Don’t they say that eavesdroppers never hear anything good about themselves? Well, if they don’t, they should. Because it’s true. I thought Jayden and Amanda would be getting all lovey-dovey over their smoothies and wraps on the other side of that pot plant in Kauai. But, no. They’re talking about me. And it’s nothing good.

“She’s ruining my life,” Amanda says in a low, angry voice. “My mom is a nervous wreck. My dad’s being all distant and cut off. Even my little brother is feeling it. And it’s all her fault – Latoya’s. I wish she’d never been born.”

“I don’t understand,” Jayden says carefully. “I thought the whole point of the secret was that your mom wasn’t supposed to know.”

Amanda gives an impatient shrug. “I don’t know how she found out. Who cares? I think it maybe had something to do with the money he pays for Latoya’s school fees every month. That’s how I found out. The statements were just lying there in a drawer. Dad doesn’t know that Mom knows. Or maybe he does. I don’t know. It’s just something we never talk about. It’s like this huge big forbidden secret.”

“That can’t be easy.” Jayden shakes his head. They’re talking even more softly now. I’m leaning so far into the pot plant I’m afraid I’ll pop out the other side. A tiny spider crawls across my hand, but I don’t dare brush it away.

“It’s not easy. And the longer it goes on the worse it gets. Mom and Dad can hardly stand to talk to each other these days. He looks like he’s being torn up on the inside, and she’s all bitter and angry. She keeps going on about money that goes missing every month just when we really need it. They act … they act like they hate each other.”

Her voice drops lower. I lean even further into the pot plant. Until suddenly – to my total and utter horror – I find myself toppling over. The whole pot plant is tipping forward, with me tangled up inside it.

I shoot out a desperate hand to save myself, but the only thing I connect with is Jayden’s smoothie, which explodes in my face like a bomb. I land on the floor in a tangle of chairs, plant, and yoghurty goo.

Jayden and Amanda are staring at me in shock. Then, as Amanda takes in my smoothie-covered face and body, with an extra topping of brown soil, she suddenly bursts into a fit of uncontrollable giggles.

Image: Steve Vosloo, CC-BY-SA-2.0

WHAT DO YOU THNK?  This definitely qualifies as Latoya’s most embarrassing moment. What is your most embarrassing moment?