GENRE: middle grade
“Tell me again why we have to move to Grandma’s?” I chewed on my thumb waiting for Mama’s answer, but I knew what she was going to say. I was still hoping she’d change her mind though, and sometimes nagging helped. Mama said if nagging was an Olympic sport, I’d win a gold medal. But I only did it for important things. And this was the most important thing ever. This changed everything.
Mama’s eyes flashed in the rear view mirror. She yanked the steering wheel and pulled over the car. Me, Charlene and Ruthie slid across the seat, crashing into each other. Our U-haul trailer rocked to a stop and dust blew up around us.
Rats. Sometimes nagging ended like this, with Mama madder than a bee in a pop can.
Mama stuck her head between the front seats. She smiled hard with her mouth but not her eyes, just like in her Miss North Carolina first runner-up picture. “Brenda Anderson, do not ask me that again. I told you we have to live with Grandma now because we don’t have enough money to stay in our house.” She kept smiling and blinking fast. “I don’t like it either.”
We sat quiet in the back seat. Since Mama was already mad and couldn’t reach my earlobe to give it a good twist, I decided to get brave. “But we’ve never even met Grandma. She doesn’t send us birthday cards or presents. She didn’t even come to Daddy’s funeral.”