"Alison Jones, you listen to me right now. This behavior is not acceptable. You're fifteen years old!" said my mom, Marion Ravenwood Jones.
"I'm perfectly aware of that, thank you," I said. "I'm old enough to make my own decisions. I'm not a child anymore, I-"
"You're being ridiculous. I don't even know where to begin!" said Mom. "You're getting horrible grades when we both know you're capable of doing more than that. And that boyfriend, Johnny or something, I don't like him at all."
"It's Jared, and you have nothing to worry about. Ugh, this is none of your business! Stay out of my life!"
"I don't want you thinking you're in love when you're not," said Mom. I laughed mockingly.
"You wouldn't know what love was if it bit you in the-"
"Alison! You don't use that kind of language! You know, you're just exactly like your father, and I'm not entirely sure that's a good thing," said Mom. "In fact, maybe you ought to spend a little time with him, so we can both just…cool off a little."
I was stunned, to say in the least. Leave? Go stay with… my dad? Even though my parents had never officially been divorced, they'd split when I was five, so I had only dim recollections of Dr. Indiana Jones. I'd always secretly wanted to meet him, and it looked like now was my chance. I nodded.
"Okay," I said. "Let's go to New York."
A week later, we sat in a taxi outside of Dad's house. Mom sighed. "Let's go, Allie."
We got out of the taxi and knocked on the door. He answered it almost immediately. He looked almost exactly the same as when I'd last seen him, if a little older.
"Indiana Jones," said Mom, and I was surprised to see she was smiling. "It's been awhile."
Dad chuckled. "Come in, girls."
Mom and I stepped in, and Dad took my suitcase. We sat awkwardly in his living room. After a few minutes of strained conversation, I excused myself to the bathroom. When I went back, they were talking about me. I stayed in the hallway, curious as to what Mom would say about me.
"What gives, Marion? You never wanted me to have a relationship with her. You told me to stay away because it would be best for her. I did what you said. So why are you bringing her here?" asked Dad. His words shocked me. Mom had told him to stay away? I struggled to hold back my temper. She had no right to do that!
"I just…I don't know what to do, Indy," Mom burst out. "She's hard for me to handle."
"Hard for you to handle? I'm scared now. She must be a real fireball. Tell me about her," said Dad. He sounded amused.
"She's a smart kid, when she tries. But she's failing in school, and the other day, I found her kissing a boy."
"So? As I recall, Marion, you did quite a bit of the same thing."
"Stop it, Jones, that's not the point. She's a fighter. I can't even count the number of boys she's decked."
"She sure sounds like her mother," he said in an amused tone. I raised my eyebrows. My mom, hit anyone? Ha! What a joke.
"Actually, she's exactly like you. She's a difficult girl, Indy. Are you sure you can handle her?" asked Mom. Dad laughed.
"If she's as much like me as you say, I know exactly what she needs."
"A good kick?" teased Mom. Then her voice became stern. "Now, you listen to me, Indiana Jones. I don't want her traipsing all over the world with you, after money or glory or whatever it is you're usually after. I want her safe."
"I'll try, Marion, but I'll do what I think is best, even if it's taking her with me. She's safer with me than here with Marcus."
"Fair enough," said Mom, even though she didn't sound convinced. Their words piqued my curiosity. Money and glory and danger? This sounded like my kind of place! There was no way I was going to get left behind if my father Dr. Jones went anywhere interesting.
Their conversation turned to lighter topics, and I chose that moment to reenter. Dad looked at me knowingly, as though he knew I'd been eavesdropping. Mom left half an hour later. Dad surveyed me for a long, awkward minute.
"Your mother told me why you're here," he said finally.
"I know. I heard you talking," I replied. He didn't look surprised, merely satisfied, and slightly amused. I also thought I saw a hint of pride in his face.
Life was different at my dad's house. We got along very well, and I had more freedom. You see, he trusted me not to do anything stupid. I loved living with my dad, and after two weeks, we had a sort of routine.
We were eating dinner in amiable silence one night when there came a knock on the door. I started to clear the table while Dad answered it.
"Hey, Marcus! Come in!" I heard him say happily. "Allie, come here," he called. I went into the living room and saw a man much older than Dad sitting in one of the chairs.
"Hello," I said.
"Allie, this is my good friend, Mr. Marcus Brody," Dad introduced.
"Oh my, Indiana, this can't be Alison," said Mr. Brody. I decided that I liked this guy. He seemed friendly enough, if a little clueless.
"She is, Marcus. This is my girl," said Dad proudly. Mr. Brody smiled at me.
"She's got your eyes, and Marion's nose," he said. Dad laughed.
"She's got my temper, too," he said teasingly. I ignored that.
"It's nice to meet you, Mr. Brody," I said politely.
"This isn't the first time you've met Marcus, Allie. He used to watch you when your mother and I went -on vacation," said Dad hurriedly. I hid my suspicion. Brody turned to my dad with his eyebrows raised.
"That's what I came to talk to you about. And opportunity for a… vacation."
"Ah," said Dad. "Allie, could you…?"
"Right," I said. "I'll go do the dishes." Dad nodded gratefully. But, as I started to wash the dishes, I listened hard.
"Indiana, if you don't mind me asking, you haven't seen the girl in ten years. Why now?"
"Because… Marion asked me to," replied Dad hesitantly.
"You seemed thrilled on the phone," said Marcus knowingly. There was a long silence. "It broke your heart when Marion asked you to stay away, didn't it?"
"Marion said it would be better for her, for all of us, if I didn't keep contact," Dad mumbled. That made me sad. I loved my dad and I felt ten years' worth of loss. But it wasn't going to happen again. Just then, Dad interrupted my thoughts.
"What did you need to talk to me about?"
"Ah. The government showed up after you left today. They have a proposition for you. They want you to find the Eye of the Snake, before the Russians do."
"I can't. I promised Marion I wouldn't go off with Alison, and I can hardly leave her here alone."
"But, Indy, this is important. If the Russians get a hold of it-"
"I know, Marcus. I'll think about it and get back to you."
"You could always take her with you. Marion need never know."
"No. It's too dangerous, and Marion would be furious. She'd keep Allie away from me. I'm not going to risk that."
"Fair enough. I'd better get going, then."
Brody left. After he was gone, Dad began to talk, seemingly to an empty room.
"Alright, Alison, I know you're listening. Why don't you just come out here and we can talk about this."
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