Unbeknownst to Lottie, her mother was sobbing into a chocolate fudge cake in the kitchen because her daughter seemed to have changed drastically in a matter of weeks. Lottie used to be more observant and boarding school might have made her smarter academically, but she was spending too much time with people who were far too self obsessed for their own good. And this was rubbing off on her. She looked down at her slender arms and picked at some dry skin. She walked over to her dressing table to find some moisturiser, but all she could see was some very old, very fragrant strawberry lotion from the Body Shop and she curled her lip at it. That wouldn't do at all. Eden certainly wouldn't put up with that and went through bottles of Bliss lemon and sage body butter like they were going out of fashion. She had lent some to Lottie once when she had caught her staring as she slathered it on and ever since then Lottie had been hooked. Eden had generously given her the dregs of an old bottle which she had eked out until there was nothing left. She must ask her mum if they could buy some this week, but then they probably wouldn't sell it in some small, old fashioned, country chemist she thought disapprovingly. Still standing at her dressing table she picked up a Hello Kitty lip balm in a chipped plastic tube and a cheap bright blue eyeshadow which had come out of a cracker and which she had never worn. Thank god. Everything looked so old and so babyish. She really needed to get some new stuff. It's not like she had her friends and the Blique to borrow from now she was home. Talking of which, she dug her phone out of her bag to check if anyone had texted her.
Jenny was spending the week with Fliss at her parents townhouse in Kensington as her own parents were in the States for the week on business. Lottie would have done anything to spend the week with them too; shopping and eating in cool restaurants, but she had to go home. She wanted to ask her mum if she could go up to London for the day next week and see them, possibly stay the night, but she thought she'd leave it for a bit. Maybe they could discuss it over dinner. She tapped out a reply:
She scrolled through her texts until she came across one that she had read a million times:
Her fingers hovered over the keypad to reply, as she had also done a million times, but instead she went back to the main screen. Lottie went back to her bed and lay on top of the duvet, her eyes flickering over the faded glow-in-the dark star and planet stickers that had been on her ceiling since she was a child. A tear wormed its way out of the corner of one eye and slithered down her cheek. One word bounced around her brain like a ball in an empty squash court: Teddy. Teddy. Teddy.
If only he hadn't kissed her at the ball last weekend.
Not when he was with Eden.
And not when Lottie had fallen in love with him.