GENRE: YA Contemorary
Most seniors didn’t stay home on a Friday night to babysit their mom. I did.
I was chopping tomatoes at the kitchen island, helping Billie finish dinner. Dad hired her to take care of Mom during the day, but she also liked to cook for us, a definite bonus. Billie’s cooking tasted almost as good as Mom’s used to. Almost.
Dad called at six, one hour before the football game Em and I had been looking forward to all week. We’d waged our last battle against the SAT monster, and I’d written college application essays until the glare of my laptop made my eyeballs burn. We deserved a night out, even if it was just a Keene County football game.
So when my phone hummed on the counter, and Dad’s picture appeared on its screen, I kept slicing tomatoes.
Billie glanced at me over the top of her glasses. “You gonna answer that?”
“Fine.” I accepted the call and tucked the phone between my shoulder and my ear. Dad started talking before I finished saying hello.
“Catherine, I’m in the ICU waiting for lab results on a patient.”
I held the paring knife in midair. “You’re not coming home.”
“Not for a while.” His words wrapped around me, tight.
“I wanted to go to the game tonight.”
“I’m sorry, Cat. I’m tied up. I need you to stay home with Mom.”
I glanced at my mother, sitting in her wheelchair with her head dropped to one side.