"He tried that last time but Mommy hit him round the face."
"Don't come near me!" Penina cried when Frank opened the front door. Frank looked upset so Penina quickly explained about what she'd told her friends earlier.
"Oh, that's fine, just go and use our shower." Frank said, putting his arm around Lauren "Take as long as you need. I'll just get you a towel."
Penina smiled as Frank got her everything she'd need and she went upstairs to shower "Do you really love her?" Samantha asked casually as she sat down at the table as Isabella handed out plates of toast to everyone.
"Would everyone please stop asking me that?" Frank cried but he was smiling. He sat down and Isabella handed him some toast "If I say yes, I love her, would you quit bugging me?"
"That depends." Lauren smirked "Have you told Penina that you love her?"
Frank ignored her and shoved toast into his mouth "So how was school?" He asked, quickly changing the subject.
"It was okay." Lauren pouted "The teacher was being mean though because my PE socks were all wet. You said you'd dry them for me."
"I know I did but I've been busy, I'm sorry." Frank sighed "You want me to dry them for you for tomorrow?"
"I don't have PE tomorrow." Lauren told him "But it's okay. I don't like PE anyway."
"Why? PE's fun!" Samantha cried.
"I got one hundred percent on my English test." Isabella said.
"Well done Sweetie." Frank kissed the top of Isabella's head and put his plate into the sink "I'm really proud of you."
"Thank you." Isabella blushed and smiled.
Upstairs, Mia woke up and rubbed her eyes. She really needed to pee so she got up and padded down the corridor to the bathroom. She opened the door, went in... And found Penina in the shower completely naked. Penina shrieked and Mia screamed then ran out of the room. She ran downstairs into the kitchen "What's wrong?" Frank asked.
"Who's in the shower?" Mia cried.
Everyone burst out laughing. Mia sighed "What's so funny?"
"You walked in on Penina in the shower?" Isabella spluttered.
"Leave me alone!"
Raven and Jennifer walked down the street towards Frank's house "Do you think he's doing okay?" Jennifer asked "I mean, he just ran off on Friday and then he didn't come in today."
"Penina said he went over to hers on Friday. If he weren't okay, Penina would've told us." Raven said "She would've, wouldn't she?"
"Yeah. I suppose so." Jennifer shrugged "Do you think we pushed him too hard about being in that band?"
"But he had such a great time at the last band practice." Raven sighed "We're only pushing him because we know it's something he'd love. He always looks so happy when he's playing, especially with the others."
"I know." Jennifer bit her lip "But this thing with his Mom... It's really getting to him. And he loves his sisters."
"He can love his sisters, love his Mom and love being in this band. He shouldn't have to choose just one." They walked up the drive and Raven knocked three times on Frank's door.
Alicia opened it a little, saw Raven and Jennifer and pulled the door fully open "FRANKIE!"
Frank ran to the front door "Hey... What are you two doing here?"
"Oh it's great to see you too." Raven smiled and invited herself into the house. Jennifer sighed and let herself in too "We were worried about you. We all were."
"You don't need to worry about me." Frank said as he shut the front door and picked up Alicia.
"Well you just ran off on Friday and we were worried we'd like upset you or something." Jennifer smiled at the girls in the living room "And then you didn't show up today."
"Everything just got a bit much for me and so I ran off." Frank replied, biting his lip "And I didn't come in today because Mia's sick and I didn't wanna leave her here alone with Alicia."
"Oh. So you're okay?" Raven asked. Frank nodded "Look, we don't want you to get mad at us again, but you need to be in this band Frank."
"No!" Raven cried "I know what your Mom said. But you have a life Frank. Whether she likes it or not. Where is she now, huh? You're gonna be in this band Frank. We'll carry on babysitting the kids for you. And if your Mom has a problem with it then well, it's time you stood up to her."
"He tried that last time but Mommy hit him round the face." Alicia squeaked.
"Well then we'll be here too to stand up to her." Jennifer said "Don't worry about it."
Penina came into the room wearing her school uniform with her hair dripping wet "I'm sorry." Mia whispered.
"It's okay." Penina smiled weakly "What are we talking about?"
"The new band that I'm in." Frank smiled.