Lola and Joey Ch. 16

Babes

She couldn’t sleep. The information about her grandma kept looping through her mind. What a shocker! So many new things had happened in the last two years! Some little, some not so little! Catherine thought.

===================

For example, a few days after she started walking to school with Amanda she found out why Amanda always wore sandals. She always had hot feet. Who knew? In turn, she revealed to Amanda that her feet were frequently cold, which was why she wore boots which were also handy when hiking with her dad.

Then she found out that some of her friends were not very good friends! After being invited less and less as she hung out with Amanda more and more, the truth came out one day. “I’m sorry Catherine, but the others don’t want your sister to come along. She wears weird clothes and hangs around with weird people and is strange! You’re still welcome to hang out with us but not your sister.” She quickly jettisoned those friends.

To her surprise, she found out that Amanda had done a lot of thinking about her life. One day they were talking, and she told Amanda how she aspired to leave Silver City and go to medical school. She had already started doing some course planning with her mom and looking at the various programs and requirements at different schools. Amanda listened patiently and then floored her.

“When grandma retires I want to run the hotel with Tara. I’ve already discussed it with grandma and Tara, and they have agreed. I already know how to perform the day to day tasks, and I’m gradually learning the other tasks. Dad has been showing me how to update the website. It’s lots of fun and fairly easy and he always takes me out to the Dairy Queen when we finish and lets me get whatever I want! Grandma has been showing me how to update the books, and I’m taking a bookkeeping course at school, and I’m doing quite well! I’ve been out on several buying trips with grandma and Tara. Grandma even gave me a business credit card! When I get my license, I’ll be able to help even more. I want to have a baby sometime. I would prefer a girl, but a boy would be okay. If I can’t find a guy like dad, I’ll just have a baby myself. Everything I need to have a happy life exists in Silver City.”

Wow! What a lot to absorb! Catherine thought. The news about Amanda working at the hotel was no surprise. Amanda had been helping for years, but she had no idea Amanda had discussed becoming full time with her grandma and Tara. She wasn’t surprised that Amanda was doing well with her accounting course. Her sister excelled at school when motivated. ‘When motivated’ was the key! For example, Amanda had soaked up Spanish effortlessly when Carmen tutored them and aced the Spanish language course she took. The baby comment was a total surprise! She hadn’t even thought about babies and assumed her sister was the same. She was curious about Amanda’s ‘dad’ comment.

“You want to marry someone like dad?”

“Don’t you? He treats mom like a Queen and us like Princesses. Everybody likes dad. He’s smart and friendly and kind. He treats women as equals and shares all the work with mom. Mom says he changed as many diapers as she did. Most importantly, he loves mom so much! You can see it the way he looks at her! Don’t you want to be with someone like that?”

Everything her sister said was true, but she’d never even thought about the type of person she wanted to marry!

Amanda was also a font of interesting interpersonal insights from minor to important.

For example, Amanda habitually greeted the parents of her friends when she entered their houses. Eventually, Catherine asked her why. Amanda looked at her as if the answer was obvious. “Parents don’t like it when you walk through their house without even acknowledging them.”

Amanda always seemed to know the moods of people, especially their mom. Amanda and her mom rarely had disagreements. The same wasn’t true for her! Amanda helped her out.

“Catherine, you and mom are both type ‘A’ personalities and strong-willed. Mom is not laid-back like dad. You get into disagreements with mom because you push her without thinking about her mood. You can’t just barge in and start asking for things without thinking about how mom is feeling. You need to check mom’s mood first and then proceed accordingly. Don’t push her if she’s not feeling well. I’ll show you how to check mom out.”

Amanda trained her over the next few weeks.

“Mom is currently very pleased, at the moment Catherine. Go into her bedroom after dad leaves and observe her facial expressions and body language. Greet her and see how she responds. Then another day. “Mom is currently frustrated with a work problem. Go into her office and observe her facial expressions and body language. Greet her and see how she responds. And another day. “Mom is currently angry Catherine. She just had another car incident. Go into the living room and observe her facial expressions and body language. Greet her carefully and see how she responds. Do NOT ask her for anything. In fact, ask her if there is anything you can escort şişli do for her.”

She wasn’t sure how Amanda always seemed to know her mom’s moods, but she gradually got better at reading her mom which helped a lot. Fewer disagreements was a good thing!

