The impetus this month? A variety of objects laid out on the table – gold pen, red address book, pink lipstick, ear phones, mobile phone, car keys. Write about the person who owns the objects, or pick one item to write about.
From where I knelt, I could see a child’s view of the home of my girlhood.
Time had passed so quickly. The crack in the wall made me smile. Mum had been so cross. It had been Erika’s fault of course. She started it. I burst out laughing, although sudden tears trickled down my cheeks.
My mother, my sister, and soon, my home. All gone.
My father? I frowned and swiped at my cheeks. Tomorrow, I’d clean and pack and throw away my childhood. But today…
Half closing my eyes, I became the little, freckled-face girl I’d once been.
“I’ll count to one thousand by fives!”
So I raced through the lounge room and ran, full pelt, into the bookcase. Books fell everywhere. Hurriedly, I reached out to replace them, or Mum would be mad. My eyes caught sight of a small, old, cracked red leather book, hidden within the black covers of an old poetry book. My lips read out the title. The Golden Treasury.
I flicked through the small red covered book that had fallen out. Mum’s faded writing covered the flimsy pages. A name caught my eye. David Clivedon. And a long, long row of numbers.
My sister came thundering up the stairs. I shoved the red book back in its poetic home, straightened the books, and ran.
Today arrived again, my sister’s footsteps fading.
My heart beat hard as I reached once more into the bookcase, my fingers unerringly touching the old poetry book I’d replaced thirty years ago. And there was the address book. With shaking hands, I flipped through the pages. One page fell out and one slightly tore. But I came to the letter ‘C’.
Mum had never spoken about what had happened to my father. Her lips had always flattened, and her eyes had grown cold and frosty. Erika had said she remembered him. Sort of. He’d sounded funny, she’d said.
That large group of numbers, I knew now, was an overseas phone number. Trembling, breathless, I picked up the phone and dialled.
“Hello.” An old man’s voice. “This is David Clivedon speaking.”
So I’d rung America, or perhaps Canada.
Now my heart pounded. “This…this is Molly Smith. I used to be Molly Clivedon.”
Long silence, then a soft exhale of air. Relief? Pain? I heard them both, as my father whispered, “Oh, my God.”