“Are you in? When do you start?” she asked again, pretending to actually care. She was probably trying to work out how many more lie-ins she’d get for how many more mornings.

“The day after tomorrow” I replied impersonally, trying my hardest not to look at her.

“Did you meet Midge’s fri-”


As she was flipped off from my thoughts, she sort of sunk into the back of the sofa.

“So, are we going to get this over and done with so I don’t have to put up with hearing how I’m losing my child?” My dad suddenly spoke up, removing his hands from blocking his head. His eyes were sunken in and he looked like he may not have slept for days.

“Don’t be so dramatic Matthew” Val spat as she shook her head and sunk herself even deeper into the sofa.

“I thought you’d said everything to me last night Val?” he said.

She kept silence after that, and I looked up, only to see that Michelle was staring at her blindly. It almost felt like a stupid counselling session like the one we had gone to the previous week. Except that time we knew the people sitting before us.

And I knew that Brian wanted to make sure my dad was fairly treated – and Michelle wanted to make sure that my mum was fairly treated.

But I didn’t care. I thought I had made my decision clear enough already – but apparently that didn’t matter to them. It didn’t matter what I thought.

But, the more I thought about it, the more I realised that both of them were only really out to spite each other. While they both cared about who won me, it was mainly because they wanted to out-do the other.

And at that point, I could feel myself losing more respect for my dad and even more for my mum. I just felt myself begin to losing the careful attitude I had over who I lived with. They were both exactly the same.

“Well, I’m her mom” my mum set out instantaneously. “Obviously that means I should win custody. The courts will see the argument that way Matt, and so we should make it easier on all of us and just go with that.”

“I’m not giving up so easily Val” he stated calmly. “You got over her. You accepted that she was gone. You moved on. But I didn’t. I never stopped believing that she was still alive. I found her. You didn’t believe me and so we had to do those stupid DNA tests.”

“Matt” Brian warned. “Don’t say too much…for Charlotte’s sake.”

“I’m old enough to hear the truth” I added, wanting to be heard. I could handle what they had to say – I’d been through so much already that I didn’t think one or two more things would have affected me so much.

“Well, Charlotte” my mum began. “Your father has moved in with Wednesday.”

“Oh, and I wonder how long it is until Derrick moves in with you then? At least Charlotte likes Wed.”

“You do?” my mum spat as she sprung forward, looking me up and down. I couldn’t help but nod sheepishly. She rolled her eyes and sat back, folding her arms an distancing herself from the situation.

“I’m your mother, Charlotte” she pressed, trying to guilt trip me.

“And I’m her father” Matt added. “Val, stop trying to emotionally blackmail her. She’ll pick whoever she wants to.”

“You’re only saying that because you know she’ll pick you!” my Aunt Michelle suddenly interjected, much to everyone’s annoyance except for my mums.

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