Jamie tugged at his collar. Tonight was the night. Matt had put some kind of gel in his hair and looked, quite honestly, an eijit. He was also smelling like he’d had a bad encounter with Semi-Chem. Julie looked different too. Jamie squinted at her, trying to figure it out. Legs. They weren’t the usual denim. They were covered with sparkly tights and she was wearing a skirt he’d never seen before. She’d left her hair down too. She was more than his big sister now. She was an actual grown-up.
“You got it J?”
In all the flurry, he’d forgotten. The lead dropped down inside him as he walked seven slow steps to his rumpled bed. He crouched down, hauled it out and held it for a minute.
The only father he’d ever known was on his lap. He’d liked him being there, under his bed. If someone had asked him about his dad, not that they ever did, he would have been able to say, ‘yes, he’s in my flat’, and it would have been the truth. Sort of.
“We need to go. Better wrap that up and put it in your bag.”
Julie put her hand on his shoulder,
“You know what you have to do?”
Jamie nodded and slowly covered the sculpture of the father and son with his pillow case, shoving it into his faded Rangers bag. A sob escaped him. He reached down and pulled it to himself one last time.
“Hurry up Jamie!”
He zipped his ‘dad’ in and carried him out the door.
The three set off into the dreary December dark, their footsteps slapping down the steep hill towards a lit-up St.Anthony’s.
It was time.