I wanted to curl up like a hedgehog. I needed to
be in my room alone. Instead obscure aunties
manhandled me, said how sorry they were. Their
grief didn’t stop them from eating and guzzling.
Father stood like a broken man and conversed
with these relations. The lounge smelt of despair.
Slowly the mourners ebbed away, leaving a mess
of cold sausage rolls and empty bottles. Father
began to clear up. He moved like a malfunctioning
robot. He didn’t even know I was there. Mother
would have swept all the surfaces clean in no time.
I didn’t think the disorder would ever go away.
I slunk upstairs to nurse my sorrow. My attic room
was stone cold. I wondered if Father had paid the
gas bill. Things would change now. Honestly I felt
orphaned. Like somebody had kicked away all the
joy in the world, and trampled my heart. The simple
days were irrecoverable.


Author: Robert James Berry

Poet & Novelist