Leave it to Eva

Leave it to Eva by Judi Curtin Read Free Book Online

Book: Leave it to Eva by Judi Curtin Read Free Book Online
Authors: Judi Curtin
single problem in the world was weighing down on top of her.
    I folded the paintings and put them back into the box.
    ‘This isn’t as much fun as I’d expected,’ I said. ‘I’ll finish up quickly, and then I’ll make us both a cup of hot chocolate. How does that sound?’
    ‘Sounds great,’ said Kate with a sad smile. ‘Except I don’t have any milk. I’m a vampire, remember? I only go out at night, when the shops are closed.’
    I put my head down to hide the sudden tears that came to my eyes. This was all too sad.
    ‘I’ll go home and get some milk,’ I said. ‘Let me just tidy up the last few things here.’
    I picked up a bundle of stuff, and an old scrapbook fell to the floor. As I picked it up, a few photographs fell out.’
    ‘Cool,’ I said. ‘I love looking at old photographs. I bet you were a totally cute baby.’
    Kate didn’t answer, but she didn’t object as I gathered up the photographs and began to look at them.
    The first one was a school picture of Kate, taken when she was about ten or eleven. She was glaring at the camera, like she’d love to punch whoever was holding it. I quickly worked it out in my head – the photo must have been taken shortly after her dad left. No wonder the poor girl wasn’t smiling.
    I slid that picture to the back of the pile and looked at the next one – another one of Kate. There was no mistaking the curly hair and the dark eyes, but otherwise this could have been an entirely different girl. This Kate was still a baby – a happy laughing baby. She was sittingon a rug, with her arms stretched up to the sky. Standing beside her were two adults, gazing at Kate like she was the most amazing creature who had ever lived.
    ‘Is that your—?’ I began, but before I could finish the sentence, Kate was beside me, grabbing the picture from my hand and shoving it roughly into the box.
    ‘Yes,’ she said. ‘You got it in one. That’s my mum and dad – back when we were playing happy families. But as you know, that’s all ancient history. I hope you had a good look so you can feel properly sorry for me.’
    ‘You know I feel sorry for you,’ I said.
    ‘Well don’t!’ snapped Kate. ‘I don’t want your pity. I don’t need it. I’m perfectly fine, thank you very much.’
    I shoved the last few things back into the box, put the box into the wardrobe and closed the door. So much for Narnia.
    I stood there, not really sure what to do next.
    Kate got up and stood next to me.
    ‘Sorry, Eva,’ she said. ‘I shouldn’t have shouted at you.’
    ‘That’s OK.’
    ‘And if you could get me some milk that would be great. I’m really, really fed up of eating dry cereal.’
    We hugged, and I set off on my quest. When I got back with a half carton of milk, Kate pulled me inside, like I’d been gone for weeks.
    ‘You’ve been ages,’ she said. ‘What happened?’
    ‘Well, I got the milk from the fridge, but just as I was leaving, Mum walked in to the kitchen, so I had to make up a complicated story about wanting the milk for a stray cat I’d seen in the field behind our house.’
    ‘Good thinking.’
    ‘Maybe. But I was a bit too convincing.’
    ‘When you’re making up a story, there’s no such thing as “too convincing”.’
    ‘That’s what you think. When I finished mystory, Mum wanted to come with me, to feed the stray cat, so I took ages persuading her not to, and then she kept trying to give me food for the cat to eat, and in the end I had to practically run out of the house with Mum chasing me with scraps of meat left over from last night’s dinner.’
    Kate laughed. ‘You’re so funny, Eva!’
    And you’re so pretty when you relax and laugh a bit,
I thought. That sounded totally weird though, so I said nothing as I put the milk on the table.
    ‘Now let’s get started,’ said Kate. ‘I already have the cups and spoons out, I’m DYING for a hot chocolate––’
    Before she could finish the sentence, there was a loud knocking

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