The hallway was unusually quiet as April snuck back to her room. She'd just spent the whole evening at Jade's apartment. Together they watched movies, ordered takeout, and just chilled out. April loved every minute of it.
She left early to make sure she got back to her apartment before her parents did. It was just a few floors up in the large complex. Still, she knew her parents didn't approve of her association with Jade, she had to be careful. Right now her dad was away on a business trip, and her mom was working late. She had at least another hour before her mom made it back. April casually approached the door to her family's apartment and waved her key in front of the lock sensor. The automatic door slid open. April was surprised to find the lamp in the living room already on, she thought she'd turned it off before she left... She rounded the corridor of her apartment, stepped into the family room and froze. Her heart stopped and she felt herself breaking into a cold sweat. Her mom, Valerie, was glaring at her from the couch, arms crossed, waiting for her.
“Welcome home April.” Her mom was deadpan.
April was at a loss for words. “M-m-mom?”
“You weren't expecting me home this early, were you? Thought I'd take off early and spend some time with my daughter.” Valerie's expression grew more stern. “Where have you been?”
April was experiencing a panicked adrenaline rush. The single lamp made the room feel like an interrogation chamber. She struggled to resist the urge to run. “Nu- Nowhere! I mean- I was just-”
“Don't lie to me!” April's mom angrily yelled. She quickly got to her feet and stood over her daughter. “-You were down at Jade's apartment again, -weren't you!?”
April felt defeated. “...yes mom.”
Valerie stared her down. “April I've told you time and time again NOT to go down there!” Val's voice was starting to get shaky. “Do you enjoy disobeying your father and I? -Do you get a kick hanging out with thugs!?”
April immediately went on the defensive. “Jade is NOT a thug mom! You don't know her like I do! She's a good person!”
April's mom loudly sighed and rubbed her forehead. “April, we've be through this before! You've seen her criminal record, there's some very serious charges listed on there!”
“Those were alleged! She was never convicted!”
Valerie shook her head at her daughter in disbelief. “What about the charges she WAS convicted of!? Assault, theft, possession of illegal substances!? Why can't you get it through your head that I don't want to you hanging around a violent drug-dealer!”
“Mom those things happened years ago!! She's changed!”
“How does that old saying go? Actions speak louder than words! You can't trust a burned out junkie! She could be your best friend today, and shoot you in the back tomorrow!”
“That isn't fair mom!! You don't know ANYTHING about her! Jade is one of my best friends and I would trust her with my life!” April had enough, she started to walk away.
Her mom grabbed her arm and loudly cursed. “April! -I'm trying to be reasonable! Have you heard what other people around the complex are saying about her!? She disappears for weeks on end and returns with suitcases full of cash! She hangs out in bars all day on the bad side of town! There's something very suspicious about her... But even if Jade herself wasn't dangerous, the people she hangs around are! I'm not going to let you make a mistake and go down that path!”
April was defiant. “You can't treat me like this! I'm not a child anymore!! I can choose my own friends!”
“I'll stop treating you like a child when you quit acting like one!!” Valerie closed her eyes and sighed trying to calm herself. “What would you have me do April!? If you believed your child was in danger wouldn't you do everything to protect them? I couldn't live with myself if something happened to you April... Your friendship with Jade isn't worth the risks. I don't want you going down there anymore.”
April started at the floor for a few moments, thinking. She looked back up at her mother with a softer expression. “Mom, please trust me. I know what I'm doing.”
“April... I can't. This is not the first, second, or even third time we've had this discussion. I've asked you again and again to stay away from Jade. I can see that girl's rebellious spirit is already rubbing off on you. You admitted that you've lied to your father and me numerous times and deliberately disobeyed our wishes. You're not an adult yet, and until then your father and I have to make the decisions we feel are best for you. For now, you're grounded.”
April was speechless.
“I'm going to give you one last chance to regain my trust. Don't associate with Jade anymore. If I catch you down there again you'll force me to do something I REALLY don't want to do. This is your final warning.” Valerie didn't say another word and left the room.
April felt nauseous. She met Jade just a few months ago. In that time she'd cultivated a relationship with her closer than anyone else, even her family. Jade was the closest thing she would ever have to an older sister. Many aspects of Jade's life were still a mystery to her, but it was a mystery she looked forward to unraveling in the future.
April's eyes stung with tears from the emotional roller-coaster. Her mother was right about one thing. She had lied... Many times. She wasn't proud of it. She didn't want things be this way... But she was being forced to give up her most cherished friendship.
She wouldn't do it... She couldn't do it.
This popped into my head a few days ago and I intended for it to be a quickie, but then I thought the only way it's really going to make sense is to write a little paragraph to go with it.
Either way, it's a fight scene between April and her Mom. I thought little stories like this would help flesh out my characters somewhat. I'm happy with the coloring, but I've failed at the clothing designs... Something to work on the in future!