I do not own Dizzy.
(Just in case you need to know, at the very end of the book, Finn was fifteen, Dizzy was thirteen, and Mouse was still seven.)
It'd been two years since I'd last seen Finn and Mouse. Mouse's foster parents decided he could spend the night with us in the tent as long as I watched him carefully, and we called that morning and night. For twenty-four hours, it was like the good old days. Dad spent all day with Tess and Lucy, talking about doing the same thing every year. Of course, as we know, that didn't work out too well. For that short day, it was just me, Mouse, and Finn. Our family was once again, reunited.
Mouse had grown so much. He was taller, and he was still tan, his freckly skin practically glowing. He had more meat on his bones. I don't know who was more excited when we shone up. Mouse or Leggit. He slept with her as a blanket. Even thinking about the scene now makes me want to cry. We didn't go busking; we didn't try to take Mouse to the stores, though we know he hasn't stolen anything in two years. Mostly we went to the beach. Me and Finn watching Mouse play, us holding hands.
Finn and I still talk occasionally, but after starting tenth grade and landing a role as co-captain of the cheerleading team, Finn faded to the back of my mind. It was always the, 'I'll call him when I'm finished with this' excuse. I would always forget. I miss him. I miss that day. That summer.
The reason why this whole subject is brought up is because I was clearing my corkboard and the pictures came up. The pictures I took that summer. I saw the Mars bar wrappers, and the pictures me and my friends took when I was twelve. I saw Mouse, and Tess, and of course I saw Finn. My eyes stayed glued to Finn. His eyes, his hair. I close my eyes, and suddenly I hear him singing Somewhere I Belong for me. I start to hum along.
"Dizzy?" I jump and look at dad, whose concerned look made me feel loopy for humming a song to myself for no good reason.
"Oh, hi dad."
"You have a phone call." He said, sticking it out. I always play this game with myself. I try to guess who's on the phone. Usually, it's Jade who calls after school. Followed by Sasha, then Sarah. Jade had just hung up hours ago, and Sasha was sick, so it had to be Sarah.
"Dizz?" It was like all air has left my chest. Tess.
"Yes, I wouldn't suppose you could come out this weekend?"
"I have a game Friday night." It took hours to get to Bramble cottage. And I haven't been since that day dad came and collected me that summer. I can't help but think of it as that summer.
"Isn't there anyway you can miss it. I really need you." Tess. Self sufficient, independent Tess. Needed my helpless help.
"You have to be here to understand."
"Well what does it pertain to?"
"Finn." And just like that, in those three letters, she got me to agree.
"Okay. I'll see what I can do."
"Oh thank you Dizzy. Thank you." We hung up and I reluctantly turned to dad.
"Da-ddy." I chanted.
"What do you want now? More cash?"
"More like a ride."
"Tess's cottage." I mummer lightly.
"Dizzy we're not doing this again." He said, walking away.
"Dad they really need my help."
"And they could really ask me. The last time I was chasing you all over bloody England!"
"Dad it won't be like that this time!"
"How should I know Dizz? How should I know?"
"Because dad I'm telling you!"
"You," He jutted an accusing finger at me. ", you have a game Friday night. You can't just drop your responsibilities to follow some…..lad all over the country. What do you want people to believe about you Dizz? You have a home, a life here! Leave. Them. To. Themselves."
"I assume you wouldn't understand given your past relationships." It came out colder than it sounded. It was like word vomit and I couldn't stop. "I mean, not only did mum leave, but also Lucy. I guess you wouldn't understand how important Finn is to me."
He stared at me in utter shock. He has a right. Never, and I mean never, in my fifteen years have I so much as talked back to dad. He looked at me as if I had broken his heart. And I suppose I did. He took a deep breath closed his eyes, and when he opened them again, I swear tears had collected.
"Dizz, no, okay?" He walked to his room, shutting the door while I stared at it. As if glaring at the door would automatically change his mind. I sighed. The day was filled with awkward movements and glances. Dad did not speak to me the rest of the day, but I knew he was still forbidding me to go. I cried three times.
~The Next Day~
I've decided that I don't care if dad says no. I'm going. So, when Friday rolled around, I got the courage to ask dad to spend the weekend and Jade's. Jade's family is always going somewhere, so it would give me the perfect cover up. After she told me her family was going camping in the Bahamas (go figure) I told dad that she had invited me after the game. It was so simple, Jade would complain about a bad sneeze, and she and I would leave the game early. That way, dad would think I would be going with her, when in actuality; I would be going with Jade's gram, who's giving me a lift to Bramble cottage. I would stay two days, and be back before dad would even know what happened. It's full proof!
~The ride to Bramble cottage~
It seemed like old times. Except this time, I won't be "sending" letters to dad. Guilt coursed through my veins like acid and I squirmed in the extra padded seat.
"Problem dear?" Jade's gram asked.
"Er, no ma'am."
"Well we're here. Tell your mum I said hay. And don't give up hope sweetie. Your mum will pull through. I just know it." That was the excuse I gave her, that my mum was sick and dying.
"I will." I said and stepped out. I was late, but even in the dark I recognized everything. The patchwork van was still in the yard, but the tree house was torn down. The yard was mowed and there were roses where the cabages were, and the goat was nowhere to be seen. Yes, Bramble cottage had undergone some changes, but not enough to make it unrecognizable.
Tess stepped out, her figure silhouetted from the faint light of the house.
"Dizz." Her voice dripping with relief. "I'm glad you came."
Preview of next week's chapter
She crept in my room, and my heart started to race. She's grown. No doubt about that. Her curves maxing out. She's wearing her hair down, and the smell of strawberries fill my room. I looked past the woman she's become and catch sight of the real Dizzy. My Dizzy. The Dizzy that practically made my whole summer."
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