Paramount
Author: Sega Parks

Chapter 37
Babysitting

  Elisha laid sideways on the french couch, watching old reruns of Clueless. Once again, her parents were out doing whatever the hell they were doing while she stayed at home watching Delaney. She loved her little sister to death, but she got tired of watching her. Since her parents couldn't trust her two older brothers or sister Ellen, she was left to do the job. She wished her eldest sister Leigh was still living at home. Leigh would have watched Delaney.
 She didn't understand why her mother couldn't have just gotten a nanny. She had ten kids for crying out loud. But her mother never trusted a stranger with her children. So she left the sitting jobs up to her older children. She also thought having her own children watching each other was a cheaper alternative.
"Elisha," Delaney's childish voice called from the kitchen. "Elisha, Elisha."
Elisha sighed. "What, Laney?"
"Come play with me." Delaney said, emerging from the kitchen with a pink teddy-bear cradling in her arms.
"Not now, sweetie." Elisha said kindly. "I'm tired."
"Please?" Delaney begged. "I want to play Tea Time with Mr. Pink and Friends."
"But we always play Tea Time with Mr. Pink and Friends." said Elisha, a hint of exasperation in her voice. "And I did play with you today. I read you Spongebob, played hide-and-go-seek with you, and tickled you. What more do you want?"
  "Okay." Delaney said sadly.
She walked dejectedly out of the living room.
Elisha felt bad about turning Delaney down, but she needed rest. She hardly had anytime with her friends. She was too busy babysitting. Ellen got to go out and hang out with friends. Elisha deserved to do that more than Ellen did.
Just then, Travis came through the foyer. He was gangly, had curly red-hair, and resembled Elisha. Except Elisha had blond hair. That was the two hair colors people in their family usually had. Blond or red. It was an unconventional gene they had.
"You just arrived?" Elisha said lazily.
"Yep." he said, taking off his baseball cap. "Soccer practice was brutal."
"I say." she agreed. "You look beat."
"You bet." he said, slumping onto the love seat that was vertically next to the couch Elisha was on. "Coach was giving us a hard time."
"That's too bad." Elisha said sympathetically. "You thirsty?"
"Yes." Travis said breathlessly. "I'm parched."
"Well, if you wanna hydrate, you better go in the kitchen and get you a glass of water." Elisha said bluntly.
"You mean you're not gonna get me a glass?" Travis asked, feigning indignant. "I just told you I was beat."
"Well, so am I." explained Elisha. "I'm tired of sitting for Delaney."
"Then just tell mom and dad so." Travis suggested.
"I tried, but they won't listen." she said defeatedly. "It's like whenever I try to give my input, it never goes through their heads."
Travis shook his head empathetically. "That's how they are."
  Elisha knew her parents meant well, but they never treated her like a regular kid. They always treated her like a little adult, even though she was their eighth child. Hanging out with her friends was a way to relieve off stress she usually received. Partying, bike riding, shopping, and going over to people's house was a treat for her.
"Heads up!" a boy's voice yelled.
A paper wad came sailing through the air, hitting Elisha on the back of the head. She turned around. It was her brother Joseph. He looked identical to Travis, only he had a far different personality than him. He was the goof-off in the family and always got into mischief.
"Joseph." Elisha groaned. "Please be more mature. For God's sakes, you're sixteen. I'm almost fifteen and I have more sense than you do."
"Whatever." he said idly. "I'm going in the kitchen to get something to drink."
"Can you get me one?" asked Travis.
"Sure." Joseph said, strolling into the kitchen.
When he came back out, he hurled a can of coke at Travis and sat down next to him.
"Thanks, bro." Travis said, opening the can.
"What's wrong with Leeshyboo?" Joseph asked.
Elisha rolled her caramel eyes. Leeshyboo was a nickname she had since she was two. It was cute, but she wasn't in the mood.
"I'm tired." Elisha said. "Can one of you babysit Delaney next time?"
"Sure thing, Leesh." Travis said, putting a hand on her shoulder. "I'll handle the brat."
Elisha laughed. She knew she could count on her brothers to help her out. She just wished she could have thought about asking them that favor a long time ago.

 

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