Thursday, March 31, 2011

HE KILLED MY MUM (July 2001)

 Saranda left the main noisy road and swung into Lilly Street where the trees provided patches of shade along the way. All the same, the afternoon sun was blisteringly hot and she sweltered in her long jumper. Now she could see the weedy block of land in front, desolate and empty. Where was Jack? He promised to be here today. And Kathy? What if she will never meet her again, what if she will never return her golden sun? Suddenly she felt very weak. Half way down Saranda paused under the big eucalyptus tree and wiped her forehead.

    "What's up, Saranda?" Kathy asked sitting in its shade with Lucky by her side.

    "I hate your winter," Saranda flopped exhausted next to her: "Cold mornings and hot afternoons." Jack's blond head appeared from behind the tree trunk. They looked rested and in a happy mood, although dressed only in some T-shirts and baggy jeans.

    Kathy muffled Lucky's fur dreamily: "Soon we have to move to Uncle Toby's verandah for the nights, it's too cold to sleep on the streets."

    "Too bloody noisy for me," Jack scratched his dirty hair.

    "You can freeze here," Kathy snapped at him: "Or p.... off back home."

Then they tossed a coin for their turn. Jack won and Kathy went to find a 'ten-ounce sandwich' for them. Saranda followed Jack and Lucky heading of to the beach.

    "What about going home?" She caught up with him: "To see George and your room, you know it's the same like you have left it...your medals and everything."

But Jack ignored her and moved on.

    "There is a crab." He suddenly stopped and lifted one of the rocks on the shore. Lucky sniffed underneath.

    "Will he bite me?" Saranda leaned forward with an outstretched hand, but hesitated for a second, afraid.

    "If you give him a chance." Aware of danger, the crab shot across the stones to the sea. Jack sat down with his arms round his legs and his chin resting on his knees staring at some surfers in thermo-suits having fun in the ocean: "What a dumper!" He suddenly pointed at the big wave that broke suddenly hurling the surfers down with great force: "Dad's always told me that I would become a champion surfer one day."

   "Do you miss him?"

Jack had a faraway look on his face: "How do you know his name and my medals?"

Saranda described her first meeting with George and her embarrassing exploring of George's house. She has also mentioned the trip to York on a long weekend. Jack listened carefully without any interruption, when he suddenly blurted out: "He killed my Mum, George, he's a bloody killer..." He shouted and put his head into his hands.


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