Snakes and Pills

126 - fly miss

An alarm's buzz woke up the entire house, as it did every morning. Typically, Arianna's eyelids were slow to rise, as if they were being held down by hundred-ton weights. She could hardly keep them shut today, though, and within a moment she had slapped the alarm off and sprung out of bed.

Quickly, Arianna got dressed, having already laid out the clothes she intended to wear today. A little jaunt to the bathroom to brush her teeth and answer the call of nature, and then she found herself in the kitchen, already occupied by her mother.

"Morning, hun," her mother greeted her. Arianna simply nodded back. She meant no particular disrespect to her mom, she was simply at that age where it didn't seem very cool to respond to one's parents in any sort of meaningful way. Her mother knew this, and went along with preparing breakfast for the rest of the family, while Arianna slid into her seat at the dining room table.

Arianna started with making her own breakfast. Her independence was important to her. Her brothers and even her father might need Mom's help preparing breakfast, but not her. It was a simple thing: cereal and milk in a bowl, a banana, and a cup of coffee with two sugars and some cream. Her hands moved without thinking, and before she knew it, she was shoveling corn flakes into her mouth.

She was half-finished when her siblings and father finally appeared at the table. Her twin brothers looked like they had just rolled out of bed moments before, and her father, already dressed for work, hid his face behind the morning paper.

Finally, Arianna broke the sounds of munching with a question: "Dad, you're going to pick me up right after school, right?" Her father folded back his paper, looking confused. "For what?" he asked. Arianna's mother shot her husband a look that strongly implied he should have known the answer to his own question.

Before he had much time to consider possible reasons as to why he would need to pick his daughter up today, she answered him. "Are you serious?! I have my license exam scheduled for today at three-thirty! You said that you would take me!"

"Oh, was that today? But I have an afternoon meeting today, Arianna. I totally forgot! Sorry," he said, with an apologetic look on his face, while Arianna had a look of being upset on hers. "You know how important this is to me, Dad! How could you forget?"

Mom, ever the peacemaker, quickly intervened. "Sweetie, I don't have anything to do this afternoon. It's not a problem at all, I can take you." But Arianna's face did not show any signs of the storm calming. "I don't want to take the exam in your car, Mom! It's too big and I practiced using Dad's. That's why I specifically asked you, Dad. I can't believe it--you promised!"

Ronald, one of her little brothers, considered this the best time to butt in to the conversation: "It's not like it will matter, sis. You know you're going to fail again anyway, even if you use Dad's car. You'll set the world record for most tries at the test. They shouldn't even let people try it more than five times, you should just be banned from driving forever."

"Shut up, dork!" Arianna angrily shouted back. Her anger would have easily allowed her to say worse things, but in the presence of her parents, she knew that doing so would have been unwise. Even with her G-rated insult, her mother quickly jumped to Ronald's defense. "Arianna, be nicer to your brother!"

Ronald stuck his tongue out at her. Arianna was ready to explode.


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