Little Darlings

Little Darlings by Jacqueline Wilson

Book: Little Darlings by Jacqueline Wilson Read Free Book Online
Authors: Jacqueline Wilson
like a proper father to you.’
    â€˜I’ve got a proper mother. I don’t want him for a father, not now.’
    â€˜No, no, you mustn’t take that attitude, babes.Don’t blame him. If he’d realized you were there then he’d have been so thrilled. It was just that Suzy – and it’s clear that she’s really, really insecure.’
    â€˜Really, really a prize cow,’ I say. ‘You know what, Mum? I feel truly sorry for Sunset. Imagine having Suzy for your mother!’
    Mum gives me a wan smile. ‘Yeah, it beats me what Danny sees in her,’ she says. ‘OK, sweetheart, I’m off now. Try to get to bed early. You need to catch up on your sleep.’
    She gives me a kiss. When I look in the mirror again I see a ghost red mouth on my cheek. I finish my toasted cheese and Mum’s portion too, and then I prowl around the house, too wired up to sit and watch television. I think about Sunset in her great big mansion. She’ll have one of those televisions as big as a cinema screen. Perhaps there’s one in every room in the house. There must be so many rooms. Would they really use them all? I imagine sitting for ten minutes on a huge leather sofa in one room, then walking to the next room and curling up in a big velvet chair, then two minutes later going to loll on a Victorian chaise longue, changing seats dozens of times throughout the evening, with kitchen intervals to fix myself snacks.
    Perhaps she has a whole suite of bedrooms too –one for each day of the week, with individual themes and colour schemes. I think up an ultra-girly pink room with rosebuds in pink glass vases and pink teddies and a candy-striped duvet and Sunset’s very own pink candyfloss machine. Then I invent a blue room with blue fairy lights and a blue moon painted on the ceiling and an
en suite
blue bath with dark-blue dolphin taps. I decide on a sunshine room with a huge cage of singing canaries and big bowls of bananas and smiley suns all over the walls, and by contrast an entirely black room with a black velvet duvet and black satin sheets and an enormous black toy panther curled up on top. Then she might have a Victorian room with a four-poster bed and a scrap screen and a rocking horse, or an ultra-modern room with elegantly stark furniture and odd glowing lamps and a trapeze hanging from the ceiling. Best of all, she could have a round bedroom with a soft curved bed and shelves of round Russian dolls and a little trapdoor in the middle of the room, so that when she gets hot she can put on her swimming costume, open the trapdoor, and slide all the way down to a turquoise swimming pool in the basement.
    I get my homework jotter out of my school bag, tear out a page, and do tiny drawings of each bedroom, so that I’ll remember each one.
    Then I go into my own bedroom. I look up at the big damp patch on the ceiling (the roof leaks every time it rains). I look down at the fraying carpet squares on the floor. I look at my old bed with my faded duvet bears waving wanly at me.
    I go to bed but I can’t get to sleep. I toss and turn for hours until I hear Mum’s key in the lock at last. I hear her tiptoeing about in the dark.
    â€˜It’s OK, Mum, I’m still awake,’ I call.
    â€˜You’re a bad girl then. Go to sleep at once!’ says Mum, but she’s not really cross.
    She takes off her clothes and crawls into my bed, and we spend the night huddled together under Pinky and Bluey. Neither of us sleeps much, even though we’re exhausted. Mum gets up first and brings me a cup of tea on a tray – but I don’t want to wake up now.
    â€˜I’ve set your alarm for eight. Promise you’ll get up then,’ Mum frets, sipping her tea as she gets dressed. ‘Destiny? Promise!’
    â€˜Maybe,’ I mumble, sliding back down under the duvet.
    â€˜You do as you’re told,’ says Mum, prodding me. ‘Come on, babe,

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