Poor Hadley. The guy did well, consider just how much shopping I did. I'm gonna need another suitcase. Granddad just tuts as I haul my stuff upstairs.
"How long are you gonna be hanging around for, old man?" I ask sourly as he hangs around in my doorway, watching me tip stuff out on the bed.
"Til tonight. I'll get a lift back with your mother when we're all done at dinner. I heard what happened last time. You sat and sulked, like a moody teenager."
"Wouldn't you if your boyfriend forced you to start talking to her again when you still have absolutely no desire to even think about her?" He sighs and watches as I start pulling tags off of stuff, sorting out Hadley's clothes from mine. I glance up and he's wearing this look of disappointment that twists my stomach. Don't do that to me old guy. You're s'posed to be on my side. "Look, I said I'd make the effort to be at least polite. I never said I'd succeed." I give up on tag-pulling and start hunting through my suitcase for my nicotine patches.
"I know, kiddo." Disappointed tone, too. Wow. Now I see where my mum got the ‘I'm let down' act from. I stick one of the patches to my arm and pull my sleeve back down over it, pushing past granddad.
"Sofa's calling my name," I mutter as I pass him. He just sighs.
I flop down onto the sofa next to Hadley, returning the smile he flashes me.
"What's up?" he asks. Guess my mini conversation with granddad irritated me more than I thought.
"Oh, just granddad lecturing me on how I should be nice to my mum later."
"To be fair, he has a point," he says as he cuddles up to me. I put my arms around him, but scowl.
"I was quite happy with the whole silent thing we had going on, to be honest." In fact, the only way I could maybe have been happier with it was if it had stayed that way.
"She's your mom. You wouldn't be here if it wasn't for her."
"And I would never have met you if we hadn't fallen out so badly I wanted to be as far away from her as was humanly possible." So suck it.
"Hey, I might not've even existed."
"I'm just saying that more good things came from it than bad." Unless you count the hissy fits I have at having to talk to my mum again now? Sure I may act like a little kid about it... but there's no way to get through to the bitch without shouting or kicking up a fuss. She's worse at picking up hints than most guys are.
"I guess," Hadley says and I sigh. I didn't mean to rant.
"Sorry," I mutter, snuggling with him, "didn't mean to start going off on one at you about it."
"No worries," he smiles. I bite my lip a tiny bit, only realising that I am when he kisses my cheek. I hold back a sigh, willing myself to stop thinking about it so that I'm not all stressed out and bitchy for the estate agents.
I'm not used to big family meals. Not that four of us really constitutes a big family, but y'know. Even when we all got on, it was a very rare occasion that we'd have a family meal. Maybe when gran was still alive, ‘cause she used to be the cook. But that was when I was like, three, or something.
Yet here I am, sitting in my living room staring at the TV, not especially hungry, and trying to ignore the smell of dinner wafting through from the kitchen.
Granddad is sitting in the arm chair bugging me to change channel and Hadley's in the kitchen doing a much better job of being civil to mum than I am. Eventually, she calls us into the dining room, her and Hadley bringing in a bunch of homemade Chinese food.
It's only because Hadley helped that I'm even going to attempt eating while I'm not hungry.
"So, I hear you're selling this place," my mum starts as I spoon sweet and sour chicken on my plate. I nod, pretending to concentrate on not spilling any.
Let the fun begin.