This time, Adele was madder than a trapped feral cat faced by two dogs, one being a small Chihuahua with razor teeth, the other, fifteen-years-old and counting. Like the cat, Adele felt cornered. She loathed how her sister squealed on her for such trivial, small things. What was the big deal? All she did was sneak into her older sister Katie’s bedroom, open her drawer that held at least twenty pair of thong underwear and borrow Katie’s precious, guarded candy—black, stringed licorice shaped into thin connecting loops with a red dot of candy in the middle. Katie was sixteen and still liked how the licorice resembled a record, something that drove Adele nuts. Katie was four years older, a teenager, and she still hoarded those records? As for Adele, she was already into the real, addictive stuff—like Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups or strawberry-flavored B-B-Bats. She just liked a little variety, that being Katie’s licorice.
That evening, there was plenty of time for Katie to soak in the bathtub, at least an hour’s worth. She was going on her second date with Hap, a guy with thick black glasses and tall coiffured hair that could vibrate a clothesline if he tried to duck and walk under. Adele considered him a loser; despite Katie’s protests he was a “hot one!” It was while Katie wrinkled in the tub that time pestered Adele and reminded her how tasty that black licorice would be. It commanded her to give in, get the goods.
Once the deed was done, the licorice in her hand, Adele had time to dissipate the tiny amount of guilt that crept into her head. She reminded herself she was “helping” her sister. Katie needed to cut the calories. It was easy to figure that out every time she watched Katie lay on her back on the bed, flat as a pancake to cave her stomach in and force enough gap to zip up her jeans. Not so for Adele. She stood straight up like a hiking stick and zipped up her jeans with one hand only, thank you. She easily managed all the chocolate.
Just in time, Katie suspected something was up when she couldn’t hear Adele making a ruckus outside the bathroom door. She called to her mother and squealed on Adele and just as Adele started to pull the licorice records out from under Katie’s underwear, her mother stepped into the room. “So-o-o, are you needing something from Katie’s drawer?” Adele thought for just a nano second. “Oh, yeah, Katie needed a pair of underwear when she gets out of the bath.” Her mother came closer and frowned. “Oh, really now?” She looked down at Adele’s hand with small pieces of black peeking out from her fingers. “Katie told me you were stealing her candy.” Adele knew it was over. “I think it’s about time you learned a lesson.” Here it comes, Adele thought. “No sweets whatsoever for you for a month.” Her mother turned and left, forgetting to take the licorice in Adele’s hand. She shoved the records in her mouth.