By Laurene Kelly
Fourteen-year-old Julie begins crying on Monday while issues move badly in school. even supposing cheered up by means of her puppy, Jessie, issues will not be far better at domestic. they usually pass from undesirable to worse. at the day Julie and her brother, Toby choose to subscribe to Ruby on the neighborhood waterhole, there's an coincidence. yet whatever extra is inaccurate. Her father is in health facility and Jessie isn't there to greet her.
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I think like asking him to stick. To by no means depart this room. yet i do know that quickly he'll go away and. .. I’m going to ring him that evening. I’m not likely to write down something down. i'd now not even say something. simply hearken to him breathe. Lucy and Jim are by myself. To the area they appear to be doing o.k.: they've got jobs, associates, pursuits (well, variety of).
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Still no Toby. Maybe he walked into town with his mates. I went to the milk bar first, but he wasn’t there. I saw a couple of boys from his class across the road. ’ I called to them. ‘Yeah,’ one of them answered. ’ I was shocked. Toby usually had a pretty even temper. Something pretty serious must have happened for him to lose it like that. I crossed the road. ’ The boy looked at the other two. ’ ‘Well . . I think I might,’ Jimmy Allen answered. ’ ‘It was Mr Peters’s fault. He called him a bastard.
She passed the bottle to me. I took a big swig. It felt good. ’ Toby said, looking at the town clock as if that would help. ’ ‘We can’t. ’ I gave him the look that said, D-A-D. Remember? ‘Dad’s a prick,’ he said. ‘I thought you said because of your mum,’ Ruby said to me in quite a hostile way. ‘It’s because of Mum,’ I lied, and of course went red. How embarrassing. It felt as though I’d been caught in something really bad. I hated lying, but sometimes you just had to. Especially when you didn’t want to hurt people’s feelings.
Maybe I hadn’t asked it out loud, just imagined I did. She turned and faced me. I looked straight back, praying I wasn’t going to cop a mouthful. ‘I stayed because I thought it best for you children. I didn’t have any money and just couldn’t see any way out of here. ’ She started crying. ’ Toby put his arms around her. ’ He looked at me for confirmation. I shook my head signalling don’t say anything about us having talked about it. ‘Yeah, we could all nick off. Catch the train. We could stay with Aunt Jean in Sydney.