Antares steps into the trailer quietly, wearing her borrowed clothes, jacket on to cover the assorted scrapes and the bandage on her arm but with no good way to hide the scabbed bruise on her temple.
Mrs Amiri is pacing back and forth in front of the flickering television, with the news on, a glass of amber liquid in her hand. The ice clicks in the glass as she turns suddenly, hearing the door. "Antares!" The worried expression on her face clears for a second.
Antares freezes for a second, then continues in, hoping she didn't look too guilty. "Hey, mom. How was work?"
Mrs Amiri sputters. "Work? Work?? I spent the whole night and all day today wondering if I would be seeing YOU at work! On a stretcher! And from the look of you, I wasn't far off."
Antares "What? Calm down, mom. I got knocked down in a basketball game, is all. I'm okay."
Antares "I lost my phone, so I didn't know you were worried. I'm sorry."
Antares regrets saying that last bit--too apologetic, too easy. She moves to the kitchen to make a sandwich, hoping her mother won't notice.
Mrs Amiri transfers the glass to her other hand as she walks over to Antares, and cups her chin in her hand, inspecting the bruise. "A basketball game huh."
Antares grimaces but turns her head for inspection, knowing it's better to get it out of the way now. "I winged the fence with my head a bit. It looks worse than it is."
Mrs Amiri scowls, "Are you sure you weren't playing baseball? Because that doesn't look like you were hit with a fence"
Antares She braces one hand on the counter behind her surreptitiously. "Some of them only thought they could play basketball, but yeah. It was just the fence."
Antares She flicks a glance down at the glass. "Did you get dinner already?"
Mrs Amiri takes a drink, her hand a little unsteady. "So you decide to play basketball instead of coming home like you were supposed to, and... whose clothes are those EXACTLY?" She ignores Antares' question.
Antares "It was just a pick-up game, I lost track of time." She looks down, stalling a second. "What, these? Maia's."
Antares "Mom, you're freaking out. Nothing's wrong. Calm down."
Mrs Amiri "Don't you tell me to calm down, young lady! You were grounded and not ONLY did you not come home at SEVEN for the party I GRACIOUSLY allowed you to go to anyway, but you stayed out ALL NIG Ht? and then all of today for a PICK UP GAME OF BASKETBALL?"
Antares "Jesus! I wasn't playing basketball all day. The party went late and me and Maia were hanging out today. Nothing happened!"
Antares Defensive, she almost shouts the last part.
Mrs Amiri "I was WORRIED SICK ABOUT YOU, you UNGRATEFUL little... I've been up all night watching the news, and checking in at the hospital in case you were in another accident. Not to mention - you were GROUNDED! I can't do this anymore. If you can't live by my rules in my house, then... then..."
Antares "Woah!" Antares says, taking a half-step toward her mother and reaching for the glass to take it away. "Mom, listen to me!"
Mrs Amiri looks like she may explode at any moment, but does not resist as Antares takes away the glass. Her hand falls to her hip, fists clenched.
Antares "I stayed out late, but I didn't know you were so worried today or I'd have come back. Don't freak out like this. I swear, it won't--I mean--"
Antares She can't quite say it won't happen again, and visibly casts around for something else that sounds good.
Mrs Amiri "It won't happen again? Is that what you were going to say, because I've heard that before, Antares. Every damned time."
Antares "What do you care? I can take care of myself! So can Dee, she doesn't need a babysitter." Antares gets angrier, partly out of guilt and partly from the old resentment.
Mrs Amiri "I care because I LOVE you."
Antares takes a step back, then rallies. "Then stop YELLING at me! You should be glad I have friends like Furud and Maia."
Mrs Amiri 's voice catches in her throat, and she grabs Antares' arm, right where that wild punch had landed. "If they were your friends, they wouldn't keep you out all night, wouldn't start pick-up games of basketball where my daughter gets hurt. When you're GROUNDED."
Antares At the fresh stab of pain from her arm, Antares jerks back. "Fuck! Lay off the sauce and leave me alone. You're starting to sound like dad!"
Antares A horrified look flashes across her face.
Mrs Amiri is momentarily waylaid from her rant as she realizes that Antares is more hurt than she'd let on. She releases the arm, and then her face darkens as she hisses "How dare you!"
Antares takes a step backwards, toward the door. "Look--" She flounders.
Mrs Amiri "No. I'm done. Get out. If that's what you think of me, just GET OUT!"
Antares opens her mouth, chokes on whatever she was going to say, then turns and stumbles out the door.
Mrs Amiri covers her face with her hands and sags against the wall.