This is a new occasional series that takes its basis and some of its storyline from the cancelled Tokyopop Manga, Yubisaki Milk Tea by Tomochika Miyano. It's a great series and well worth looking out, it's a mystery why they cancelled it. For my version I've changed the setting from Japan to England and of course the names, then I've added some new characters and situations to produce Jamie and the Peach . The original series was cancelled before completion but due to popular demand has been reinstated.!
Maddy Bell, June 2010
One thing's for sure, I hadn't expected to be riding home in a sports car, a pink one at that nor had I expected to be wearing Karen's clothes either. By the time Mrs Brownlea had collected us and ferried us back to their home time was getting on.
"Come on you two, lets get Nutmeg home, her parents will be wondering where she is."
We'd only been back for about 3/4's of an hour, long enough to get a drink and kick back in Karen's room.
"What she really means is that her programme starts straight after the news." Karen sighed.
"I'd best get changed."
I was fiddling with the buckle on one of 'my' sandals.
"Leave that, you'll have to go like that." Karen mentioned.
"I can't." I moaned.
"You can and you will if you want a ride home."
After our earlier run in with Baines the thought of walking the streets on my own was not appealing.
"Ok." I agreed with a sigh.
So now I was once more squeezed into the Audi, this time with my school bag stuffed with two uniforms. Not only that but she'll insist on dropping me at the door and no doubt wait for me to go inside, I just know it. Wonder if Jess is home?
"Er next left, its down at the end." I directed.
You don't get many sport scars on our street so I'm sure curtains were twitching as the car growled to a halt.
"Thanks for tea and the ride home."
"No problem Blossom, come again anytime, Karen doesn't have many friends."
"Mu-um." she complained from the back seat.
"Well its true."
I extricated myself from the car, "bye."
"Nite Pea, see you tomorrow."
"Yeah." I agreed before giving a quick wave and heading to my door. There were lights on so unless we have bungling burglars Jess is home. I turned to give a final wave to Karen before going inside to face my sister.
That's strange, the telly isn't on, Jess always has the idiot box on. I wasn't exactly keen for her to meet Peaches the teen idol but habit still had me checking to see where she was. It took but seconds to identify where she was, the sound of tuneless singing from the bathroom, phew I should be able to get cleaned up before she sees me. I crept up the stairs, no sense in broadcasting my arrival too soon and was almost past the bathroom door when I realised there was something amiss, no shower noise or singing.
"Peaches, be a luv and get my dressing gown." came a voice from behind the door.
I nearly jumped out of my skin. It wasn't Jess in the bathroom it was Mum!
"Er sure Mum."
Without thinking I dropped my bag into my room and went into Mum's room next door where I found her cases on the bed already open and in disarray, typical Mum. I spotted the dressing gown and was soon back at the bathroom.
"I'll um leave it here."
"Don't be daft girl," Mum opened the door, "it's not like I'm naked!"
That's Mum all right, her and Jess could be sisters, at least in the looks department but that's pretty much where the similarities end.
"Go stick the kettle on, I'll be down in a minute."
I was in too much shock to do anything other than follow my parent's request. I think I mentioned before that we don't see Mum much as she works abroad a lot; it's been over six months since she was last home. That of course means that me an' Jess are 'home alone' for extended periods, to officialdom Jess is acting loco parentis but there again they don't know her like I do.
"That tea ready?" Mum asked a few minutes later now dressed in jeans and a T.
"Come here you lummox, give your ole Mum a hug."
She might be away a lot but we still love her loads and I didn't need a second invite.
"Why didn't you tell us you were coming?"
"It was a bit last minute, a job was cancelled so as I was already packed..."
I hugged her hard, a tear making its way down my cheek. I guess I miss her more than I thought. It was mutual, Mum hugged me just as hard and we held each other for long minutes.
"Lets take a look at you,” she finally suggested, releasing her grip some.
"K." I felt like a little kid again.
"Well I never expected you to dress quite so prettily, you look just like Jess at your age."
Those few words had brain central suddenly click into gear, Mum hadn't batted an eyelid when I got home - she even called me Peaches. How did she know? To be sure I'd forgotten that I was ‘dressed' as soon as I realised Mum was home, excitement overriding everything else.
"I, I can explain. How did?"