One day she was talking to Amanda about boys. She told Amanda that no one had caught her eye and that she didn’t even really think about guys very much. Amanda surprised her with a very detailed response.

“First of all, I observe them in class and in the schoolyard to get a feel for them. I look to see how they are in groups of other guys and how they treat others. I listen to see what their interests are. I observe how they talk about girls. If they’re not bullies or full of themselves, and they seem nice and treat girls okay, then I try to get closer. I’ll try to sit by them at lunch so I can talk to them. Sometimes it ends quickly! They give me the ‘go away’ look. Some people think I’m strange and don’t want to talk to me! Most people are friendly though. If they seem receptive, then I try to get to know them better by eating lunch with them or hanging out at recess or after school. If all goes well, I do the ‘personal space’ test.”

“What’s that?”

“Well, everyone has a personal space around them that they don’t want you to enter. People get very queasy if you enter their personal space unless of course they like you and want you to enter their personal space. So, if I like someone and want to find out if they like me, I enter their personal space and see what happens! I start small and pat them on the arm or shoulder and see how they respond. If they don’t run away or if they smile at me in a good way then I push further. I slowly move into their personal space. I move slow, real slow, so they’re not startled! If they don’t ‘like’ me and start to back up then I back off. If they do ‘like’ me then usually, I get a big smile, and they might even move closer! It’s quite exciting when it happens!”

“Has it ever happened?” Catherine asked excitedly about Amanda’s strategy.

Amanda sighed and frowned. “Only once, with Jason Radcliffe and then his family moved to another city. I don’t think it was because of me though! Unfortunately, the boys I like don’t seem to like me, or if they like me, I’m not interested in them.”

“Who likes you that you don’t like?” Catherine asked curiously.

“Bobby Darren likes me.”

“He’s pretty good looking!” Catherine smiled. “Why don’t you like him?”

“He is good looking, but he’s not very nice. He’s full of himself just because he’s good at sports and his parents have lots of money.”

“Who else?”

“Tom Crystal.”

“Why don’t you like him?”

“He’s mean and makes fun of people all the time.”

“Who else?”

“Kate Ley.”

Catherine’s eyes popped out of her head. “A girl likes you!”

“Well, actually, she likes both of us,” Amanda said nonchalantly.

“No way! Kate? She likes me too?” Catherine said in disbelief.

“Yup. It’s true.” Amanda said with great certainty. “Watch! I’ll show you! At lunch, I’ll sit with Ed Miller. He’s a friend, but not a boyfriend. I’ll do my ‘personal space’ test, and you can see how he responds. Then I’ll do the same thing with Kate.”

Catherine watched as Amanda sat with Ed. They were chatting away and then Amanda slowly shuffled over so that her leg was touching Ed. He looked at Amanda briefly and then moved away a bit, so they weren’t touching anymore and then they continued talking. Amanda looked over at her and winked.

Then Amanda sat with Kate the next day. Kate seemed quite happy to see Amanda and sat quite close to her. Kate and Amanda were chatting away, and Kate occasionally patted Amanda on the arm. When Amanda moved her leg against Kate, Kate looked up at Amanda, and a hesitant smile spread across her face. She didn’t move away. Amanda and Kate sat very close for the rest of lunch, and they both were patting each other constantly and smiling and laughing. When lunch was over Catherine watched Kate stare at Amanda as she walked away. Wow! What Amanda said was true!

She lay in bed for quite a while that night replaying lunch in her head and thinking about Amanda’s comment about Kate liking her.

===================

Another important event that happened was getting her driving license. She finally got it! Well, sort of.

“Are you sure you want to do this? What if you get caught? I don’t want you to get in trouble!” Catherine asked apprehensively.

“Don’t worry Catherine! Easy-peasy!” Amanda said confidently.

Catherine gave her a big hug. “Thanks, Amanda! I don’t know why I keep failing. I always ace the written part, but then I get nervous and choke on the driving part!”

“Don’t worry! It will all be over today! We just need to get past mom. Fortunately, she’s distracted with her professor work at the moment. She won’t notice a thing. Are you ready to doll me up? After all, you want to look good for your picture!” Amanda smiled.

Catherine spent thirty nişantaşı escort minutes getting Amanda just perfect! She applied the creamy pink nail polish that she liked to Amanda’s nails. Then she tied Amanda’s loose hair into the ponytail that she always wore. Next was the makeup. She wanted to look good for her picture! She carefully applied some blush and eyeliner to Amanda and some mascara to make her eyelashes look long and full. Oops! Amanda had a stray eyebrow hair! That won’t do! PLUCK!

