Monday, 8 June 2020

'We wanted to be the same as our parents. That's all we knew.' by R.J. Kinnarney

It was the first day of the summer term. “We’ve got a new car. You know that the registration changes in March now? So it’s brand new.” Joel was one of those kids from the cul-de-sac, where everyone had a front drive and double glazing. The three of us looked at him. We didn’t say a word.

We were none of us kids who could brag about new cars. We’d only got one car between three families up our end of the street. We were lucky, though, because our Mums and Dads were pals, so we kind of shared the car. Although, officially, Evanses owned it, our Dad paid the insurance and Ashley’s Mom paid the tax and petrol.

We shared meal times, too. It was usually something like fish finger and chips or sausage and chips. Basically, anything and chips. We’d eat in the back kitchen, all six of us kids. Sometimes the grown ups would be in the front room. Sometimes they’d be in one of the gardens. Most of the time they were all together. Just occasionally, a couple of them were missing. We never took much notice.

Our Mum put the plates down on the grubby cloth. It was supposed to be wipe clean but we never bothered with that. “Anything interesting back at school?” she asked us.

“Not really. Jerky Joel’s got a new car.”

“Language, Kelly.”

We all laughed. Our Mum had the worst potty mouth. That’s where we got it from in the first place.

“Where are Ashley and Stephen?” Mum didn’t like food going to waste.

“Think they’re upstairs, playing Mummies and Daddies, like Ashley’s Mum and Stephen’s Dad.”

We wanted to be the same as our parents. That’s all we knew.

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