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Chapter one

I woke up to the sound of Lily trying to be quiet while tip-toeing into my room. 

'Oh, Lily. I know you're there. What's wrong?' I whispered.

Tears suddenly started to fall down her face. 'M-m-mummy has gone!'

I ran out of my room after taking hold of Lily's hand. 'What do you mean gone!?' I searched all over the flat. Her room, the bathroom, the washing room, and even Zara and Alex's room. However, they were fast asleep so they had no idea what was going on. And then I had a brain wave. I rushed over to the phone and pressed the inbox button. 

There was a voice mail from someone. I immediately opened it and waited quietly. 

'Oh hi Ruby. Um, I don't know how to say this, but I have had to run some errands. I may be a while. Just, look after Alex, Zara and Lily. I'm so sorry I didn't get to tell you where I was. I just, didn't want to wake you up. I left at 6:43am so there was no point. See you soon, lovelies! Love you!' 

I couldn't believe it. My mum had gone and left me to look after three kids. I was only thirteen, but of course I didn't mind; after all they were my siblings and I can handle them, anyway. 

'What do we even do on a Sunday?' I asked Lily. But then I wished I hadn't said it, because how would a three-year-old know what a thirteen year old doesn't? 

'Hmm..', she placed her finger on her chin and stared at the cieling, 'the park. Oh please oh please, Ruby!' I stared at her, considering the thought. 

'Well..', I sighed, 'yes then but please go and wake up Zara and Alex'.

 She waddled off into their room. I heard her whispering to them sweetly, 'darlings, wake up!' She was pretending to be the mum, like she always does. Lily wasn't actually capable of waking two five year olds. Therefore, I tried to wake them up myself. 'Zara, Alex. Come on we're going to the park'. 

'Mum?' Zara rolled over and murmured. 

'No, it's me, Ruby. Come one get up mum has gone' I said. That made Alex jump out of bed. 'Why? Where has she gone?'.

'I don't even know. She said she had to run some errands' I explained. 

Zara sat up, as she was obviously listening. I got them dressed into some jogging bottoms and a dark blue t-shirt.

Lily desperately wanted to wear a dress, so I found one of her newest, Sky-blue dresses. I put trainers on the twins, and put sandals on Lily. I kindly forced them to watch some cartoons while I got dressed. 

I quickly put on some jeans and a top and then a jacket. 

'Okay!', I said, clapping as I bounced into the kitchen, 'what do you all want for breakfast?!'. 

'Cornflakes!' They all cheered. Of course! It was there favourite. It also explained why there was several Cornflake and Frosties boxes in the cupboard. I poured them some orange juice and got their coats. After they'd finished, I took them to the toilet and then took them to the park. I walked outside, proudly, pretending I was the mum this time. 'Ugh Ruby your soo boring why do we have to come here?' Alex rolled his eyes. 

'Don't be silly! Were going to have a lovely time here!' I tried to make Alex feel better, because I could clearly tell he missed mum. 

'But there's no trees to make dens' he stared at the floor.

'Alex! I'm the mum today, and when I say we are going to have fun, that  means, we are going to have fun. Okay?!' I smiled at them.

When we got outside, the sun beamed through the clouds. I pushed Lily in her pram, because she moans if we walk for ages. 

'My legs hurt!' Lily said. 

'Lily, your not even walking!' Then we all burst out laughing. Even Lily laughed too, proud that she was the entertainer.

'Ruby, will mum come back soon?' Zara whispered.

Zara always worried about everything. In fact, she is completely different to her twin brother; Alex likes to do things he wants. He likes to play outside all the time and eat burgers.

Zara, on the other hand, likes to stay inside and read a book. She never stays on the computer for hours, nor makes a mess. For a five year old, Zara is a tidy, and well-educated girl.

'Of course! She said she'd only be a few hours' I looked away. Of course she wouldn't be back soon! She always exaggerates and even when she says she'll be a few minutes, she means a few hours! I stared at the kids, they all looked at the floor. 

'Right, Zara and Alex! Help me put the picnic blanket out' I said.

Alex and Zara looked at each other. I could tell they were having a twin thing going on. 

'What? You didn't tell us that!' Alex said.

'Well, I wanted to surprise you!' I smiled at them and they smiled back. We placed the picnic blanket on the grass while Lily sat in the pram, watching us. 'Right, Alex, get Lily out. Zara help me get the food out'.

