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A/N: Firstly, I would like to apologise about how long it has taken me to write this chapter and how sorry I am if it disappoints you but I feel like Elle needs to come to terms with her addiction/all the problems she has before anything serious happens yet. So no James/Potter's this episode I'm afraid but that should be coming up soon, I promise! I'm in the middle of writing the next chapter so I'm hoping my writing muse has come back to stay for now so that I finally get back into writing! :D

Disclaimer: I only own my OCs and the plot but everything you recognise from the Harry Potter world does not belong to me but the talented J.K. Rowling.




 

For two days I stayed in my old house, not moving from the spot I woke up in. My phone was in my old bedroom, turned off, as I was too scared to see any of the messages that were sure to be there. I also avoided any contact with the outside world which meant no computer, no laptop, no phones and no post. Plus if any post was for me it would have been sent to Charity’s house anyway. Waking up at my Dad’s was surreal in itself, I hadn’t expected to see a full plate of breakfast when I woke up on the couch nor did I expect a blanket to be wrapped around me either.



He’d placed a cup of tea down before retreating into his bedroom and practically leaving me alone all day. We’d hardly spoken since that phone call and most of the time it was just me asking what time it was. Hours went by quite quickly when I watched TV but I avoided the news just in case anything came up even though I knew it wouldn’t appear on the muggle news. But now I was just sat calmly on the couch in my pyjamas, aimlessly flicking through the TV channels and struggling to find something good to watch that wasn’t in any way romantically-inclined. Eventually I settled on watching Jeremy Kyle because it made me feel better about my life for thirty minutes each episode. Dad was in his bedroom/study doing God knows what. I half-expected, half-wanted him to at least be comfortable sitting in the same room as me but I knew I was pushing my luck. It was a miracle he’d even let me stay here for so long.



Suddenly there was a frantic knocking on the front door and I instinctively muted the TV, manoeuvring myself into the couch as though it would make me invisible. Panic coursed through me at who it could possibly be. Dad walked out of his room confidently, giving me an inquisitive glance as he passed me on the couch before walking towards the front door, opening it a tiny amount to make sure I could not be seen. I held my breath as he unlocked it and pulled it open, the door creaking loudly.


“Hello?” he answered simply and to my relief, a woman’s voice replied but it was muffled so I couldn’t hear exactly what she was saying, “No, she’s not here,” my heart was beating feverishly in my chest as I pictured Ginny, Lily and Charity all stood there angrily demanding to see me and pummel me to death, “Okay.” He nodded, shutting the door and turning around to head back into his bedroom.


“Who was it?” I whispered breathlessly, coming out of my blanket fort.


“Your sister,” he replied sharply, putting on his jacket and his work boots, “Wants to know where you are.”


“What are you doing now? Why are you getting dressed?” He didn’t even turn to look at me whilst he walked towards the front door, opened it again and left, locking it shut behind him. My voice shrank into myself as I could imagine his angry face at how much of a burden I was on him but I couldn’t find any courage or motivation to move myself off of this couch.



After a good half an hour of binge-watching ridiculous programmes, I decided to actually get up and move around a little to get rid of the pins and needles in my legs. That was a big, big mistake because the moment I stood up I had a good view of the front garden from where I was stood. And I was not expecting the multitude of reporters stood outside, cameras and notepads in hand with the Quick Notes Quill hovering to the side, poised to record any glimpse they had of me. In that moment I was glad that Mum had put a protective charm around the house so that no-one would be allowed to apparate directly into the property because if she hadn’t I’m pretty sure all hell would have broken loose by now. Instead of walking around like I had originally planned to, I laid back down on the couch and curled myself up into the blankets and tried to fall asleep hoping it would all be a horrible nightmare.

 

**

 

The rattling of my front door was what awoke me. It sounded like someone was trying to get in and I began to panic yet again. My head peeked over the top of the couch at the front door before I rolled off it onto the floor and started to crawl towards the kitchen table where I could hide. I was half-way there when the person had succeeded in unlocking the door and I heard it creak open. Adrenaline surged through my body as I practically army crawled under the table, hidden by the table cloth. I tried to keep my breathing quiet and undetectable but every time I took in a huge gasp of air, I struggled to breath it all back out quietly. Resulting in a whistle sound occasionally.



The door creaked closed and was locked behind the mysterious person. Whoever’s footsteps it was walked towards the living room area, picked up the crisps I had been eating before putting them down. My breathing got so bad as the footsteps came closer that I had to slap my hand over my mouth and try and breathe through my nose because it was sure to give me away.


