Later that evening, Alice sat in front of the mirror in her room, brushing her hair in quick, angry strokes.
"Forty-seven," She said through clenched teeth, pulling the hairbrush through her strawberry-blonde hair, which was frizzy from being brushed so much, "Forty-eight... Stupid Kathy..."
Alice's mother knocked on the door and said, "Alice, are you in there?"
Alice quickly ran the brush through her hair two more times, "Forty-nine, fifty."
She did not want her mother to know something was upsetting her. Her mother might get mad.
'"C-come in!" Alice stuttered. Oh, no, her voice had cracked.
Alice's mother, who was now almost six months pregnant, came in with her husband, Chad.
She studied Alice's face and whispered something to Chad, who then gave her a quick kiss and left the room.
Alice smiled stiffly, "Um, h-hello, Mother."
Alice's mother smiled back, also a bit tightly, and sat down on Alice's bed. She said, "Is something wrong, Alice?"
Alice shook her head and said, trying her best (which was not very well) to lie, "No, Mother. Everything is just fine."
She grinned cheesily and her mother raised an eyebrow at her.
Alice didn't usually talk to her mother about things like this; She usually talked to Chris about them, but that was not an option at the moment.
Also, her mother was not a particular fan of Chris and her mother had been very, very irritable lately (More so than usual) and Alice did not wish to upset her by bringing up Chris.
Alice sighed, "Um, okay. There's this guy that I, um..."
Alice's mother nodded anxiously, but looked slightly disappointed when Alice said, "I am very close to him. I actually c-call him my best friend. You know, besides Angie."
Now Alice's mother knew just who she was talking about and she did not hide her feelings about him.
Alice avoided her mother's scowling eyes and continued, "So, um, this boy came to lunch today with his arm linked through Katherine Parker's and... I was..."
Alice's mother sighed and Alice said timidly, "Jealous. I don't even know if I like him that way, I just..."
"Alice," Her mother sighed, putting her hand on Alice's shoulder, "You have got to face t.he facts. That Chris boy is not like other boys. He can not love you. He's different."
"I'm sorry," Alice said, suddenly becoming angry with her mother, "But do you even realize how terrible you sound right now? You're discriminating against him because he's the minority. That's awful."
Alice's mother's jaw dropped and she stood up in front of Alice, as if to remind her that she was several inches taller than her daughter.
"Don't you dare talk to your mother that way!" She squealed, putting her hand on her stomach, "And your pregnant mother at that!"
"You're just bent out of shape because you know I'm right." Alice said bitterly, glaring at her mother.
Her mother lashed out and slapped her daughter across the face.
There was a terrible silence and Alice's mother said, "I'm sorry, Alice, but you know better than to talk to your mother like that."
Alice let her hair hang in front of her face and she didn't move from where her head had snapped to the side.
Alice's mother studied Alice and left the room.
Alice collapsed into her seat at her mirror and tried not to cry.
Her mother had struck her for standing up for what she believed in.