Readustment, Part 1--
From the beginning, Julia didn't get along with Nancy Riley. Julia thought that Nancy and her husband, Bill, had too many rules; not that the San Marcos didn't have rules, because they did, but Julia felt like she was always having to observe rules that didn't make sense to her. The one that Julia was rebelling against was the strict lights out at 10 pm. Julia liked to read in bed, and on many occasions during the past four months, Nancy Riley came in and took Julia's books away and turned off the light.
"I was reading that," Julia protested one night when Nancy came in to enforce the ten pm lights out rule and took the book she had been reading.
"Julia, it's after ten. It's time for sleep." Nancy said.
"I'm not a baby any more," Julia said.
"You're in my house, Julia, you have to live by my rules," Nancy said, clearly annoyed at Julia. "You had lots of time to read this afternoon."
"I was doing homework this afternoon," Julia said. She was equally annoyed.
"You can read tomorrow, Julia," Nancy said. "Good night." She turned off the light and closed the door to Julia's bedroom.
Julia didn't understand why her brothers got along with the Rileys. She thought they treated her like a baby, and she thought that Bill Riley was a creep.
For the first time since she met her mother, Julia couldn't wait for the alternate weekends when she went to Jordan and David's. While there, Julia complained often about her current living situation.
"Why do you think they treat you like they do, Julia?" David asked her one afternoon.
"Because they hate me. I'm not the perfect little girl they expected."
"Why do you say that?"
"Because," Julia said, "Nancy always talks about how perfect her daughters were, how they never talked back or disobeyed their parents. As far as she's concerned, I'm the devil's spawn."
"I'm sure she doesn't think that, Julia," David said.
"Oh, really, David?" sneered Julia; "Then YOU go live with them for a week!"
David wasn't really sure how to take that. He'd never been around a twelve year old girl who was going through a lot of the stuff Julia was going through.
A few weeks later, when David met with the Riley's, Nancy Riley brought up Julia's willful disobedience.
"She's always doing things that she knows makes me angry. Julia has behavior problems that her therapy isn't helping her with."
"Perhaps," David said, "you could try to understand what she's been through. She's the one who saw the San Marcos being killed. I'm sure that did a number on her psyche. She's not too trustful of authority figures these days."
"Even you?" Bill Riley interjected.
"Yes, Bill, sometimes, even me. Julia seems to think that everyone has an agenda, some reason they want her to behave or act a certain way."
"She's expected to behave herself," Nancy Riley said. "And sometimes she just doesn't."
"You have to remember that she is becoming a young woman, and she's testing her limits," David said. "At least that's what I've been told. I've never been a twelve year old girl, so I don't know what all that entails, though Jordan tries to tell me."
"The boys get along with us fine," Bill Riley said. "It's just Julia we have a problem with."
"I'll mention your concerns to Dr. Corwin," David said. "Perhaps she can get to the root cause of this."
"I hope so, David," Nancy said. "Because Julia is a handful right now."