Stephanie couldn’t believe her mother was siding with her dad, and the fact that Lexie was seeing her mother take her dad’s side was even worse! She had no idea any of Junior or Sara’s friends had posted pictures of her smoking weed, now she lost her party. Her mom would now get on Grahams kids and she would be persona non gratis at their house, again. How was she to know Lexie’s editor would fire her, she hardly ever spoke about her writing, anyway she doesn’t have to write anymore, and she had married her dad and he was rich!
“I’m sorry, it was there, everyone was smoking and I didn’t want to stand out, any more than I already do.” Stephanie told them. “I don’t want to get my stepbrother and stepsister in trouble, but mom, you never said anything before. All those parties from school we had out at High Point, you knew we were smoking pot, and you never said anything.”
“Don’t turn this back on me Stephanie Rose! We moved you to Polly Prep to get you away from the drugs.” Dorothea told her. “Your father and Lexie told you no more drugs, yet here we are.”
Jon looked at Lexie, he could tell she wanted to say something but was biting her tongue. He remembered what she had said, that Steph didn’t accept her as her mother, and had in fact told her she was not her mother.
“You should’ve thought about who you would hurt, before you took that first hit.” Lexie said as she turned and headed to the office door. Opening it she turned back to Stephanie and raised her shoulders, “Seems like you only cared about Stephanie and how outsider you felt.” Lexie left Jon and Dorothea to deal with the fallout of the situation.
As she headed upstairs to the bedroom she stopped and laughed. “You can come out you two, it’s almost all over except for the tears.”
“How did you know we were here?” Jacob asked as they came from around the corner of the hall.
“I left the lamp on across from the door and your shoe shadows could be seen under the door.” She sat down on the bottom step.
“So the party is off?” Jesse asked her, as he joined her on the step.
“There’ll be a party, it’s her graduation, and there just won’t be a lot of non-family there.” Lexie told her sons.
“Is what you said true, Thomas might drop you?” Jesse asked her.
“Yeah, he’s sort of old fashioned when it comes to bad press.” Lexie sighed. “Having TMZ and the Enquirer and Star, camped outside his office and home, isn’t what he likes.”
“We’ll never be the cause for you to have bad press mommy.” Jacob said as he leaned on the wall by the stairs.
“I know you won’t Jakey, I never worry about you guys.” She reached out and pulled Jakey into a hug. “I trusted your sister, but look where that got us.” He looked up at Jesse, “If you want to see your mom before she leaves, stick around, they should be out in a few minutes.”
“Not me, but Jakey might want to?” Jesse said as he turned and headed toward the kitchen. “I have finals to study for, I’m getting some snacks and hitting history of the French Revolution and Algebra.” He made a gun out of his fingers and put it to his head. “Shoot me now please.”
Lexie laughed and she watched as Jakey wavered on seeing his mom or not. Following Jesse to the kitchen behind his big brother, she knew he wasn’t. Lexie got up and headed upstairs to the trio’s room to help Desie with lunch.
Jon waited for Stephanie to finish hanging herself with the rope they had supplied with the pictures from the cookout.
“Do you know how hard it is being your kid? You want us to be perfect, but we aren’t. I smoke pot, you smoke it too Mom. Daddy, you have wine or whiskey every day, but that’s okay.” Stephanie decided to turn on the waterworks, since shaming them wasn’t working.
Jon threw up his hands.
“That’s your answer to everything, you mom smokes pot and I drink wine, so you should do it? The fact is that we are adults and your parents, you think you are old enough to handle the fall out?” Jon had never raised his voice at his kids, but he now was having a hard time controlling his anger.
Yes, I’m old enough to handle the fall out. I’m going to be in college in few months and I just need to lay low till I’m gone from under the parental thumb she thought as she tried to keep calm. It was just her daddy who was yelling, he never yelled at her.
“Enough,” Dorothea said, “This is getting us nowhere.” She wanted this to be over. “How are we going to handle this?” She asked looking at Jon.
Taking a deep breath, Jon counted to ten and knew this had to end.
“Why don’t you go out in the hall while your mother and I talk this over?” Jon asked his daughter and then looked at his ex to get her agreement.
“Send Lexie back, she should be in on this.” Dorothea added, scoring brownie points with Jon.
Stephanie sniffed loudly and got up. Making a fuss now would only make her punishment harder. She gave her parents one last sad look and left to find Lexie.
Jon looked over at his Ex.
“Award winning performance, wouldn’t you say?” Jon rolled his eyes and leaned back in the chair.
“Yes, she knows it too.” Dorothea finally relaxed.
Stephanie went in search of her stepmother. She found her in the bedroom with her headphones on and tapping on her computer. Stepping up behind her she waited a second, reading what she was typing over her shoulder.
“Did you want something Steph?” Lexie asked not stopping what she was doing and not removing her earbuds. She had come in here after helping Hellen.
“How did you know I was here?” She asked and wondered what she was listening to with the buds in.
“One, I can smell your perfume and two, you reflected in the screen.” She finally removed her buds and turned around. “Now what did you want?” There was no joking in her voice and no emotion.
“Daddy wants you to come down, they’re deciding on my punishment. I guess he wants you to be a part of it.” Stephanie said as she was not looking at her but at the screen.
“You don’t want me to be a part of that discussion, do you? Seeing as you don’t think of me as your mom.” Lexie said as she turned back to the screen and saved her work and then turned back to Stephanie.
“I have a mom, you’re my stepmom.” Stephanie told her.
“I know, and I have never asked you to call me mom, and I have never ratted you out, you did that yourself.” Lexie said as she got up and walked to the door. “Next time, be more careful with who you share a joint with, because you never know who is taking pictures and selling them to the media.” Lexie left her standing in the middle of the bedroom with her mouth hanging open.
Lexie stopped by Jesse’s room on the way down and asked him to take Snowball for a walk.
“Thanks, mom, I was wondering how to get out of the house.” Jesse said as he pulled on his kicks.
“Happy to be a service.” Lexie laughed as she headed down stairs.
Lexie got to the door and waited until she saw Jesse and Snowball out the backdoor. She tapped on the door and walked in.
“You need me for something?” Lexie asked looking between Jon and Dorothea.
“We need to decide what we’re going to do about Stephanie and her drug use.” Dorothea told her. She reached in her purse and brought out her cigarettes and started to tap one out.
“We don’t smoke in this house.” Lexie told her, before she got it out of the pack.
Dorothea look at Jon with a shocked expression.
“I stopped smoking when I met Lexie.” Jon told his Ex proudly.
Dorothea hunched her shoulders and put them back in her purse.
“Just my suggestion we give her the party, you only graduate high school once. We already made plans and the invitations are already sent, we have a list of RSVP’s.” Dorothea told them.
Jon sat there and thought about what she had said, he thought they should take a united front. Drug rehab, talk to Father Bob or Sister Mary, or maybe work in the habitat for the summer? He looked at his wife and then his Ex, waiting on his wife to be the voice of reason.
“I agree with Dorothea.” Lexie said.