with nervous heartbeats

jittery as a mouse

I make my way

down the stairs

avoiding eye contact

is the first challenge—

—often ineffective

but I still do it.

my jacket I grab

and my shoes I put on

whilst feeling three pairs of eyes

burning into my back.

_where do you think you’re going, young lady?_

mom crosses her arms

an eyebrow raised

in question.

_to lacey’s house_

I reply coolly

my father steps in.


_the dishes?_

_your room?_


I reply again

staying under



the final breach

the head of security:

my sister.

finding new things

to entice her with

is getting harder

especially with her

having a reputation

for being a


the corners of her lips

turn upwards; a challenge.

I send signals with my eyes

mouth a couple words as she thinks it over

she accepts.

_mom, dad, she’s not lying._


I leave the house,

finally able to breathe.

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