Charlie's angry, he has a crumpled envelope at his feet and his face is turning red, not something unusable when it comes to them. His emotions are always heightened when they're brought up, and now this? She wonders how he's keeping himself together.

She watches from the entryway to the living room as he grabs a cider bottle from the nearby table, it's half-empty but he chugs the remaining liquid down without so much as a wince. She knows from experience that it's bitter but his face doesn't show it, he's used to the vile taste. It's been his drink for years, Pear Bulmer Cider. She's never liked it, and since the first taste, safe to say she hasn't had it since.

Charlie hurries off towards the kitchen, through a door in the middle of the bookshelf and the unused desk that's overflowing with paper and letters. His shoulders start to sag.

She can't help but feel sad for him.

"Rachel!?" Her heart thuds as her name's called gruffly. She jumpstarts a walk across the thick carpet floor over to the bookcase, her hand braces itself on the dusty shelf as she peers into the kitchen. It's a small kitchen, there are dishes in the sink, stale bread out on the counter and a cutting board on the dining table in the centre. It's small but good enough, Rachel just wished they kept on top of cleaning.

"Yes, daddy?" She asks with a gentle smile pointed towards him. He nods and shoves the letter out in her direction.

"Did you know about this?" His hands shaking, the paper simmering between his fingers. She pulls it from him and scans over the letter.

She knew it.

"No." She lies. "I had no idea. Daddy, I'm so sorry!" He shakes his head and takes the letter back, he turns from her and braces himself on the table. Screwing the paper up in the process and throws it across the room.

"Fucking bitch!" He yells.

Rachel parts her lips to speak but he doesn't want to hear it.

"I'm going to work." He gives her a brisk kiss on the top of her head and storms out the house.

Rachel would never say it out loud but she had always favoured her mother. She was well kept, better dressed, she never drank or smoked. She was a good mother. When they all lived together she was her saving grace after fights. Her father would leave in an angry haze and her mother would come and comfort her as a mother should. She welcomed it.

Since the divorce had been finalised almost a year ago he's only gotten worse. He works too much, she barely sees him. He's drinking more which frightens her.

Rachel waits until the sound of her father's car becomes distant then goes to her bedroom. It's on the ground floor, upstairs is mainly her father's bedroom, the bathroom and a study. She goes back through the living and across the hall, there are stairs to her right that lead upstairs and her bedroom is in front of her. She has a poster on her door, an arty one she made herself a few years ago and she can't bring herself to tear it down yet. It's a little childish and cartoony but she likes it.

She pulls the handle down and steps in.

Her rooms a bit of a mess.

She has a single bed underneath a large window, a dresser overflowing with clothes. Her desk is off to the left near her wardrobe, she has her art books and laptop on top and even more clothes piles on her bed.

She sits at her desk, she should get some homework done.

It's nearly an hour later, her hands are aching and she welcomes the text notification on her phone.

'Coming out with us later? - Lils'

She smiles.

Lily is her closet friend. When her mother moved out she was there through the whole process, they talked long into the nights, called more when they weren't texting, and hanging when they weren't calling. They were inseparable. It's eased off a little now but they try and see each other every few days. What are best friends for, ay?

'Is this an actual ask or am I going no matter what I say? - Rachel

It takes less than thirty seconds to get a reply.

'What are you wearing to the club? - Lils'

Rachel rolls her eyes. So she's going. Not that she minds. She could use a night out with her dad being difficult about the recent development with her mum and soon to be husband.

'You'll see when you pick me up. - Rachel'

~ Curveball ~

She stared at her reflection in the full-length mirror, smiling at the stickers decorating the outer edge. She had gathered them over the years, she only had one stuck in the centre at the top, a tick red cross but it soon turned into an obsession of sorts and she now has nearly one-hundred decorative stickers staring back at her. One of her favourites being a textured blue butterfly, the wings sparkle although faded and the stick out as another layer.

She sticks her foot out, examining her brown boots. They end just above her ankle, they're a little scuffed around the edged but they complement her light blue jeans

nicely. She twirls, her red hair flowing like silk as well as her jacket exposing her crop top. She couldn't decide whether to pick a shirt or not, so she chose a top she wore the other day and cut half of it off. It exposes her slim stomach and back. Rachel approves, and she hopes Lily will too when she sees her.

She has a few final touches, she puts on silver hoop earring and a silver cross necklace before leaving the house. She grabs her keys from the bowl by the door and scribbles down a note for her dad in case she's not back tonight. She puts an 'x' at the end in hopes it won't be and clambers out the door, grabbing her bag.

Lily wolf whistles loudly. "Give us a twirl." Rachel laughs but does as she asks while skipping down the path to the car.

"Is this socially acceptable or should I have cute more off?" Lily winks at her.

"Just get in you're starting to get stares."

They both get into Lily's car.

"We're picking up Robbie and Jade before we head over."

Rachel nods and plays with the radio, she settles for the charts and leans back in the seat.

"Are you hounding on them as much as you do about my dress choice?"

She pulls up at a red light and mock glares into the passenger seat.

"You're hot, you know it. I don't know why you put on that little act around you're father, oh honey, it's so papa don't preach."

"I have no idea what you're on about." She says while flipping her red hair over her shoulder. Lily scoffs at her. The light turns green and she pushes her foot down on the gas.


Rachel has always tried to be a good girl around her father. She doesn't need to give him more grief than their mother or his work already does. Yes, she favours her mother and would rather live with her, but she's not a bad girl.

"Does he know about the tattoo?" Lily asks as they pull upside Jade's house, honking the horn loudly.

"She'll kill you for that."

"Yeah probably, but it's fun watching her face turn all red." Teases Lily. Rachel unbuckles her seatbelt and climbs over into the back so Jade can sit in the front. She'd rather sit next to Robbie anyway. He's grinning happily as he approaches, looking good in his skinny jeans and red plaid shirt. He pulls out his headphones and slams the door shut, Lily and jade whoop from the front as they take off for the club.

Hi! Thanks for clicking on this story! I've enjoyed writing it so far. All comments are welcome! I'm also looking for a beta reader, if anyone's interest, let me know x