Half an hour went by. They'd been picking at the food for a while. Lydia had mostly stuck to the odd looking cakey things, as she could never stomach anything that had been drowned in tomato sauce. But even the cakes tasted funny, and for some reason had a greenish tinge.

'Don't worry,' Aiden had told her, a laugh in his voice. 'It'll only last about two hours.'

'What will?' Lydia wanted to know. When she thought about it, she was feeling a bit floaty. There must have been something in the drink after all. She hoped her mother didn't come upstairs and see what a mess she'd made of herself. Perhaps she'd forgive her daughter if she promised to dye her hair back to its proper colour and maybe lose the leather.

Lydia tried to remember what had happened to her other clothes; the boring ones. She might have left them in the bathroom.

She heard someone pass them on the landing and cough, but they didn't come in.

'My clothes,' Lydia said in a stage whisper to Amelia and Aiden. 'I think I left them in the bathroom.'

'Don't worry about it. They have a downstairs toilet they can use.'

'Ha ha ha haaaa,' Amelia giggled. 'The stuffy old tarts, using the toilet. Can you see them with their big pink knickers round their ankles...'

They all laughed.

'Examining the floral wallpaper,' Lydia joined in.

They laughed again.

'I have a really good idea,' Aiden said. 'Let's have the TV back on. Music channel, come on. We'll have a dancing contest.'

'Oh yeah, good idea,' Amelia said, stumbling off the bed. A pillow came off with her and she grabbed it, waltzing round the room. Lydia found herself clapping with Aiden as Amelia danced.

'I can see your knickers now.'

'At least they're not pink!' Amelia laughed.

'Or peach.'

'Ha ha!'

'Come on, come on, museeeeeeeek!'

Aiden dutifully wandered to a dull-looking stripped pine dresser, where the remote was nowhere to be found. He fell back onto the bed, whacking the bridge of his nose on Lydia's hip bone. She rolled out of the way to let him get the remote. It was under the pillow here he'd left it. he pointed it at the set and flicked channels. He found something suitably rock and roll, and then jumped back on the bed, stumbling a little. He then proceeded to jump around wildly and perform impressive windmills on air guitar.

'Come on, Lydia!' he yelled, fringe flying in all directions.

Lydia was so glad nobody was calling her 'Lyddy'. She got up, grinning, and had a go at dancing. She'd never danced before, always huddling in corners when her mother or father packed her off to a school disco. And her parents never had what could be described as wild parties. She was surprised that they were still downstairs, talking. It was nearly ten o'clock. They should have been rushing back for the babysitter they didn't have.

Lydia wasn't able to pull off whatever bizarre gyrations Amelia was attempting, but she managed to jump and wave her arms about. At one point she almost smacked Aiden in the face, but he didn't seem to mind. Then, with Slipknot still hammering out of the TV, they all waltzed together, laughing as they stepped semi-gracefully around the room.

She hadn't been this happy in years.



The End

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