Kaitlyn sighed and glanced at the DVD player.  The digital clock read 9:26.  The Baileys were almost an hour and a half late getting home.

She got up from the sofa.  In her socks, she quietly crept down the hall to check on Rosie.  The little girl was asleep in her bed, hands up alongside her ears, her lips parted in a tiny O.  Kaitlyn tucked the blanket more tightly around her.  She tiptoed out of the room, leaving the door slightly ajar.

Back in the living room, she flopped down on the sofa.  With a jingle of dog tags, the Baileys’ dachshund, Brutus, hopped up next to her.  Kaitlyn patted his head.  Brutus was one of the top reasons she liked sitting for the Baileys.  She had always wanted a dog, but her father was allergic.

Kaitlyn picked up the television remote and began to flip through channels.  Cop show.  TV movie.  Wrestling.  News.  Boring.  Boring.  Boring.  Boring.

Kaitlyn glanced at the clock again, 9:29.

Each minute is more money, reminded herself.

Still, she felt antsy.  Even if the Baileys walked in the door that second, it would be too late to go over to Maggie’s house.  She’d missed yet another night with her friends.  It seemed like she’d missed a lot of them lately.

Not that she was complaining.  After all, how many other seventh graders had jobs?  And she had to admit, she loved it when she went to the park or the grocery store and little kids screamed her name like she was some king of celebrity.

No, she told herself, babysitting was definitely a good thing.  She just sometimes wished she could spend as much time with her friends as she used to.