“Yes, this is Mrs. Harkins,” Victoria said in a slightly deeper and what she hoped was a more mature voice. “No, neither Sophie nor Josef Harkins will be in school today. They must have caught a virus or something.”
“No, no, I’m sure it’s nothing serious.” she shook her head absently.
“Yes, thank you. They’ll be back in class on Monday.”
Victoria hung up the phone. Mrs. Harkins had already called her in for a sick day from the high school. She needed some time for what she wanted to do and having a three day weekend was perfect.
“Woo hoo! No school until Monday!” Josef cheered as he tossed his notebook in the air.
Sophie actually looked like she would have preferred to go to school.
The little brainiac loved doing her school work and had even completed extra credit!
Victoria had told the kids about her plans the night before.
Victoria had been saving every simolean from the extra fruits and vegetables she’d been able to grow and sell. The produce stand she sold to even bought the wild onions she’d collected on their property every time they were worth picking . She had continued breeding and selling frogs to the pet store in town. Victoria hadn’t had the heart to tell Josef that the frogs were probably being used to feed the larger reptiles. She was just grateful every time she stuffed another §35 in her pocket.
Today was the day. Victoria had finally saved enough to have a small home built on their property. She was going to have a bathroom and a small kitchen installed. She had already purchased three inexpensive beds online and they were scheduled to arrive tomorrow. It wouldn’t be much, but it would get them out of the wind and the rain. She was also finally going to get her art easel. She could just see their new little cottage already. She’d been dreaming about it for nearly a year!
She had scheduled some contractors to arrive this morning which was why she needed to be here. She had done a ton of online research before hiring these guys. They didn’t seem to care at all that her parents weren’t home.
“Look kid, they don’t pay me enough to care,” the guy said. “You three could be living here alone with no parents for all I give a damn.” He laughed then and Victoria laughed with him hoping she didn’t look guilty.
She decided to take the kids to the park while the men worked on getting their walls built and the plumbing and electricity hooked up. The last thing she wanted was one of the kids getting injured on the construction site.
She had disassembled the tent and hid it, the chairs and sleeping bags out of site that morning.
“So, what else can I tell you about renegades?” Wolfgang laughed. “Well, honestly I’m not supposed to tell you anything. It’s kinda a club rule.”
She had seen Wolfgang a few times that she brought Sophie and Josef to the park.
Wolfgang often brought his little brother Lucas here play. Victoria noticed his temper was short with his little brother, but she thought it was nice enough that he brought the little guy to the park at all.
The last time they had been to the park Victoria asked Sophie about the little boy she had played with, Sophie explained that Lucas was in her class. Sophie seemed to get along well with Lucas, probably because he let her be the ship captain almost all of the time.
When Wolfgang sat down near Victoria she was genuinely surprised. He hadn’t ever tried to talk to her and seemed so sullen and stand off-ish. Usually he just sat on the other bench and looked at his phone the entire time while the kids played.
“So, you guys just run around Windenburg playing pranks on people?” she asked with a laugh returning her attention to Wolfgang’s statement about the Renegades.
“Something like that. You’ll have to talk to Morgan of course, she’s our club lead.”
“Well, I sure won’t tell her that you told me anything about it,” Victoria promised.
“Good deal, see you at school Victoria! Hey squirt, let’s get going, mom’ll have a fit if we’re late for dinner.”
Lucas came running over. Victoria heard Lucas telling Wolfgang all about his space adventure as the two boys walked out of the park.
“She was pretty Wolfgang, you know her from school?”
“Shut it kid.”
“Wow it’s done!” Sophie exclaimed. “We have a house!”
The kids ran in to check out their new place.
Victoria was so thrilled with what the contractors had done. It wasn’t much, but it was a roof over their heads and they now had the ability to cook meals and stay warm on the chilly nights.
Victoria felt her phone buzz. She smiled when she saw the text from Bradley.
Why did she suddenly feel guilty? It was just a little lie that she hadn’t been feeling well today.
Victoria had been seeing Bradley for almost two months. Even longer than they had been dating she’d had a crush on him at school. Nah, it wasn’t guilt, it was just feeling a bit bad that she’d have to drag Sophie and Josef along with her again. That was it. Bradley had wondered more and more lately why she always had to have her kid sister and cousin tag along on their dates.
She still hadn’t trusted Bradley with her secret yet about the kids. She kept making excuses of why she had to drag the kids everywhere with her. Sophie was going to be a teen soon though and could watch Josef for a few hours. Victoria was looking forward to hers and Sophie’s birthdays in a few weeks. Things were going to get so much easier soon!
Victoria decided to ask Bradley to bring Camille for Sophie to play with. The girls would love that. She suddenly wished Wolfgang would be there too, just to bring Lucas for Josef to play with of course.