It's time to fight back!
I gasp and swing my legs to the floor, and I try to sit up.
“Hello?” I shout.
There are muffled noises, someone is whispering, then there’s a small shout in my ear. I frown, hiccup, and struggle to keep my balance, holding the phone closer to my ear.
“What’s happening? Hello?”
“I don’t care…” It is Lily’s petulant voice but she isn’t speaking to me. “Let me speak to her!”
“Hello?” I hiccup again. “I’m getting bored with this game.”
More muffled noises.
“Ellie?… Ellie… Hi, it’s me, Lily.”
“Is everything okay?” I slur.
“I was just talking to Mum. Can you come to my school concert on Friday? I’m singing in it.”
“You’re singing?” I giggle thinking of Lily’s bespectacled serious face. I feel a warm glow that she wants to see me but then my mind races. What about Michael? Will he be there?
“What does your Mum say?”
“Hold on! She wants to speak to you.”
“I’m sure she doesn’t,” I mumble and smother a giggle.
There are more muffles then Maria’s voice sounds clear and crisp. “Michael has had to go to Dublin so he can’t go to Lily’s school concert and,” Maria pauses, “so, Lily wants you to come.”
“Is that okay with you?” I try to sound sober.
“I don’t get a choice! She doesn’t want anyone else in the family, just you. Not even her grandparents, her uncles, aunts or her cousins.” Maria sounds very annoyed and I’m pleased she is angry.
“Okay, I'll go.”
“I know how busy you are Ellie, and Lily will understand if you can’t make it, and so will I!”
“No, I won’t,” Lily shouts in the background.
“I’m not busy! Give me the details and I’ll be there.” I fumble for pen and paper before she changes her mind or thinks of another excuse why I shouldn’t go. I am elated, happy and excited. Lily wants me at her concert.
My writing is like a spider’s leg that has stepped in black ink and left a trail across the page but I don’t care. I know where I am going. I will see Lily and Maria on Friday night.
After the phone call I lay back on the sofa with my arms above my head staring happily at the ceiling talking to myself.
“Well, this is a turn up for the books. The doting father is back in Dublin…and Maria is irked because Lily wants to be with meeeeee.” I laugh aloud and swing my legs to the floor. “Score one point for Team Ellie Bravo! Maria, if you want to play games then I will play them too. If you want to cold-shoulder me at work and hide your feelings then that’s fine with me, and if you want excitement, which I am beginning to suspect you do, then I will give you all the excitement you need. But on my terms. I’m not going to let this opportunity, at Lily’s concert, go to waste…Let the game begin. Team Bravo is about to fight back!” I raise my arms enthusiastically and when I try to stand I fall off the sofa and land face-down on the floor.