I call my bestie, Samantha and invite her over. She just lives in this same block. The two of us turn off all the lights and snuggle down with Chardonnay on the couch. I start surfing the channels. There's loads of boring stuff on and just as I'm about to give up, I see Mom and her friend Charmaine's faces splashed all over Crimewatch. My heart drops and my tummy starts spinning like a washing machine on full wash.
"Err....Clare, isn't that your mom? And look-they're wanted for theft and fraud!" Samantha edges closer to the screen. I'm just sitting there staring at the telly. My mouth has turned into the Sahara Desert and I don't want to watch-but my hands just won't make the remote work.
Before I can say a word, the doorbell rings.I open the door and Samantha's dad is standing there. And his face is boiling mad.
"Sam, grab your things. You are not staying in the house of a thief and fraudster's daughter!" Sam's dad snarls. Sam tries to argue but her dad shoots her down with a glare. He seizes her things and drags her out. She barely has time to flash me a 'K.I.T.' sign before her dad slams the door in my face.
My whole body turns to jelly. I'm freezing and shaking all over.I close the curtains, hide under the duvet with Chardonnay and wait.
"Quick, babe! We're leaving,now!" Mom shouts, slamming the front door, nearly tripping over Chardonnay who's wagging her tail madly.Mom rushes around, pulling our suitcases from the cupboard.
"Mom," I say, trying hard not to let my voice shake."You're in big trouble, aren't you?"
Mom deflates like a pricked balloon. I stare cold eyes at her.
"I didn't want to!" Mom wails. "But then Charmaine turned up with a huge sports car she'd stolen and I couldn't resist....The money we spent today was from selling the car...But you still trust me, right, Clare?"
Mom's eyes start welling up and I don't wanna make her cry, so I squash my worries down and try to get on into a holiday mood. I start packing too and I put on a cheery face to calm her down. When you've got a mom like mine, you get really good at hiding your feelings so she doesn't get super mad.
After a while Mom hustles Chardonnay into her puppy carrier and we head off to the ground floor waiting area. A light blue convertible is waiting there,with Charmaine sitting at the driver's seat chugging down a can of Coke. We toss our luggage into the boot and jump on. Mom starts chatting with Charmaine, her voice all high and squeaky. I close my eyes and try not to let my worries rise up like a wave of lava.