‘I had a dream about Victoria.’ Gemma waited for her mother’s response.

Robyn kept peeling. ‘Did you. That’s nice Dear. Was it a good dream?’

‘Oh yes. We were playing hidey. You were looking for us.’

‘I was in it too?’

‘Yes. You were in it.’

‘Where was Daddy?’

‘I don’t know?’

‘In his shed I expect.’

They laughed together. It was their favourite joke about Marcus.

‘So I hid under the bed. Only you saw me and you followed me in to find me.’

‘I’m pretty hard to trick.’

‘But we did. Because Victoria was already hiding there. I jumped under and when you said, “I’ve got you. Come on out,” Victoria popped out instead.’

‘That’s lovely, Dear,’ said Mum in her quiet voice. ‘It’s a lovely day. Run outside and play..’

‘I’ll go and tell Daddy.’

‘Yes. Tell Daddy about Vicky.’

Gemma knocked on the shed door. She told him her dream. ‘You shouldn’t play tricks on Mummy,’ he said.

Then he went inside. Gemma watched through the kitchen window as he and Robyn hugged for a long time. They didn’t notice her. They never saw her spying. Spying was her favourite thing to do. Without spying it was boring, out here all by herself.


2011—Richard Holt / small stories about love (