Marshmallows for Breakfast

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  • Format: Trade Paper
  • Copyright: 2009-01-27
  • Publisher: Delta
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Koomson captivated readers with her international bestseller "My Best Friend's Girl." Now, she dazzles them once again with this tale of love, friendship, and families--the choices that shatter them, the hope that saves them, and the little moments that happen in between.

Author Biography

Dorothy Koomson is another year older (which she’s very happy about), but not much wiser. She is still a journalist as well as a novelist, and now lives in both London and Sydney, Australia. My Best Friend’s Girl is her third novel. She is currently working on her next novel and a screenplay.


Chaper One

 You're black."

Surprisingly, I didn't scream, yelp or collapse into a quivering heap when I was confronted by an intruder in my home. I reeled back as my heart lurched to a stop; I stared at her with wide, shocked eyes, but I didn't scream.

It was early on a Saturday morning. I'd just stepped out of the shower and had been about to dash across my flat to the bedroom to get dressed when I'd found the intruder—intruders, actually—standing in the area outside the bathroom, staring at me. The intruder who spoke to me was about three feet tall, six years old with green eyes that were as dark and glossy as eucalyptus leaves, and shoulder-length black hair—one side bunched with a red elastic band, the other falling in waves to her shoulder. Beside her stood her male mirror image—he had shorter dark hair but was the same height, the same age and had the same green eyes.

The pair of them weren't dressed so much as "ensembled." Her pink skirt with ruffles at the bottom she wore over striped blue and white tights, and with a white, long-sleeved T-shirt under a faded orange vest. She had yellow socks bunched like legwarmers around her ankles, while red shoes with big yellow flowers on the front adorned her feet. He wore long blue trousers, one leg of which was tucked into one of his green socks. His white T-shirt was decorated with avant-garde artwork of felt-tip pen marks and grubby fingerprint streaks; one collar of his blue fleece zip-up jacket was folded inwards, hugging his shoulder.

Both of them wore clothes that were crumpled and creased, as though they'd slept in them.

As well as the dishevelled clothes, the twins also shared grey-white complexions with dark, blue-purple circles smoothed like smudges of dirt under their eyes. They looked like a pair of street urchins, battered and worn by the February cold, who'd wandered into the warmth of my flat. But they weren't street kids, I was pretty certain of that. They were my landlord's children. I'd only just moved into this flat and had yet to meet my landlord and his family because they'd been away overseas when I'd arrived from Australia. Obviously they were back.

The children openly explored me with their eyes, took in the clear plastic shower cap that covered my black hair, my cleansed and moisturized face, my damp neck and shoulders, the towel I'd wrapped around my torso and was currently clutching closed in a death grip, my knees peeking out from beneath my towel, and my water-spotted calves. Their gazes lingered on my feet, probably fascinated by my fluffy white slippers.

"You're black," the girl stated again, her voice clear and firm; she spoke with the honesty of a child and the confidence of an adult. She knew how to address people no matter how old they were. In her arms she carried a blue, floppy toy rabbit.

"So I'm told," I replied.

"I'm Summer," she said, confirming she was my landlord's daughter. She jerked a thumb at the boy. "He's Jaxon. We're twins." She looked me over again—from my shower cap to my feet—then whipped her eyes up to mine. Our gazes locked. She had me hypnotized, had my undivided attention for as long as she wanted. Her face, framed in that unusual way by her hair, was innocent and open, yet wise and private. A million insignificant and profound thoughts went on behind that face.

Summer shrugged her small, bony shoulders, breaking eye contact as she gave a slight nod of her head. "You're quite pretty," she said.

"Erm . . . Thank you, I think," I said.

Jaxon leaned across to Summer, cupped his hand around his mouth and began whispering in her ear. He talked for a few seconds and when he stopped, she nodded. Jaxon straightened up. "You're not as pretty as my mumma," Summer informed me.

Guessing this was his con

Excerpted from Marshmallows for Breakfast by Dorothy Koomson
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