All I Ever Wanted by Vikki Wakefield

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  • April 3, 2017
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By Vikki Wakefield

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She fidgets with some jewellery, a bottle of perfume, a CD. But there’s somewhere else she wants to be. ’ If I tell her what happened I think I’ll probably cry and I’ll lose my edge. That and the fact that her dream’s come true—if you can call it a dream—and mine’s gone arse up. So much for parallel lives. ’ ‘Nah,’ she says, but I know when she’s lying. ‘Was it okay? ’ ‘It was fine. Honest. Anyway, I have to go. ’ Great. At home with my mother on a Saturday night. ’ I ask, because I’m a romantic.

I could have told him that I needed to rewind that scene because something was missing. I shouldn’t have stopped. But I did. Two wars will come of this. Out of habit, I cross the road to avoid the Tarrant place. The front yard is full of wounded toys and old junk. A bare-bummed toddler gives me the finger, so solemnly I could almost take it for a greeting. Another raggedy kid that could be a boy or a girl tears through a side gate and skids to a stop. Stares at me like I’m the antichrist. Gargoyle’s choker chain hangs off the porch, empty, but you can’t ever chance it.

No problem, there’s nobody home anyway,’ she answers the question that’s burning my lips. A skylight floods the hall with bright white. We have a skylight. There’s a sheet of Perspex in the bathroom where the whirly fan used to be. If the water’s too hot when you shower, the steam condenses on the plastic and plops back down, like cold rain. ’ Kate points to a bathroom and wanders off down the hallway. I go, then wash my hands in a basin that’s white and shallow as a dinner plate. I keep thinking the water will spill over the edge but it magically disappears.

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