With a deep sigh, I dropped into a chair. This was…going to be a challenge. Part of me wasn’t sure if Alison and I were ready for a kid like Trevor.
No sound came from the bedroom. The boy had disappeared inside less than five minutes after he arrived, muttering something about putting his stuff away.
I couldn’t blame him for shutting himself away and being distant. He had a file almost as tall as he was. His father had walked out when he was seven, and then Trevor had started bouncing in and out of foster care while his Mom flip-flopped between sobriety and alcoholism. He already had an arrest for shoplifting for which he’d spent a few months in juvie. To top everything off, barely eight months ago, his mother had died.
That was a fucking lot for a twelve-year-old.
Three easy kids and apparently that makes us qualified for the hard cases, I thought. A second later, I realized how pessimistic my train of thought sounded. I didn’t think Trevor was a bad kid. And I wasn’t going to write him off or anything. But I just had a feeling that Alison and I were going to have an uphill battle on our hands.
“Hey,” Trevor said, coming out of his room. There were a hundred pounds of attitude in that one word. “When’s your old lady gettin’ home?”
“Alison’ll be home soon. I know she’s sorry she couldn’t get off work today.”
He shrugged. “It don’t matter. Is she gonna cook or we orderin’ something?”
“Are you hungry?” I got up and headed into the kitchen. “I usually do the cooking. If you can’t wait for dinner, there’s some yogurt in the fridge.”
He looked at me like I’d suddenly sprouted a second head. “Where’s some chips or somethin’?”
“We don’t really keep much junk food around,” I said apologetically. “There’s some cheese sticks in there.” I knew Alison kept a secret stash somewhere, but I’d have a whole different problem on my hands if I raided that.
He made a scoffing sound. “So why you do the cookin’?”
I shrugged. “My schedule is more flexible. And I’m better than Alison at it.”
“Uh huh. Do you like yo’ woman wearin’ yo’ balls for earrings?”
I shot him a look. “You won’t use that language in this house.”
“This ain’t no house,” he muttered.
“You won’t use that language,” I repeated seriously. After a beat of silence, I said in a much lighter tone, “But anyway, it’s just more convenient for me to cook. I can work from home sometimes.”
“So you’re gonna actually cook? You’re not gonna order pizza all the time?”
I shook my head. “I make dinner most nights. Now,” I said with a smile, “you can’t always count on breakfast.” I laughed. “But there’s always cereal and milk.”
“I don’t eat breakfast anyway.” He turned away from me, apparently putting an end to the conversation, and flopped onto the couch. A moment later, the TV flipped on. He turned it up to an outrageous volume.
I sighed and went back to the dinner I was preparing. Yes, this was going to be difficult alright.