I scramble to my feet, snatch my phone off the carpet and barrel upstairs to my parent’s room. In my excitement, I forget to be stealthy and sound just like that herd of elephants my mom loves so much. I stampede through the door and spring onto their huge, fluffy bed.
“Oof.” Comes from Dad.
“What?!” Comes from Mom.
“Can I go to the pool with Robyn?” Comes from Me.
“What time is it?” My mom groans, as she rolls over.
I can’t answer that because I still haven’t looked at the time. I start to turn my phone back on, but Mom is quicker. She reaches over and adjusts the clock so she can see the numbers.
“Cat Anderson!” She turns the clock so I can see the glowing numbers too.
I clear my throat.
My mom stares at me with laser eyes that are so powerful, they may give me male pattern baldness when I’m older. Lucky for my hair, my dad distracts her. He lets out a snorting snore that is loud enough to reach Seattle. People there are probably looking up at the sky wondering what in the smorgasbord that sound was.
Mom nudges Dad so he will roll over, taking the noise with him. We watch until he starts breathing like a normal person again, then my mom snaps her eyes back to me.
I run my fingers through my hair, twirling a strand around my finger.
“It’s the last day of summer.” I say, in a small voice. “I hear the pool is very nice this time of year.”
My mom sighs herself back into her pillows. “I know it’s the last day of summer, and I know you’re excited, Cat.” She gives me a sympathetic look that can’t be good for my plans. “But this conversation would make a whole lot more sense in a couple of hours.”
“A couple of hours!” I exclaim. “The day will almost be over in a couple of hours!”
Mom levels me with a look. “It’s 6:00.”
“6:17.” I turn her clock, so she can get another look at the numbers.
Mom sighs again, all the way from her toes this time. “Cat, my point is that nothing is open this early. The mall doesn’t even open for about three hours.”
“Oh, sure it does.” I wave a hand to get rid of her silly sentence.
My mom’s left eyebrow rises just a notch.
I nod to emphasize my words. “You know! They open it super early for all those old ladies to walk laps. The mall is open, but the stores aren’t.”
“Okay.” My mom looks at me, her eyes trying not to wrinkle in the corners. “I’m wondering how you know this. Do you often go to the mall before it opens so you can walk with the old ladies?” A smile curls the corner of her mouth upwards and her eyes lose the wrinkle battle.
She is totally teasing me.
This is so not the time for teasing! Doesn’t she know that the lasting memory of my whole summer hangs on this one day? I shake my head, making my hair fly in front of my eyes. I stop to smooth it back into place. “That’s super weird, Mom.”
“I thought so, too.”
“Anyways.” I wave my hand again, up and down and all around, to help us get back on subject. “The pool. It opens at like 7, I think, that’s 40 minutes from now. It will take me that long to get ready. Then, it takes some time to get there, so that should work out perfect, am I right? Can I go, please? This is the last day of summer! I can’t waste a single minute!”
My mom slips down her pillows, like she’s a balloon that just ran out of air. One long, excruciating silence later, she pokes my dad in the back. She does it a few times before he jerks around to face her.
“Andrew, what do you think about your oldest child going to the pool this morning?”
My dad’s eyes are squinty slits. He tries to open them all the way but gives up before it happens. “Is it morning? Are you sure the sun is up?”
“Yeah!” In my enthusiasm to prove it, I spring off the bed to the window and pull up the blinds with a little too much force. The blinds slam against the top thingy and wave across the window like a banner. The room floods with light.
Hello daylight savings time.