“Ouch! That hurt Catherine!”

“Sorry, Amanda but that hair that needed removing! Almost done! Just need to brush your eyebrows like this and apply the makeup pencil like this. There! Nice dark full eyebrows! You look perfect. ‘I’ look perfect! See?”

Amanda looked in the mirror. She looked exactly like Catherine!

“Okay! So now we need to changes clothes!” Catherine said, starting to get excited. Both girls stripped down and exchanged clothes. Amanda was now wearing Catherine’s trademark t-shirt with a blue jean vest, and jeans and Catherine was wearing Amanda’s loose white dress.

Amanda turned Catherine around and undid her ponytail. She rarely wore a ponytail! “You need to take your makeup off Catherine. Mom might get suspicious if she sees me with makeup.”

“Oh right! Didn’t think of that!” Catherine said and proceeded to remove her makeup.

“Is that it?” Amanda asked.

“I think so! We’ve done hair, makeup, clothes. I think we’re good!” Catherine said. “Oops! Change purses! You’re going to need my id at the license office.”

Catherine had already told her mom earlier that she was going to try to get her driver license again, her third attempt! Amanda breezed through her test the first time. They were going to the license office in her mom’s car. Everything was ready! They just had to get past their mom.

“Catherine let me do the talking! We need to say as little as possible, so mom doesn’t realize we’ve switched!”

They walked by their mom’s office. “By mom!” Amanda said briefly, as Catherine, and tried to scoot off.

“Wait! I want a hug!” Lola jumped up from her office desk. She wanted to give her daughter a good luck hug given how upset Catherine was after failing the first two times. Joey had been practicing with her for weeks. Hopefully, her third time would be lucky. She gave Catherine a big hug.

“Thanks, mom!” Amanda said and made a beeline out of the room as quick as possible before her mom noticed anything.

Lola went back to her work, but something small kept niggling the back of her mind. Something wasn’t quite right, but she couldn’t figure out what it was. Oh well! It would come to her later. Eventually, it did. Amanda was wearing hiking boots when they left, and Catherine had on white sandals! Hmmm!

Catherine was sweating bullets waiting for Amanda to finish the driving test. What if she failed? What if she got caught!

Eventually, Amanda pulled up in their mom’s car and parked it. There was some talking going on between Amanda and the instructor, and then they both went inside. About ten minutes later Amanda came out skipping across the parking lot with a big grin on her face and gave her a thumbs up.

Yes! She did it!

Amanda got in the car all excited and handed her a brand spanking new driver license with her name on it and a beautiful picture! Amanda always took a great picture!

She gave Amanda a big hug! “Thank’s so much! Were there any problems?”

“Nope! Everything went tickety-boo! Now, get this makeup off me! I don’t know how you stand painting your face! It feels yucky!”

Catherine swabbed Amanda’s face with her makeup remover wipes until every last trace was gone. She had already reapplied her makeup while Amanda was out driving. They switched back to each other’s clothes in the car and changed purses.

“Is that it? Did we get everything?” Catherine asked.

“I think so!” Amanda said. “All that remains now is for you to drive us home!”

Catherine looked a bit nervous.

“Catherine! Don’t worry! You drive just fine with dad! Just go slow and be careful. It’s Silver City, not Chicago! Go through the back streets if you want. Try not to hit a tourist or old person! You can’t be any worse than mom, and they haven’t revoked her license!”

Amanda patiently watched Catherine crawl out of the lot, looking each way twenty times before turning! It was going to be a slow ride home, but Catherine finally had her license, and she made it happen! It was the least she could do for Catherine. She wouldn’t have made it through grade nine or ten without Catherine’s help. There were a few occasions when she let school slip so much that she would have been toast without help!

It was very gratifying sensing Catherine’s appreciation on the way home. Catherine was on cloud nine and kept giving her large grins. It felt good! The minute she walked in the house her radar went off though. Her mom looked happy, but there was an undercurrent of something else emanating from her. Oh! Oh!

“Mom! fatih escort I passed! Look!” Catherine showed her mom her new license.

“Congratulations honey! That’s great news!” Lola said as she looked at the license. “How did it go? Did you have any problems?”

“No. It went okay,” Catherine said.

