A sneak peak at Lorraine’s latest novel
About a mum (Coming soon…)
His mum pulled at his arm and told him to not to dawdle. “Where are we going, Mum?” he asked for the hundredth time. He still didn’t know for sure. All he knew was that this was not the fun trip he’d been promised. A day trip to the centre of London. Just the two of them. A trip to the museum. Ice -cream. And most importantly, the promise of Hamley’s. Instead, all he’d experienced so far were people - lots of them. After being stuck on the hot, sticky, over-crowded tube, he was now being dragged through the streets. People didn’t notice him as they jostled their way passed him and trod on his feet. Mum didn’t seem to notice and if she did, she didn’t do much to help.
“Stop asking questions. We’ll get to Hamley’s soon, I just have to do something first.”
They finally came to a stop outside a large hotel, surrounded by crowds, screaming and taking pictures. More crowds. He was going off the West End of London and wanted to be back in his quiet suburb in his little terraced house. His mum jostled her way through the throngs of crowds.
“Out of my way, I have a young child with me and he’s getting squashed.” They crowd did as they were told and parted to let her through. His mum always got her own way. They reached the door, and the security stopped her.
“Sorry love, you’re not getting through today.”
“I don’t know who you think you are, but I’m a guest at this hotel and if you don’t let me in right now, my son will pee his pants. Do you want to be responsible for a four-year old wetting his pants?” The burly guard, over six-foot looked down at the five-foot four, skinny woman in front of him.
“Well, do you?” she asked him again.
“No, Ma’am,” he replied, feeling well and truly admonished as he stepped aside and let her in.
What was the harm, she was just a housewife by the looks of her. David piped up, “but Mum, I don’t need the loo.”
“Shut up,” she snarled. David heard screams of; “that’s not fair! We’ve been outside for hours!”
“Why are there so many people outside?” he asked.
She shushed him and dragged him to the ladies.
“I’m just catching up with an old friend and then we’ll do something nice together. And remember, it will be our little secret so don’t tell Daddy.”
She placed her oversized shopping bag on the sink and took off her old-fashioned headscarf. She never wore headscarves. She shook her hair out and applied lots of makeup.
“You don’t need makeup, Mummy. You’re so pretty.”
She stopped and looked at him. At four, David knew she loved to be told how pretty she was.
“I know I am, but it doesn’t hurt to enhance oneself,” she blew him a kiss and winked at him as she continued applying her mascara.
“You see David, appearances are everything. That silly man out there thought nothing of me. All he saw were the dowdy clothes and the large shopping bag. If he knew what I really looked like, he would never have let me in. I also have you to thank for that. Just some boring mum, no one of any importance.”
She removed her coat and jumper and long skirt. Underneath was a short, tight black dress. David stared in amazement at the transformation of his mother. She always looked nice to him but this was on another level. He giggled. She smiled at him.
“What are you giggling at?”
“I can see your boobs,” he laughed.
“Silly thing,” she said as she admired herself in the mirror and pushed her boobs up further from her low cut dress. She kicked off her flat-heeled shoes and put on some strappy high heels instead. Gathering up the discarded clothes, she shoved them in her bag and gave herself a final appraisal.
“Do I look beautiful, David?”
“Yes,” he agreed. “You’re the most beautiful mummy in the world.”
Had he said something wrong?
“Do you mean the most beautiful woman in the world?”
He shrugged his shoulders and nodded. Same thing surely? “Okay, time to meet my old friend. Just be quiet and don’t say anything. Got it?”
Finally, they walked out of the toilets and she pulled him towards the lifts. They got off on every floor and walked around until his mum said she’d found the right room. There were men outside the room, who looked exactly like the men outside the hotel.
“My friend’s staying here, he’s an old school friend,” she told him.
She marched them up to the door, pushed her boobs out and said Billy was expecting her. The guard eyed her up and down and looked at the kid. His brow creased. Confused, he looked at the manifest. She pulled it away and stressed that Billy was expecting her. Another confused look. Why was it so hard for his mum to see her friend? Couldn’t she just invite him over to their house for a cup of tea? He opened the door and told this Billy someone was waiting for him. Billy came up to the door and checked out his mum. She shoved David to one side as she pressed against him. Like I said, you’ve been expecting me. Why was she talking in such a weird voice?
“Oh yes, I’ve definitely been expecting you.”
He pulled her in by the arm, David quickly attached himself back to his mum’s hand. As the three of them entered the room, his mum quickly shut the door.
“Er, what the hell is that?” he asked as he pointed at David.
“Ignore him, he can watch telly.”
She found the remote control and turned on the tv with volume up.
“I won’t be able to chat with my old friend in here, it’s too noisy.”
“Maybe another time?” suggested Billy.
She pointed to loads of goodies on a table; including sweets and crisps.
“Help yourself, sweetie.”
David was amazed. Telly and sweets in a big fancy room. His mum pushed her friend away into the other room and shut the door. A little while later, his mum came out of the bedroom with a big smile on her face. Her friend Billy seemed to have lost his shirt.
“Where’s your shirt?” he asked.
“Oh, I spilt something on it and your nice mummy put it in the sink to soak.”
“I always do that too,” said David.
His mum giggled as the man bent down and asked him his name. “So David, how old are you?”
“Four, it was my birthday the other day.”
“Happy birthday, little man. You look familiar actually. Have we met before?”
David shook his head as Billy turned to his mum for confirmation,
“You haven’t met him but you’ve met me before - four years and nine months ago.”