1: Overgrown elephant

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The musty scent of stale, old paper assaulted my nose alongside a series of undesirable sounds. The rapid tapping of keyboards and distinct murmuring between police officers. At first, I thought the white noise might have left me permanently deaf but I would have preferred the ringing in my head to all the noise.

I stared amusingly at the fat police officer sitting in front of the inspector's door with a box half-filled with chocolate doughnuts. 'Ted' as the silver plate on his uniform read picked up another piece of the doughnut and stuffed it whole in his mouth. He moaned and my mouth twitched as I tried to suppress the laughter threatening to bubble out at any moment.

Luckily, I got saved from laughing my ass off and landing in more trouble as the door to the inspector's office swung open and my dad stepped out with the inspector.

"Thank you, inspector. I'll try to keep her out of trouble from now on," my dad said and spared me a glance that had me shrinking in my seat.

"Do well to see to that Mr Whitfield" the inspector replied and ran a hand through his greasy hair before grabbing my dad's outstretched hand in his meaty bear paw of a hand. He turned to me and gave me a stiff nod before patting his potbelly and marching off to a group of officers hurdled together, deep in conversation.

"Let's go" dad sighed and stuffed his hands in his pocket before strolling to the exit with me trailing behind him.

"Did you see that police guy in front of the inspector's door? He was the size of an overgrown elephant" I asked and burst out in laughter, when we were in the car. I continued laughing at my joke for a few minutes before realising that dad was not even smiling. He stared straight ahead and griped the wheel so tightly, until his knuckles turned white.

"Err...dad?" I said cautiously and it broke the trance he was stuck in because he blinked several times before he turned to face me.

"Sorry Mel, what was that?" He asked with a tight smile. I started retelling my joke, but when I caught a glimpse of mild anger in his eyes, I immediately clamped my mouth shut and settled for shaking my head while he started the car and drove off.

"I'm sorry for the trouble I caused today," I said quietly after a while.

"It's not your fault honey, I should be a better parent," he said and shook his head.

"You're an awesome parent dad"

"Well I'm glad you think so," he said and gave me a small smile before turning the corner to our street. I reached across the console to pat his hand and then he gave me a full grin.

Once dad parked the car in front of the house, Janice came bursting out of the house and hurried over to the passenger's side of the car. The door flew open, and she ripped me out of the car, then wrapped her hands around my middle since she's a foot shorter than me and squeezed.....hard!

"Oh Mel I was so worried" she cried while hugging me tighter, until I started gasping for air.

"Let her breath, Janice," dad said from behind her and she loosened her hold on me.

"Oh sorry, Mel" she blushed profusely.

"It's okay Janice I deserved that" I replied and bent over to catch my breath.

"Dinner's almost ready. Why don't you two go freshen up? You especially Mel, since you had quite an eventful day" she said and skipped, yes skipped back into the house.

"Gotta love her energy" I sighed before straightening up. Dad laughed before  he wrapped his arm around me and pulled me into the house.

After a quick shower and a change of clothes, I raced downstairs as the aroma of food wafted up to my bedroom. Dad and Janice seemed to have been having a serious conversation, but they stopped abruptly when I came down the landing.

"There you are dear, I was just about to come to get you" Janice smiled, but it looks strained.

"Everything alright?" I asked when I sat down at the table

"Yes, your dad and I were just....err" she trailed off and scratched her head before hurrying to the kitchen.

"What's up with her?" I asked dad, but he just shook his head and stuffed his phone back into his pocket before sitting down.

Janice came out later with lamb chops, spaghetti, sauce and chicken soup.

"Dig in" she sang and we all began filling our plates with food. We ate in a comfortable silence for a while before dad broke the silence.

"There's something I have to talk to you about Mel"

"Sure," I said while I stuffed my mouth with more spaghetti. Janice placed a hand over dad's free one and he gave her a weak smile before he turned to me.

"You're going to go live with your mum in Seattle for a while honey" he said suddenly and everything went silent again. I swallowed the spaghetti that now sat as a thick lump in my stomach, before I looked up to find dad still looking at me as if gauging my reaction.

"You're joking right?" Was the first thing that came flying out of my mouth. Dad shook his head and reached out to touch me but I slapped his hand away.

"Why?" I croaked.

I'm not going to cry! I'm not going to cry! I AM NOT GOING TO CRY!.

"Mel.....she's worried about you and with your latest stunt, she thinks it's best if you go live with her" he sighed and ran a hand through his greying hair. My dad wasn't that old, he was in his late forties and still in great shape with lean muscles in all the right places, from his days playing basketball but right now, he was looking older, more tired with stress lines all over his handsome face.

Did I cause that?

"And what do you think?" I asked, but I regretted it immediately, when I saw the look on his face.

"I think she misses you and wants to spend time with you. I can't deny her that right" he said and reached for me again but I jumped out of the chair as though it was on fire.

"And what about what I want?" I yelled angrily.

"Mel..."

"No! I like it here," that was a lie, "I've got great friends and memories here". More lies. I hated this place, it ruined my life but that was besides the point. I'd much rather be here, than go be with my mum. She abandoned me.

"Mel, I'm sorry, but it's already been decided," he said and retracted his hand. I guess he'd given up trying to hug me.

"When?" The words came out in a whisper.

"On Thursday," he said with much pain in his voice, as though it was hard for him to get the words out.

Today's Tuesday so I only had two days left with him and Janice.

"How long?"

"What?"

"How long, since you guys decided this?"

"We've been arguing about it for a while, but after today's accident, she wouldn't budge on the issue anymore. I'm sorry honey, I tried" he sighed. Dad wasn't a pushover. He could hold his own in any situation except when it came to my mum. He always allowed her have her way. I guess it was the guilt that made him do it, but for once, I really wished he hadn't given in to her demands.

"Well, I guess you didn't try hard enough" I spat angrily and ran back to my room, where I spend the next two days crying and hating the whole situation.

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A/N

Hey guys!

How do you like the first chapter?

Don't forget to like, comment and share.

Till next time, much love from me.

Next chapter comes up Saturday evening

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