“Don’t be ridiculous Mum! This is my home!”
“Ridiculous? Oh don’t lecture me Oscar don’t you dare! You have some cheek waltzing back here with your opinionated, pregnant girlfriend.”
“Mum! What am I expected to do? You never answer your phone!”
Ava, who had been sneakily listening over the banister, marched down the last few stairs, storming back into the room.
“Listen to you both! What are you gaining from arguing? You’re clearly both as stubborn as each other. Yes we made a mistake and yes I’m pregnant but we will care for this child! Janet, I don’t think a day goes by when Oscar doesn’t mention you!”
“Shush Oscar! Let me finish! We haven’t had an easy year, things have been pretty awful actually especially for Oscar. We’ve had some nasty shocks, haven’t we?”
Oscar did not reply “Haven’t we!” Ava snapped.
“Yes, yes we have Ava. To cut a long story short Mum we found that our supposed friend Sebastian turned out to have a nasty streak. It was hard, quite scary actually.”
“Scary! Oscar he nearly killed you!”
Janet placed a hand to her mouth. “I really don’t want to hear this, not now. I have enough troubles of my own. Will you both just go upstairs, get your things and leave. I don’t want to know!”
“Janet you need to know!”
Janet held a hand up. “I don’t want to hear another word.”
“Will you just listen Mother!”
Janet shook her head.
“For Christ’s sake! I’m losing the will to live Mum! After everything we went through with Dad how can you just turn your back?”
Janet glared at Ava “I suppose he’s told you all that as well has he?”
“Yes.” Oscar squeaked.
“My god, you’re unbelievable! When will you ever learn to keep your mouth shut Oscar?! You should know full well by now that it does you more harm than good!”
“No, keeping my mouth shut was destroying me. I couldn’t keep my emotions trapped inside any longer! It was messing with my head just like you’re doing now! What the hell can I do to make you care about me Mum?!”
Janet stared at the stained carpet picking at a peeling strip of the 1970’s wallpaper. Ava grasped Oscar’s shaking hand. “Let’s go for a quick walk. You need to cool off!” She whispered. “Oscar are you listening to me?”
Ava grabbed both of their coats, took Oscar’s arm and guided him outside. “I think you did fine, just take deep breaths, you’ve turned very pale.”
“Stop.” Oscar whispered.
“No, I meant don’t venture any further, don’t put yourself at risk. Remember what I said about the area.”
“You needed fresh air though. Okay, we’ll just sit outside your house on the curb. We needn’t walk anywhere. Inhale and exhale deeply.”
“Ava, please go back inside. You’ll catch a chill! It’s perishing this morning!”
“I’m not going anywhere. As soon as you’ve cooled your head, the sooner you can go back inside. So just co-operate will you?”
“Fine.” Oscar obeyed, burying his head in his hands, in dire attempt to calm himself.
“There. that’s it.” Ava coaxed, rubbing Oscar’s back gently. “I know this is hurting you, but just take a few moments to put your thoughts straight. Don’t let your Mum walk over you, she’s a strong character.”
“You can say that again. “
“Urgh, it stinks down this alleyway. What is that smell?”
“That will be the rotting rubbish I imagine.”
“Oh, well it’s doing nothing for my stomach Oscar and my hands are starting to go numb!”
Oscar stood, offering Ava his hand which she took , pulling herself to her feet.
“Right, fine let’s get this over and done with!”
“Excellent, that’s what I like to hear.” Ava smiled smugly. “Time for round two.”
To be continued…