Pickup Line 10

She could kill him. Just kill him.

She had ignored the phone calls from Texas all morning.  She had 6 kids today and didn’t want to deal with telemarketers.  Even if you’re running a daycare out of your home, it’s still all about marketing and branding, and that means you can’t have little Susie telling her mom that the babysitter was on the phone instead of paying attention to all the kiddos.  And when your husband isn’t bringing in any income–and is spending it all by going out way too often–every little brat dropped off in a BMW counts.

“Your clothes aren’t pretty like MY mom’s.”

“What kind of car is this?

Banana Republic Jeans (faded, sure) and a Subaru (Five years old, sure, with some serious bike-riding and hiking trips in Colorado miles on it, sure, but these things last forever!) just didn’t cut it for these kids.  Nor did forgetting that they should be the center of attention at all times.

But when the call came from the school, she picked up.  Her daughter never called home.  She was super-organized, never forgot her lunch, never forgot her homework.  Something had to be up.

“Mom! Where’s Dad?  Where did they take him?  Did you get him out?”

“Hon, what are you talking about?”

“He got in a fight with Rob MacGee’s dad in the dropoff line.  The cops showed up and said he was drunk.  They took him away.”

Oh God.  She was going to kill him.

“Hon.  I don’t know what you’re talking about, but slow down.”

“The cops came to school and took Dad, Mom.  He hit Rob’s dad.”

Shit. Shit.  Shit shit shit.

“Hon, I need to go.  I’ll figure this out.”

The blonde BMW kid looked up from her activity page and watched.

She picked up her phone and opened the voicemail.  6 calls, all from the Texas number. 6 hangups.

She grabbed the laptop. Googled the number. Google was always her friend in times of need.

A ton of results, all connecting the number to a private contractor that provided collect phone service to prisons.

And county jails.

“Shit!” she said, not quite under her breath.

“That is NOT a good word!” said blonde BMW kid.

She couldn’t look away from the Google results. Stock tips, articles in magazines focused on Civil Liberties and Human Rights. What on earth had he gotten her into.

“You said a bad word.” Relentless little brat.  The other kids were looking up, too.

It took everything she had to compose herself, but she did it.  Her smile was controlled but wide.

“I’m so sorry, Anna.  You know how sometimes you do things that you shouldn’t?  Even adults do that, too.  Will you accept my apology?”

“My mother never has to say sorry.”

The phone rang.  Texas number again.

This time, she picked up.


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