I was surprised they did as they were told. If it was mum saying it, they'd shout at her and refuse. 

We had jam sandwiches, chocolate bars, some fruit and some brownies. 'Look, mu- I mean Ruby. I'm eating my fruit!' Alex said. 

'Aww, you almost called me mum! I don't mind if you want me to be a mum for a day?'. They all seemed to agree. Lily sat down, her chubby legs underneath her bottom. 'Lily, don't sit on your knees, it will stop your circulation! I said. Zara gasped. 

'It's okay, come on. Let's go to the toilet and then we'll go' I decided we'd had enough at the park and it was already 5:42pm. Zara's legs hurt on the way home. But Lily fell asleep so I couldn't get her out of the pram. Alex kept running infront and he fell over once or twice.

He just got up and rubbed his dirty knees. We all walked in silence.

A massive, pit bull suddenly ran down the empty street and scarily growled at us. It woke up Lily and we were all screaming.

'Quick follow me!' I said. 

'RUBY!! I'm scared!' Zara started to cry loudly but I took her hand tightly. I held Alex in my other hand and pushed the pram with my chest.

'What's happening?!' Lily moaned. 

We ran down another road, the dog following us. He was a few metres away. With our hearts beating, an angry lady immediately stormed behind the dog.

'WHY have you took my dog?!' She had a bright purple face. Her brown hair was put up in a bun. She had a yellow-orange frilly hat on. 

'No, no. We haven't took your dog! It came up to us and we were scared' I said. My heart was beating so fast, that I couldn't even hear my own voice.

'Yeah, you should keep your dog on a lead!' Alex shouted. I nudged him automatically, but was secretly glad he said it.

'Oh shut up. I always hear kids moaning like that. It won't even bite!' She had posh accent which she spoke softly. 

'Excuse me, but it was your dog first!' I said. The kids were so quiet, you could hear a pin drop.

'Oh I don't care, it was you who scared him. Aw, poor puppy! And where is your mother?' She growled angrily. 

'Oh she's waiting at home, she's ill', I lied, 'She said I need to look after my brother and sisters.' Then she widened her eyes in disbelief. 

'Whatever. Just get gone! You filthy children!' She said as she scrunched up her face. 

As we walked past her,  Alex shoved her accidentally. 

We started to walk home and Lily went back to sleep. Zara and Alex were walking behind looking at the floor, murmuring to each other.

'That lady was scary!' Alex whispered. Zara nodded in agreement.

'Come on walk a bit faster, you two!' I said. 'Let's get home and have a nice warm bath!'.

I bathed them as soon as I got back to the flat. Lily ran around the bathroom with just her tiny princess underwear on. Alex was disgusted and he refused for me to bath him. 'Only mummy can do it.' He folded his arms while sneering. I told him to count to thirty slowly, while closing his eyes and sitting in the bath tub. I bathed him without him knowing until he felt the warm water being poured on his back.

'Ruby! Stop!' We looked at each other and then burst out laughing. 

For the rest of the night, Lily coloured in her pretty princess colouring book with her hot pink crayons. Zara and Alex sat on the sofa, nibbling at their nails. 

'You two.' I turned to them and they immediately caught eye contact with me. I could see the tiredness and hopefulness inside them.

'Yes..' Zara said, gulping as she glanced over at Alex. 

'Don't worry. She'll come back.' I smiled cheerfully. 

After I tucked them in later on in the night, I sat on my bed, peering at the picture on the wall of me and mum. I prayed and prayed for her to come back tonight. It wouldn't work. I tried to get to sleep but I couldn't stop thinking about her trying to get back together with a man she might come across. I don't like her having a boyfriend. They're always angry and moody. The last stepdad I had was called Lance. He always used to come in to our flat with bars of chocolate and fizzy pops. One day, he came through the door and I'm afraid he was kind of putting on some weight. I widened my eyes at the size of his legs and waist. Mum did the same. 'Lance! You've put on some weight!' Mum said, before blushing bright red, embarrassed with herself. He gave us the 'I'm gonna kill you!' face as he dropped his goodies and charged at mum, swinging at her. Luckily, Alex and Zara's dad came in and got him away from her. Ever since that, I was scared for mum to even go near a man, nevermind date!

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Chapter two

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