Half an hour later and Bec's ready for school. The "Extremely important" Exams are on today and Bec curses the sky for making the Exams on the same day as her birthday. She walks out of her room and into the lounge room. This room had always been overwhelmingly orange! There's an orange rug, orange lamp, orange couch-pillows, orange flowers and recently her mum had experimented with tanning cream, so now, it seemed like her mum intentionally planned to add herself to the list of "orange things in the lounge".
Bec laughs out loud at the sight of her mother laying across the couch, orange as ever!
"Morning mum, I thought you said the orange would wear off!" Bec has another laugh to herself.
"It's all part of the experience" Her mum proudly responds.
Jeremy walks in the room, "Your really embarassing mum", he then starts to laugh a little but walks back out when he thinks laughing may get him into trouble.
Bec sits on the corner of the lounge and continues the conversation.
"Wait!" Her mum exclaims.
"Happy Birthday Darling!" She reaches over to give Bec a loving hug.
Bec is somewhat cautious of hugging her mum while she's orange, she doesn't want to take the risk.
So Bec, on impulse, leans back.
Bec falls off the side of the couch with a *thump!
Her mum is laughing too much, "Bec! Every single time!" & I wide smile spreads across her orange-for-a-head.
Bec picks herself up. "I could have been seriously injured mum!"
"Yes I know Bec .. But it's all part of the experience." Now they're both laughing.
Bec walks towards her room, "I'll be back out mum! I'm just getting my bag then you can give me my present!". When she enters her room the atmosphere feels different. "Jeremy! Have you taken something from my room!"
"No! .. why would I want anything from your room". He says in a suspicious voice.
After having a brief look around her room for anything missing, she picks up her bag and turns to walk out of her room. When she reaches her doorframe, she overhears a conversation. Where are the voices coming from? She thinks to herself. It's only mumbled voices but they're becoming clearer.
It's a female's voice, Bec decides. Two people, maybe three.
"Have you seen her mum! She's an orange, and I mean seriously and orange!
"I know right .. that whole family is strange."
"Shh, we're about to walk past her house."
"Is this Bec's house?"
"Yea, but shut up til we've gone past"
Bec is stunned, She'd heared those words as clear as clear, but from where?!
Bec recounts the conversation. They must be out the front of the house! But how can Bec hear their conversation from all the way over here! Bec's room is on the other side of the house. She drops her bag to the floor then bolts to the front door, almost knocking Jeremy over "Watch it Grandma!" He says.
She reaches the door and swings it open. Nobody.
There's nobody there!
But then she sees a flicker of something down the road.
She runs to the footpath and looks in the direction of the flicker. It's them! The girls she somehow overheard. They're in her grade but she hardly knows them.
She watches them fade away,
Bec says to herself "What the heck just happened!" ..