“Elle! I know you’re in here!” a woman’s voice rang out throughout the house, a very familiar woman’s voice. But I didn’t want to believe it was true, “There is no way in hell that this pink fluffy blanket belongs to your Dad!” I had to inwardly chuckle a little at that because it confirmed that it was who I was thinking of.


“Valerie?” I mumbled quietly, taking my hand away from my mouth and shuffling my bum along the tile floor to the edge of the table. Slowly and carefully I lifted up the table cloth and peeked out. Her head was the last to be revealed and when she saw me cowering in the foetal position under the table, she burst out laughing hysterically.


“What on Earth are you doing down there?” She managed to gasp out through her laughter.


“You can’t blame me! I thought someone was breaking in!” I protested, wiggling myself out and standing up properly when I was free. She had calmed down her laughter now and was obviously giving me an once-over.


“No offence but you look like shit.” She admitted brashly, heavily sitting herself down on the couch next to where I had been sitting before.


“Thanks,” I responded with less bite than usual. The pink blanket was wrapped around me again as I sat down beside her, bringing the big bag of crisps onto my lap, “What are you doing here anyway?”


“I saw your Dad leave a while ago and thought you’d want some company.” She shrugged, pulling two supermarket bags filled with random junk food and other tid-bits from where they had been hidden on the other side of the couch.


“What’s all this for?” My eyes locked onto the tubs of ice cream greedily. I needed some ice cream right now.


“I dunno,” she shrugged again before looking in disdain at the Jeremy Kyle episode I was watching, “Ugh, why are you watching this? It makes me so annoyed.” She suddenly grabbed the remote off of me and switched it to another channel.


“Because it makes me feel good for thirty minutes.” I replied monotonously. The atmosphere in the room was weird, like we were purposefully skirting around the big elephant in the room. She didn’t say anything after that but started to unload all the food onto the coffee table along with a mountain of DVDs too.


“Well…?” Valerie looked at me dumbly as we both sat on the couch in silence, watching the blank TV screen.


“Well, what?” I replied, equally as clueless as to what she was talking about. Unless she had said something and I missed it or didn’t hear it.


“Are you gonna choose a movie or are we just gonna sit here in silence, watching an empty screen?” She blurted out sarcastically and I realised what she meant.


“Oh! Oh right… okay,” I quickly sat forward, my cheeks turning pink out of embarrassment. Most of the films she had chosen were romance films or romantic comedies and I had a feeling she’d done that on purpose, “This one!” I picked an action/superhero one as the least likely to have romance in and Valerie rolled her eyes, obviously knowing I’d probably pick that one. I stood up from the sofa and put the disk into the DVD player, only going back to my seat when I had hold of the remote and the main menu had appeared on the screen. As I sat back down next to Valerie, she grabbed my pink fuzzy blanket and placed it over the both of us before chucking every piece of food she had brought between us and on our laps.


“Do you have a spoon?” Valerie turned to me as I was about to press play on the remote.


“Yeah, I’ll get you one.” I nodded and headed towards the kitchen area. It had been a while since I’d been in this house so it took a good few minutes to remember where the utensils drawer was.


“Or a ladle?” Valerie piped up again, making me giggle as she held up an ice cream tub bigger than her head. When I sat down, I noticed she’d placed another tub next to me so I guessed that it was mine. The film started and I tried my hardest to concentrate on the plot and not think about my family or the Potter’s. But it was a lot harder than I thought because the harder I tried not to think about them, the more they popped into my head. It also didn’t help that I could see Valerie was itching to ask me everything that had happened recently, judging by how much she was fidgeting.


“Valerie, just ask me.” I sighed heavily, spooning a massive wad of ice cream into my mouth. It was probably better just to get it over with to be honest.


“Where’s your Dad gone?” She blurted as soon as I’d finished my sentence and I scoffed because that was not the question that I expected her to ask.


“Out with my sister.”


“To do what?” I rolled my eyes in annoyance. I thought given the fact she’d brought round DVDs, we were just going to watch them in silence. Not talk about my life problems.


“Look for me.” I replied monotonously, watching as the heroes in the film battled some of the bad guys.


“Holy shit! So nobody knows where you are except your Dad?” She exclaimed dramatically, turning to face me and completely ignoring the film.


“And you as well.” I pointed out but she waved it off non-committedly.


