Creative Writing: A Sunday

The leaving was easier than she thought.

All those nights practising it in her head. Just wanted to look at the gardens,
so pretty in the spring. Just wanted to see the gardens. Except in the end
nobody asked. She simply put on the good blue dress, combed her hair and walked
down the corridors, taking care over those polished tiles, and pushed out
through the heavy double doors.

Outside. Out through the garden. Trying not to run but wanting to. Outside. Out
through the gates and here she is walking along the footpath looking at the
daffodils. Just like anybody else.

She breathes in the air. Sniffs it. Sucks it up and rolls it around in her mouth.
So different out here. Different even than in the garden. Sitting on those seats.
Sometimes she takes off her shoes. Rolls down her rights so that she can feel
good rough ground under her feet. She digs her toes in, and rubs her soles into
the earth. They say, look at that Jessy getting herself all dirty, Jessy you
naughty girl you\'ll get a chill. Time to go inside, girls.

ÐFunny that. Being called girl. Naughty naughty girls wetting themselves and
pinching. Quiet good girls slumped in the seats in the garden with their mouths
open. Waiting for it. Drinking in death.

Her voice shakes when she asks for two sections. She wants it far too much.
Practised that too in her head over and over in the nights. Listening to them in
the corridors. If Mary shits herself again tonight she can sleep in it.
Listening to the cries and the calling, I have to get home. I have to, the
children want their dinner. She sits in the bus away from the window. Afraid to
look out. Cars and people on the footpath. People watching. For her. Tom says
it\'s a nice place, Mum. Warm and clean and friendly and plenty to do. Except
that everything to do there ends up with dying and there are better places to do
that and better people to do it with.

She grips the sides of the seat with her hands and they are hot and sweating.
Jack said I don\'t want to leave you, Jess. Jess? And she took his head in her
hands and cradled him against her body. Rocked and rocked him, tender and gentle
for the last time and whispered to him and held him strong and tight while he
needed it and then let her tears wash down over her face and down over his. She
kissed his mouth and it was still warm and it tasted of salt.

She manages the steps and the post office is there down the road. She has her
book ready in her bag but how much?; she has to think, too, about the withdrawal
slip. All thats done for her now. Tom said it\'d be easier. Tom doesn\'t know
sometimes easier is harder. In the end she stands still and quiet and breathes
in deeply. Makes herself think to write the name and the numbers. She has to
stop and hold her hand to stop the shaking and rub in some warmth. Her hands are
always a surprise. She can never believe they belong to her. Greyish with the
brown patches and the thin fragile fingers; skin haphazardly stretched on bone.
Jack loved her hands, traced over supple smooth flesh with his fingers. In the
end its only bones that are left. In the end your bones get cold and they ache.

The young man behind the counter has Jack\'s blue eyes that she smiles into and
he takes her book and slides it back to her with money. He says have a nice day
and she echoes it back at him, a nice day, have a nice day. Her heart is
pounding.

Out in the streets she panics a little. All these people and talking and music
and the cars slowly nosing. There is a red-capped boy swooping in and out of the
crowd on his skate-board. It is how Jean Legget broke her hip and she steps
quickly back and a woman drives an elbow into her shoulder. Sorry, sorry,
Frightened now. There is a man playing a guitar and singing loudly. She closes
her eyes. Back. Still get back for lunch. Not even missed. Tomato soup and
scrambled eggs and little triangles of dry toast. Tuesday. Eat up girls. Lovely
lunch. Easy to go back, (just in the garden, lovely day).