After the film, Junie finds one of her friends in the cinema and asks if she can go and sleep at her house. I tell her I'll let Mum and Dad know that she's gone. I envy her in a way. I wish I could go with her and not have to be the only one around my parents when they're like this. When I get home, they're both sat on opposite sides of the living room, not speaking. The TV is on but neither of them are watching it.
"Hi." I say cheerily, hoping to lighten the mood.
"Hello sweetheart." my mum says, still a world away.
"Junie has gone to sleep at a friend's house. I told her it'd be okay." I tell them, nibbling my lip as I sit down next to Mum.
"Yeah, that's fine." Dad says.
I sit there for another couple of hours, just watching TV but it's unbearable. I tell them I'm tired and want to go to bed and I sit in my old room and cry. I don't know what it is about seeing your parents like that but it makes everything seem wobbly, like if even they can't get it together, nothing can. I phone Ed and he doesn't pick up at first. I don't want to bug him but I can't help it. I phone him again and he doesn't answer again. In the end I just leave a message telling him to ring me when he can.
"Sorry, Dais, I was in a meeting." he says, sounding concerned even though for all he knows I could just be phoning him for a chat. I love how well he knows me. "Is everything okay?"
"No." I say, trying to stop my voice from shaking. "It's so bad here. I just want to go back to Cambridge."
He sighs. "I'm sorry. That's shit. You're only staying for a couple of days though, right? You've just got tomorrow and then you're coming back."
"Yeah." I say, feeling calmer. "I just really don't know what to do about it all. I don't want to leave Junie here."
"Junie will be okay." he promises. "It's not your responsibility. Talk to your parents, tell them to get it together, whatever you think is going to work but you just staying there and keeping her busy won't fix anything."
"I know." I sigh.
"Don't stress about it, Dais. You know how things are, they always work out don't they?"
No I think but I just say "Yeah, you're right."
"I'm really sorry but I have to go and tutor a student. I'll see you tomorrow night, okay?"
"Yeah." I say. "Thank you."
"Whatever you need." he says and hangs up the phone.