I'm not good at maths at all. The numbers wriggle around in my head and I hardly ever get the right answers. I don't mind maths homework though; Lauren is quite happy doing it as I always bribe her with money. But it's so much harder in lessons; it's not like I can hide a minature Lauren under my desk and get her to do sums for me. Especially under Fudge's beady eye.
"Why can't you just try Amelia?" she once asked me.
If only it was that easy; I'm pretty sure I'd still be failing maths even if I did try and spent hours revising at home. It's not like I'd need maths anyway. Not when I want to become a poet anyway; it's not like you need to know the square route of 64 when you write poetry. I'm quite good at it apparently. Probably even the best in the class, wait no, the year. And I'm pretty good at reading poetry too. I don't mumble when I read out loud; I make sure my that my voice is always very loud and clear ever since Mum told me that's how poets read out their work.
So anyway, whilst we were coming towards an end of another boring maths lesson, and I was glancing at the clock in hope that time would go faster, Mrs Fudge declared that we had a new class project.
"What on?" asked Jemima-A-K-A-future-wannabe-chav-Williams.
Mrs Fudge grinned. "On anything you find interesting."
Immediately the class filled with excited chatter, whilst we discussed what we were planning to do our project on. I knew what I was going to do almost instantly: a poetry book with loads of poems in (obviously) and perhaps loads of drawings as well. I'm hopeless at art so I decided I'd badger Mum or maybe Lauren to have a go.
Nearly half the girls in my class decided to do their project on Justin Beiber, or One Direction, or JLS, and almost all the boys did theirs on football, except Scott, the smartest boy in my class who wanted to do his about maths (of course nobody dared judge him in Mrs Fudge's lesson).
Once we had come up with what we wanted to do our project about, Mrs Foster declared that the winner would win... guess what?
Not just a packet of Haribo, or a bar of Galaxy, but a HUGE bag full of it. Not forgetting seven free tickets into Cadbury World. The prize was simply meant for me to win.
Over the next few weeks, I worked for hours on my project after school, sometimes in school, when it was Maths, but secretly under my desk.
I know what your thinking. Hello Amelia, it's just a bag of sweets and some tickets. Get a life already.
But it must have been just a week earlier when I heard Mum muttering something to Dad, making me realise that I wouldn't be going on any fancy trips or getting anything nice for a long time.
It was something I wouldn't have otherwise heard if she thought that I was asleep.
Mum had lost her job.