Chapter 59

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“So, what time did you get back from the mall?” My aunt Michelle tilted her head, smiling as the three of us sat around the dinner table, waiting patiently to eat as my mum brought our plates in from the kitchen.

“About four” my mum smiled in response, placing a plate down in front of Midge and I, sitting down to eat also.

“Thanks” Michelle smiled, instantaneously picking up her knife and fork, glancing over at Midge, indicating for her to do the same. Judging by my cousin’s facial expression, I doubted that she would.

“This looks great” she added, smiling and nudging Midge casually under the table. Haven't really had a proper meal recently, have we, Midgey?"

An uneasy tension settled over the table, making the fact that I was completely awkward more subtle as my mum, aunt and cousin soon started to do the same. None of us were really happy, and none of us were bothering to hide it anymore.

Throughout the day, I had begun to suspect that perhaps, my mum still loved Matt. It was most likely wishful thinking, but the thought had seemed to be more prominent as we sat there in silence and my mind desperately raced for something else to focus on.

Even if she did, I kenw my dad wouldn’t give a shit anyway.

Eventually, my mum broke the silence. “B-because of Brian?”

With that question, I continued to stare down at the table. I knew that he hadn’t gone home since the last fight at our dinner table, and I could read Midge well enough by that point to notice that it was seriously affecting her moods and behaviour as she played with her food.

Her stomach was audibly rumbling, and she shifted every time it did so. But she still wouldn’t eat.

Michelle glanced briefly at Midge, before back to my mum, rolling her eyes slightly. “Yeah…I guess. Doesn't seem like there's enough time in the day anymore, you know?"

Val’s eyes downturned at the corners, portraying a convincing look of empathy in the direction of her sister as she began to eat. “Mm, I know the feeling.”

Michelle nodded, placing another forkful of food in her mouth, trying to use the food as an excuse not to talk. Things had become increasingly more awkward with every time we saw each other, and I knew that it was my fault.

“Eat up, Midge.”

“Not hungry.”

I raised an eyebrow in her direction, hurriedly diverting my face so that she didn’t notice. As if on cue, her stomach rumbled again, louder than before, but we all chose to ignore it. We were beginning to choose to ignore everything.

Looking at Midge, I was beginning to desperately feel that I needed to tell her about the truth…about Jade and Alex. And that I knew about Shaun.

But she wasn’t going to listen to me if I tried to instigate an amicable conversation with her. I knew that, if I was ever going to get it out about everything, I was going to have to deliver it through an argument, or sarcastically.

“So, what’s with this whole drug thing then?” Michelle tilted her head. “I never fully heard about it. Midge didn’t really know that much, but then Jimmy told me about the…accusation.”

I noticed Midge’s gaze fall on me, and so I simply looked up at her, staring and chewing on the side of my cheek casually.

"Charlotte got suspended for getting drunk and high in the toilets and Matt apparently got her the stuff” my mum shrugged, clearly indicating that she knew my dad hadn’t done anything. As long as everyone didn’t believe me, I felt slightly better.

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