The kitchen didn’t take too much work.
Unloading the dishwasher is one of the easier household chores, and Noelle made short work of packing up Miley’s summer assignments while I put the dishes away. While the tall brunette had shown that she could be harsh enough to spank me to keep me in line, she contrasted that by helping me tidy. Clearly not the kind of babysitter who twiddled her thumbs while her charge did all the chores alone. I didn’t know how to feel about that. Obviously the job would go by more quickly with the two of us, but it also meant that she still viewed me as a girl who couldn’t handle very much on her own.
As always, this was going to be an uphill battle. Miley was such an impossible little monster, and there was a very good chance Noelle simply thought that I was playing nice in the attempts to manipulate her. Lose/lose, like usual. Push back, and be seen as a difficult brat. Act mature, and be mistrusted. After all, girls aren’t reformed with a single snap of the fingers. I was intelligent enough to know that a single spanking shouldn’t be enough to turn Miley’s attitude around. It was becoming pretty clear that it would take days to earn the slightest bit of trust from Noelle. The only way to get out of this mess sooner rather than later was with someone else’s help. Maybe even Paige’s, though that wasn’t a pleasant thought. She might be willing, but it would probably cost me the world.
Noelle and I set up a serving station on the counter, complete with plates, napkins, and glasses for anyone who wanted something to drink with their meal. The whole time, I bit my tongue about how dumb the task was. Paige and her friends were the type to eat delivered food right out of the box, and drink out of whatever cans or bottles were in the fridge. While I did enjoy the thought of them actually putting their slices on plates and sharing a meal properly for once, I knew that the price of such a sight would be letting them see me at the same time.
While the casual outfit was objectively fine, there were too many other factors that made me look less like my mature eighteen year old self. My slightly flattened chest, obviously, and then the fact that my hair was pretty unkempt from an intense ballet rehearsal followed by a long walk home in the summer heat. It wasn’t a great look overall, and I probably wouldn’t get a chance to shower until either bedtime or whenever Noelle learned the truth about how Miley was three doors down and no doubt enjoying a house to herself with no last resort babysitter to make her weekend a living hell in comparison to how she had usually made it the opposite for sitters in the past.
Once we were done in the kitchen, Noelle walked me to the living room where I saw she had transferred my homework to. Miley’s homework to. I don’t know what I had expected. After all, what else was there besides schoolwork and chores? Most girls Miley’s age didn’t need a babysitter, and anyone younger than that could usually be kept busy with games or whatever. Especially since babysitting was normally more for safety than anything else when it came to kids that actually behaved. Of course, that wasn’t the case here. Not that I wanted to play games. I would die of embarrassment if Paige caught me playing some childish board game with my ‘babysitter.’
However, doing homework wasn’t much better, even if Paige had already seen me like that. I had opted to shift to History. If I was going to be working on Miley’s stuff either way, I’d rather spend time on something I was a little more comfortable with. Doing more Science didn’t sound appealing in the slightest, even though Noelle suggested sticking with the same subject in terms of maintaining a similar headspace for the sake of both productivity and better grasping things through continuity before switching gears. She ultimately let me make the choice, although it hardly mattered in the end. One way or another, I was still sitting in the living room with an open textbook and a summer homework handout.
Before, when Noelle and I had been sitting across from each other in the kitchen, Paige’s arrival made me and Miley’s babysitter notice her at the same time thanks to where the door was in relation to the table. This time, however, Noelle’s back was to Paige as she quietly descended the stairs. Knowing I was the only one who could see her currently, Paige gave me a wicked smirk and flipped me off with both hands. “Hey, Miley!” she exclaimed, her sweet and energetic voice very much countering the crude gestures. Keeping up the false name, too, of course. “We’re about to order. Hawaiian for you, obvi. Your favorite!” A complete lie. “What about you, Noelle? Any preference? It’s my treat.”
I detested ham, for starters, and also wasn’t a huge fan of pineapple on pizza. Nothing against those that do like it, as I’m well aware it’s a polarizing ingredient in that regard, but it’s absolutely not my thing. Before I could express as much, however, Noelle glanced over her shoulder and answered the question my sister had quickly and casually moved onto. “Honestly, anything,” she said, “Veggie or plain cheese, but I’m good with meat, too.”
“Cool,” Paige replied, “It’s usually here within thirty minutes when we order. Do you want me to answer the door, or . . . ”
“That’s fine. I can get it,” Noelle said. Our homework spot was much closer to the front door than the upstairs bedrooms were, which was clearly what Paige was alluding to when she hinted that maybe we could answer instead. If anything, that probably would have been Noelle’s preference, as then we could complete the informal dinner station set up on the counter in the other room.
“Thanks!” In typical fashion, Paige was being cordial and mature with the girl who believed she was here to babysit me, all while continuing to have fun at my expense. “I’m putting it on my card, so don’t worry about paying. Just add 20% or whatever to the tip line, if you don’t mind.”
“Got it. Miley and I will be done in a few minutes. Where do you normally eat?”
Paige hesitated for half a second. I’m sure Noelle didn’t notice, but I knew my sister better than that. She was quickly mulling over possible ideas. “Depends,” she said, no doubt buying herself another moment to think, “Usually the basement, with games or a movie, but sometimes in this room or in the kitchen.” Real specific. “If you want a break from little Miley, she can join us and we can keep tabs on her for a while.”
Now it was Noelle’s turn to mull things over. “Hmm, possibly. Is there an outside door in the basement? And if it’s a movie, I would need to approve it.”
“There’s a door to the backyard, but we can double lock it and make sure Miley’s in the opposite corner while we’re down there,” Paige replied, “And we’ll probably do board games instead of a movie. You’re welcome to join, too, of course. If you want.”
She was taking a gamble. Although either way, I lost. No matter what, things would result in all of Paige’s friends seeing me like this and subsequently treating me like her little sister.
Check out my website: www.ladyluciastories.com
And read more of "The Babysitter" and other stories on my Patreon: www.patreon.com/user?u=73056590