Campfire songs Chapter 18

Chapter 18

It was such a buzz. You couldn't wipe the smile off Tracy's face. I hugged all the girls. Amy was practically tripping she was so excited. We all migrated back to the area we had staked out earlier. I sat in a camp chair with Ellie on my lap and we all discussed what we were going to do next week. Amy wanted to do it again, but also wanted me to sing another dance song so that they could do another routine. She seemed so different from the girl I met at the house. I guess when you spark someone's passion you can really bring them to life. Ellie was a bit more awake than last week and wanted to get in on the dancing and jumped off my lap so that Amy could show her some moves. She begged Amy to join in the dancing next week, and then when Amy said it was up to her parents, she raced off to find them. Amy went off to get Martha, then they all had a group huddle to make some plans.

I did say that Tracy had promised me a holiday and we were waiting for the right deal to turn up, but were pretty sure we would be here next Sunday, weather permitting. We were able to look at Maria's recording on her camera. It was only a tiny screen but I could see the girls had done themselves proud. She told us she was going to upload it all to her youtube channel, so we could all have a look at it later.

When there was a bit of quiet Steph crouched down to speak softly to me and Tracy who were sitting in chairs. “I have a bit of gossip for you. I'm not sure you are aware,” she said with a smile, “I have a step-brother called Laurence.” I shook my head, pretending surprise. “Apparently he ran away from school. A detective came to visit me Friday. They said it was a long shot, but they have no idea where he is, so were checking with anyone who had had contact with him. They are investigating the school with the suspicion of foul play. There were reports that he had been sexually assaulted. Another 2 children have come forward suggesting they had suffered similarly and a boy has been arrested. There was a picture of Laurence on crimestoppers. He looked like when I last saw him. He had this funny looking nose.”
“I hope it all turns out OK.” I said
“I hope his mother is coping alright.” Tracy said.
“I spoke to dad on Wednesday and he didn't mention anything, so I have no idea.”

I think the only thing making Tracy uncomfortable was that my mother would not know what happened to Laurence. I really didn't think it would be a good idea to interfere any further. Anything we did would entail some risk. Then again, maybe I was being selfish. Some risk, carefully managed, might be worth it when weighed against Tracy's peace of mind. I decided we would have a brain storming session when we got back to the flat. Maybe a letter, with my fingerprints or some blood or other DNA could be sent. We would be very careful as to what we wrote to not give any clues. I didn't have to prove anything, so I could tell the truth, tell about my assault and that Nathan had implied he had put a contract out on me. Tracy would probably want me to put something about how I was happy, or some such. We just had to make sure it could never be traced back to me.

As everything started winding down and people began to leave, Amy approached me, trying to get me to commit to another dance song. I suggested Fighter and Walking on Sunshine by Katrina and the Waves. Then I suggested that Amy freestyle it on her own for the slower songs. The idea took a few seconds to ignite, but when she left a few minutes later there was definitely a fire burning. We retired to Lucy tired but exhilarated.

The next morning we made the slow journey back to the flat. We had lunch, then went to 23 together. I went on the community laptop while Tracy spent a couple of hours in the office. Then we returned home. We had a lovely surprise waiting for us. In the post box was the confirmation, my name was now Sophie Hastings. We immediately started the application for a passport and paid extra for it to be rushed. My photo looked terrible, but, at least it looked nothing like Laurence. We had a few hoops to jump through, but there are always ways and means.

I discussed the idea of a letter sent to my mother with my fingerprints on it and Tracy loved the idea. I wrote the letter with a factual account of my assault and the threat by Nathan. I didn't mention the attack in town or anything else other than I was alive and well. I also added as much as I could remember of my conversation with the headmaster. I don't think I was treated very well and this was my chance to let that out. I was tempted to end it with Regards or Kind Regards or Yours sincerely. I am not sure that my mother loves me. That is a really sad thing to say. I think the most important job any parent can do is let the child know they are loved unconditionally. My mother had definitely failed in that, but that didn't mean I didn't care for her. I ended it Love Laurence.

The next question was where to send it from. It had to be me posting it. I didn't want any other fingerprints before it went in the box. Tracy being Tracy, we made a day of it. She managed to get us tickets to Les Miserables and a stay at Hotel du Vin in Wimbledon. We drove into greater London and randomly drove down residential houses until we located a post box. I dropped it in and then we travelled to Wimbledon. We had invited Steph to join us but she had too much work going on. She still managed to find time to take me shopping for a dress. We also managed to fit in 3 practice sessions for the next campfire.

Provided there were no issues with getting the passport issued, we should receive it within the week, so this would be our last campfire for a while. We figured we might as well stay in Thailand for Christmas and New Year. Steph had some commitments with her father, so she was going to join us, flying out on boxing day. Tracy had plans to get me a whole new wardrobe whilst we were there.

Les Mis was amazing. The singing, the songs, so powerful. It was the first time I had seen it and I loved it. We had a wonderful meal in the Hotel Du Vin before we left. Since I was theoretically 18, I was allowed to have wine, but I knew that I was really 16 so it wouldn't be wise to have much. I made a deal with Tracy to have a few sips of hers to get the experience of matching wine with food. It amused me to see her wine glass with 2 sets of lipstick on it, with an almost naughty feeling that I was providing one of them.

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