Why can’t my mom be more like Rachel’s? I wondered as Rachel and I left the classroom together. Rachel’s mother is a former Miss Teen America runner-up, and she’s still gorgeous, even though she must be 40 years old. Rachel looks just like her mom, but she’s more interested in basketball than beauty pageants.
“I’m glad your mom is gonna sub for Mr. Walker tomorrow,” Rachel said. “By the way, how did her court date go?”
I grimaced. Was there anybody who didn’t know about Mom being arrested for disturbing the peace?
“The judge threw it out of court,” I said. “He said there’s no law against singing while you do yard work, as long as it’s not too loud. Besides, if you want to get technical, it was really Mr. Mitchell’s Labrador that disturbed the peace. How could Mom know it was her singing that made the stupid dog start howling?”
We’d reached Rachel’s locker by this time, and as she spun the combination lock, I caught a flash of purple glitter.
“Hey, I like your nail polish,” I said.
“It’s not bad,” she said, giving her shiny purple fingernails a cursory glance. “Mom bought it at Mais Oui.”
I gave a sigh of pure bliss. “French cosmetics! I can’t wait for your birthday! We are still going to Mais Oui for your birthday, right?”
Rachel, shoving books around in her locker, didn’t look up. “Heather, would you be devastated if we didn’t?”
“Not go?” I whined. “After your mom promised to take us for beauty makeovers?”
“Never mind,” she said, slamming the locker door shut.
“You’re so lucky to have a mom like her. Hey, speaking of moms, could you talk to my mom? You know?sort of discourage her from subbing at school so often?”
Rachel’s expression grew thoughtful.
“Me, talk to your mother. Hmm. That might not be a bad idea, now that you mention it. I can catch her after class tomorrow, unless ? what if she doesn’t sub for Mr. Walker, after all?”
“Oh, she’ll be here,” I predicted gloomily.
And I was right.
“Guess what, Heather?” Mom greeted me with disgusting cheerfulness when I got home that afternoon. “Mr. Walker called. He wants me to sub for him in chemistry class, and he said the class was really excited about it!”
“It’s no big deal, considering that Mr. Walker’s other choice was a retired Army drill sergeant,” I said, unimpressed.
Mom got this faraway look in her eye. “I always wanted to teach, but your grandparents couldn’t afford to send me to college, so I thought I’d lost my chance. But since I’ve been subbing, well, sometimes I think maybe that’s what God has called me to do.”
My heart sank. Just try talking somebody out of something once they’re convinced God is on their side!