One year ago…

The silence of 1am interrupted by a ringing phone could only mean one thing. The screen glowed into life a name who never calls with any good news… Never calls with any news really… Only contacts via messenger with predictable words of – Are you still up? Can you read me some cards?

Time paused… Debating whether to pick up… Resignedly picking up because it’s the dutiful thing to do…

Stifled sobs, choking the words – The police have just left. He’s been found dead.

The only surprise I felt was my lack of feeling all the things people tell you you’ll feel… Instead I felt a profound sense of stillness and calm, a relief of weight being removed… Quietness… The shutting down of background thoughts that permeate my mind like radiation, the low level anxiety not noticed until now removed, the baseline dread of accidentally seeing him again… All slipping away…

I listened as my sister spoke… She’d never had a good word to say about him… Her words didn’t resonate with the screenshots of messages of the arguments she’d had with him. Her always telling him to fuck off and him undeterred and undented.

By the lake. They think it was a heart attack…

Silence… Was it my turn to speak? OK, so what happens now? What do you need me to do? Come with you? OK… I’ll call work and can get to you by about 9.30am.

Arriving at her house, the all pervading stench of dogs, forces me to shallow breathe as I try to take in enough air to live, without taking in so much air I can taste elderly canines. The smell and viewing my sister’s face from a certain angle, jar me as I note how uncannily similar her and our mother are. It is not that I’d never noticed before but previously I would brush it aside, now I just observed. I resisted the urge to vocalise my thoughts of wow you’re just like Mary…

I sat at the kitchen table. One of the dogs came up to me. Hey old fella.

Oh, he’s a lucky fella! He’s got a stay of execution. He was supposed to be going to the vets today to be put down. But oh no, now I’ve got to sort all this out. Ffs! Trust him to mess up my plans! Oh and great! Now she’s in tears because she’s just failed her driving test!

My neice stood blotchy faced in the doorway. First time? I asked her. She nodded. That’s good! All the best driver’s fail first time! Your mother passed first time and look at how she drives… A smile broke through then disappeared just as quickly as my sister snapped…

Come on! Get your keys! You’re driving!

What? I’m driving? No… The car needs to go into the garage. It’s only good for short hops. No way will it make it to Norfolk.

So how the fuck are we getting there?

Your car…?

Are you insured to drive anyone’s car?

No… Just mine…

So how the fuck do I get the HiLux back?


Shift your fucking car so I can get mine out! Fuck knows how we’ll get it back now! Oh ffs! We’re supposed to be going to pick up his Toyota! What did you think was happening?

I thought we were going to view Dad’s body…?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.