Deciding that nobody was up for a second round, the 6 kids sprawled out on Emily’s bed, chilling out and chatting. They were all exhausted after a long, eventful day, although none of them wanted to concede defeat and go to sleep. Well, apart from Danielle – they’d left her too it after she’d stomped off to bed in a huff, and she still lay perfectly still on the camp bed in the corner of the room, hidden from view by her sleeping bag.
Taking the opportunity to catch up with the online world, Lucy picked up her phone and flicked through the various messages and status updates that she’d missed. She noticed that Daniel had tagged her in his new profile picture, and gave him a playful dig in the ribs for his trouble.
“Thanks ‘mate’!” She responded to his confused look as he rubbed his side. “Now the whole world is going to see me in this damned dinosaur nightie. Then again, the whole world is going to see you in Laura’s nightie, so I guess it’s worth it.”
Returning her attention to her phone screen, Lucy’s gaze was drawn by a photo that had appeared in her timeline. She could see her brother Jack and this mate Tom, but they were with some strange family. Hmm, how odd, she thought as she zoomed in for a closer look. It took her a moment, but then the realised that her Mum was there too – she was behind the group of kids, but…who was that man with his arm around her? Confused, and a little concerned, she clicked to read the caption, and saw at once that it had been posted by Ellie, the girl who had been messaging her earlier.
Determined to get the bottom of things, she quickly clicked through to Ellie’s profile and sent her a message, hoping that she’d still be awake even though it’s late.
‘Hey Ellie, sorry it’s late. How’s your day been? Just seen your photo, looks like you guys had a good time! Am I seeing thing, or is that your Dad with his arm around my Mum??’
Whilst waiting to see if she replied, Lucy rolled over and snuggled up next to Daniel, curling her legs over his. He smiled sweetly at her, stroking her hair gently as he continued to state at his own phone, playing some game or other to pass the time.
After a few minutes, with Lucy’s eyes beginning to feel heavy, she was disturbed by a buzzing from her phone. Glancing eagerly at the screen, she was pleased to see a message from Ellie.
‘Hiya Lucy, it’s been a blast thanks! Yeah, I think our parents have kinda hit it off together. It’s a bit odd, but very sweet. Think we’re heading over to yours tomorrow for tea, so if you’re home by then I’ll see you there.’
Lucy was amazed, but too tired to think straight, and very nearly dropped off to sleep before she could fire off a quick reply.
‘Blimey, talk about fast movers, haha. Yeah I’ll be home, look forward to meeting you. G’nite Ellie.’
As soon as her finger hit the send button, the phone had dropped out of her hands and her eyes had closed, breathing deeply as she fell into a deep sleep, not even realising that all of her friends around her had done likewise over the past few minutes.
Not long afterwards, Lisa had awoken to find herself still stretched out on the sofa, with the TV playing in the background, sound turned down low. She glanced at her watch, it was gone midnight, definitely time to head up to bed.
Turning the TV off and taking her empty glass through to the kitchen, Lisa crept up the stairs, careful not to disturb the kids who she was hoping would be asleep by now. As she reached the landing, hearing no noise coming from Emily’s bedroom she deduced to peek in just to make sure that everybody was ok. Popping her head around the door, she was met with the sight of 5 girls plus Daniel spread out across the bed, all fast asleep and looking so peaceful with Daniel still wearing the pink nightie she’d seen him in earlier, and curled up protectively around Lucy.
Thinking that she really hoped Dan’s little nighttime issue didn’t put in an appearance, partly because she was sure he’d be mortified if it happened whilst he was sleeping with the others like that but also, selfishly because Emily’s mattress hadn’t been protected for years now, and would cost a fortune to replace if it got ruined. She was half tempted to wake him so that he could nip to the loo, but didn’t have the heart to disturb them when they looked so comfortable. Besides, she thought to herself, he’d been sensible by only taking the smallest drink earlier, and the chances are he wouldn’t sleep half as deeply here as he did at home, so the chances are he’d be fine.
Glancing around the room before closing the door and heading off towards her own bed, Lisa was surprised to see the shape of a body huddled up on one o the camp beds in the corner of the room, and a quick look over the girls sleeping on the bed revealed that it must be Danielle. She’d noticed a bit of awkwardness between them earlier, but thought that whatever had happened had blown over. Evidently not, either that or the girl really liked her personal space when sleeping. Ah well, they were all well away now, so it was something to ask about I the morning, when she was feeling a bit more awake and alert.
Wearily she dragged herself off to bed, stopping briefly in the bathroom to take care of her ablutions before stripping off and clambering under her soft, warm duvet. Within moments of her head hitting the pillow, Lisa was out like a light.2
Audio Version of Chapter