Allison reluctantly sat up in the sofa and grabbed a text book from the living room table. She could hear her mother's keys in the lock of the front door. Silently, she wished that her mother was in a good mood for a change.
<br> Eversince Marshall Winthrop the third, joined their family with his two misbehaved sons, life in the X-Crawford home was completely miserable for Allison. Not only did she have to babysit the two brats everyday, she also had to take care of most of the house cleaning as well as be nice to her new nerdy step-father.
<br> She inwardly cringed when her mother had suggested for her to call him "Daddy". Why would she want to do a crazy thing like that? She already had a Daddy, despite the fact that she didn't see him enough. But nonetheless, she had a father whom she loved and had no desire to have anyone replace him , especially Mr. Nerd. Her mother ran around like a jeanie every time she saw him with her "Yes honeys" and "Of course, darlings". Had she no discretion?
<br> Even though Allison was only twelve-years-old, she understood enough to know that her mother needed to get off of cloud nine and step back into reality. Life did not revolve around Mr. Nerd and if it did, then something was wrong.
<br> "Where are the boys?" was her mother's first question as she stepped into the house.
<br> "Upstairs playing video games," Allison answered, turning the page of her book as if it was quite interesting.
<br> "Playing video games? Did they eat dinner yet?"
<br> "Mom, it's only five O'clock. We don't eat until five thirty, remember?"
<br> Her mother pinned her lips together and sighed wearily as she hung up her coat. She then approached the sofa with an accusing look on her face.
<br> "No, honey. I told you this morning to feed the boys early because Marshall and I are going out and he will not leave unless the boys are fed and tucked into bed." Her tone was growing louder by the second and Allison wished that she had scurried upstairs before her Mom had even stepped into the house. That way, she would have been able to lock her bedroom door and turn the music up really loud. If her Mom had knocked on the door, she could have said that she didn't hear her.
<br> "Allie, are you listening to me?"
<br> "Yes, Mom, I am but I'm trying to study, too."
<br> A disbelieving look crossed her face, "Yeah, right and I'm married to the President of the United States!"
<br> "At least that would be improvement," she murmured under her breath.
<br> "Excuse me, young lady? What was that?"
<br> "Nothing. Nothing at all. I'm sorry, okay? I forgot to feed them early. I'll feed them now so that you guys can go."
<br> "No, I'm home now. I'll feed them."
<br> What about me? Allison wondered to herself. Did her mother even care if she ate or not? What ever happened to the way she used to hug her when she got home from work? Didn't that matter anymore?
<br> Allison watched as her mother disappeared into the kitchen. She decided to just go upstairs and let the new family spend some time together. Afterall, that was the way they wanted it anyway. The boys hated her and her new stepfather looked at her as if she really didn't belong with them anyway.
<br> One thing she was glad about was the fact that the breakfast dishes from this morning were washed. She'd done them first thing after school as well as making sure that the boys changed out of their school clothes into their play clothes. Kyle was six-years-old and Kevin was eight. She was now a big sister but it felt more like being a maid. She had to help them with this, help them with that and even walk them home from school. It wasn't fair the way her mother demanded so much from her.
<br> "Anybody home?" a deep voice echoed from downstairs.
<br> It was none other than Mr. Nerd. He'd made it home from work. Both of the boys were already running down the stairs to greet him. She could hear the thud from their footsteps as they dashed down the steps.
<br> "Allie, come down and say hi to your Daddy!" her mother ordered.
<br> Daddy? Enough was enough! She'd already told her mother that there was no way that she was going to call him Daddy. Why did she have to push it? He wasn't her father. He wasn't even a friend.
<br> "Allison, I'm waiting!" he shouted up the steps, then added, "I don't have all day either."
<br> She slowly stepped out of her room but stayed to the top of the stairway and said, "Hi Marshall," vaguely waving her right hand.
<br> He frowned then lifted an eyebrow at his wife, "Talk to your daughter, would you?"
<br> "Yes honey." Her mother began to ascend the stairs, a disapproving look etched on her face. Allison watched the boys as they played with their father, refusing to concentrate on her mother's icy glare.
<br> "Let's talk in your room, Allie," she said softly, slightly out of the breath from climbing the stairs.
<br> Another talk. Eversince her mother remarried, everything was always Allison's fault. The truth was, she didn't feel close enough to Marshall to call him Daddy or even to hug him. He never spent time with her or conversated with her with even a hint that he actually cared. All he wanted was an obliging stepdaughter and her mother seem to be turning into his clone.
<br> They both sat on her bed after her mother closed the bedroom door.
<br> Unexpected tears started to form in Allison's eyes because she knew that she was in trouble again. Turning away, she looked at the wall so that her mother would not see them.
<br> "You are going to go down there and embrace your father," her mother began, "You know how lucky we are to have him. When your father left us, you know how hard it was to make ends meet."
<br> "Dad didn't leave me, Mom. He left you."
<br> "What difference does that make? He's not here, Marshall is. And from now on, you will call him Daddy and act like a mannerable daughter."
<br> "No, Mom, I will not call him that. He is not my father. And lately," she took a deep breath, then added boldly, "You're not acting like my mother."
<br> Her mother grabbed her shoulders and turned her around so that she could see her face, surprised to see tears in her daughter's eyes.
<br> "You don't mean that, Allie."
<br> "I mean it, I do. You act as if you don't like me anymore for who I am. You want to change me and fit me into this image of the kind of daughter he wants. And I can't do that. I'm not his daughter. I'm your daughter. When Jessie told me how much her Mom changed after she got married, I thought that she was exaggerating but now I see. . . she was telling the truth."
<br> "No, that's not true . I'm not asking you to change, am I?" her voice sounded uncertain.
<br> "Mom, you trying to force me to say something I don't mean. I don't hate Marshall, really, I don't but I don't love him either. You can't force me to love him like a father. He has to earn that and so far, he hasn't."
<br> There a loud banging on her bedroom door, then Marshall's voice as he ordered, "Hurry up ladies! Suzanne, you can talk to her tomorrow. We really don't have time for this. I made reservations at Mitchell's and you know how hard it is to get a reservation there."
<br> Allison stared at the door then at her mother. She wondered if her mother would stay and finish talking to her or run to the beck and call of her new husband.
(Read the conclusion in my stories section under "Making Room For Allie") Enjoy. .