Taslima and Cordelia have both gone now. Taslima couldn’t wait, apparently, to clean out her goldfish tank, while Cordelia just had to go home and babysit her Mum’s pet bat.
‘Call us later!’ Taslima giggled as she made her way up the front path.
‘Yeah, we’ll get ALL the goss then!’ Cordelia smiled mischievously.
As I pass the mirror at the foot of the stairs I check my teeth for bits of stray spinach2 – or anything else that might make me unkissable. Then I stick my head round Pip’s door and warn her – on pain of a slow and tortuous death – NOT to come anywhere near my room. Finally, I head into my own room and close the door firmly.
Twig’s standing by the window, gazing out into the leaves of the big old tree. When he turns round and smiles, my heart soars like it’s going to fly right up out of the top of my head.
‘Have you got a computer?’ he asks.
My heart falters mid-soar. A computer! I had kinda hoped he would say, why don’t you play guitar while I listen adoringly . . .
‘There’s only Dad’s.’ I sigh, wondering if I’ve got Twig all wrong. ‘It’s prehistoric. There’s no decent games or anything.’
‘Great,’ Twig says. ‘There’s something I want to show you. Do you have the Internet?’
‘Yeah,’ I nod. My heart fl utters helplessly in a downward spiral. I mean, if he’s just going to play computer all afternoon, I’d be as well helping Taslima clean her goldfish bowl!
As we traipse downstairs to Dad’s study – which isn’t really a study at all, just a converted cupboard – there’s a delicious smell wafting from the kitchen. I guess Mum’s baking her extra special homemade gingerbread to prove to the journalist she’s a good mother and we’re a normal family.
Twig grins up at me as we wait for Dad’s computer to whirr into life.
‘Aren’t you going to sit down?’ He shifts along the old piano stool we use as a seat. ‘There’s plenty of room.’
‘I’m OK here, honest!’ I insist, standing by the door. ‘You won’t be long, will you?’
‘Got it!’ he says suddenly. ‘How do you put the volume up?’
But I don’t answer. I can’t. I’m staring at the scr een. Flabbergasted. Stunned. Because it’s me. At the Bluebell Wood protest. Playing guitar and singing!