She wanted to ring her mum but chose to send a text instead. That way, just like Martin did with her, she would let her mum come to her own decision, without forcing the outcome. Laura knew the text would be deleted but that wouldn’t have stopped the words being read.
The reason why their relationship couldn’t be out in the open was obvious. Especially when Thomas drank too much. It was like a vicious circle. Drink, hit, sorry and repeat.
She didn’t expect to see her mum at Morrisons later that day. She was even more concerned about her. As ever Tabitha had been spoilt, but at what cost to Martha. Laura was fully aware of how tightly the purse strings were kept. The tiny amount of money kept aside for luxuries.
After their meeting Laura was on edge, torn between wishing the phone would ring and wishing it wouldn’t. She just couldn’t relax. The beginning of a migraine unsettled her stomach. She had just decided to have an early night.
With the curtains pulled together to shield out any light, she tried to sleep. Tablets did nothing to ease the pain. The mattress felt like a boulder, digging into her skin. When she did manage to close her eyes, the phone’s shrill piercing woke her from her fitful dreams. Laura’s back tensed as she sat bolt upright in bed.
The door edged open and Martin stood in the shadows.
‘What’s wrong?’ Laura blinked, not wanting the answer, but knowing it before he spoke. He carefully took each step towards her, as if thinking of what to say. His arms protected her almost at once, ‘It’s your mum … she’s round Theresa’s now.’