Lilly sat in her seat and ignored everything in the coffeehouse around her. She ignored her cold, untouched cup of coffee. She ignored background chatter as well as the arguing couple by the windows. She ignored the fake titted slut masturbating in her seat. She even ignored it when some guy with a giant penis started fucking the slut on the table.
The text message that she received from her daughter dominated Lilly's world. You're too old. You don't understand. You couldn't even face the decisions I have to make everyday. I hate you.
Her phone sat like dead weight in her hands. Lilly's eyes scanned the text over and over, not really reading each individual word, but absorbing them as a whole. It was too painful to focus on any single word.
Too old? She was only 20 years older than Casandra. She could still remember what it was like to be 18, the peer pressure, the anxiety of finishing school and the growing pains of increasing responsibility. An improvement in technology didn't change anything. What was it she couldn't understand?
As for the decisions Casandra was making, she and her husband, Mark, were at a loss as to what to do. They could see their daughter slip away with poor decision after poor decision. She'd been suspended for smoking in the girls bathroom. She'd wrecked her car while texting and driving. She'd been banned from stores for shoplifting. Coming home early from work one day, Lilly had even caught Casandra giving some boy a blow job.
When reasoning had failed, they'd tried punishing her. Now they were trying to manage and control her. During her suspension, they had her research the dangers of smoking. After ruining her car, they fixed it but required that she take the bus. Any new thing she brought home had to be presented with a receipt, even a pack of gum. Finally, they had given her a strict dress code and thrown out all of her clothes and makeup that didn't meet it.
Still, things didn't improve. When she brought home a failing report card, they required her to study in the presence of at least one of them for a minimum of two hours a night. Any event or gathering she went to had to be chaperoned by either Mark, Lilly, or an adult they knew and trusted. The only reason Casandra had a cell phone to be texting on was that it was equipped with GPS so Lilly and Mark could be sure of where Casandra was at all times. Yet none of it seemed to be working.
She and Mark provided a good life for Casandra. Lilly couldn't understand what she would be rebelling out against. Maybe they worked a bit too much, but work was important to them. Yet as many times as Casandra had been caught skipping school, it didn't seem like any of their values had rubbed off on their daughter.
The hubbub of the coffeehouse had picked up. Lilly thought she heard someone saying her name, but ignored it. Copying the text Casandra had sent, Lilly pasted it into a new one to her husband. Mark, look what Casandra just wrote me. Maybe we do need counseling for her. We should discuss this tonight. Lilly
Mark and Lilly's relationship wasn't exactly close, either. But they had a passable truce on most things. She wanted to blame things on Casandra's attitude, but things had been bad before that. Their passion had died out long ago and it felt like they were just going through the motions for their daughter.
Lilly had just finished sending the message when the stranger banged his hand on the table in front of her. In her shock, the brunette dropped her phone. She glared at the man that had startled her.
He wasn't tall, nor was he particularly short, just average. He had brownish blond hair and nondescript eyes. He wasn't handsome, nor ugly. He was average. Lilly doubted she could have picked him out of a lineup. She watched him sit down across from her.
"You know it's rude to ignore people when they're talking to you," he told her.
"I'm sorry, I was just lost ... Excuse me, but who are you?" Lilly said as her tone went from apologetic to irritated.
"I'm the man who can help you with your daughter."
Lilly was distracted by the busty barista as she pulled off her shirt, exposing the largest breasts Lilly had every seen. Her eyes lingered longer than they should have, but then again the girl was filling all her orders by milking herself into the customer's glasses. How original Lilly thought.
Turning back to her unwanted companion, the troubled mother furrowed her brow. Had she told him her name? "What do you mean you can help me? Are you a shrink?"
"Then what good are you?"
Now the man furrowed his brow at the well, yet conservatively dressed woman across from him. "There's no need to get standoffish."
"I'm sorry." Lilly took a deep breath. "You're right, I shouldn't have been rude. No matter what I'm going through, there's always time for kindness." Another moral her daughter had failed to pick up. She had Lilly's short temper, but none of the regret. "What is it that can you do?"
