Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Challenge 20: Leaving home

“You don’t understand, I have to be packed and ready to go inside the next hour!”

“But Jimmy will be home by himself otherwise.”

“Mom! I’m going to Australia so you’re going to have to figure that one out for yourself in future.”

Her eyes went all sparkly, like she might start crying.

One, two, three ruby roses on her necklace. Don’t think about making mum cry. They looked expensive, probably a loan from work since she definitely didn’t earn enough to buy something like that. Just turn around and walk away, she’ll be okay. Mum looked amazing in her slinky scarlet gown and ruby slippers. She probably would have been the prettiest one at the company Christmas party. Well it wasn’t my fault she couldn’t go any more. I had already warned her three weeks ago that I was going to be spending Christmas with Dad and Grandma in Aussie. She could have arranged a babysitter for James, but instead she did what she always did, pretend that the things she didn’t like weren’t happening at all.

I left her standing all mute and gummed up in the lounge and retreated upstairs to my room. Sitting on the edge of my underwater bedspread, I wondered if I would miss her when I moved to Australia more permanently next year. That was another thing she was pretending wouldn’t happen. I hauled my aqua Barbie suitcase out from under all the junk in my wardrobe and made a face, promising myself a new suitcase as soon as I got a descent summer job. It was just embarrassing, trundling this thing behind me through the Sydney Airport every time I wanted to visit dad. I think it was mum’s punishment for my betrayal, every time I went over there.

I pushed that thought aside. Focus on packing. There couldn’t be that much to take. Christmas was in the middle of summer in Australia and people wore as little as possible. I chucked in my navy swim-team one-piece, hoping dad might shout me a new, flashier bikini as a Christmas present, but wanting to be prepared just in case. A couple of pairs of blue and white boardies and a t-shirt advertising diet Pepsi and I was pretty much set in the clothing department. I remembered my phone charger and toothbrush, but I didn’t need much more than that. Grandma’s philosophy around my visits was to come with an empty suitcase and go home with a full one and that suited me just fine.

I trundled the bag out into the corridor, tensing again as soon as I left my room. Crossing from my soothing steel-gray carpet into the fiery red of the hallway was like giving away any illusion of having my own space. I was in her world from here to the front door. I just hoped the taxi wasn’t late.

Wordcount: 480


  1. So I have no idea what this is about... it would have to be my most random post to date. I think it's sort of a tribute to my cousin who just went to study in Aus lol

  2. Hey :) Its nice to read a piece by you that's set in 'our' world. Though I like your fantasy best! I have a funny feeling you might too?