A/N: I've always wanted to write something about Phoebe and Ursula's past so I decided to give it a shot. I don't know how good this fic is going to be, so bare with me. But reviews are appreciated! Oh, also the twins in the picture are the twins from a band called Prussian Blue, and they are a White-supremacist band. I do not condone their music at all, but they are very cute twins and I thought they'd make a great young Phoebe and Ursula. But I don't own them, or Friends. Only the plot. Please R&R and let me know what you think.
Ursula and I are about to turn 13, on Saturday. We'll be teenagers, then. We're not having a birthday party, though. We've never had a real one before. Ursula has been acting different lately. Wearing mom's make-up to school and stuff. She wants to go dress shopping for our birthday, if Grandma sends us some money, like she usually does, but Mom says we need that money.
Now that Daddy's gone back to jail, we don't have any. Our house is always cold, because the heat shut off. Also, we never have any food in the fridge. Sometimes I don't eat for days, unless I dig through the trash at school. Sometimes kids throw out perfectly good food. Apples, bologna sandwiches, raisins..
We don't have any money to buy school lunches in the cafeteria. One time Josie McFarland, the prettiest girl at school, who all the boys want to kiss, and who all the girls want to be like..she saw me digging in the garbage. Now all the kids at school call me and Ursula "The Garbage Can Twins". They make fun of us because we're poor. It really hurts my feelings. We can't help it if we're poor. I'd get a job if I could, but I'm not old enough. Ursula was really mad at me for digging in the garbage, and she says that it's my fault no one likes us at school. Ursula wants to be friends with the popular girls. But because we're twins, they make fun of her, too. I don't care about being popular. I don't even care about being a teenager. I don't see what the big deal is. I like being a kid.
Being a kid means you don't have to worry about grown-up stuff, like paying rent, paying bills, having a car. We had to sell our car, a few months ago, when Daddy went to jail.
Sometimes I like to make-believe that I'm really rich, and I live in a great big house, with a big yard, and pool, and that I have lots of nice clothes, and I never run out of food. Even though the house isn't real.I just made it up in my head. Ursula says that playing make-believe games is for babies, and we're too old for that, now. I tell my mom sometimes that one day I'm going to be a famous singer. I like to sing. I like making up my own songs. When I'm a famous singer, I'll let my mom and Ursula live in my big house. And we'll always have cake and cookies and lots of good food to eat. We won't ever be hungry or cold, like we always are now. If Grandma sends us money, I think I should buy a guitar and learn how to play.
I don't know if Grandma will send us money, though. One night, while me and Ursula were supposed to be sleeping, we heard Mom and Grandma talking on the phone. Mom was mad. She was yelling at Grandma.
"Don't you dare tell me how to raise my kids! I'm doing the best that I can, so don't you threaten to take them away from me!"
Sometimes I just can't sleep at night, because I'm too sad. And I'm too cold and hungry. Me and Ursula have to share a bed in our room. Tonight is one of those nights where I just can't sleep, and Mom is still awake. I can hear her in the kitchen. Sounds like she's making something, but we don't have any food. Maybe she's making a surprise birthday cake for me and Ursula, even though our birthday isn't until Saturday. I start to get excited, and then I hear Mom crying. I feel so sad. I don't like when she cries.
Ursula is fast asleep next to me. I poke her in the side. "Ursula.." I whisper. She doesn't wake up, so I poke her again "Ursula!"
"What?" she mumbles, sounding annoyed.
"Mom's crying again."
"I don't care." she says and rolls over, so her back is to me. "Go to sleep."
I sigh and close my eyes, trying to sleep again, but I keep thinking about bad things. I miss Daddy. I try to make-believe that he's going to come home and surprise us for our birthday. I see him coming through the door, with an armful of presents for me and Ursula. He'd give us both big hugs. He'd hug and kiss Mom, and she wouldn't have to cry anymore. "I've missed you girls so much." he'd say. "I promise I won't ever leave again. Things are going to get better for all of us."
Mom's crying interrupts my fantasy. I roll onto my side and look at Ursula. "Urs?"
She turns over, scowling at me. "What!?"
"When is Daddy coming home?"
"He's never coming home! Shut up about Dad! If you wake me up one more time I'm gonna punch you in the nose!" She rolls over again, pulling our shabby, wool blanket over her head.
Ursula always threatens to hit me, but she never does because she knows I'll tell on her, and she'll get in trouble. I wait a few minutes, and then I decide to get up. I put my feet on the cold floor and walk out to the kitchen, where Mom is. She's sitting at the table, with her head down, and crying. Behind her, I see a large bowl, with the white powder in it. It looks like the powdered sugar Grandma sprinkles on our French toast when Ursula and I use to go visit her when we were little. Daddy said that it's poisonous to kids, so I'm not allowed to touch it. When he and Mom use to make it in the kitchen, before he went to jail, I wasn't allowed in there. They mix it up and put it in the oven, making it into rocks. When they did, we always had money. But when the cops came to our house, they took Daddy, all of the poisonous powder, and all of our money. I haven't seen any powder in our house since he left.
Mom looks up. Her face is all red and puffy from crying. "Phoebe, honey. Go back to bed." she says, wiping her eyes.
I come closer to her. "I can't sleep."
Mom stands up quickly. "Phoebe, don't come in here! You know better than that."
"But I can't sleep." I say again. "I'm too hungry."
Mom starts crying again, and I feel bad. I know there isn't anything to eat. Mom walks over to me.
"Come here, baby girl." She puts her arms around me. I like it when she holds me, but I'm too big for her to pick up like when I was little. She sits down in the chair and pulls me into her lap. I haven't sat in her lap since I was little, either. She rocks me back and forth. "I love you, sweetheart. Things are about to get so much better for us. You'll see. I promise. Everything is going to be ok."
"I know." I say, as she strokes my hair. I rest my head on her shoulder. Eventually, I feel tired enough to go to sleep.