By: L.A. Casey

My mother was now snorting from laughing so hard.

"It's not funny, what if I bump into him? He lives in the city centre but has family here in the village. I would freeze up because I'd have no clue what to say to him. I didn’t say goodbye or give him a reason as to why I was leaving. I just ran out on him."

My mother wiped under eyes and smiled. "You could tell him you got a sudden bad case of the runs?"


I shook my head while she cracked up laughing at her sick suggestion.

"I'm sorry," she chuckled. "I couldn't help meself."

I rolled my eyes. "Yeah, yeah. Where is me da? How come he didn't come around to see me?"

My mother grunted. "He has his friends around for the match, it's early kick-off."

That didn't surprise me in the slightest. My father has been a hard-core football fan for as long as I could remember, he lived and breathed football like it was essential to his continued existence. Weekends, and even some weekdays, were a time that my father cherished. It meant football time, and everyone in our household had to respect that or God only knows what would happen.

Men and their sports.

"Must be an important match for it to be on a Wednesday," I commented.

My mothered uncaringly shrugged her shoulders. "He said something about it being the last game the club was playing before taking a break for the Christmas holidays or something like that. I wasn’t really listening to him."

She never did, she hated football.

I smiled. "In that case do you wanna go do breakfast instead of lunch? I have to go to Smyths in the afternoon before they close for the holidays."

Smyths was a huge toy shop for children.

My mother frowned. "What did you forget to buy?"

I gasped with feigned shock, "Why would you think I forgot to buy-"


I groaned at my mother's motherly tell-me-now tone.

"A doll for Charli." I mumbled and avoided eye contact.

Charli was my niece. She was five years old, and was both evil and adorable, but she was also cute enough to make you forget how evil she really was. She told me a few weeks ago that she wanted a doll from me for Christmas, and I told her I'd make it happen. That was before I realised how hard it was going to be to the find the particular doll she wanted.

My mother widened her eyes. "Christmas is in six days!"

Don't remind me.

I winced. "I know, but in me defence, I ordered the doll she wanted online, but bad weather halted the order till January so I just cancelled it and got me money back. I tried other sites, but everywhere is either sold out or couldn't make any deliveries until after Christmas and into New Years."

My mother lifted her hand to her face and pinched the bridge of her nose. I'd bet my life that she wished she had something stronger than a cup of tea to drink right now.

"Nothing is ever an easy ride with you," she muttered and took a gulp of her tea.

I snorted because it was true.

"Are you saying I'm difficult?" I grinned.

My mother cackled, "Honey, you've been difficult since the day you were born. It's a trait you share with Darcy."

The smile that was on my face vanished and my grip on my mug tightened at the mention of his name. My mother knew good and well that any mention of him was not well received around me.

"Don't mention his name in this apartment."

My mother dramatically sighed, "For goodness sakes, Neala, you're twenty-five not five. Both you and Darcy need to get over this childish... thing you both have towards one another.

'Thing' translated into hate.

I growled in annoyance, "I hate him, and he hates me. Period. End of story."

My mother's shoulders slumped as she sighed. "But he is such a nice young man, Neala, couldn't you just-"

"Mother! We have had this conversation a billion times before. I am never having any sort of romantic relationship with Darcy Hart, and that is it."

I had to put my mug on the coffee table across from me because I suddenly felt like hurling it against the wall. I sat back and folded my arms across my chest in anger. This sudden feeling of rage was exactly what Darcy, or any mention of him, did to me. It severely pissed me off and always in record time.

My mother watched me with a raised eyebrow and smiled at me like she knew something I didn't.

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