"Just use your imagination, Babe." If her father said it one more time she was going to scream.
As of now, or maybe a week or so, they were down and out. They were evicted from the only home she'd ever known. And now it was the two of them in Mrs. Jones' boarding house. And just a room at that, for the both of them.
Naturally, he got the bed and she got the mat on the floor with her Hello Kitty sleeping bag.
Of course, no one could quite imagine the magnitude of her new life. Sure, she was in the same school. Her friends hadn't changed because they didn't really know she'd changed.
For now, she would have to remember the song in her head if she wanted to listen to music because her dad couldn't exactly afford anything these days. But then again, he was off to the pub.
So as the night crept in and she'd watched the hula-hoop dancers and listened to more drumming than she thought possible, Tara decided to stay. Where else was she to go on this October evening? Besides the only song in her head was some old Depeche Mode song where the words "Never Again is what you said the Time before." felt endless.
Of course, she loved and hated the tune at the same time. The beat of the melody made her happy and yet when she thought of the words she became even more miserable. What on earth had Dad done with the money? Been at the cards, had he?
She did her best not to dwell on such an ill revelation, but it wouldn't exactly go away. Then her tummy started to rumble. She was sure her dad had plenty for a lager while all he'd given her was a smile and a pat on the head.
He was truly a strange creature, but he was all she had. She didn't have normal like her friend Emmy with a Mum and Dad along with a brother who she could picture the whole family.. sitting down to a nice shepherd's pie with extra veggies on the side.. like butter carrots and peas. She closed her eyes imaging the sweet and salty taste.
Tara bet Emmy's mum had a good brew waiting as soon as Emmy got home from school. Of course, as she sat on the park bench growing cold, she imagined brewing the tea with a spoon full of sugar and a splash of cream, just the way Emmy liked it. And she'd kiss her on the cheek.
Tara blinked. Her eyes full of thick tears. She didn't mean to imagine it. As she brushed away a tear from her hot cheek, her fingers went even colder.
There stood a girl with red dreds. For and instance she thought she was looking at Emmy. Lord knows, Emmy wouldn't be caught with dreds.
No, she was one to always look splendid with her bouncy red curls for Freddie. God, how Emmy wanted to impress him. Tara felt herself frowning about it.
"You feeling down? Is that it?" The girl held out some little blue pills.
Emmy froze. What was she asking?
The thin girl set next to her. She wasn't even wearing a jacket. At least, Tara wore a coat as night fell around them and so did the cold.
She looped her arm around Tara's.
"There's a fire going." The girl pursed her lips with such an impish smile. "We have music."
It was free.
Tara stared at her out of the corner of her eye. Next thing she knew she was offered a little pill. Before, Tara realized it, the girl put it on her tongue and with a kiss the pill was gone.