15 year old Alyssa Sunton hopped out of the car and thanked Mrs. Carson for driving her home. She walked up the cement drive to her family’s large house. As soon as she got into the front door, Alyssa ran up the stairs to her bedroom.
Painted yellow, with a large window on one side, it was very bright and cheerful. There was a large easel with a table next to it that was covered with drawing and painting supplies. The desk and dresser on the other side were light purple. Above these, covering almost the entire length of the wall, was a string with multi-colored paper clips hanging on it. Clipped to the string were pictures and paintings of every kind, all signed with the letter A in a bold purple stroke. Opposite the window was a bed that had a purple polka dot bedspread on it.
After putting her long black hair into a ponytail, Alyssa went straight to her desk and opened her laptop. Opening the document she used to keep track of her earnings she finally unfolded the bills she had been clutching the whole time. Counting them quickly she sighed a little because she had been hoping for more. She quickly entered the amount on the computer. After totaling it all up she unlocked a drawer in the desk and slipped the bills into it, re-locking it when she was done. She checked her email to see if there was anything important and then closed the computer. After that Alyssa crossed the room and flopped down on her bed.
“I wonder if she’ll ask me to babysit again? She doesn’t pay as much as Mrs. Coleman does, but if she asks me more often that’ll make up for it! And then there is that much less that I have to earn before Mom and Dad will let me go to art school.”
Just then she heard the door open downstairs and ran down to greet her Dad who was coming home from work.
“Hi Lyssa! Did you end up going to the Carson’s house to babysit?”
“Yep, I did, for a couple of hours!” Alyssa answered.
“Great! Hi Honey,” James Sunton greeted his wife and gave her a hug. “I missed you! Hi boys, did you play any football today?”
“Yeah, and I beat John really bad!” Alyssa’s younger brother Carson answered.
“He only beat me by one point! I almost made another one, but the timer went off too quickly.” John retorted.
As twins, they were always trying to outdo each other in anything they did, but they were good friends and did almost everything together. When they turned 10 in May one of their birthday presents had been a new football and they used it almost every day.
“Supper’s almost ready,” their Mom said after every one had finished talking. “Alyssa, please help me get the table set.”
“Alright, but it’s really Carson’s turn, I did it two night’s ago.” Alyssa grumbled.
“I’ll do it tomorrow night,” Carson broke in, smiling to himself. That was the night Dad had promised to take the boys to a football game. Alyssa would be doing it after all! But he didn’t mention it out loud because Mom would tell him to do it tonight instead.
“There you go Alyssa, please set the table,” Dad stated, and that ended the discussion. Alyssa set the table and they ate a quiet supper, each thinking about a different thing until Dad told them that on Sunday there was picnic after church.
“Yay!” John exclaimed “Maybe some guys can get together and we can have a real game of football!”
“Um, are we all going?” Alyssa asked “I mean, how long is it going to be, like, all afternoon? Cause I have some things to get done in the afternoon. Mrs. Carson asked me to bake some cookies for her.”
“As a favor?” Mom asked
“Uh, no, she offered to pay me.” Alyssa looked down, embarrassed.
“Should’a known!” Carson exclaimed. “Alyssa would never do it for free!”
“She offered to, I didn’t ask,” Alyssa flung back, “Just keep out of this. Dad, are we all going? And will we be staying for a long time?”