a weird mom.”

“In this nice, almost-new car.”

“Yes, it’s the height of class and sophistication. So beautiful. What do they call this color? Cobalt blue or Arabian nights?”

“No gratitude whatsoever.”

I smiled and Ashley turned on the radio. We did not have the same taste in music at all. When she saw me cringe, she rolled down the window and turned up the volume, wearing a smile of her own.

“What is that?” Ashley asked as we walked into the kitchen and she set her car keys in a dish on the counter. I was behind her so I couldn’t see what she was referring to. As I stepped to the side to look, a white furry thing streaked past my foot with my brother, Wyatt, chasing after it. Ashley screamed. I dropped my backpack and jumped onto the counter, now sitting with my back to the cupboards, warily watching the floor.

Mom chuckled. “It’s a meat rabbit.” She looked up from where she sat at the table stringing a bead onto a piece of wire for what looked like an earring.

“A meat rabbit?” Ashley asked. “As in, we’re going to eat it?”

“No, of course not. I saved it from that fate. The boys need to learn responsibility so I got them a pet.”

I slid off the counter. “And a nice, normal dog wasn’t in the running?”

The rabbit bounced its way into the kitchen again and Wyatt scooped it up, beaming. Jonah appeared at Wyatt’s side and began petting the rabbit.

“It lives outside though, right?” I asked.

“Yes,” my mom said, using her pliers to bend a section of wire. “It’s just getting some exercise.”

“Right.” I picked up my backpack and grabbed an apple from the bowl on the counter.

Ashley, still standing where we came in, said, “That thing is gross. It has pink eyes.”

“It’s cute,” Wyatt argued.

My bedroom door was halfway open when I got there. Not a good sign. I toed it open the rest of the way and looked around. Ashley’s side, as usual, had a few jeans strewn across the floor, but other than that it looked the same. I kicked off my red sneakers and placed them in the closet. Just as I took a bite of apple and headed for my guitar, I stepped on something slightly wet. I picked up my foot and what at first looked like a pile of raisins, I soon realized was rabbit poop.


“What? Who’s dying?” my mom asked when I got to the kitchen, a slightly mad look on my face.

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