Chapter Four: A Huge Fight
When I went into school, everybody was asking me what was wrong with me yesterday. I told them about the headache and they got bored of me very quickly. Half of them already knew because Sal texted me when I got home and I told her the lie about having a headache and feeling sick and she must have passed it on to the rest of the class. But I don’t mind, it’s not like it was a secret, or anything. She didn’t break my confidence so I didn’t fall out with her over it.
Mum was actually very sweet last night. She went out to the Co op, which is way more expensive than when we do a big shop at Asda, and she bought me four boxes of thirty-two tampons and two packets of pads. Well there was no need to over do it. She knocked on my door and when I didn’t answer because I was upset and I was still really mad with her, she opened the door a crack and she threw the first box at me on the bed. And then she threw the next and the next, and the next until I was lost in boxes of tampons and she heard me laughing.
She came in and sat on my bed and asked me all about how horrible it was. She said that she was, ‘So, so sorry,’ and she meant it, you know? At first it was cool having her apologise like that. I mean, how many times have you ever been totally in the right and your parent has been totally in the wrong and had to give a really sincere apology. But it wasn’t cool for long because when I told her about Miss Chew’s class, she got upset and started crying. I said it was no big deal and I didn’t tell her how I think that she loves the new baby more than me.
I know she loves me. I just don’t think she loves me as much now that there’s another one on the way. It’s hard when love has always come in a ten out of ten pack size and suddenly it’s only six out of ten. I expect it’s good for me to learn to share my parents now, before the baby’s even born and then, when it comes I can just love it and not have to be eaten up with jealousy.
Mum said we needed chocolate and she pulled a huge bar out of the carrier that she’d had the sanitary stuff in. We sat on my bed with a family sized bar of orange Aero, it’s on special edition and it’s absolutely gorgeous. We ate every segment and then we felt sick.
She apologised again and said that she’s had a lot on her mind lately. She wasn’t trying to get out of it, but she suggested that if something was really important that I should write it down. She hadn’t managed to forget my stuff for Home Economics, and had it all ready for me this morning, thank goodness. I made cheese scones today. They were all right but a bit hard. Dad and Mum both said that they were delicious, but they were lying, the way parents do. Dad has put one in his lunch box for tomorrow. I bet he doesn’t eat it and he doesn’t realise that I’m too old to care about stuff like that now. He thinks he’s being a good dad by taking one of my hard scones to work. I couldn’t care less.
Mum’s bought a white board and hung it in the kitchen. If I need anything I have to write it down. I told her that it’d be pretty icky having to write that I need tampons and for it to sit in the kitchen where dad can see, or worse, my friends if they come for tea. Mum agreed that it would be icky, so we made code words for all the embarrassing stuff. Tampons are trifle sponges. Spot cream is squirty cream, because mum said they come out like squirty cream when you squeeze them, which is just disgusting and I’m so glad we’d finished eating our chocolate by then. I don’t even need spot cream because I don’t have greasy skin, but I use it just in case. You can’t be too sure about these things. Deodorant is Vanilla essence and baby wipes, which I use to feel fresh at school, are ready to roll pastry.
When I went downstairs for tea I waited until Mum wasn’t looking and wrote her a message on the white board. I wrote ‘I love you mum xxx’
After tea I looked at the board and she’d written, ‘Love you, too, Ding dong xxx.’ That’s my nickname, they’ve called me that since I was little because our surname’s Bell. Dad had written underneath, ‘Hey, I’m feeling left out. Where’s my love?’ So Mum and I had to write that we loved him, too and then he wrote that he loved us and what had seemed like a good idea to begin with, to show Mum that I was over the whole History lesson thing, became really uncomfortable and awkward. We say that we love each other, sometimes, but we don’t make a big deal of it, like that. Soon as all the, I love you’s, were done with I wiped the board clean and just tried to forget about it.
That wasn’t hard because soon the next drama came along and things got weird around here again.
After dinner Aunty Mel came. Her and Mum sat in the lounge and talked non stop about babies. Mel kept asking Mum how she felt about it all and Mum said that she was terrified. She said that she feels too old to be having another baby, but she isn’t, she’s only thirty eight. Aunty Mel’s thirty five and she hasn’t got any children yet. Her and Uncle Andy are both mad about their careers and going abroad and stuff, they aren’t ready to have kids yet. Mum said that she’d better get on with it and Mel agreed that she better had, so they might both be pregnant soon. Only, I don’t think that Aunty Mel meant it; she was just trying to make Mum feel better about being pregnant at her age. And then I had this awful image of Aunty Mel and Uncle Andy doing sex stuff and I went to my room.
