The Last Day
Here's the thing. Even when she's mad, even when she's glaring, even when she seems about to turn around and walk away- I have a mother, when I thought I never would. That means the world to me, and in two days she marries my father, and that means the world to me too.
It's the wedding that's the problem, the wedding I'm not attending.
"But why won't you come?" demanded my mother, as we stood by the river on the way into town. "You were gonna be my maid of honour. You're my best friend, Mels, it can't be anyone else."
"You know I hate weddings." Whenever things get emotional I have to remember really, really hard to call her Amy, never Mum or Mother. "C'mon, Amy. And it's at the church. I think I'm still banned from there."
Mum kicked a stone, angrily, into the river. "God, Mels! This is the most important day of my life. The one day I want you to just hang around and act normal, yeah? And you won't even come."
I shrugged. A cold wind was blowing even though it wasn't winter yet. "Like I'll be any fun at a wedding."
"That's not the point! I want you there."
It always feels nice to hear her say things like I want you there, even if it's while she's mad. It makes me want to- to forget the whole thing, and get a flat with Amy and Rory, and just live out our days as a family best we can-
"Mels, do you even care?" Mum asked, her voice quieter. "Do you even care about me? About Rory? Because it never seems like you do, not these days."
I was quiet as she kept talking. "You just...you just keep pushing, yeah? Getting into trouble and getting arrested, always making us come bail you out, like you're punishing us or something. Cos it never used to be like that."
"I'm not punishing you. You're my best mate."
Mum gave a thin smile. "I dunno. Look, don't get mad, yeah, but sometimes it feels like you're punishing me and Rory because we're not your parents. Or punishing the whole world for taking your parents away. That's what it feels like, okay?"
My breath went all funny. "I'm sorry."
Mum laughed. "God, I've never heard you say that..." She trailed off and stared into the distance. "There's a reason. Isn't there? There's some reason why you won't come to the wedding. You think I won't go through with it or something?"
"Some of my other mates do," Mum said. "And you, you've been around almost my entire life. You've heard me talking about the Doctor like...like he's a lifeline, like he's the best thing in the world. And s'not like I wouldn't snog him, just to see what it was like. But..." She looked hard at me. "But he's everyone's, yeah? He's yours as well. And Rory is mine. Yeah?"
"Yeah," I said quietly, and thought about my mother's room of toys, of the days when we all played Doctor. "He's yours, he's sure as heck yours. And you'll be so good together, but I'm still not coming to the wedding."
"Fine," Mum said, her face a scowl. "I won't be coming to yours either, Melody. If you ever find a bloke." She turned around so fast her hair hit me in the face, and stalked down the path, away from me. Once she had gone, the world seemed very quiet. I waited for the noise of ancient engines, like I did in every quiet moment since the day I was born. Nothing happened and no-one came.
I lit a cigerette and listened to the river. It was the Doctor, that was the reason. The reason I wouldn't see my parent's wedding- the reason I wouldn't dance with my father, wouldn't get all dressed up in a bridemaid's gown. Because he'd be there- I knew he'd be there. The man I was going to kill I couldn't kill on that day, on the most important day of my parent's lives. Any other day, but not that one. That one needs to be the best day. Mum and Dad and their Doctor. One last day before it all goes wrong. Let's face it, they're gonna suffer enough.