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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Flash Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

Enid is unsettled more about her fathers present kindness and pleasantness than his previous strictness and the harsh punishments he gave her sometimes for the smallest matter so that she got smacked for what seemed the littlest thing and her mother too but now he is all goodness and happy and even her mother smiles and laughs and as she walks beside Benny on the way home from Kennington Park it fills her mind and shows in her face and Benny says whats up? you didnt like the park? too far way? no I like the park and the ice cream you bought me its just that Im worried about my dad and his new niceness it unnerves me and wakes me unsettled she says as if he might change back overnight or just suddenly be his old self again and whack me out of the blue as he used to do your old mans an arse Benny says but if he has changed so much the better at least he wont whack you as he used to or slipper you for the little things she looks unsure and takes Bennys hand and squeezes it you are my best friend she says you know me well and my dad but if he has changed how will I know if its for good or only just a passing whim? Benny looks at her you dont know you just have to take it one day at the time look for signs of change see if his face gets all dark as it did before the cruelty in his eyes that thin lips thing I do look but I am frightened to look too much in case he gets angry she says they walk along towards the New Kent Road her hand still clutching his has he gone all religious? Benny says dont think so she replies he doesnt seem to be he doesnt say grace before meals or pray or anything like that but he does laugh more than he used to do and Mum does to and I saw them kissing the other day in the passage and Mum seemed happier than I have ever seen her and she hasnt had a black eye for ages now Benny looks at her beside him her thick lens glasses the eyes behind them large and uneasy how about I come home with you and see what his reaction is to me being there he used to hate me and tell you not to go with me and that time you came to chapel with me and he beat you some just for that Benny says not sure she says would that be a good idea? he might change like that and God knows what hell do then and it might be like the old days Benny nods his head ok I was just trying to see if his new image is for real or not he says the walk along by the ABC cinema and Benny looks in at the photographs showing what film is on and what films are coming soon new cowboy film on he says how about you and me going to the flicks this Saturday? she shrugs her thin shoulders dont think hell let me hell say its a waste of money and say Ive not done enough chores to go or something like that she says staring at the photographs but if hes changed he might Benny says I could always ask him for you no no dont ask him please Enid says he will get angry and think I put you up to it and he is being so kind at the moment and to Mum and it might change him back again Benny sighs ok if you dont want me to ask I wont but you need to be yourself more be the real Enid not the girl he thinks you should be Benny says hell say you just a nine year old girl and Im to do and be as he says Enid says quietly as if her father might be listening to her Im nine years old too but Im me not the boy my Mum wants me to be Benny says but your mum is different shes kind and good all the time and you are good to her and my dad is not like her and not even now can I trust him to let me be myself she says they walk on along the road she still clutching his hand tight he thinking about her old man that time her father passed him on the stairs of theflats and eyed him darkly and Benny stared at him putting on his best Humphrey Bogart stare and her old man shaking his head and walking on down they walk past the fish and chip shop you want to share a bag of fries? he says she looks at him taking in his quiff of brown hair and hazel eyes Ive no money she says Ive got sixpence I can get us sixpence worth he says she nods her head ok if you like she says thinking how good it would to have chips and salt and vinegar so Benny goes in the shop and she waits outside watching the traffic go past thinking of her father and how he will be when she gets home will he be the same be kind and thoughtful or will he be as he was before and be there waiting in his dark mood and Mum crying with split lip and blackened eye and he waiting for her asking her questions where shed been and with whom and she takes a deep intake of breath looking at the bomb site over the road and the coal wharf beyond and Benny is in the fish and chip shop buying some fries and suddenly standing there her eyes fill with water and she wells up inside and cries.

Submitted: March 01, 2016

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