Chapter 63

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The next day I actually felt rejuvenated. I actually felt that things were going to get better, and I was going to get happy for the first time in a very long time – perhaps even for as long as I could remember.

I knew I wasn’t entirely there yet – I still had to work things out with my dad and Midge, but I was hopeful that it would actually happen. I had a lot of humility to show, and a lot of truths to tell, but I was finally ready to do it.

Except, there was almost a nagging feeling in the back of my head that I simply couldn’t brush off. It first occurred to me as I woke up, curled up on the sofa with my mum the next morning before she herself had woken up.

There was a blanket around us and so I figured that Derrick had seen us as I kicked it off myself, making sure to keep it around Val. Usually on a morning there’s that slight feeling of blissful ignorance, before every thought that was in your mind the night before re-enters, but there wasn’t.

It had been replaced with a nagging feeling, one that told me something wasn’t altogether right, and that I didn’t deserve to be happy and the feeling I had was only false.

I tried to brush it off, telling myself that it was my own conscience talking – telling me that I couldn’t feel happy or that I was going to be happy until I talked to my dad. I told myself that I would do it the next week once I had gone back to school and talked to Midge.

Instead of just telling him I was going to change, I’d show him too so that when I walked into school on Monday morning, I’d actually be behaving myself.

The rest of the morning continued with similar thoughts as I remained fixated in my own little world, sitting upstairs in my room with not really anything to do a my mum and Derrick both went to work, warning me not to do anything stupid while they were out of the house.

I must have been lying, in deep thought, on my bed until about ten am when a sudden realization struck me from the house I had turned up at to see Jade and Alex and had inadvertently met Shaun. Something I had completely forgot previously due to the fact that I had been so drunk and had that conversation with my mum.

Shaun was still going to hurt Midge. The nagging feeling slowly dissipated as I came to a realisation of what it was, and I began to panic. I scrambled around in my pocket for the phone they had given me to keep in contact and hurriedly called Jade’s number which was conveniently already stored.

I shook, waiting for her to answer. As the ringing continued I began to impatiently drum my fingers against my leg in the hope that she would soon answer. When she did, I was beyond relieved.

“Charles” she chirped in a manner that could only make me suspect that she was smirking. “Hung-over much? Man, you were pissed.”

“Yeah” I rubbed the back of my head. “Can’t remember that much. Walking back in the rain to my grandparents seemed to sober me up pretty quickly though, so.”

“Mm” she mumbled. “Listen, where are you?  Are you at home?”

“…Yes.”

“Do you have a free house?”

I looked around and thought about the fact that I was completely alone in the house, but I kenw I couldn’t do anything. I didn’t want to ruin the head-start at a good relationship my mum and I had had last night.

“No. My mum’s in. And her boyfriend. And my grandparents…and my Aunt” I nodded as if she could see me – subconsciously trying to make myself sound more believable.

“Oh, that’s great actually.”

“I…it is?”

“Yep. Your Aunt Michelle is round your place you say?”

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