Charlie is 15 years old.
Charlie turned the knob quietly and pushed open the front door slowly in an attempt to sneak into the house without being spotted. With the door shut silently behind her, she tip toed through the kitchen and into the living room. Her dad was reclining in his chair watching baseball with Bass sitting directly across from him. She raised a finger to her lips to tell Bass to keep quiet, his only response being the slight lift of his lips. Moving quietly behind the couch, Charlie almost made it into the hallway before Miles' voice sounded through the room.
"Bring it here, let's see it." The commanding tone leaving absolutely no room for argument.
Charlie slouched her shoulders and sighed. "How long did you know I was there?"
"Heard the car door close outside." He put his hand out to her, palm up, and looked at her expectantly. She rolled her eyes, ignoring Bass' chuckle, and dug around in her bag for the object of Miles' curiosity.
She handed over the envelope and said, "just remember that it's only the progress report. I still have nine weeks to bring them up before report cards come out."
Miles grunted noncommittally as he opened the envelope. "Ok, we've got an A in Algebra-"
Bass snorted, "surprise, surprise."
Miles continued as if there had been no interruption, "B in Biology, B in English, A in Phys Ed, an A in Art, and a-" he stopped and sighed, pursing his lips. "And a D in American History." He turned to look at her with disappointment etched on his face.
Charlie shrugged her shoulders, refusing to make eye contact with either of them. "What?" She asked uncomfortably, "it doesn't matter, nobody likes History anyway."
"I loved History," Bass added unhelpfully.
Charlie glared at him before turning back to her dad, "see? My point exactly."
"Charlie..." Miles' voice was full of warning, both of them ignoring Bass' mumbled, "I'm not, nobody."
"Honey, this isn't about whether or not you like the subject, it's about getting good grades."
"Dad, I tried-"
"Well you didn't try hard enough then, because you and I both know that you can do better than this." He waved the progress report around in front of her.
"Oh my God, it's just one class. Sorry that I can't be perfect, little, straight-A Danny." She turned on her heel and started to stomp of towards her bedroom.
Miles got up from his chair with a sigh. This had become a frequent conversation for them lately, Charlie was constantly comparing herself to her much smarter younger brother that had skipped a grade and would be entering high school next year. "Honey, I don't care about Danny," at her skeptical look he amended, "I mean that I don't care about his grades. And I don't expect you to be perfect, I just want you to do the best you can, and I know that this isn't it." He waved the paper in front of her face again, tilting his head sideways to try and get her to look at him. When she finally gave in he smiled down at her and asked, "so how do you plan on bringing this grade up?"
"Well," she said slowly, "there's this huge paper due..."
She bit her lip. "Friday."
Miles blinked at her. "Tomorrow is Friday."
He sighed with relief. "Good, so how much do you have done?" Charlie mumbled something incoherent. "Huh?"
"None," she winced as if bracing for impact.
Miles looked down at her, fully prepared to yell until he couldn't anymore, but at the last moment decided against it. "Well then you better go get started."
Charlie looked up at him in shock. "Uh... ok." She turned and grabbed her bag, heading towards her room, but stopped and backtracked a bit to stand in front of Bass. "Hey, you wanna help me write a paper about the Civil War?"
Bass didn't even get the chance to respond before Miles yelled, "no, Bass will not do you homework for you!"
Charlie turned to him with pouty lips. "But Daddy, Bass is full of worthless Civil War crap. I could get the paper done in like half the time!" Miles didn't even respond, he simply pointed in the direction of her bedroom, his eyes back on the TV.
She huffed and stomped all the way to her room, slamming the door shut just as Bass grumbled, "it's not worthless crap."
A/N So we've finally reached the end of this adventure, I'm sorry it took so long, I just got busy with other things. I just want to thank you guys for reading, following, favoriting, and reviewing. You guys truly are awesome!