Chapter Twenty Five

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Dear Diary,

Oh my Lord, these last few days have been so busy I’ve hardly had time to stop and think, let alone write in my diary. Let me see. What have I done? Well, on Friday night we did a gig in Crompton, a nearby village, then the next day Farley and I had a whole adventure together. When did I last write in here? Oh yeah, just after I got back from Mabel’s. God, that was only a few days ago but it seems ages ago now. So much has happened.

As soon as I got back from Mabel’s that day my head was spinning with all the stuff she had spouted. I thought I knew my Mum so well but it’s starting to become clear that she had a whole life Leo and I didn’t know about. There are a few hints here and there that I can remember but nothing I understood at the time.

The main thing I got from what Mabel said is that Mum was a bit of a looker and she attracted a lot of men. I guess she didn’t have a big brother to scare them all off. When I came back from Mabel’s I paced my bedroom up and down, maybe for hours. Trying to piece together a bigger picture.

Thoughts and memories swam around my head, I could see her beauty, smell her perfume, see her walking out the door to perform her next gig. I thought to myself how she must have somehow kept these admirers away from our house because I hardly remember any of them.

The only people that would come round often were Mabel for long cups of tea in the front room, Uncle Luke to help with the DIY, sometimes her old friends from school. One thing kept ringing in my mind as I walked up and down my room. That guy, that so called manager guy – Terry.

Mabel had said that he was possessive. She gave the impression that he liked her, more than just as someone he worked with. It seemed like he was just another one of her admirers. He never used to come to the house, Mum hardly ever even spoke about him.

The only time I can properly remember him is the time he rocked up to the campsite, all angry at Mum for some reason. When Uncle Luke had stepped in to protect her. I remembered how slimy looking he was, with his tight leather jacket and his long hair slicked back off his bony face. He reminded me a bit of Roland Rat, you know, the puppet that used to be on the telly, the big talking rat.

I went straight to the box under my bed where I keep all the things I saved around the time Mum died. I scoured through every news article, every letter. Right at the bottom I found the photos. I sifted through them. Loads of the three of us: Mum, Leo and me. Quite a few of Mum and her friends. One of me and Uncle Luke, him standing behind me with his hands on my tiny shoulders, both of us grinning like idiots.

Right at the bottom there was one of Mum and Terry, standing on our street, in front of Terry’s silver car. He has his hand on her shoulder as she looks directly into the camera with her arms crossed, almost smiling but not quite. I took that photo out of the box and put it into my pocket.

The day after things got a bit hectic – we had another gig, one that Leo had arranged in Compton. We all piled along in Jimmy’s van again and it was great. That morning Farley had called. I answered the phone thank God and we arranged to meet the next day. When I asked him what we would be doing he told me it was a surprise. That’s all well and good but the first thought that came into my head was what would I wear? He thought this was amusing and told me that smart-casual would do just fine. Smart-casual!

Anyway, the gig was a success; there were quite a few people there who I didn’t recognize at all. We got the feeling they had come along maybe from the battle of the bands gig in Brocksburn. The chick who had written to us was there - she zoomed in on Leo as soon as we had finished. At first he seemed pleased but after a while he looked like he couldn’t get away quick enough.

It wasn't really a pub this time, more of a hall with a bar or something like that, it wasn’t huge but it was bigger than we’re used to. I gave it my best shot on stage, so did the other guys. Leo’s been a bit distant lately but nothing that won’t pass, I hope. He’s a genius therefore I expect him to be a bit moody now and again. His new songs are amazing.

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