So, here I was, walking to this dead girl’s parent’s house. What mother would do this to their own son?

I knocked on the door and Debbie opened the door, “Thank you so much for coming make, you have no idea how much this means to us.”

I muttered something along the lines of “you’re welcome” and slouched in. Nothing had changed.

Debbie’s mouth was beaming so much I thought it would crack at the sides, but her eyes remained distant, “You can put your shoes under the mirror and can hang your coat up on the spare peg over there.”

I hung my jacket up, next to a white cardigan, and placed my trainers next to a pair of smart loafers. I kept my bags with me.

Debbie’s smile widened, “Excellent, let me show you to your room”

I was led up a staircase and down a corridor until we came to a closed door. On one side of the door was another, with a bathroom, and the other side was a door with a picture of a tropical beach on it, under the huge sign saying, ‘Welcome to Paradise’ on it. From the glaze on Debbie’s face, determinedly looking away from it, I guessed it was Leila’s room.  Debbie opened the door in front of us and lead me into a pretty big bedroom with a single bed, wooden wardrobe and chest of draws. It certainly was not a boy’s room, as it had a lace cover over the chest of draws and the curtains had some sort of blue flower all over them, but it was clean and airy.

Debbie was looking at me to see my reaction, “We can clean it for you, if you like, as long as you keen it tidy, or alternatively you can just bring the bed stuff down when it needs cleaning…”

“It’s lovely, thank you.” I said robotically. I put my stuff on my bed and sat down.

Debbie’s smile did not fade, “Good. I’ve spoken to your school, they are now aware of the situation, you’ll catch a slightly later bus, so you can have more of a lie in. Dinner is at seven, and Leila always made sure her homework was done before then. Of course, I know young men like to go out in an evening, but please make sure it is never on a school night…”

“Oh, it’s okay. I don’t go out.” Not by choice, more sort of money problems than anything else.

“Oh, good,” Debbie said, “If you ever need something, all you have to do is ask. If you want a laptop for your homework, we were going to get one for Leila as some point, we can give you that. An ipod? Leila was never very materialistic, but she did like her music. Apart from that pocket money is £5 a week. School supplies and books are always paid for by us…”

I could not believe how much they were offering me. All of a sudden, all I had to do was ask, and I was given the money. I could get my new mobile! Then I realised I was new. Probably best not to demand things straight away.

“I do have a job. Is it okay if I keep it? It’s only Friday and Sunday nights” I asked.

Debbie’s smile faded a bit, but she quickly said “Of course.  As long as it does not interfere with your schoolwork. Do you have a girlfriend?”

“No,” again not by choice.

“Right” she said, “Leila didn’t have a boyfriend, said they were a waste of space.”

She looked around the room, and said, “I’ll let you unpack. I’ll call you for dinner.” She started towards the door, before saying “thanks” again, then disappeared.

I sat on the bed. I could be happy here, I thought. But then I remembered, why did Leila want me here in the first place?

The End

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