“My God, Elle, they could think you’re disappeared!” she almost yelled at me, making me lower my head out of shame and guilt, “Or worse, that you’ve offed yourself! And given your past history… it’s not unlikely!” My head dropped even lower as it burned bright red because everything she was saying was true. I hadn’t let anybody know where I was or where I was going except for my Dad and I couldn’t believe I hadn’t at least let Charity know where I was. She was probably going out of her mind wondering where the hell I had disappeared to. And then I started thinking about Ginny and Lily and how worried they would be because I know how much Ginny was scared that I’d bail. And I did.


“I-I didn’t think about that,” I put my head in my hands as I leaned forward on the couch, “Oh my God…” I whispered. Of course I didn’t think of that! Of course I didn’t because I was so selfish and wanted to get myself out of that situation that my brain completely pushed aside my rational mind-set of letting them know everything that was going on.


“You need to at least let your sister know that you’re alright,” she advised, her eyes scanning the table in front of us before looking around the area I was sat, “Where’s your phone?”


“It’s in my old bedroom but it’s switched off.” I replied and watched as she put her head in her hands out of frustration.


“Oh my God, Elle, that’s worse!” She moaned as she stood up and paced the front room.


“I didn’t want to see all those texts and calls from them, okay?!” I yelled back, crossing my arms and sinking down into the sofa.


“Which one is your room?” She suddenly asked, walking towards some closed doors.


“Second one on your right.” I replied, not wanting to look at her anymore and so I settled on finally watching the movie we were supposed to be watching. I was totally engrossed in the film when Valerie chucked herself in the empty space beside me, making me jump a little. A small part of me didn’t want to see the look on her face as the phone buzzed constantly for the next few minutes after she turned it on.


“Okay, so… you have approximately forty-three texts from your sister along with seventeen missed calls, twenty-five texts from Lily, a couple of missed calls and texts from Darryl and Ginny,” she started listing off, “And thirty-odd missed calls from Molly,” I felt the hope in my stomach drop like a sack of bricks to the floor and I almost burst out crying again. He hadn’t even tried calling me to see if I was okay. Valerie seemed to sense what, or should I say who, I was thinking about and changed the topic back onto my sister, “It might be better if you speak to her face-to-face rather than just text her. She’ll probably be a little less mad.” Instead of agreeing with her or properly listening to her, I couldn’t stop thinking about him and that night because I hadn’t realised I had done it again. I’d had yet another relapse and Valerie had been there to see it once again.



Tears sprung to my eyes as the scene kept playing over in my mind and I blinked rapidly, wanting to stop them from falling but failing miserably as the first tear rolled down my cheek and onto the blanket on my lap. The action movie was being ignored as the plot carried on and Valerie stayed quiet as I sobbed and sniffled beside her, patting my shoulder occasionally in an effort to comfort me. I don’t know how much time had passed until I had seemingly calmed down but the end credits were rolling on the screen and Valerie had left my phone on the table but face down so I didn’t have to see if anyone was calling or texting me.


“Want to watch another film?” She asked, picking all the other DVDs she had brought for this afternoon.


“You choose.” I croaked out whilst standing up to get myself a drink and just to walk around a bit. My legs were starting to feel really numb and achy and I needed to get around for a bit to distract me but also to make it seem like I was doing something. She noisily moved the films around, chopping and changing between two or three of them before settling on a romantic comedy.



Just as I was about to sit back down and get ready for the fresh hell I was about to endure/put myself through, the front door clicked open and my Dad walked back in. I watched hesitantly as he hung his coat and scarf back up and then shut the door. A wave of relief ran through me because he was coming back in by himself and the hoards weren’t going to follow him. He walked into the living room area before stopping short, his eyes trained on Valerie sat on the couch next to the empty space.


“Er… hello?” an eyebrow rose in question at the girl after he gave me a look of confusion, “What is she doing here?”


“Hello, Mr Underwood,” she shot up from her seat and extended a hand to him, “I just came by to see how Elle was doing.” He tentatively reached out his hand and shook it, his eyes swapping between the two of us. We all stood around in tense silence, looking anywhere but at each other until Valerie eventually spoke up, “I guess I’ll leave you now.” She patted my shoulder awkwardly and started collecting up her DVDs and her lot of food, leaving the ice cream tub she’d bought for me. Both my Dad and I watched her moving around quietly until she started heading towards the front door and he stepped forward to close it behind her. Once the door was closed, he rounded on me,


“So you can tell your friend where you are but you can’t tell your own sister?” he questioned. I could tell that even though his voice was eerily quiet, he was trying his best not to yell at me, “She has been going out of her mind looking for you and the only reason I didn’t tell her where you were was because I assumed you were going to tell her yourself.” His voice slowly rose as the sentence carried on and my head automatically lowered in shame again.


