Published by HarperCollinsPublishers Ltd
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First published in Great Britain by HarperCollins 2019
Copyright © Lindsey Kelk 2019
Cover design by Ellie Game © HarperCollinsPublishers Ltd 2019
Cover illustrations © Lucy Truman
Lindsey Kelk asserts the moral right to be identified as the author of this work.
A catalogue copy of this book is available from the British Library.
This novel is entirely a work of fiction. The names, characters and incidents portrayed in it are the work of the author’s imagination. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events or localities is entirely coincidental.
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Source ISBN: 9780008236854
Ebook Edition © May 2019 ISBN: 9780008236878
About the Author
Also by Lindsey Kelk
About the Publisher
The Jenny to my Angela, Angela to my Jenny.
Without you, there would be no I Heart. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
‘Angela? Are you up?’
I was not up. I had no interest in being up.
‘Come on. You can’t stay in bed all day.’
Slowly, very, very slowly, I prised open one eye as I tried to work out where I was.
The ceiling was too low, the window was in the wrong place and I couldn’t hear a single car horn honking. Not to mention the fact my bed was altogether too small and too empty.
Two taps on the door of my childhood bedroom before it opened, my mum’s face popping inside without waiting for an invitation.
‘Why aren’t you dressed? It’s nearly eight.’
Today was the day.
‘I just woke up,’ I croaked in response, raking a hand through the bird’s nest on top of my head. Everything came rushing back: where I was, why I was here, what had to be done today, and the steady thrum of nerves that had been beating in my chest since I got on the plane found its rhythm once again.
‘Well, I know we had a lazy one yesterday but you can’t lie around in bed all day today. The sooner you get up and start getting on with things, the better you’ll feel.’
I pulled the duvet up over my face.
‘Come on,’ she said, her voice softening outside my blanket fort. ‘Kettle’s just boiled. I’ll bring you up a cup of tea.’
‘Thanks, Mum,’ I whispered from underneath the covers as the door clicked shut behind her.
From the day you left home, the prospect of waking up in your childhood bedroom was never a welcome one. Best-case scenario, it was Christmas. Worst-case scenario, your life had completely fallen apart. I wondered where my current predicament fell on that scale.
With a groan, I tossed away the duvet and rolled over to stare into the eyes of the Care Bear printed on my pillowcase. It had to have been at least thirty years old but Mum always put it on the bed when I came home, even when it was last minute, even when it wasn’t planned. Pressing my cheek against the cool, soft fabric, I sighed. Poor Tenderheart Bear, he had already seen so much in his many years of service and now, here he was, offering his services as a stand-in for the person who should be lying in bed beside me.
I glanced over at my phone, thought about it for just a second and then pushed the idea out of my head. No, not yet.
Save the torn-out pages of the NME I’d left stapled to the