I took the drinks and snacks into the living-room. Di and Angie were sitting in the corner of the room, chatting to each other- probably about their studies or boys. Archie, Harry and Kev had the TV on in spite of the music and were shouting at a football game. Nick and Cal were talking about music in some form, and me and Jason were standing next to each other trying to look like it was completely natural to hold hands in front of my older brother.
Callum seemed to flinch when he saw me and Jason like that. Nick's phone started ringing and he left the room. There was an awkward atmosphere as Callum was left with nothing to do but look at anywhere but me and Jason. Nick suddenly came running back into the room.
"Dude we got it!" he exclaimed. Cal's hands immediately flew to the back of his head and he exhaled loudly.
"No way!" said Angie, jumping up and down.
"Are you serious? You're not serious... oh shut up! We actually got it?" gabbled Di. Even Jason let go of my hand, grabbed Angie and started jumping up and down with her. They all had a group hug whilst I was pushed into the doorway. I had no idea what was going on- but there was a knock at the door.
"Err guys? The parents are home!" I hissed. They all froze. Cal ran silently out of the living-room to find somewhere to briefly hide somewhere, whilst I helped everyone grab their stuff and sneak out of the back door to the garden fence where they waited.
"I'm coming!" I called to my parents. I went and opened the door, leading my dad into the kitchen whilst mum hung up her coat.
"Jade why were Callum's... friends here?" she asked me. I frowned.
"They weren't here mum." I replied.
"Oh really? Then why are there lots of empty glasses in the living-room and why is Nick's car in the driveway?" she asked.
I traced my finger under my eye and tapped my ear twice- the signal to Nick outside that my parents were inside.
"A few of my friends stopped round for a few minutes." I lied.
"Oh sweetie, you don't have any friends!" dad said.
"If that's so, Jade, why is there a car in the driveway?" mum repeated.
"That must belong to a friend of Mrs Warren's."
"Then why is it the same as Nick's car?"
"How do you know they don't have the same car?"
"How do you know they do have the same car?"
"Err... how do you know they don't?" I repeated. Mum chuckled like she'd won anyway.
"Then why is Callum hiding?"
"Cal is... Cal is..." I heard the water running. "Cal is taking a shower."
Mum raised her eyebrows but dropped the conversation. Dad went into the living-room and started watching the football, whilst mum followed me up to my room.
"You were such a sweet child, Jade..." she started.
"And I'm not sweet anymore? Gee, you and dad are just so full of compliments today!"
"Let me finish! You used to be as close to Callum as you are now, but you never used to lie for him." she said.
"His friends weren't here." I repeated coldly.
"Oh really? Not even... Jason?" she asked me. Her eyes flashed up from her fingernails as she watched for my reaction.
"Nope. Not even Jason." I said, struggling to keep a pokerface.
"Oh come on Jade, I know you like him."
"You don't know anything about me anymore." I told her. I got up and opened my door, gesturing for her to leave. She was just out the doorway when she turned on her heel.
"Get changed out of those ridiculous clothes, you look like a depressed youth." she snapped. I sighed and shut the door. I groaned and threw myself down on my bed. I got out a notepad and wrote a letter to Cal.
We have this thing that every time we feel angry or sad, we write a letter to each other, and then on the last day of every month we give each other the letters.
I wrote my letter about how much mum was annoying me lately.
Everything I did I got a 'Stop mimmicking Callum.' Everything I wore I got a 'Stop dressing like Callum.'
After a long time I heard the water in the shower cut off. I waited in my room. I waited.