“I… uh, I well…” I stuttered, trying to come up with an excuse because the truth was I didn’t want to see her and tell her why I ran away that day.


“I don’t want to hear any excuses. You are going to go round to Charity’s house now and you are going to tell her where you are staying and that you are fine. No texts, no phone calls… face-to-face,” he pointed at me, a hint of anger on his face and I couldn’t help but nod, “And you are going to tell her everything, okay?”


“But you don’t even know everything Dad!” I blurted out, tears springing in my eyes at having to explain what had really happened over the last couple of weeks.


“What? What the hell do you mean by that?” He seemed to be getting frustrated and I didn’t want to say something that would make him blow up at me.


“I mean it was all fake!” I slumped down on the couch and ran my hands through my hair, “Everything was fake. The relationship, the engagement, the wedding. It was all fake,” out of the corner of my eye I saw him sit down in the armchair next to the sofa, “None of it was real!”


“Why did you do it?” Was the question he asked and I looked up at him to see he was staring at me in a mix of confusion and frustration.


“He was desperate to prove to his family he’d moved on,” I gulped and let out a heavy sigh. I hoped my Dad knew who I meant when I said ‘he’ because I didn’t like the thought of saying his name out loud, “And he offered me money to pretend to be his fiancée. It was a lot of money and I thought if I took the money, I could finally go on my Healer course,” I explained everything from the first time he proposed to meeting his family to the holiday and anything else I could remember. He stayed silent and listening to everything I had to say, nodding occasionally.


“Okay but I still need you to go and see your sister.” He eventually said when I’d finished talking and I nodded my head, even though every fibre of my being was protesting the idea. But I also knew that if I didn’t go now or at some point today, he would probably drag me there himself. So, unfortunately, I just had to bite the metaphorical bullet and go and see her and pray to God she didn’t rip my head off my shoulders.



Slowly, because I was still aware Dad was in the room, I started tidying away all the food that Valerie had brought over and moved the blanket and extra bedding back into my old room. Every time I walked in the room it still amazed me how unchanged it was from four years ago. The furniture was still in the same positions as when I was nineteen, the bedding was the same as that night, and every little detail hadn’t moved an inch.



The only thing that was different was the painting that Charity and Norah got me was no longer on my wall proudly. Now that I thought about it, I wasn’t sure where it had gone or whether I had just misplaced it somewhere that I forgot. About ten minutes had gone by before I had packed everything away and finished reminiscing in my old room before Dad appeared in the doorway.


“If you’re going to continue stalling, I’m going to invite her round here.” He threatened and all the blood pooled to the bottom of my feet. Part of me knew that if I packed away slowly enough, maybe I could put off going to see her today.


“Okay, okay. I’ll go now.” I conceded, my hands wringing together as I pulled on my jacket and made sure I looked somewhat decent enough to pretend I was okay. Dad offered to drive me to her house but that meant having to go through all the reporter’s and plus, he looked like he didn’t really want me to take him up on that offer. Instead of heading out the front door, I snuck out through the back garden onto a deserted alley way. It wasn’t exactly the warmest day either so my hands shook in my pockets, half because of the temperature but half because I was absolutely terrified of seeing Charity again. And explaining everything.



For a few minutes I had to really compose myself so that I could apparate without accidentally splinching myself because of how distracted I was. The apparition took probably less than a second but to me it had slowed down considerably until I could see the familiar two-storey house in front of me. My feet were stuck to the ground and I just stared at the front door for a few minutes, feeling exactly the same way as I did when I went to see Norah. Just as I was about to move forward and head towards the front door, it flung open and all I saw was a flash of orange hair before something knocked into me.


“Oh thank God you’re okay!” Charity huffed, her arms squeezing my waist a little too tightly. My arms hung limply to my side as I froze in shock. This was definitely not the reaction I was expecting from my sister and so I relaxed slightly, wrapping my arms around her neck and resting my forehead on her shoulder, “I thought you’d disappeared off the face of the Earth! I was so worried but thank God you’re okay!” She repeated as she sniffled into my shoulder and I didn’t realise I was crying too until the first tear rolled down my cheek.


“I’m sorry, Char.” I croaked, my arms tightening their hold on her. Those words seemed to snap her out of crying and she pulled back harshly before proceeding to smack the shit out of my shoulders, my arms, my head, and any other part of me that she could get to. And I just let her because I deserved it all.