Later Aunty Mel asked me what I thought about the baby. I said that it was great and that I was dead excited. It was the right thing to say because she beamed at me. I couldn’t be dysfunctional and say that I felt as though my Mum didn’t want me anymore, could I?
Mum made coffee for her and Aunty Mel and then five minutes later she wanted to go out and make another one. Aunty Mel told her to stop stressing. Then Mum forgot Uncle Andy’s, Mother’s name, which is, of course, Edna Lawson, even I know that, but Mum had forgotten it. They laughed about it and Aunty Mel told a mother-in-law from hell joke, which wasn’t nice because I like Auntie Edna. But then Aunty Mel looked at Mum really oddly. It worried me.
I was in the kitchen loading the dishwasher and Aunty Mel came in and put her finger to her lips to tell dad to be quiet and then she grabbed him by the arm and took him into the back garden. It was weird because neither of them smokes. She clearly wanted to say something to Dad that she didn’t want Mum to hear.
I carried on loading the dishwasher and wiping the sides down and I admit I was curious. I wondered if it had something to do with the way that Aunty Mel had looked at Mum. Or maybe they were planning a surprise party for Mum’s birthday next month. I didn’t go out to eavesdrop, I swear I didn’t. It’s part of my chores to take the rubbish out to the dustbins, and I wasn’t quiet on purpose, I just do things quietly.
‘Make sure she goes to the doctor’s, okay?’
‘She’s already got an appointment booked for Thursday, and then she’s seeing the midwife about her first scan to date the pregnancy.’
‘She just seems a bit spaced out. See if you can get her some blood tests done. She might need a potassium supplement, or iron or zinc, or something.’
‘I think you’re jumping at shadows, Mel, she’s fine.’
And then they moved in closer. Maybe they hugged, but I don’t think so, maybe they just moved a step closer for no reason. I couldn’t see properly.
Mum came charging out of the kitchen and down the path to the corner where they were standing.
Dad and Aunty Mel pulled away from each other really quickly. Even I could see that they looked guilty. They did look as though they were snogging, but they weren’t. I was there. I know they weren’t.
‘What’s going on?’ Mum screamed at them.
‘Nothing,’ Aunty Mel and Dad said at the same time.
‘We just came out to get some air,’ added my dad, which seemed really lame, it was freezing out there.
‘What were you doing with my sister?’
‘Nothing Sweetheart. Nothing at all.’
‘You were kissing.’ My mum was getting hysterical.
‘Don’t be ridiculous,’ Aunty Mel said. ‘Annie, that’s stupid, of course we weren’t kissing. How can you even think that? I’m your sister.’
‘You were, I saw you.’
‘Oh now you’re just being stupid. You know that’s not true.’ Dad said, taking the moral high ground and making it Mum’s fault so that he could storm off. He doesn’t like confrontation. Dad’s a bit of a wimp when it comes to arguing. Aunty Mel tried to hug Mum but she shook her off.
‘Are you having an affair with my husband?’
‘No, I promise you, Annie there’s nothing going on between me and Steve. I was worried about you because you don’t look well. I was telling him to get you to a doctor. That’s all.’
I went over then because I knew she was telling the truth. ‘It’s true, mum. I saw them.’ I couldn’t believe that Mum was accusing Aunty Mel of having an affair with my Dad, its crazy, and that’s really serious. My mum and dad aren’t the type to have affairs. I think Aunty Mel might have had one once, her and Uncle Andy had a huge row and Aunty Mel came to stay with us for a few days. But not my mum and dad. Not them. No way.
Aunty Mel and Mum went inside and argued about it some more and then they talked about it some more and then they hugged and then they laughed and then Aunty Mel left.
Dad came down and Mum apologised to him. They hugged, and he called her hormonal, then it was time for me to go to bed.
I saw Miss Chew today when I was walking from Biology to French. I smiled at her and she said, ‘Kate Bell, stop dawdling and get to your next lesson.’ And she was the old Miss Chew again. Like the nice Miss Chew was just a dream. But I can’t go back to hating her, because I know that she’s nice inside her and she might not show it very often, but its there for when she needs it.
Danny Peterson was walking behind me when I got off the bus. He asked me if I was feeling better now. He’s not normally nice to me, I thought that was sweet of him, but then Phil Murray caught up with him and he pulled a dead branch off a tree in somebody’s garden and shoved it down my blazer when he ran passed me. He’s so childish.
Jason looked at me in class today, but only because of what happened yesterday. He looked at me and I looked at him and I kind of smiled. Not a proper smile, but a little one to show that I wasn’t giving him the evils for looking at me, and he looked away and that was it. But it’s a start.
If the baby’s a boy I want to call it Jason and if it’s a girl I want to call it Tulisa.