"Did I know that the pretty girl who let herself into the house was my new daughter? Your sister of course."
"We do speak you know."
"She's concerned about you Peaches."
"I should get changed."
"You don't have to Jamie, if you prefer to be Peaches its fine with me, I understand, we can get you help, whatever you need to become my daughter for real if that's what you want."
"I'm not, I don't, I'm not having this conversation, not like this."
I took off for my room, stumbling on the stairs - note to self, don't run up stairs in flimsy sandals, where I almost ripped Peaches from my body. In truth I was mortified that Mum knew about Peaches, no one was supposed to know about her, she's my photographic model who happens to hang with my girlfriend sometimes. I don't want to 'be' her, I don't want to 'be' a girl, I'm fine as I am, really I am, why did you have to tell Mum Jess, I hate you!
"Jamie? Jamie? Can I come in luv?"
"‘S open." I mumbled into my pillow.
I heard the door open and a moment later the bed sagged as Mum sat down next to me.
"Do you want to talk?"
She placed a hand on my back, which kind of felt comforting.
"Tell your ole Mum all about it. How did you pick Peaches as a name? It suits you you know."
Mum always knows which buttons to push and she had hit the right combination once again, for the next hour or so we sat on my bed as I gave her a sometimes illustrated biography of Peaches Smith. For her part Mum seemed to relax as we talked, maybe her bravado at having another daughter earlier had been a front, my insistence that Jamie was here to stay and Peaches was an occasional visitor I think was a relief.
"And so no one else knows who Peaches is?"
"Ut uh, and I intend to keep it that way."
"Clearly this Karen has some issues." Mum noted.
"I guess." I agreed.
"Well just remember that you can say no to her."
"I mean it Jamie, if you are uncomfortable with any of this, tell her, be firm. At the moment she holds most of the cards but you hold the trump."
"Okay." I agreed.
"Jess says you've been borrowing her stuff."
"She said I could."
"I know that, what I was going to suggest is that we buy you some stuff of your own."
"I've got my own underwear."
"I was meaning other stuff, maybe a few tops, a skirt or two, some shoes - stuff that belongs to Peaches."
"I dunno, I don't really go out as Peaches very often, tonight was a bit of a one off and I usually wear school uniform."
"It amazes me that no one has twigged at school."
"Its not like I go to class as Peaches, I guess everyone assumes she's in another class or year."
"Maybe." Mum didn't sound convinced, "so, you fancy going shopping Saturday?"
"I can't, I'm working, we've got a shoot at the studio."
"How about Sunday, we could go over to The Springs at Malmworth?"
Whilst on one level I didn't really want to go out shopping, I did want to spend time with Mum, I have no idea how long she's home for so stuff like this is precious.
"We could do that I guess."
"And we'll all three of us go out to dinner Saturday night, how's that sound?"
"If you like."
"So what're you so happy about?" Jonno enquired as we trooped back from Assembly.
"I wish, for a few days I guess."
"And this is good because?"
"What I mean is she'll like give you a curfew and stuff, when it's just you and Jess like you can do whatever you want."
I could see where he was coming from and to some extent he was right. On the other hand I do sort of have to earn my liberty by doing chores and stuff - Jess is quite strict and whilst she's never exactly grounded me in theory she has that authority.
"I don't think she will, its not like I'm out all night anyhow."
Jonno shrugged, "just be warned, mothers can be evil."
"If you say so." I couldn't even remember Mum doing more than raising her voice towards us, so anything else - well she just wouldn't.
To be honest I was a bit exhausted this morning what with one thing and another so I wasn't really tuned into what was going on for most of the morning.
“You couldn't put a word in with Peaches for me eh?”
“You've not heard a word I've said have you?” Jonno accused.
“Er, something about fruit?”
“You don't care, you've got a girlfriend.”
“Course I do but what's that got to do with anything?”
“Well you know her, you could like drop some hints.”
“You fancy Karen?”
“Have you been taking stupid pills, she's too scary for me and she's your girlfriend, Peaches of course.”
“You really haven't been listening have you, go on be a mate just ask her if she'd meet me.”
Jonno's got the hots for Peaches! Is he blind or what?
To Be Continued...
Maddy Bell 29.08.10© 2010
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