“How stupid could you be?! Do you have any idea how worried I was? How worried everyone was?!” she practically yelled but seemed to calm down ever so slightly after getting a good look at my face, “I thought you’d done something stupid…” She trailed off whispering, pulling me into an even tighter hug that I welcomed instantly.


My eyes scrunched together tightly, “But I have done something stupid.” I whispered, waiting for the shit-storm that was about to happen but she just grabbed my hand and pulled me towards the open front door of her house.


“I’ll make us a cup of tea.” She stated, pushing me towards the living room as she headed into the kitchen.


“You sound like Mum.” I chuckled slightly, sitting down on the sofa-bed that we had slept on when we stayed here. The memory of that night came rushing back and so I moved to another chair, distracting myself by looking at all the pictures of my niece and nephew so I wouldn’t burst into tears again. I heard her laugh from the kitchen before she walked in holding two steaming mugs. She placed them down on two coasters before facing me.


“There’s nothing a good brew can’t solve,” she said with a small smile, which I reciprocated weakly, “So…?” She sat down on the sofa, in the seat I had been sitting on a few seconds ago.


“So…?” I repeated, looking down at my hands in my lap. I had no idea how to even begin to tell Charity everything that had happened because it was all so complicated and downright painful to even talk about it.


“Don’t you ‘so…’ me!” She was back to her stern ‘Mum’ voice and I shrank in my seat.


“Where’s Darryl?” I questioned quietly, trying to draw out the time. And hope she’d forget why I was here, which was unlikely but worth a try.


“Upstairs with Ruari and Gabby,” she paused for a second, “Where have you been? I’ve honestly been going out of my mind ever since Ginny phoned me,” she started, her voice soft and surprisingly not angry, “I thought I was losing one of my sisters last week… I didn’t want to lose the other one.” I looked up to see she had tears in her eyes and I immediately leaned forward to grab hold of her hand, giving it a tight squeeze.


“I’m so sorry, Char,” I said, “I didn’t mean to make you worry like that. I just needed a few days alone to come to terms with everything,” I explained carefully, “Even now I’m still not completely sure what happened myself.” My eyes dropped to the mugs of tea left abandoned on the table.


“Well how about we start with where you’ve been staying because I thought you were with Molly at first but she had no idea that you’d even left.” She finally picked up her tea and I followed suit, taking a small sip and holding it between my hands to warm them up.


“I was staying with Dad for the past two days.” I answered systematically and watched as Charity’s mouth opened in shock, obviously not expecting that answer.


“That bastard!” she exclaimed suddenly, making me jump, “He came out to help us look for you today! And all the while he knew you were there! I am going to kill that man!” She ranted loudly, almost spilling tea on herself in the process.


“Please don’t,” I interrupted, “I told him not to tell anyone where I was.” I lied, not wanting Dad to get into trouble with Charity. She seemed to calm down a little more and we fell into tense silence again.


“How come you ran away, Elle?” she whispered but loud enough for me to hear, “Is it something I should be worried about?” I wasn’t all that sure how to respond to that question because of the fact I’d had yet another relapse. The silence seemed to drag on for what seemed like forever.


“I just…” I stopped, trying to find the words, “I don’t know how to explain it properly. I don’t know how to start.”


“How did you and James really meet?” she asked and my eyebrows furrowed in confusion at how she phrased the question and she elaborated, “Ginny told me the basics after James eventually told her the truth.” I choked a little at that because I hadn’t expected him to come out and tell his family straight away.


“We bumped into each other when he came to see Molly and I was leaving for work,” I started, finding it easier to explain now that Charity had told me she knew we were faking, “Then he turned up at my work the same day and told me about his idea of me being his fake fiancée. He said we could do it for a year at the most and then we’d split up and he’d give me something for it.”


“Money?” She seemed to understand what I had desperately needed at that time in my life.


“He said to ask for whatever amount I needed within reason and for the first time in my life, I had hope that I could finally get on that Healer course at St Mungo’s and do something right with my life,” I looked down at the ground in shame and Charity leaned forward this time to hold my hand, “So I agreed thinking it would be alright, just pretend to be his fiancée for a year and then I could get on with my life.”


“But then the holiday came up?”


“Yeah,” I nodded, “And it became really difficult to keep the secret and pretend in front of his family and us,” I continued and I felt Charity squeeze my hand reassuringly, “Then, I don’t know when, I really started to fall for him and the lines between pretending and reality started to get blurry. I started actually believing he really was my fiancé,” I stopped suddenly and felt the tears stinging my eyes, “And then the wedding came up. I thought I could go through with it if I told him how I really felt and we could stay married for real,” by now the tears were already on my cheeks and showed no signs of stopping, “But I found out he was just using me to get back with his ex… I saw him kiss her on the night before the wedding and I… I did something stupid.” I hung my head down, letting out a loud sob as Charity rushed forward to embrace me.


