Sawyer got what he wanted. No private school this year. Just high school. And there was Syreeta. Granted, he'd put his foot in his mouth a time or two about her driving. He was not the perfect boyfriend. Didn't she know? He liked to tease her?
Everything felt so normal, and then his mother got better.
"Well, I'm not going back," he said before his father even gave him the phone to talk to her. His dad promised it was going to be OK.
"You know, you want to talk to her." His father looked at him as if he must have missed her, but he didn't.
"Hello." Sawyer couldn't muster up any emotion. Of course, his mother made up for it. She was crying as soon as she heard his voice. She told him how much she'd missed him. Of course, she wanted to know all about his summer. So he sat there the next fifteen minutes or so talking about summer, then about his new school schedule. He didn't want to dare tell her he wasn't going to the prep school. But then he figured out, they couldn't afford that school anymore. His mom didn't have her high powered job.
There were certain things he didn't want to ask about, like his other Mom, Nora. He hadn't heard from her. A part of him didn't care that he hadn't heard from her. Yes, deep down he knew he was uncaring, but no one seemed to nag him about it. And this really hadn't bothered him until now.
"So you must think I'm a horrible person," Sawyer said later to Syreeta when they met up on one of their walks which took them to the nearby playground next to the soccer fields.
"No, you're not." She looked at him as if had to be teasing her now while they were out enjoying what was left of warm summer days. "You're just giving them space."
"I guess." He shrugged, thinking back how it was when he was little. They'd spoiled him rotten. Maybe that was why his Mom had to have that job. Thinking she had to keep him happy.
"I knew she hated that job. She was so stressed. She never had any time for me. And then things got really bad between her and Nora." He felt suddenly full emotion as if he might cry his eyes out in front of Syreeta.
"Hey," she smiled. "They're like any other parents. Sure, they want careers and they want family, but its hard to keep everything in balance, sometimes. Especially, these days." She took his hand. He liked these small moments of doing nothing with Syreeta. But he did miss those times, when he was little and he was with his Moms, playing in the park. He wished things didn't change, but he was wise to know that changes came everyday. He'd have to see his mother soon, but right now there was talk about the Homecoming dance coming up, and he couldn't wait to go to the dance with Syreeta.