Auntie Dawn

My mother found it difficult to cope with reality after my father was abducted by aliens. She found it difficult to cope with me too, a growing seven-year-old who used his wild imagination to cope with his version of real life. Dad’s disappearance was tough on both of us, so my aunt came to help.

Auntie was never a morning person, bur her coffee seemed to help. She wasn’t used to children, having none of her own, only a small yappy dog who she pushed around in a pram. To be clear; the small yappy dog only yapped at other people. It wouldn’t dare answer back to Auntie.

I remember her first visit. Mum left home early to have her first day at her new job, leaving me alone to answer the door when Auntie was expected in just a few minutes. She came on time, as Mum told me she would. I’d seen that grown-ups always offer hot drinks when people arrive, so I pointed her towards the coffee machine on the work top.

She said she didn’t like the fancy stuff, and pulled out a thermos flask with her own coffee. She took a sip from the plastic lid and then added something from a small silver flask. I guess it was cold water because she drunk her coffee a lot more quickly after that.

“I need to get you ready for school,” she said.  “How do you propose I do that?”

I was surprised that grown-ups didn’t know these things. Didn’t they go to school when they were younger? Mum had already put my PE kit in my bag, and also the letter to my teacher saying that I’d be picked up by my aunt for the “next foreseeable”. I didn’t know I was going to have a “foreseeable” after school, but Auntie would probably tell me about it later.

“Mum cooks me sausages and beans for breakfast,” I replied, “Sometimes bacon too, and gives me money for school lunch.”

It was worth a try. I’d already eaten my cereal with Mum, but I was still hungry. I hardly ate any of it; I’d only agreed to the cereal because of the stickers inside the box. And my packed lunch was hidden under my PE kit. Not many people realise, but seven-year-olds also have expenses.

Auntie eyed my discarded cereal bowl on the work top then placed it in front of me.

“You’d like a cooked breakfast this morning, would you?”

I nodded.

“Pork sausages, or beef sausages?”

I had no idea. Mum just made sausages. I ch...

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Paul Sterlini
Nov 21 2020

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Loved this, funny and sweet.

Tony Spencer
Dec 19 2020