Sandy finds out a secret
Sandy prepared for her day as she did every morning, eaten breakfast, made sure for the fourth or fifth time her books and homework were in her bag, picked up her lunchbox and kissed her mum goodbye. She noticed the change in her mum's eyes; they looked darker, lost somehow. Sandy knew why but she couldn't speak to her about it, at only thirteen what could be said between a daughter and her mother.
Sandy shut the blue-grey door behind her as usual, feeling her eyes prickle but blinked and blamed it on the sudden sunlight as she greeted her friends outside. George, or Georgina, as her parents insisted on calling her was more intuitive than most and Sandy hoped she hadn't noticed her watery eyes, unfortunately, she couldn't hide anything from George and she pestered her all the way to school about what was wrong; Sandy fobbed her off with just a silly argument with the 'rents.
Sandy was distracted all day and was relieved George wasn't in most of her classes, so she didn't have to suffer the third degree. The problem was, she didn't know what to do with what she'd learned, what she'd overheard the night before. Uncle Graham had popped over to see them; dad was out at the pub as he always was on a Friday, darts night. Uncle Graham wasn't related to them at all, he was her dad's best friend, he was, however, rubbish at darts, so avoided the pub on Fridays in case he was roped in. Both Sandy and her younger brother Sam were upstairs in their bedrooms doing homework; well Sandy was, what Sam was doing was anyone's business because he hardly ever managed to get his homework done on time. Sandy had finished her homework and decided to go to the bathroom. Sandy peeked into Sam's room; he was playing games on his phone, headphones on, music playing, definitely not doing his homework. She wished her homework had taken longer, that there'd been no need to go to the bathroom, anything other than what occurred.
It was lunchtime and knew it would be impossible to avoid George; sure enough, she was in the hall and beckoning Sandy to join her at their small table. Alongside her were her other friends from her school walk, Jen and Tommy. They were twins, a year older than George and Sandy. They'd all been friends since junior school; they thought their friendships would drift apart, especially with Jen and Tommy going to senior school first, but it was as strong as ever. Still, this change in Sandy's life, this new understanding wasn't something she could share with anyone yet; she wasn't sure she believed it herself.
George had asked her several times during lunch what was up with her, but she brushed her off, putting it down to lack of sleep. However, she'd been playing back the events of the night before in her head all day.
It was on her return from the bathroom she'd overheard a conversation between her mum and Uncle Graham. Their voices were slightly raised, and her mum hushed him, so Sandy and Sam didn't hear. This, of course, piqued Sandy's interest, as it would most children, so she stopped. As she listened, she heard Graham demanding money from her mum, Sandy was about to go downstairs and tell him to leave her mum alone, when she realised her mum was pleading with him not to tell Sandy's dad something. Sandy didn't know what it was. She stood there, not wanting to listen but unable to move, her mum now arguing with Graham, she wasn't prepared to pay him, so he threatened her again, now he was going to tell Sandy. Sandy began to shake and wanted to run to her room, but her legs froze, then words drifted up to her she hadn't expected to hear, ever. Her dad wasn't her dad, uncle Graham was; eventually, she crept to her bedroom and cried uncontrollably.
Did her mum sense the kiss Sandy gave her, as she left for school was different from those she gave her each day, was she even aware Sandy knew her secret?