“Hurry up,” my mum called from the bottom of the stairs.

 I picked up my bag-almost tripping over a drawer on the floor-jerked the door open and sprang downstairs-forgetting to close the door behind me.

Mum was waiting in the corridor dangling a pair of black dolly shoes on the tip of her fingers, “Don’t forget these”, she reminded me, expression slightly smug.

 “Right,” I said as I took them off her.

 Still standing, I balanced on one leg to shove one of the shoes on-I swayed, grabbed hold of mum and fell down, hitting my head against the radiator with a clang. We landed with a heavy thud and became a tangled muddle.

 “Ouch,”  mum and I muttered at the same time.

“Oops!” I said.

Ugh, why did I have to be such a cluts all the time? I was a nuisance.

 We untangled our legs; I sprang to my feet and offered my hand. She took it willingly, I heaved as she gradually and stiffly rose-all the while holding back a laughing fit. I rolled my eyes at her giddiness-wasn’t that something I was supposed to do?

When she got to her feet she took her hands away and I continued to lean backwards, still thinking she needed to be pulled up. I fell and landed with my arms spread out, catching myself.

 “Ugh”, I moaned.

 It was then her turn to reach out her hand. I was okay though, so I shook my head at her.

“I’ll wait in the car,” she’d told me as she strolled towards the kitchen door-that led to where the car was parked, directly opposite our house.

 I rose quickly to my feet, picked my bag up from the floor and sprang to the kitchen. I heard the faint rumble as our car started.

I opened the kitchen door and hesitated with one foot outside-house keys in hand, ready to lock the door behind me.

 I whipped my head around to look up at the pale yellow wall on my right side and checked the time on the chunky silver clock that hung upon it.  The time read 8:35am. I turned back around, jumped out of the door and shut it behind me-with slightly too much force.

With the silver key in my right hand, I placed it in the lock, giving a sharp twist of my wrist.

 

I shoved the key into a pocket in my bag and glanced over to where the red Renault car was with mum in it waving and beeping the horn impatiently. I hurled myself down the steep narrow drive which led to the car- the bag thumping against my right side.

 As I approached, the engine revved. I flung the passenger door open and climbed in, closing it after me.

Mum pulled out and checked if there were any traffic oncoming.

“Have you got your books?”

“Yes,” I replied as I glared out the windscreen window-which was covered in the remains of dead, splattered bugs.

“Do you have your umbrella?”

“I don’t need one.” I said, pointing at the small screen in the centre of the dashboard-in the corner of the screen there was a display reading 19’C.

“Okay, Okay. Just saying. I guess the weatherman was wrong again-so much for a downpour of hail and rain.”

“Uhuh.”  

 

I glanced at the face of my mother.

A Sudden flash of the dream came back to me, hitting me with a full force. Her mouth hung open; her eyes were wide and rolling with pain, body twitching as the flames engulfed her.

 A rush of oxygen dragged itself to my mouth.

 I took my eyes away from her, turned on the radio and looked out the window trying to force back the tears which were pooling in my eyes.

My peripheral vision caught the movement made by her turning her head.

“What’s wrong?” she asked.

 Unable to look at her again and unable to trust my voice, I shook my head and turned the volume of the radio up.

 I heard her sigh slightly.

 I had to avoid looking at her. I’d try to be subtle about it.

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