“Ssh, it’s okay, Elle.” She cooed, stroking my hair and rocking side to side.


“It’s not okay, I drank again,” I croaked out, “And I kept drinking. I couldn’t stop myself… and I hate myself for it!” She kept hold of me, not saying anything as I cried and it reminded me of when I first came out of the coma to remember what had happened. We stayed like that for a while until she pulled back, wiping my cheeks for me.


“Told you a brew could solve your problems,” she said light-heartedly, making me laugh a little, “What are you going to do now?”


“Probably stay at Dad’s a bit longer and go back to work on Saturday. My month’s almost up.” I said monotonously, draining the last bit of my tea.


“You can always come back here, if you want?” She said, collecting our mugs and taking them into the kitchen whilst I followed.


“I don’t want Ruari or Gabby to see me like this,” I gestured down to my attire and I watched her clean them up quickly with her wand, “I should probably get back to Dad’s so he knows I’m actually alive.” I joked, giving her a tight hug and holding on for a few seconds longer than necessary.


“I’m just more happy you’re okay,” she replied, walking me to the front door with a strange expression on her face with one hand behind her back, “Listen…” she paused as we reached the door and I stepped outside, getting ready to apparate, “I know how hard it was for you to go cold turkey,” she started and the colour drained from my face at what she was talking about, “And please don’t be offended because I’m only saying this because I genuinely love and care about you so much… but have you ever thought about getting help? Like professional help?” I froze in place, not sure what to even say.


“I… uh I-I…” I stuttered. She pulled out the hand behind her back which was holding a bunch of multi-coloured leaflets.


“I’m not saying you have to… but just have a look at some of these,” she held them out to me and I slowly extended my hand to grab them, my eyes avoided looking at what was written on them, “Dad and I have been looking at a couple of places, we think it could really help you.”


“Okay.” Was all I said, gulping thickly as heat rushed to my face. My whole body was still in shock.


“At least promise you’ll have a look at them.” I nodded and said my goodbyes, my hand feeling like I was carrying heavy rocks before apparating back to my Dad’s, knowing I still had a lot to speak to Charity about. Thankfully, none of the reporters were there when I apparated back to the house so I was free to walk through the front door instead of having to use the back door all the time. Just as I was about to go into my bedroom, Dad came out from the kitchen area and his eyes automatically dropped to the leaflets in my hand. A look of relief flickered across his face.


“Oh good, she gave them to you,” he muttered, going back into the kitchen when I didn’t say anything, “Dinner’s gonna be ready in about ten minutes.” He called.


“Okay,” I called back, heading into my bedroom and lying down on the bed, heaving out a huge sigh. The leaflets were still in my left hand and I debated reading them now but a part of me didn’t really want to see what was written on them just yet because it meant admitting to myself that I had a serious problem which I just wouldn’t be able to handle right now. So my hand placed them down on the side table and I continued to lay on my bed, staring at the ceiling and trying not to think about anything, “I’ll read them tomorrow.” I said to myself as I couldn’t stop thinking about them.


“Dinner’s ready!” I heard Dad’s voice and was grateful for the distraction, quickly jumping off the bed. He’d placed a plate of microwavable spaghetti and meatballs on the table with a fork which made me smile a little. We both took our seats at the table opposite each other and dug into the food. It was a tense sort-of silence around the table for a couple of minutes until he piped up, “I was thinking of visiting Norah tomorrow if you wanted to come with?” I looked up from my plate and watched as he gave me weary glances every now and then.


“Okay, what time?” I asked.


“Probably in the afternoon,” he replied, “I need to do a few last minute things at work in the morning first.” I nodded my head as we continued eating in silence. When our plates were empty, he collected them and started washing them in the sink.



Instead of watching TV, I decided that I desperately needed to get some sleep because I only just noticed how tired I actually was. Considering sleeping on the couch wasn’t exactly the comfiest of places. I turned off my bedroom light and climbed under the covers, not even fazed that it was still quite light outside. As I turned on my side, the leaflets caught my attention again.

 

“At least promise me you’ll have a look at them.”

 

“I’ll look at them tomorrow,” I whispered to myself again, rolled over so I couldn’t see them and closed my eyes, “I promise.”

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