Ever since the boys had moved on to high school, things had been different. Sofia finally had some freedom. A good thing too, because now that she’d lost a few pounds, boys were beginning to notice her. She could actually have a conversation with them during lunch, without worrying about one of her brothers breathing down their necks. Even Romero, but mostly Eric, had gotten in on the big brother act. As if three brothers weren’t enough.
Everything at home remained the same. Her brothers overbearing natures hadn’t changed at all. With them feeding off her dad’sold school mentality, about the importance of the older brother role, their interferences began to reach new heights
Sofia waited for Angel to leave the kitchen before asking her mom about the after-school dance that Friday. Her mom chopped onions while Sofia helped with the guacamole. She glanced back to make sure Angel had walked out.
“They’re having a Valentine’s dance this Friday after school. It’s just a two hour thing. I was thinking of going. Is that okay?”
Her mom turned to her and smiled. “Did someone ask you to the dance?”
Sofia shook her head. They weren’t noticing her that much yet, but someone had asked if she would be there. “No. It’s just going to be me and Tricia and some of the other girls from the running team.”
“I don’t see why not.” Her mom rinsed her hands in the sink.
Alex walked into the kitchen and opened the refrigerator. Sofia pressed her lips together, willing her mom not to say anything about the dance in front of him. But all her mental efforts were in vain.
“Are you going to wear anything special to the dance, or is it just casual?”
Sofia kept her eyes on the avocado she mashed in the bowl, but from the corner of her eye, she saw they had Alex’s attention. “What dance?”
“The Valentine’s dance at Sofia’s school,” her mother said, matter of factly.
Alex made a face. “You going to the dance, Sof? With who?”
Trying her hardest to hide the attitude, Sofia didn’t bother looking at him. “With my friends.”
“What friends?” Alex pressed.
She turned around, no longer able to conceal her agitation. “Tricia and some of the other girls, Alex.”
Alex frowned. “School dances are lame, Sof.”
Sofia rolled her eyes, adding salt to the guacamole. “Well, I’ve never been to one. I just want to try it. Do you mind?”
“Maybe I do.”
“Alex, go throw the trash out and tell your brothers it’s time for dinner,” her mother said, dumping the onion she’d been chopping into the guacamole.
Alex grabbed the trashcan and headed out the kitchen door.
“Sofia, never mind your brother, let me know if we need to get you anything to wear. You go and have a good time.” She kissed Sofia on the head. “Just be sure you come straight home after.”
Sofia smiled. Finally, her chance to mingle with boys, and her brothers wouldn’t be anywhere around.