The Babysitter, Part 24

by: Lady Lucia | Story In Progress | Last updated Mar 29, 2024


Chapter 20
The Babysitter, Part Twenty

Part Twenty

They were so obviously trying to bait me. 

Paige, especially. There was no way I was going to give any of them the satisfaction. I hadn’t been called ‘Alyssa’ in hours, and now I was dealing with an excessive amount of patronizing comments about my size and my maturity. It was absurd. Not only how I was being treated like I was a bratty thirteen year old when Noelle wasn’t even in the room, but also the, but also the fact that I was more mature than Paige and every single one of her friends. 

That was exactly why they weren’t worth it, however. I had already been pressured into going along with a bet that didn’t give me ideal odds, and the things at stake were personal possessions that my sister had no right taking in the first place. But Noelle was upstairs and still fully believed that she was my babysitter; this was the only way out, and I refused to do anything that would jeopardize a potential way to put an end to all of this. I would swallow my pride, play a board game as if I was Paige’s younger sister, and get my driver’s license back.

At least there wasn’t a lot of set-up to do. I felt a bit awkward as I knelt in the middle of the circle to unfold the board and take out all the pieces from the box; although the girls idly chatted with each other while I did so, I could practically feel the amused glances from all sides. The act of getting a board game out wasn’t particularly embarrassing all on its own, but this was while they were all treating me like I was Paige’s thirteen year old sister. It probably looked just like Noelle had mentioned–like I was taking up an offer to hang out with the older girls. And they were leaning into that, of course, because I was the one being made to do everything by my mean ‘older sister’ while she and her friends didn’t lift a finger to help. That’s the teenage cliché it felt like, anyway.

I didn’t actually care about what color I played, but I did put a bit of intention into my choice. Blue would match the outfit Paige had picked out for me, black would go with Violet’s alternative look, and red would kind of go with my hair. Not wanting to look like I had selected something that would match myself or my teammate, I opted for green. It wasn’t a big deal in the grand scheme of things, but it was getting to the point where I was actively trying to avoid anything that would give Paige or her friends more opportunities to patronize me. 

The other girls picked next, and then my sister explained how things would go. Since we were playing a game that wasn’t designed for teams, the twist on this style was that each girl would alternate turns with her partner. That way, everyone would be included instead of the way things often went with ‘teams,’ where it was more one person watching while the other played. 

I wasn’t stupid. The moment Paige laid things out, I considered the possibility of Violet screwing me over more than any of the other girls. Wasting all of our cards to do something that wasn’t productive to our goals, for example. However, she was acting the opposite of malicious. “Don’t worry, Miley,” she said, wrapping an arm around me as I sat back with her in the armchair that really wasn’t meant for two girls, “We’ll take them all down.”

Sure. There was no sense antagonizing her or showing outward doubt, but I also didn’t want to show any positive emotions in terms of our partnership. While I knew that all these girls were competitive, as I had heard them arguing over rules from all the way down the hall on occasion, I still harbored all kinds of distrust for this bet. Because if I was right, and they were playing more against me than against each other, then Violet wouldn’t really be trying to win. If anything, I was anteing up my bra to see if any of this was actually fair. 

As the game got underway, my paranoia ended up being an additional problem. Instead of playing like I’d normally play, I found myself overthinking every little choice. If I took those, would the other girls steal the rest, or would Violet screw it up when our turn came around again? If I put that down, would I instantly be cut off on both sides? There were too many variables when I assumed everyone was trying to make me lose. 

To her credit, Violet didn’t sabotage us. She made all the right moves, and worked with me to score the cards we were aiming for. The others didn’t seem to be going out of their way to mess up our plans, either. Surprisingly enough, the game played out more fairly than I had expected. And yet, it wasn’t nearly enough. 

Paige and Annika cheered as they scored more than the other two teams combined when the points were added up at the end of the game. Solidly proving that all of her bragging wasn’t just talk, Annika looked particularly smug as she laid out all the completed goals that piled onto their already high score from having a myriad of routes in the 4-6 range. They had the longest chain of pieces as well. Paige looked content with their victory as well, but hers was less in response to simply having such an impressive win. “Looks like you lose, Miley,” she said. After high fiving Annika, Paige stood up to get what she needed for my penalty.

