Chapter Twenty Six
I’ve got a boyfriend, even seeing it written down in this diary looks odd. Me, with a real, proper, boyfriend, like older kids have with proper kissing, and everything. Wow! And he’s got these big brown eyes that go all soft when he looks at me, and he’s proper fit when he’s not being an idiot or pretending to be a monkey, or something. But you know the best thing of all, apart from the kissing, because that’s the very best thing of all—he makes me laugh.
I can remember once, I asked Mum what she liked best about Dad and I thought she was going to say his eyes or his chest or his bum or something, though she probably wouldn’t have said his bum to me. She said that he makes her laugh and I thought that was really lame. When she said that, I figured that she liked his willy best really, and that is just the most grossest thought in the whole, entire world, but she clearly couldn’t say his willy to me. But I get it now, having a boyfriend that makes you laugh when you’ve had a horrible day is the best thing ever. For those two hours I forgot about all of Mum’s problems and the baby and everything. I worry a lot about the baby and of course, I worry a lot about Mum, too, and with all that worrying I don’t get a lot of time to hang out. Maybe I don’t have time for a boyfriend and he’ll drop me because I can’t come out every night.
Danny walked me right up to my gate. We stood there talking some more like neither of us wanted to leave. I hope he didn’t want me to invite him in. I just couldn’t, not with Mum the way she is. He’d dump me for sure. I told him that it’s my Birthday in three days just in conversation like, and he said the best thing, he said that I hadn’t given him a lot of time to make it special for me. I said that he didn’t have to make a fuss and then he pretended like he’s a cool dude and said, ‘Oh, okay then, I won’t bother spending all my money on a present for you.’ But then he winked at me, so I don’t know if I’m going to get a present, or not. If I do it will be the best present in the world and I’ll keep it forever. I’ll keep it until the day I die and then have it buried in my coffin with me. I don’t care what it is, even if it only costs fifty pence, even if it’s just a Mars Bar or something, I’ll keep it forever. I can’t wait for my Birthday now.
I rang Sal to tell her and she was absolutely gobsmacked.
‘You’re joking, Danny Peterson—he’s.’
And I cut in on her in case she was going to say something horrible about him. ‘Yes. Danny Peterson, he’s my boyfriend.’
‘Wow, congratulations, Kate. He’s really nice. I’ve never thought about him as anybody’s boyfriend before, he’s just daft Danny, but I suppose he’s pretty fit really, isn’t he?’
‘Yes, and he said that he’s fancied me for ages.’
‘That’s so cool, all that unrequested love and he never said anything to a soul, his heart must have been breaking for you. It’s so romantic.’
‘It is isn’t it?’
I told her about what he’d said about my Birthday.
‘What do you think he’ll get you?’
‘I don’t know. We’ll only have been going out for three days, so nothing much. He might finish with me by next week.’
‘I think he’ll get you something boss. What if he gets you a necklace with a love heart on it? That means it’s serious. Oh, I’ll be sick with jealousy.’
I told her about our first kiss, not when he kissed me on my head, the real one and the oddest thing happened. I felt this little bubble in my stomach when I was talking about it and it grew and grew and it turned into a scream and when it came out of my mouth it was a squeal and I was so excited and I liked kissing him so much and I can’t wait to see him tomorrow. Sal was still excited for me too, at first. ‘And will you be telling everybody at school or is it a secret? Will you be like snogging in the cloakroom, that’s so cool? Will you be hanging out with him all the time?’
‘I don’t know. I won’t, like, go up and speak to him first tomorrow in case he’s changed his mind. He’ll have to come and talk to me.’
‘But what about breaks and lunch will you be having your dinner with him, now?’
‘I don’t know. We haven’t talked about it.’
‘Oh, thanks very much Katie, just drop me now that you’ve got a BF. What am I supposed to do?’
Suddenly, having a boyfriend seemed very complicated. ‘Well, I’ll still hang out with you, of course I will, but I might hang with him sometimes, too. Sal sounded all moody after that until we started thinking about lads that she could hook up with. Then, because she seemed a bit sad about me having Danny, I told her all about the baby kicking and talking about the baby always cheers her up.
And he is kicking a lot, and hard, too. I can put my hand on Mum’s bump and he nearly kicks it off. That bubble that I get in my stomach when I think about kissing Danny feels a bit like the baby kicking.
And talking about babies, are you ready for this? We have a name for the little one. He is going to be called—ta dah—Andrew. I know, it’s a dorky name but let me tell you how it came about.
We were sitting watching telly and me and Dad were arguing about names. Every time I said one he pulled a face and every time he said one I just wanted to kill myself, Laurence and Robert and Alan and he even suggested Victor. Victor, can you even believe that?
Anyway, we were still arguing fit to burst and Mum was sitting beside me and staring at something a foot above the top of the telly where there isn’t anything. She hadn’t said a thing the whole time, even though Dad kept saying things like, ‘What about the name Victor, Annie, that’s a good name, isn’t it? Do you like Victor?’ Because it’s important that we keep talking to her, she might not often talk back to us but the doctor said that we have to talk to her and do what’s called engaging her. He said we’ve got to let her make her own choices where we can, but it’s all right him saying that but Mum doesn’t care about choices, you ask her if she wants beans or spaghetti—and since Dad started cooking we eat a lot of beans and spaghetti—so you ask her which one she wants and she just says, ‘yes,’ like that’s any help at all.
So, we’re still arguing about names and out of the blue, right in the middle of her staring at nothing she says, ‘Andrew,’ and then she rubs her tummy and says, ‘My baby’s going to be called Andrew.’ Well there’s no arguing with that, is there? I tried saying it was old fashioned and that nobody calls their babies Andrew, anymore, but Dad was having none of it.
‘Your mother has spoken, Katie,’ he said, like mum’s the flipping pope, or something. Then Mum really scared me, I was proper freaked out. She put on this little girl’s voice and started singing and it was like she was possessed, or something.
But the next thing I know, Dad’s laughing his head off and encouraging her. ‘That’s it Annie, that’s it, Little Andy, keep going.’ And he jumps up and runs over to the computer. He goes on u-tube and he sounds all excited as he’s doing a search and talking to me all the time,’ Katie, I can’t believe your Mum’s remembered this, it’s a song called Me and Little Andy, by Dolly Parton, your Mum used to sing it to you all the time when you were a baby.’
He turned up the speakers and the song began to play. The woman was singing the song and it was about a little girl and her puppy and when she got to the little girl’s bit she put on a kid’s voice, just like Mum had done. And this woman’s singing away and it’s as if my mum has woken up. Suddenly her eyes are all wide and bright and she’s singing along to the song, she knew every word. And I know every word too, now, it’s my favourite song, and Andrew is my favourite name in the whole wide world and Mum and I will play it on u-tube and sing it to our little Andy when he comes.
She gets up and sways from side to side as she’s singing. I look over at Dad to say something and he’s got these fat tears pouring down his cheeks. Then I’m crying too, and I don’t know if I’m crying at the sad, sad song or at my beautiful, sad mother.