“Would you like to be alone for a while? Why not go to your nana’s house? It will be empty until we sell it.”
I touch the back of my hand to the kettle, the metal is cold so I push the switch down and put two teabags in the pot. Mum is looking at me worriedly in the kitchen. Nana is upstairs in my brother’s old bedroom which is now kitted out with the latest in computerised mattresses and remote control beds. The latter of these is something of a marvel to my mother who, just the other day, spent ten minutes demonstrating all of its features to a friend. I’d walked into the room to find nana flat on the bed and five feet in the air.
I rinse the last of the milk from its bottle careful to scrape the dried flakes from beneath the rim with my nail and a yellow dish cloth. I pause opening the door, my feet recoiling slipper-less at the cold of the step, then place the bottle with his brothers to the reassuring chime of glass and brick.
I must have been driving north somewhere between Bristol and Gloucester when she died. I was in her car, the green Nissan Micra she’d given me the summer before. The check engine light had come on and was glaring angrily at me from behind the steering wheel, I ignored it just as I had learnt to ignore the strips of black duct tape that held the window in place.
A man runs toward the sea, slows down as it touches his legs, stops momentarily as it reaches his waist.
Excerpts of Observations by Polly Maxwell for more of her work visit her website via our website page