Through the curtains

The howling begins as I’m making Braden’s bed. Through a gap in the curtains I see two girls spread on the opposite footpath. As I’m wondering whether to call an ambulance one raises her head and curses, half to the other and half to the world. The second girl takes her head in her hands. There’s been no accident. Their injuries can’t simply be stitched to heal. Their pain cannot be dulled.

I’ve seen them around the flats. Early twenties perhaps. I’ve seen them arm in arm. Happy together. But something has changed, and changed completely.

As the chorus of lamentation swells I find myself wondering if I could know anything like it. To be so completely overcome. To not care about the world at all—the hard concrete, the schoolchildren steering a wide circle around them.

But I could.  I recall the things my father said before he left. How angry I was with Mum for not fighting back. And neither of us wanting to show our hurt. Locked instead in silence.

Thirty-year-old tears begin to fall. They roll like rain on parched ground. I don’t even notice Braden coming in. ‘Mum,’ he says, ‘It’s late. You have to sign my excursion form.’

 

(this is an edited version of the story Silence, published on this day, 2010. See about small stories about love)

Until another day

Lola hoped for the best for others. That’s why around midday, when she should have been studying for her psychology prac she found herself thinking instead about Kat and Bryn. They’d been so much in love at first. But since Jersey’s arrival things had been rocky. She liked Jersey but thought she took flirting too far. Bryn had resisted for a month now but it only seemed a matter of time. With his background, too. Settling down wasn’t his thing. Just ask Dee. But Lola had honestly thought that with Kat it would be different. And after Kat’s cancer scare she deserved the best.

Life in Spring Harbour had certainly become complicated. Lola just had to trust, for the sake of her friends, that things would work out.

At least until another day. The theme music played and Lola turned back to her books. But she couldn’t concentrate. That stunt Jersey had played at the charity ball was so unfair. Lola just hoped Bryn would see Jersey at last for who she truly was.

 

This is a redraft of the story of the same name posted on this day a year ago.