Girls in Tears

Girls in Tears by Jacqueline Wilson

Book: Girls in Tears by Jacqueline Wilson Read Free Book Online
Authors: Jacqueline Wilson
Tags: Fiction
and Russell and I start sobbing again and I sob and sob until we get home.
    He tells the taxi to wait and then he helps me up the drive and knocks on the door. Dad comes out in his bathrobe and stares at me in alarm. I think he’s going to start blaming my Mr. Dream Man for my condition so I start burbling about his coming to my rescue. Mercifully Dad cottons on and thanks him and then Mr. Dream Man (I
can’t
call him Kev) kisses me on the forehead and says he’ll look out for me and that he hopes I’ll feel better soon.
    It’s so sweet of him—though I’ll never ever feel better. Nothing in this whole world can ever make me feel happy again.
    When I’m indoors Dad begs me to tell him exactly what’s happened. I can’t bear to talk about it but Dad won’t quit asking me stuff. Anna comes downstairs and I just have to whisper three words—Russell and Magda. She puts her arms round me and rocks me as if I’m as young as Eggs.
    “Poor little Ellie,” Dad says, patting my shoulders. “Still, Russell’s not the only boy in the world. I’ve actually always thought he’s a bit of a pompous git, but there you go—”
    “Shut up,” says Anna fiercely. “It’s not just the Russell thing. It’s because it’s Russell and
Magda
.”
    Russell and Magda, Russell and Magda, Russell and Magda. Will he start going out with Magda now? Will he meet her after school? Will he take her on our special walks and do all our special things? Will he give Magda a ring too?
    I go over it endlessly after Anna puts me to bed. I’m back at the party, stumbling toward the stairs, and then I see them together, Russell and Magda, rewinding throughout the night. . . .
    The phone rings and I sit up in bed, my heart thumping. I hear Dad’s voice sleepily answering. Then he sounds angry. “Yes, she has got home safely, no thanks to you. No, you can’t talk to her. It’s the middle of the night. She’s fast asleep and I’m certainly not disturbing her. Goodnight.”
    I start crying again, my hands over my mouth and nose to muffle it. I hope Dad thinks I’m really asleep, but a minute later I hear footsteps.
    There’s a whisper outside my door. “Ellie? Ellie, are you still awake? Can I come in?”
    I don’t answer but Dad comes in anyway. I’m crying too much to protest.
    “Oh, darling.” Dad sits on the end of my bed and scoops me up in a big bear hug. Even though he’s been so mean recently I can’t help hugging him back.
    “Oh, Dad, I’m so unhappy,” I sob.
    “I know, Ellie, I know.” Dad holds me tight.
    “You
don’t
know, Dad. It hurts so.”
    “I do know. I hurt too,” says Dad.
    It’s as if we’re back in the past and Mum’s just died and all we can do is cling together for comfort.
    “Was that Russell on the phone?”
    “Yes. Anna says I should have asked you if you wanted to speak to him.”
    “No, I didn’t!”
    “That’s what I thought. But maybe I should have asked. I don’t seem to know how to get on with you nowadays, Ellie.”
    “Or with Anna.”
    Dad stiffens, but I feel him nod, his beard brushing against my forehead. “Or Anna,” he repeats.
    “Dad, you and Anna—you’re not breaking up, are you?” I whisper against his chest.
    “No! No, of course not. Why, Anna hasn’t said we are, has she?”
    “No, but you both get at each other all the time and you keep staying out late.”
    “Yes, well, Anna and I will sort things out, don’t worry,” Dad says gruffly.
    “Dad, when you stay out late—?”
    “Look, Ellie, never you mind about me. Let’s think about you. I feel very very sorry for you, but I’m cross too, because you’ve obviously been drinking quite a lot. I don’t really mind if you try half a lager or a few sips of wine, but surely you must realize it’s crazy to start on spirits. You could make yourself really ill, even end up in hospital. . . .”
    Dad drones on and on while I sob weakly. What do I care about drink? I’m never going to a party ever again.

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