Live and Let Thrive – part one


Tear-wet hair at her temples, she lies on the bed. Needing to cry great racking sobs and rail at the world, she is silent. Deafening grief won’t turn around that flight to Brisbane and bring her girl back. Lying on the bed, that morning vacated by her twenty-five year old baby, she turns her head and inhales the sleeping scent of her child.

No more binge-watching bad TV on a Sunday night till the small hours, knowing that the weekend will be over once they go to bed.

Or dressing in their one-sies to watch The Hunger Games. All of them. Again. Hands in a box of maltesers.

Or hugging her, warm and real and whole, not some image on a laptop.
“It won’t be so bad, Muzzy – we can Facetime.” Not so bad, just bloody awful.

Now that her eyes are open and the leaking tears slow, she looks up at the glow-in-the-dark stars they never quite got around to taking down. There are spiders there in all four corners of the room, too. Good job her daughter didn’t clock them. Well, no point in turfing them out of the room now there’s no-one else in residence. Live and let thrive.

A bedroom now spare and empty of her girl, but still filled with her presence. Along with three large bin bags. “Muz – didn’t get around to sorting out these.” She’d put Post-Its on them;
Charity eBay Muzzy

How she thought ‘Muzzy’ was going to squeeze herself into clothes two sizes too small, she wasn’t sure. Maybe she’d had more faith in her mother’s ability to stick to a diet than was strictly realistic. The fashions were probably too young in any event.

Yesterday, her girl’d been writing on the sticky pads. Yesterday, she’d been packing, looking excited and painfully so much younger than her quarter century. Yesterday, sat just here on the bed, checking over her passport, ticket and money. Yesterday.. all my troubles seemed so far away.

One of the spiders scuttled out of its corner with surprising speed and made it half way across the ceiling, before changing its mind and scuttling back.
Now it looks as though they’re here to stay. Oh I believe in yesterday. The mournful ear-worm continued unabated in her head and her throat tightened.

The spider repeated its scuttling manoeuvre. “Which one are you?” Talking to herself now to distract the tears clamouring to fall again. “Ringo, John, Paul or – who’s that other one – can never remember his name..”

A voice calls up from downstairs. “Is that you love? Are you alright? Would you like a cup of tea?”

He is hurting too, but blessim, he is of the belief that a cup of tea, if not quite a panacea, will surely lessen the sting. And maybe he’s right she thinks, as she heaves herself off the bed and out of the door. Switching off the light, she remembers “George.. that’s him. G’night boys.”

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Putting post in the bedside drawer of the spare room.
Photographed and Watsapp-ed, it can be destroyed when her girl’s back for a visit next year, or maybe the year after. And her silver christening bangles have turned up. A bit random, but will she want to keep them – they’re a bit titchy? She puts them in the cupboard and they can be taken back to Oz next visit. Or not. Probably they’ll go into the eBay bag that she still hasn’t got around to sorting out.

Looking around; five spiders now, they’ve been joined by a smaller one, but is that a spiderling or a sightseer? It’s living near the light fitting. Well, they can’t be the Beatles anymore, which is fine, she never really liked them anyway. Always thought the Monkees were better. Controversial, probably.

P’raps they’re the Rolling Stones – aren’t there five of them? She’s not sure – and not sure that she’s very keen on the Stones either. Thinks they only did one good song, ‘Paint it Black’, but it’s in her top ten, so she forgives them for all the others.

It’s not so bad with Facetime, actually. At least she gets to see her daughter, her face and expressions as she talks. How did people cope years ago? Exchange flimsy, tear splashed air mail letters. As many and as often as they were, they would never be enough.

She has a thought. Take That; there’s definitely 5 of them, or there were. Loved ‘Rule the World’, her and her girl’s special anthem from ‘Stardust’, their go-to movie when Christmas tree decorating every year. She’ll be doing that on her own this December. Those tears, always hovering.

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See next months’ Forum Magazine for Part 2
© 2018 Lucia Foster-Found