“How could you do this? This year of all years.” Zoe Alvarez throws anything she can get her hands on which won’t easily break around her room while her mother Martina Alvarez tries to think of ways to calm her. So far she hasn’t come up with anything. All she can do is try to catch the things that are a little more breakable than her daughter thinks.
“It’s going to be alright. I promise.” As she crosses the room Zoe throws a stuffed rabbit at her. She catches it and sets it on a shelf.
“How can you say that? You don’t have a job. We aren’t rich. How are you going to pay for my camp next month? I can’t be the only one who doesn’t get to go.”
Martina holds her hands before her in surrender. “You won’t be. I promise. I will figure it all out. I already have a bunch of ideas.”
With her eyes tightening, Zoe stops throwing things. The picture frame in her hand threatens that this could be a temporary reprieve. “What sort of ideas? I want to hear them. Now.”
“You do know you aren’t the adult here, right?”
With a deep breath, Martina regrets saying anything to her daughter. She would have found out from her grandfather otherwise though. Better she hears it from her. “I’m going to register for the vigilante act.” Since the passing of the Vigilantes Making Us Safe Act, anyone can register and start walking the streets protecting people. She doesn’t need to be a cop to keep her city safe. With how things are going on the police force she might do a better job as a vigilante.
The throwing doesn’t start up again but there’s no excitement on her daughter’s face. “How does that make you money? They don’t pay people to be vigilantes do they?”
Martina hesitates and her daughter’s hand starts to shake. “No, but there are ways to make money once you register. A lot of people are looking for security help or guards who are registered now. The money can be pretty good. With my experience, I’ll find something. I promise.”
Shaking her head, Zoe flops face first onto her bed. “I don’t believe you. That sounds like its going to pay terribly. What if it doesn’t work out? What then?”
With a deep sigh Martina starts pacing back and forth. “I don’t know, I’ll figure something out. I’m not going to let my kid end up on the street. If I have to I’ll go out on the corner and turn some tricks.” She laughs, hoping to lighten the mood.
Turning over to face her mother, Zoe looks her up and down. “I don’t know mom, I don’t think anyone will pay.”
She has to pay for that. Martina rushes the bed and tackles her daughter before tickling her stomach. The girl can’t help laugh. After a minute she relents, rolling over and laying next to her daughter. Zoe turns to her and still has a concerned look on her face. “I know you keep saying its going to be okay, but are you sure? Maybe you could still get your job back. You could talk to grandpa, he could put in a good word.”
Martina puts a hand on her daughter’s cheek, trying to look more confident than she feels. “Honey, do you really want me to go to a job every day I don’t believe in? To help people hurt other people?”
Zoe looks away. “Not really, but I do want to eat.”
“You don’t ever have to worry about that. I’m going to make sure this is okay, no matter what it takes.”