My Babysitter | Teen Ink

My Babysitter

August 24, 2008
By leahb SILVER, Gloucester, Massachusetts
leahb SILVER, Gloucester, Massachusetts
5 articles 0 photos 0 comments

My Babysitter

“All right, Kindergarteners, put your crayons away in the box, it’s time to go home,” Ms. Thomes mumbled from her office chair, her face glowing from the bright light of the computer. I jumped up from my wooden stool, stuffing crayons into my overalls. “Alison, what are you doing when you get home from school?” I asked the girl in pigtails next to me, not waiting for a reply. “I’m going to see my babysitter,” I tell her. “We play hide and go seek, and she makes me macaroni and cheese.” I grinned, daring Alison to say she had a better babysitter.
“Well I’m seeing my babysitter, too,” Alison responded. “And we play in her tree house and she takes me to McDonald’s.” My smile instantly turned into a frown. I wanted to have the better babysitter.
“Well Simone has fifty horses and she works at a circus where she eats fire and…” I stopped, Alison’s babysitter had appeared, and she was asking Alison if she wanted to play with Malibu Barbie or Slumber Party Barbie.

When I got home I jumped out of the car and darted to my room. During the car ride I had decided that I was going to make Simone a present. Soon I was sitting on my rug with scissors from Mommy’s sewing kit and construction paper from the coloring box. Red pieces of leftover paper fell to floor as hearts were made. Pink, yellow, green, and blue marker caps became scattered across my rug. Simone and I were drawn, surrounded by the sun, grass, and birds. Pressing my tongue against my lips with concentration, I slowly wrote, “To Simone. I Love You Simone. From Leah.” While Mommy got ready for her meeting, I dragged the package of clay out from the closet to make cookies. Pretending I was Mommy cooking dinner, I smushed the clay in my hands, flattening it and sticking it on top of the paper heart plates. I carefully arranged the presents in my Barbie Dream House Dollhouse. Standing next to Ken, Stacy, and Barbie were cutouts of Simone and I.

Soon the real Simone was standing at the door. She was tall and thin, with long, blonde, wavy hair. I saw that her ears were pierced three times. I felt my naked ear lobes, wishing that I had holes for earrings. She stood there with a bare stomach; a bikini top took the place of a shirt. Her khaki shorts were rolled three times and thin flip-flops sat beneath her tanned feet. We were going to Good Harbor Beach, she told me.

I sat in the back of her Jeep, my feet covered with sand that littered the floor. Next to me sat three boogie boards, a boom box, towels, and a Frisbee. As the wind rushed across my face from the open window, I imagined us having water fights in the ocean.
“Simone, what do you want to do when we get to the beach?” I asked her, gripping the edge of my seat with excitement.
“I don’t know,” She paused, pulling down the car’s visor to adjust her sunglasses, “Why don’t you make a sandcastle.”
“You mean us, Simone, right? We can make a sandcastle.” I dug my fingers into the faux fur that lined the Jeeps seats, waiting for her to answer.
“Yeah, maybe. Hey, do you want an ice cream?” As she asked, Simone swerved the Jeep into a gas station.
“Ice cream!” I shrieked with delight. I couldn’t wait to tell Alison about my day with my babysitter. “Where’s the ice cream store?” I blinked at the gas tanks that surrounded me.
“Here’s five bucks,” Simone said as she searched through her beach bag, “Just go into the store and get a Popsicle or whatever out of the cooler in the back.” I took the money and slid slowly out of the jeep, confused by Simone’s answer to my next question, “No, I don’t want to gain three pounds before the beach.”
Soon I was at Good Harbor Beach, spreading out my Barbie towel. “Simone! Simone! Let’s go swimming now.” I pulled on her hand, trying to drag her towards the water. But Simone said that she wanted to lie down first. She told me to make a sandcastle. I plunked down in the brown sand and started to dig, letting the wet grains edge their way into my nails. I looked up to see her peel off her shorts, revealing a pink bikini. After kicking the shorts into the sand she laid down on her towel next to my Barbie one. She then curled her toes, pushing them through the sand. Her eyes closed underneath the sunglasses. I didn’t speak, but I stood with my arms crossed, trying to look like Mommy did when I colored on her mirror. I marched over to my towel and sat on Barbie’s face.

Later, when Simone opened her eyes, I immediately rushed up to her, and standing on my tiptoes with excitement, asked her if she wanted to go swimming. But while I stood with my hands pressed together, begging her to swim, her eyes looked somewhere else. She told me to wait here. I asked her what I should do, and she said I should dig a hole until it reached water. And so I reluctantly dug. As my fingers scooped sand I hoped that she might be getting something for me. I began to dig faster, trying desperately to reach water. Was she testing the ocean to see if it was too cold? Was she buying me slushes? Was she getting her Frisbee? My concentration wandered from a squawking seagull to a nearby game of volleyball. I had almost forgotten about Simone when I saw her, not too far away. I stood up, about to push the sand off my knees, when I saw she was laughing, tilting her head back to the sky. I sat down again, watching the older boy and her. I glared at him. She was supposed to be laughing at my jokes, telling stories to me. I turned back to my hole, and tried to climb into it. But when I looked back up, I saw Simone with him in the water, and they were splashing each other. I turned slowly away from them, lowering myself into my hole. Quietly I dug, listening to Simone’s screams. And I wondered what Alison was doing.

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