Gary was flicking beany gunge on my flawless new Ellesse top - I was yelling at him. What a pillock! Mum was dead, well - fatally injured - she died later in hospital. We just didn't know it at the time.Gary, John and Dad, too, are lost without Mum. Gary is only 14 and goes seriously off the rails, getting involved with local thugs and teetering on the brink of being on the wrong side of the law. John is wrestling with the GCSEs and his first romance - the gorgeous Olivia Bellman. But he's carrying the burden of trying to cope with Gary and Dad at the same time. And they're all living with the memories of someone they can never replace. Alan Gibbons has an extraordinary knack of knowing just what it's like to be a teenager. He writes here with compassion - and flashes of humour - about surviving against all the odds.