Behind the wall

After school I collected Lenny and Rebecca, gave them sandwiches and pushed them into the yard. They ran behind the garage wall. When I went to hang out washing they were still there, talking in hushed, earnest voices.

I popped my head around the corner. ‘Everything OK?’

‘Sure,’ said Lenny.

I’d never known him to sit so long in conversation with a friend. But Rebecca was new. He’d only ever asked boys to play before.

Rebecca smiled.

They were still there when, on the dot of 5:30, there was a rap on the door. I opened it to a red-faced, balding man. ‘Jeremy Practchett. Rebecca’s father,’ he said

I was about to invite him in when he called over my shoulder, ‘Rebecca. Come. Now.’

The girl was by my side in an instant, and then, before I could say a proper goodbye, she was being ushered towards an open car door.

‘Bye, Bec,’ Lenny called down the hall.

But Rebecca kept walking.

‘She’s a nice girl,’ I said, as he came to stand beside me.

‘Mum,’ he said. ‘Does Daddy love you?’

‘Very much. Why?’

He looked at me in a puzzled way. ‘Does he protect you?’

I watched Rebecca’s stony-faced father ease his car into the traffic. ‘We just try to help each other out,’ I said.

2011—Richard Holt / small stories about love (


One thought on “Behind the wall

  1. Behind the wall Lenny seemed to have fallen in love with Rebecca, but he couldn’t have protected his love from her rude father. Puppy love brings so much confusion.

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