This is my homework for Lesson 1. Barbara is Jessie’s mother and is waiting for Jessie after school (to pick Jessie up) at the curb in front of the school. Jessie doesn’t show up. Barbara is divorced and she and her daughter live with Barbara’s Aunt Clover in Humboldt County in a Victorian Queen Ann home that’s been turned into an inn.
Barbara gritted her teeth and watched the time on her cell phone. Three sixteen. It was forever and then it was three seventeen. Three eighteen. The phone rang and Jessie’s number popped up. Barbara swiped answer and touched speaker.
“Are you okay?” Her heart pulse pounded in her throat. “Where are you?”
“I’m at the pizza place.”
Barbara’s heart pounded double time. “What are you doing there? Did you leave early? I told you I was picking you up on your first day of school, remember? How could you do this?”
“Mom, what’s gotten into you? I’m with Daddy. He came to pick me up just like you told him to.”
“What?” Barbara screamed. “I never told him he could come to get you. I never even spoke to him. I didn’t even know he’s here. Give him the phone. I want to talk to him.”
“He’s in the restroom.”
“You get out of there. Right now. Now, do you hear me? I won’t have him abducting you. Get out, Jessie. Run home. Now. Don’t hang up. Stay on the phone and get out right now.”
“Just do it. Now and stay on the phone. I’m swinging by the pizza place on the way home. You head home, now. Run.”
Barbara turned the key in the ignition, pulled out of the parking space at the curb and headed up Sand Dollar Drive. Turning on Front Street, she followed it until it merged with Bayview Drive. Scanning the sidewalk as she passed, the pizza parlor, she could scarcely breathe. She slowed down in front of the inn; there was Jessie running up the steps and through the front door.