Chapter 1 (cont'd)
“Were you up all night playing games?” He lifted his arms in defence of the raised voice. His mum folded her arms and glared at him.
“Not me, I had a—“ he didn’t finish that sentence, he didn’t want them thinking he was still having bad dreams, “I woke up in the middle of the night and grabbed a drink.” Avoiding her frozen glare, he sat down and dug into his porridge. “Anyway, you were sleep walking last night, I saw you outside on the swings,” that caught her off guard at least. She sat down with him, sipping her cup of coffee. She was seriously addicted to that stuff.
“Really?” Jamie watched her as she watched the drifting steam from the World’s Best Mum mug. He gave her a moment then shouted, “Mum!”
She jerked her eyes up and shook her head.
“Sorry son, was just thinking. I don’t think I’ve ever done that before.” A sudden mischievous glint sparkled in her eyes, “sorry if I spooked you.” Jamie rolled his eyes and ate the rest of his food.
As Jamie picked up his bag for school he looked around before turning to his mum. “Where’s dad?”
She smiled and moved closer to him, “his agent called him away for a month, he’s going on a book tour in America.” She moved a strand of his hair behind his ear. “They’re making the arrangements in the next few days, then he’s leaving this weekend.”
“Oh,” was all he could manage. He turned around and opened the door, put one step outside then looked back at his mum, “does that mean we won’t be camping when school breaks up?” Her mouth sloped downward and she shook her head. Jamie didn’t say anything else, but shut the door a bit too sharply and walked with speed down the street.
“I can’t believe your dad’s ditching you,” Jenny’s nose crinkled as she frowned, “I mean, he’s going to America!” she folded her arms, “he could at least take you with him.”
“Oh yeah?” Adam scoffed, “his dad would spend all his time doing book signings and promoting and Jamie would be locked in his hotel room the whole time. Personally I’d rather just stay at home, even if that means putting up with you,” Jenny punched his arm hard, but couldn’t help laugh a little.
“S’pose you got a point there for once. Least he gets to hang out with us now,” the thought hit her, her mouth slowly opened and she looked at him. A shiver of excitement seemed to rise up as she grabbed his arm tight, “we could go camping!”
“A week stuck in a smelly, tiny tent, in the cold and wet with nothing but you and your snoring—“
“I do not snore!” her face reddened violently as she pushed him against the wall.
“Ow!” he rubbed his shoulder but giggled.
They were always like this. Both of them had been Jamie’s friends for years. Jenny with her brown hair that curled down to her shoulders and those big brown eyes, and Mark with his chestnut hair always cut short and spiked at the fringe and the hazel eyes. They always cheered him up, just being around them he felt lighter and warmer.
“Well what do you thing?” Jenny’s eyes were bulging as she gripped his arms again, the nails digging into his skin.
“First...” Jamie pointedly prised her hands free and rubbed his wrist, “...and although that would be cool, I doubt my mum would let me. You know what my parents are like when it comes to my safety.
Jenny sighed a little. “Could you at least ask?”
Jamie squirmed. He hated asking his parents for anything, his relationship just wasn’t like that. When other kids were getting Xbox 360’s for Christmas he got two t-shirts. But he never felt jealous, that was just how things were.
When he did get home, he spent the whole evening thinking of ways to broach the subject in a way that might persuade them to say yes. But in the end nothing he could think of worked. So he just asked.
“Yes,” his mum smiled happily.
“Really?” she nodded, “is this a trick?” that made her look kind of annoyed.
“Well, it’s unfair that you can’t go with your dad, and you’re old enough to be doing things on your own. Just promise you’ll all be careful and there shouldn’t be a problem.”
“I am sorry mate,” his dad muttered. He cringed at the word mate but other than that, couldn’t help but smile. Going with his dad would have been one kind of fun. Camping out with friends, staying up till whenever he wanted and doing what he wanted would be a whole different kind of fun. But he didn’t let that show.
“Me too, maybe later in the summer?” Then for added effect, “I did really want to go with you.”
“Sure thing mate, I’ll look forward to it,” his dad grinned and ruffled his hair.