“Do you have the evaluation sheet?” The license office provided an evaluation sheet after the test detailing how you did in the various sections.

Catherine retrieved it from her purse. “Here mom.”

Lola scanned it. She aced every section this time. Interesting. “Did you have a male instructor again?”

Oh! Oh! Amanda thought! It was a female, but Catherine might not have seen her, and the name of the instructor was on the form her mom had. Catherine froze like a deer caught in headlights. There was only one person that was a worse liar than her dad. Catherine! Amanda gripped her boob. Catherine noticed. Whew!

“It was a lady mom,” Catherine said.

“Well, congratulations Catherine! Your dad will be thrilled for you. I was so excited about your test that I imagined you were wearing Amanda’s sandals and she was wearing your boots when you two left, but then I thought, that’s silly! Why would you be wearing each other’s shoes.”

Amanda could tell her mom was fishing for information. Her mom was waiting for Catherine to answer but Catherine’s brain was frozen again, and her mouth was hanging open.

“I don’t think so mom.” Amanda intervened. “Why would we do that?” She showed her mom her white sandals. “See?”

Catherine nodded her head. “I want to call dad mom. I’m so excited! I’ll talk to you later.” She bolted out of the room.

Amanda just about made it out of the room.

“Amanda?” her mom asked.

Amanda turned around. “Yes?”

“That was a very nice picture that Catherine took. Don’t you think? She usually doesn’t smile well for the camera.”

Her mom was still fishing, but she couldn’t prove anything! “Very nice picture mom! Almost as good as my pictures!”

Her mom smiled and nodded her head in agreement. “Yes, if I didn’t know better I would almost think it was you!”

An unspoken smile of acknowledgment passed between them.

“Well, I’m just pleased that Catherine has her license! She seems thrilled, and I think she’ll be a very responsible driver.”

“Me too mom. I’m happy she’s happy!”

Lola smiled at Amanda. “Thanks, honey.”

Amanda smiled back. “You’re welcome, mom.”

==============

The news about her grandma was by far the biggest development though, especially to her! She and Amanda were asking their mom about someone who was coming to visit their grandma.

“Mom, Who is Laura? Grandma was talking about Laura coming down to visit for a week,” she asked.

“Laura is a lady that your grandma used to work with at her old company back home. Laura was the head of the IT department at the head office and supported the branch that your grandma managed. She also hired your dad. It was his first job out of school.”

“So grandma managed a whole branch?” Amanda asked surprised.

“Yes. Why do you sound surprised? Your grandma is a smart cookie Amanda!”

“So, were Laura and grandma good friends? Is that why she’s coming to visit?” Catherine asked.

“Yes, they worked together for years at the head office and became close after your grandma moved to run the branch office.”

“Where was grandpa when grandma moved?” Amanda asked?

“They weren’t living together for a while.”

“Why?” Catherine asked surprised.

Oh boy! The questions were getting uncomfortable, Lola thought! “They weren’t getting along, so your grandma moved out.”

Both girls looked at each other in shock. “Grandpa and grandma split up?” they asked incredulously.

“Yes, for a while. That’s when your grandma got to know Laura better. Laura visited the branch, and she and your grandma got to know each other quite well.”

“So they became good friends?” Catherine asked.

Lola had said as much as she wanted to. “Why don’t you ask your grandma? I’m sure she’ll be happy to answer your questions, and it sounds like you’ll get to meet Laura in person soon enough. She’s a very nice lady. I think you’ll like her.”

“Okay! Thanks, mom!”

“Girls.”

“Yes?”

“Do not ask your grandma about leaving your grandpa! Okay?”

Both girls rolled their eyes. “We’re not stupid mom!”

Her grandma definitely had a twinkle in her eye the day Laura visited! Catherine thought. She had dressed up really nice and looked almost radiant. Laura and her grandma must have been quite close!

She and Amanda went over the next day to meet Laura. Laura looked pretty good for someone who was fifty-six and seemed quite friendly and asked each of them lots of questions. She said the last time she saw them; they were a lot smaller! Catherine felt comfortable around her right away.

Her grandma gave Laura a tour of the hotel, and then all four of them piled into her grandma’s car, and they gave Laura a tour of Silver City and the surrounding area. She saw Laura a few more times throughout the week before Laura had to go back. She and Amanda both liked her. It was too bad that Laura had to go. It would have been nice to spend more time with her.

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