* * * *
The car was locked so he and Andi leaned against it, waiting for their dad to come out. “Can you believe him?” Andi growled. “He never had any intentions of taking you shopping. He would rather be with that…that idiot bimbo than spend time with us!”
She saw the shattered look on his face and stopped talking, taking a deep breath. “I’m sorry, Bobby. He’s just such a jerk.” She saw them come out of the pizza parlor. “Here they come.” She got nose to nose with her brother. “Do not let him make you cry. I mean it, Bobby. He is not worth it.”
Their dad walked around the car and opened the door for Miss James, laughing at something she had said. Clueless, or uncaring of his kids’ hurt feelings, Steve Taylor whistled a tune as walked to the driver’s side.
Bobby’s eyes were glued to the passenger window in the backseat. Please, don’t let me cry. He had been so sure today would prove that his dad still loved them. The giggling of the woman was like fingernails on a chalkboard. He glanced at his sister. Her jaw was clenched tight and she looked ready to explode.
Miss James turned to look at the two kids in the backseat. “Andi – that’s a name you don’t hear everyday.”
When there was no reply, Steve jumped in. “It’s short for Andrea.”
“How cute,” the woman said, smiling at Steve. She turned her attention again to the back seat. “So, how do you like our little town?”
Oh no! Bobby groaned inside, squeezing his eyes shut.
Andi sat up a little straighter, smiling. “Oh Miss James, my mom, brother and I are just loving it here. We are living the dream.” The woman smiled; apparently not having a clue sarcasm was being thrown in her face. “Picture this,” Andi continued, “My mom has a fabulous, great paying job, but because our dad loved us so much he talked her into giving up her career to come to Smallville, USA.”
“Andi,” her dad said in a low warning tone.
“Not only that, Miss James, Bobby and I were in schools we loved and we both had so many friends, but what was important was our family being together. You know, a loving family, everyone being a team member, so dad could have his chance.”
The woman’s eyes darted nervously around the car. “Well…uhm…that’s just lovely Andi. Now if we…”
Andy wasn’t through. “It is a lovely story, isn’t it? She leaned forward, as if to tell the woman a secret. “But the love didn’t stop there,” Andi said, putting her hand on Miss James’ shoulder.
“Bobby and I were nervous about going to a new school, yet excited to meet new friends. You can surely understand that, right?” Andi’s stare demanded the woman’s eyes to stay trained on her face. Miss James, her mouth partly opened, slowly nodded. “Can you imagine Bobby’s and my dismay when the kids, all but shunned us? We didn’t understand. We are nice people. Why would the kids at school, give us dirty looks and talk about us?”
Miss James, wide-eyed, shook her head back and forth. “Why would they?” She asked.
“That’s what we wanted to know.” Andi sat back in her seat. Her voice changed from sugary sweet to matter of fact. “Imagine our surprise when our father felt the need to shag the neighbor’s wife.”
“Andrea!” Her father snapped. “That’s enough!”
The sugary sweet voice was back. “What?” Andi purred. “Seriously, dad, how could you have known that mom wouldn’t understand about you screwing around with another woman? The nerve of her telling you to get out! Now she is working two jobs. An up and coming advertising expert is now answering phones at a real estate company, part time, and cleaning houses for a management company. Isn’t that priceless?” Andi’s voice dripped with sarcasm. “And who could have guessed that the lady’s family you destroyed, had two kids that are the same age as Bobby and me. Yep, John Slater, who is extremely popular, has apparently told everybody in my sophomore class at school that it is my fault that his family life is in the toilet.”