AFTERNOON DATE 1960

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Romance  |  House: Booksie Classic

Submitted: May 31, 2016

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Submitted: May 31, 2016

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Fay and I went to Bedlam Park,
not to swim in the pool,
but to sit on the grass
with a bag of crisps each,
and sandwiches,
and a bottle of lemonade.

Where has your old man gone
for his retreat?
I said.

He's not my old man,
he's my dad,
Fay said,
she took a sandwich
from the bag,
and looked at me.

Some monastery
for a weekend.

Why has he gone?
I said.

She nibbled a sandwich.

Something to do
with spiritual refreshment,
she said.

He needs it?
I said.

He think he does,
she said.

I took a swig
of the lemonade.

We sat in silence
for a few minutes
while we ate and drank.

Have you ever
been to holy communion?
she asked.

Not that I know,
I said,
what is it?

Us Catholics believe
that during the Mass
the bread becomes
the body of Christ,
and the wine
become His blood,
she said.

Really?
I said,
real blood and flesh?

Yes of course,
she said,
it is called transubstantiation.

Sounds painful,
I said,
the nuns at school said
it is Christ's sacrifice
for us.

I ate another sandwich;
she sipped lemonade.

Mum and I may leave soon,
Fay said.

Leave where?
I said.

Leaving my dad and brothers,
but you mustn't tell anyone,
Benny,
she said.

Leaving why?
I said.

Mum can't take anymore
of Dad's ways,
and words,
and his treatment of me,
Fay said,
looking at me searchingly,
don't tell anyone,
please Benny.

I won't, I said.

I swigged lemonade,
and she took a sandwich,
and ate,
odd time,
this our afternoon date.

 


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