Chapter 7

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When the rain finally stopped, Toby and I started walking back to my house. My clothes were still very damp, and I couldn’t wait to change out of them. I still didn’t really know what to say to him, so Toby did most of the talking on the way back. When we eventually reached my house it was evening, and I stopped in front of the door and turned to him.

“Thank you, again for the books,” I said, holding up my bags of books, which were also slightly damp.

“It’s OK,” he shrugged. “And thank you, I had fun today.”

I thought about how I’d made a fool of myself at least three times in front of him, and got soaked through, yet found that I, too, had fun today.

“Me too,” I said. I then surprised myself by adding, “Maybe we could do it again, some time.”

He smiled. “I hope so.”

He then started to fiddle with his glasses, a gesture I had quickly learned meant that he was nervous. “I guess I’ll see you on Monday, then,” he said, walking backwards down the driveway.

“Yeah, see you then.”

I went inside, and shut the door. As it clicked shut, my mother came down the stairs, in a dress and smelling of perfume. I forgot my parents were going out tonight.

“Oh, there you are, honey,” she said, picking up her purse from the sofa. “You’re back late.”

“Yeah, it was raining, so I stayed in the café for a bit,” I replied, dropping my bags.

“I see you’ve had a successful haul,” she smiled, putting her earrings in.

“Yeah,” I laughed.

She went to the mirror, in the corner and did some last minute checking of her dark hair. “Well, we’re leaving just as soon as you’re father’s ready. I’ve left money for take-away in the kitchen.”


She sighed and rolled her eyes, moving to the bottom of the stairs. With her hand on her hip, she called, “Jason, we’ll miss our reservations!”

“I’m coming, now! Calm down!” called my father, hurrying down the stairs, still doing his tie.

My mum smoothed his dark hair down, and then pulled the tie from him and started doing it up herself. When she was finished my dad pushed his glasses up the bridge of his nose, and stood and tried to look important and grand.

“I told you I’d be ready on time,” he said, proudly.

“We’re already ten minutes late,” remarked my mother, grabbing their coats.

“What?” he said, puzzled then looked down and started tapping his watch. “Damn watch!”

“Come on,” said my mum, pulling him towards the door.

“But it’s not my fault! The watch is slow.”

“It’s been slow for the last four months, and you keep saying you’ll buy a new one, but then never do.”

I smiled at my father’s innocent expression.

“Well, yes, because I like this watch,” he said.

“Well, I’m sure you can buy one just like it,” my mother replied, as is speaking to a small child. 

My father sighed, sadly. Then he turned to me, and smiled before kissing my cheek. “Bye, sweetheart.”

“Bye, Dad.”

They shut the door, and I heard the car start. I picked up the phone, and called up the stairs, “Henry, I’m ordering dinner!”

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