“Well, we tried,” Violet said. She shifted next to me and slipped her hand between my arm and torso before settling back down. “Maybe we’ll do better next time?”

It wasn’t at all lost on me what she was doing. The chair was already uncomfortably tight with the two of us sharing it; I already had had to deal with countless instances of awkwardness as we took turns drawing cards and placing trains. Now that we were linked by our elbows, getting up would have to be a team effort. Or, in other words, she was making sure I wouldn’t jump up to try and stop Paige from what she was about to do. 

There was a shelf of craft supplies in the same closet as where Annika had picked out the three board game options. My sister easily found a pair of scissors there, and she gave the air a small *snip* as she showed them off to the rest of us. The gesture succeeded in making me a little nervous, but also sparked some belated protest. “Wait!” I exclaimed. The board was still right there on the table with the final score displayed, so there was proof to back up my point. “I didn’t lose. Shannon and Dakota did.”

Paige didn’t miss a beat. “That wasn’t the bet, sis. Or have you already forgotten? Not too surprising, considering you basically flunked more than half your middle school classes.” 

“Gotta work on that retention, Miley,” Violet said. She gave one of my bare thighs a pinch. “License if you win. Cut bra if you don’t win.”

“You didn’t win,” Annika chimed in, “So, say goodbye to one of your bras!”

I definitely hadn’t heard it like that, but it sounded familiar. Were they twisting things after the fact, or had I been dumb enough to not listen carefully enough? Even though no one had gone out of their way to keep Violet and I from doing somewhat well, it was absolutely an imbalanced bet if getting first place was the only thing that earned my ID and protected my undergarments. “But-” I started to object, but that’s as far as I made it. 

“That’s what you agreed to, Miley,” Paige said, “Don’t be a sore loser, or an immature brat. Just act your age, okay?”

I went silent for a few seconds, at a total loss for words. Because, in a way, this was my fault. Choosing to come down here, letting Paige goad me into wagering one of my bras. The odds had been stacked against me, sure, but technically a bet was a bet. However, my silence didn’t last very long. When Paige pulled out one of my bras from a bag that had been tucked behind the sofa, I couldn’t help but speak up in its defense. 

“NO.” Not- not that one. It was my absolute favorite. Dark green lace that went so well with both my red hair and my skin tone, and one of the few bras I owned that made my smaller breasts look stunning in terms of both shape and cleavage when I was shirtless. It was easily one of my most expensive ones as well. I don’t know how Paige had managed to figure out that this was easily the worst bra she could have possibly chosen, or maybe it was just a lucky guess. Either way, I had no choice but to let her know that it was one that I really wanted to keep. If I remained quiet, she would destroy it anyway. “Not that bra,” I muttered into the awkward silence my exclamation had created, “A different one. Please, Paige?” 

Even from ten feet away, I could see her eyes light up. “Why not this one?” she calmly asked. Dangling it by one of the straps for everyone to see, she said, “A girl your age really shouldn’t be wearing something like this.”

“Paige, come on,” I whined, not even caring about how I was coming across, “I love that one. Just- just don’t. Any other bra. Please. You can even cut two, if you want.” Never in a million years did I think that I would end up begging my selfish, inconsiderate sister for anything, yet here I was, totally at her mercy. 

“Hmm, interesting,” she mused, before running with my offer in her own way, “How about three, as well as the matching underwear?”

“Deal!” I exclaimed, before she could change her mind. Whatever. I could visualize my underwear drawer for the most part in my mind, and there weren’t really any other bras that would hurt as much to lose. I still didn’t love the thought of Paige ruining my collection in front of me and all of her friends, and I certainly didn’t deserve any of this, but I was at the point where I was constantly picking the lesser of two evils. 

At my acceptance of her counter-offer, Paige gave me a stern look, “Okay, brat. Then ask me politely for what you want.” She took one of the cups of the forest green bra, and aimed the scissors towards the now dangling straps. A clear threat. 

It definitely worked. Scared that she would start cutting if I didn’t comply right away, I blurted out the awful words. I was actually going to ask Paige to destroy my expensive undergarments. “Please cut up three of my bras?”

“And?”

“And matching underwear.”

Paige smirked. “With pleasure.”

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End Chapter 20

The Babysitter, Part 24

by: Lady Lucia | Story In Progress | Last updated Mar 29, 2024

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