The man sat back and grinned. A chill ran down Lilly's spine. "I can give you control."
"What do you mean?"
Reaching forward, her companion took her coffee and drank a sip. "That's gotten quite cold."
Lilly leaned towards him and repeated, "What do you mean?"
Still holding her cup, the man leaned back and placed both hands on it. Steam started rising out as if someone had come by and given him a fresh refill of coffee. He took another sip. "Much better."
"You told me earlier it's rude to ignore people." Lilly frowned at him. "Tell me, what do you mean?"
"Exactly what I said. Whenever your daughter faces a decision, one where you'd like influence, you get to make the decision for her."
"What, you mean like tell her what she should do?"
"Not exactly. More like, you'll be in the driver's seat."
Throwing her hands up in frustration, Lilly snarled, "I don't understand what you're saying at all." Her movement caused her naturally large chest to rise and fall under her light blue cotton blouse and she noticed her companion's stare.
"Why don't I show you?" he asked.
Lilly blinked her eyes a couple of time and looked around. Gone were the chesty milk server and her table mate. Gone were the ambient noise and smell of coffee. She sat in a classroom surrounded by teenage kids. In her right hand was a pencil and a small folded piece of paper was in her left. "Where am I?" she asked aloud, breaking the silence in the room. Her voice wasn't her voice. It was her daughter's.
The kids around her laughed and the teacher in the front of the room scowled at her. "Cassy, you're in the middle of your History final. Now please be quiet and work."
Ducking her head, Lilly looked at the paper on the desk in front of her. Casandra had written "Cassy" on the top in big loopy letters. She hated that her daughter called herself that. Lilly erased the name and rewrote "Casandra" on the test in neat letters.
Turning her attention to the small piece of paper in her other hand, Lilly gasped. It was the answers to the test in front of her. Her daughter was planning on cheating. Why on earth would she need to cheat on this exam? Lilly herself had watched Casandra study for this very test last night. Did Casandra not have enough faith in her own abilities to pass?
Lilly had faith in her daughter. All Casandra had to do was to apply herself. Lilly had to stop her daughter from cheating. The only thing she could think to do was to eat the paper. Crumpling it up, Lilly threw it in her mouth, chewed it, then swallowed it. Blinking again, Lilly looked around the bustling coffee shop.
"What did you think?" The man asked her.
"Was that real?" Even as she asked it, Lilly knew in her soul that it was.
"It was as real as your big ol' titties."
Lilly frowned at the man's vulgarity.
"So, I take it you liked it."
Liked it? Lilly loved it. Her green eyes sparkled, imagining her rebellious daughter turning out just the way Lilly wanted her to, without arguments and without hateful texts. "I couldn't dream of anything better."
"Good, well then. Good luck with it." The man stood up to leave. Lilly put out her hand to stop him, but came a few inches short of actually touching him.
"That's it? 'Here's a power to control your daughter's decisions. Have a good day'? Really? What's the catch? What do you want?"
Spreading his hands out in a "nothing up my sleeves" gesture, the man stood in front of her. "Normally, I like to make bets or some such, but you acquiesced so kindly that I ask for nothing in return. Maybe I'll just leave you with this one warning. The decisions you make for your daughter can affect you, too."
"What does that mean?"
The man just smiled. Sweat peppered Lilly's forehead. She was terrified. She didn't want him to answer the question. Lilly's racing heartbeat slowed as the man walked away from her and out of the coffeehouse.
Lilly sat in her chair for awhile. She wondered what he meant. She wondered how long she'd have her power. She wondered if it was wise to have accepted it.
Putting her worries behind her, Lilly wiped her table clean for the next person. Even though the restaurant had staff to bus the table, being as crowded and busy as it was, Lilly felt it was the nice thing to do. She found one of the busboys roving around and handed him her cup and trash. He thanked her for being so kind.
Returning to her office, Lilly sneered at Amber, the front receptionist. "Amber, how many times do you have to be told? This is a place of business, not a strip club."
.... There is more of this story ...