Packing up a box of memories; that was how the young girl felt. She didn’t have much, hadn’t been long in the home, but the memories were there. She didn’t know if they would all fit into the shoe box with its coloured elastic bands around it to stop the lid from coming off, but she would try and force them in anyway.
‘Tea’s ready,’ came the shout from downstairs. ‘Hurry up Tania, you’ll want ya’ fish fingers before you ‘ave to go.’
Tania smiled as the last swirls of the kind lady’s voice spun their way up through the part-open door to find her. She would miss this lady. There had been others she didn’t miss, that was for sure, but this one … yer, she’d miss her. And as she gathered up the last of the memories from the crowded bedroom that, for the last three months, she’d been sharing with two others—they were staying, lucky them—she crossed her fingers, nails bitten down to the quick, that the next place she went with her memory box would be like this.
In the kitchen she pecked at her tea. Maybe, if she ate slowly time would slow down also, maybe the spindle arms of the austere clock face would take pity on her butterflied stomach and hesitate. Just for her.
‘What you thinking ‘bout, love?’ asked the kind lady.
Tania smiled up at her through a few fish-crumbs. She didn’t reply, she never did, she never spoke to anyone apart from the memories that she carried in her box.
And then the clock hands did their work and dragged the sound of the glass-muffled car engine to her door.
And she left with a hug from the kind lady, crossed fingers and her box of rubber band-wrapped memories; her friend.
©Davey Northcott 2014
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