I stretched as I woke up, still not used to waking up somewhere other than the motel. Don get me wrong; I don miss the motel by any means, though. I don think Ive felt any lower than when I was living in the motel by myself. It wasn the nicest place, thats for sure, and my neighbors weren exactly friendly. No matter where my job where for Mr. Wolfe would take me, I was thankful to be out of there.

Eventually, I got up and out of bed. Touching my feet on the soft carpet, I flexed my toes. I never knew a rug could be so soft. I looked forward to today, going out and getting Lark some craft supplies. From a young age, I always loved art, and I hoped Lark would enjoy it too.

”Lilian. ” I looked over as Mr. Wolfe opened the door. Apparently, he really wasn one for knocking.

”I really just prefer Lili. ” I meekly spoke, hoping hed listen to me.

”Lili. Good morning. ” He smiled at me. He was already dressed. Ahead of me, no doubt because I stayed in bed a little longer.

”Morning. ” I smiled back at him. ”I was just about to get dressed.

”Id love to watch. ” He smirked, causing butterflies to form in my stomach. I don know what it was about him, but boy, did he make me feel something. ”But alas, Ive got to get to work early. ”

”Will you have time for breakfast? ”

”I will have to take something with me. Youll have to wake Lark up for me. ”

”No problem. ” I smiled. ”Ill make some breakfast for just us two. ”

”He loves pancakes. ” Mr. Wolfe nodded, a small smile on his face. He seemed so much softer when talking about and to his son. I loved it.

”Then thats what Ill make. ”

—-

I picked Lark up out of the car seat and set him on the asphalt. ”Hold my hand, Larky. ” I held my hand out to him. He grabbed onto it while I closed the door to the SUV. We started to walk through the parking lot towards the Target. Im sure Mr. Wolfe would have something to say about it if he found out, but I didn have any other ideas for where to get toddler craft supplies.

”Lili, I wanna be carried. ” Lark stopped me and held his other hand up, grasping slightly.

”Alright. ” I picked him up. ”You can ride in the cart when we get inside. ” I carried him inside until we got to the cart, setting him down inside.

”I want Starbies. ” Lark spoke up, looking at me with his large doe eyes.

”Like–like the coffee shop? ”

”Kendall gets it for me! ”

”Ohoho. ” I laughed quietly to myself as he exposed her. ”Well, Lark, we can get a drink later on, but one that has less sugar. We can get you your favorite kind of juice instead. ”

He pouted but didn say anything differently. We shopped around for a while, getting a handful of items for crafts and art projects before heading home.

—-

”Let me add a bit more activator; then you can play with it. ” I instructed Lark as I finished mixing the activator liquid into the slime. I had done this before with my younger siblings, and they always loved it. Just thinking about them made me miss them.

”There you go, Lark. Just don put it in your mouth, okay? ”

”Okay! ” He stuck his little fingers into the glitter slime we had made, poking it happily.

My phone began ringing. It was conveniently one of my younger sisters. One of the few who still kept in contact with me after I
uined moms life when I moved in with Alder. ”Hey. ” I answered the phone. ”Whats up, Abby? ”

”Heya, Lili. I just called to check in on you. Tell you a few things, the usual. ”

”Well, its nice to hear from you. Im working, but I should be fine to talk. ” I walked over to the kitchen and began cleaning the dishes, holding the phone to my ear with my shoulder.

”You got a job?! ”

”As a live-in nanny, in fact. No more motel for me. ” I smiled to myself.

”They must be rich as ** to hire a nanny. You really landed a job, Lili! ”

”I know. ” I laughed. ”Im lucky. My boss is super strict. I think hes single, though, and hes super hot. ” I added the last parts more quietly so Lark couldn hear me gossip about his dad. ”Like super hot. ”

Abby laughed. ”Gonna ** him too? ”

”Moms gonna hear you cussing, Abby. ”

”Moms gonna be mad enough Im talking to you. She still thinks you
e a bad influence. ”

”I probably am… ” I rubbed the back of my neck, regretting it immediately as my hands were still wet. ”But can be worse than Matt. ”

”Don even get me started on him. ” Abby laughed about our older brother. If doing drugs, drinking, and sleeping with your teacher was bad, Matt blew all of that out of the water. He ended up in juvie back in middle school for a few years and has been back in jail two more times. I wasn sure what he was doing now, but I also didn care as I wanted nothing to do with him.

”Lili! ” I looked over as Lark called out to me. ”I did a bad thing! ”

”Abby, Ive got to go. Ill talk to you later. ”

”Alright. Love ya! ” She hung up as I rushed over to Lark to make sure he was okay. He didn seem harmed, which was good, but he pointed at the floor. I looked down to see a smear of slime on the rug.

—-

I don know who put a rug under the dining room table, especially with a toddler, but I hadn thought about Lark possibly dropping it. My old house had hardwood floors, so it was always easy to get stains out. I had scrubbed the carpet with soap and water, even looking up online other ways to get slime out, but nothing seemed to fix the bright blue spot on the cream-colored rug. I had no choice but to tell Mr. Wolfe and admit the mistake.

I had already prepared dinner when he made his way through the door. We sat down at the table and started eating, the three of us.

”Mr. Wolfe. ” I spoke up quietly, looking at him from across the table. ”I made some slime for Lark, and he got it on the carpet. I tried to get it out, but I couldn . ”

His demeanor changed suddenly. ”Which carpet? ” He said, dropping his fork.

”This–this one. ” I pointed below us. ”I–I don think you should really replace it before Lark gets older, since, you know, kids make messes. ”

”Your damn job is to keep him from making those messes. ” He clenched his fist, causing me to shrink down in my chair.

”It was an accident. I was doing the dishes when we played, and I know he didn mean to. ” I slurred the words out, talking rapidly.

”That rug is priceless. ” He spat, standing up from the table. ”Get out of my sight. ”

”Mr. Wolfe. ” I tried, also standing up.

”I shouldn have hired someone so incapable of taking care of themselves. ”

My lip quivered. I quickly left the room and started up the stairs to my bedroom, wiping away tears as I did. I couldn believe he could be so angry over a rug. A rug. Even if it was priceless, how would he react if Lark ever messed up anything in the house? I feared to know.

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