I was actually pleased to be back at school and to normal life again. It was good to see my friends and to have something else to think about and talk about other than my family tree. There was somebody I was dreading seeing again, however, and that was Carey. But as soon as he spotted me he came straight over.
“Hello Lacy, how are you doing?”
“Oh hi Carey, good thanks.”
“I was really worried about you, what made you fall over like that?”
“Err, I don’t know, it was just one of those things, I guess.”
“Look, I’m sorry I never told you about Lucy. I wasn’t seeing her when I asked you out, honest.”
I could feel my face go scarlet. “Don’t worry, Carey, I’m over it.”
He looked relieved. “I felt guilty in Burger Man, I thought it was my fault.”
“No, I wasn’t that devastated,” I laughed.
Luckily, Karina had seen him talking to me and came to my rescue.
“Hi Lacy, have you done your project yet?” she asked, as she whisked me away.
It was nice to have another best friend at school now that Annabel was away, and we had a good catch up.
“I see you’re still wearing that cross,” she said with a shiver.
“It’s my good luck token,” I replied. “It’ll keep me safe.”
“Have you found out anything else?”
“Well, not really, but I think Councillor Duncan’s son might be working at the Council, so I’m going to investigate.”
Karina looked worried.
“Be careful, Lacy, he wasn’t a very nice man and his son might not be, either.”
Then I changed the subject and we spoke about girly things. Unfortunately, Karina was in a higher stream than me so we weren’t in the same class for many lessons, but there was always lunchtime and after school. I handed in my history project and the teacher made a comment because I was one of the first students to hand it in and there were only three weeks left to the deadline.
“And only two weeks ’til my birthday,” I thought. I still hadn’t asked anyone to come for a meal and to the Pictures with me, but would have to do it soon. I would wait for Annabel to come home first, I decided. She was flying back early tomorrow morning, so not long to wait now.
When I got home I noticed a large brown envelope on the doormat, but as it was addressed to Mum I thought I’d better let her open it. I thought it was probably the birth and marriage certificates and really wanted to have a look, but instead I went upstairs to work on my computer, where there was a message from Annabel waiting for me.
“Mum said would you like to come round for tea tomorrow after school?”
I quickly replied, “Yes please! Can’t wait to see you again!” And I thought, “Wow, that’s never happened before.”
Eventually I heard Mum come in through the front door and listened as she put the kettle on and ripped the letter open. I left it a few moments strategically in case she was upset by reading anything, but then couldn’t wait any longer and ran downstairs. To my surprise she had a big smile on her face.
“Guess what’s happened?” she asked.
“You got a pay rise?”
“No, I had a ’phone call today from Susan at the Library, and she offered me the job!”
“Oh Mum, that’s fantastic!” I gave her a big hug. “When do you start?”
“On Wednesday,” she replied. “Wednesday’s and Friday’s each week, 2 ’til 5.”
“I can come and meet you after school, if you like?” I offered.
“Well, as long as you don’t put me off,” Mum laughed.
“No, I’ll just sit at the back and watch,” I told her. “I’m serious about wanting to learn sign language.”
Mum looked pleased.
“I’ve got another surprise for you,” she said, picking up the large brown envelope from the table. “I sent off for a holiday around the date of your birthday, and I’ve managed to get us the weekend Friday the 2nd to Monday the 4th March in Gratestone, Kent.”
“Oh, that’s lovely. Thanks, Mum!” I exclaimed, genuinely impressed. My birthday was on Saturday the 3rd so that meant we’d actually be on holiday then.
“And I’ve booked us four places, so you can bring two of your friends.”
“Karina and Annabel?” I asked, getting excited.
“It’s your choice,” Mum replied. “And you won’t even need to miss any school, because we can travel there on Friday night and come back on the Sunday evening.”
That was great news, because whenever I’d asked Annabel before her parents had always made an excuse about her not missing school, and our holidays always seemed to be during school times.
After tea, Mum said that she was a bit worried that her sign language was rusty, so I asked her to show me the Signing alphabet, which was interesting. Then she put the news channel on and I watched her practising to it until by the end of the evening she was really fast, and she seemed satisfied.
I went to bed feeling happy with life in general and the holiday in particular.