“And what are you doing now a days, Kylie?”
The question came from our next door neighbor, Mrs. Goodman. She moved in month three weeks ago and Mom they needed to be friends. It was something about pottery and robots.
When she asked, the other two guests turn their attention to me. It was suppose to be some sort of book club but they never spoke about books. They talked about the armor suits their husbands were working on. Sometimes they talked about dinning in space and how there was a ten year wait line. Today they were talking about children.
I swallowed the last mouthful of my lemon cake. Like always, it scratched my throat on my way down. Why was it that every time I ate lemon cake, the same conversation returned.
“I’m working at a cake shop,” I told her. “Business is good. Very busy.”
“That’s good to hear,” Ms. Lawman supplied. “My Joshy started up his tenth business just last week. I’m sure you girls have seen him on TV.”
Mrs. Goodman rolled her eyes and took a sip of her pink lemonade. “Good for you Helen,” she said. “My daughter is too busy running a tourist empire to appear on TV.”
“That’s unfortunate,” Ms. Lawman shot back. “Doesn’t that mean she’s no good at management? If she can’t make time then there’s obviously something wrong.”
The way Mrs. Goodman looked I was glad there was a coffee table between them and they were sitting on opposite sides of it.
“Wasn’t your brother on TV?” Mrs. Taylor asked me, quickly interrupting. “You look so much like him. I’m sure you’re trying to follow in his footsteps.”
I cleared my throat. Why did she have to bring me in to this? “Um, not really,” I told her. “I like baking. It’s nice and quiet.”
Mrs. Taylor frowned. “What about your sister?”
“Rebecca like working on her own,” I told her. “Plus it gets too cold in her lab and she’s anti-social.”
Mrs. Taylor’s frown deepened. “Surely the twins,” she began.
“Kylie is very good to me,” Mom said walking into the living room. “The others don’t have much time to visit. Kylie visits all the time. She goes shopping with me and helps me bake.”
I gave a grateful smile to my Mom.
“That’s nice dear,” Ms. Lawman piped up. “All our children are off somewhere saving lives, helping society, they make the true sacrifices.”
If I wanted shade, I would have sat outside. However, my mom’s smile never wavered.
“That’s true,” she said, “but at least I’m not lonely and my home isn’t empty.”
I hid my smile behind an empty glass of lemonade. Ms. Lawman shifted in her seat.
“I’m going to get more cake,” I muttered and bolted out of there.
Regardless if my siblings were more successful than I was, at least I had Mom. They didn’t get to eat her dishes like I did.