Part One: Winter. Chapter One


"And then he was like, come on, you know you want to..." The girl walks out of the lift, her silver smart-phone glued to her ear.  Two men in business suits enter from either side, the young parents with a baby strapped in a pram cast a dark look at them as they squeeze in, knocking the pram and awakening the baby. The little thing wails, its cubby arms and legs wiggling about in front of itself, the father pulls faces at it and the mother rocks the pram, her eyes squeezing together in exhaustion. On the opposite side two old ladies huddle together each in two-piece outfits and matching walking sticks, they have a simple perm, they mutter disapprovingly at the young parents who still battle with the bawling infant.

   Standing at the back, in the middle of them all, I lean against the wall and close my eyes, a small smile curling on my lips. My fingers tap the rhythm of the song, blasting into my ears via my walkman, against my thighs; it's not quite loud enough to block my senses of the surrounding events. The ding and the automatic voice announce the arrival to the fourth floor.

   The old women tsk as I weave my way out of the claustrophobic space. I roll my eyes and walk along to the very end office; I knocked on the door and quickly entered. "Hi, Dad," I breeze, collapsing into the settee on the left hand side of the room.

   He hums in response. The phone rings, it goes through five rings before he finally cracks his knuckles and picks the phone up. My dad is a banker, earning enough so my mum doesn't have to lift one of her manicured fingers. His office is large with all leather and mahogany fixtures. There is cream carpet kept pristine, the large plotted plant kept in a mosque vase sits on a little table like a favourite pet.

   Somebody knocks on the door; the click-click of high heels enters the room. The woman walks over to Dad's desk, places the collection of papers bundled into cardboard cases. Dad nods at her; she smiles and struts out of the room, casting a sly glance at me.

   "Why are you here, Eva." He asks in a patronising tone that, frankly, makes my blood boil. He leans back in his chair, his suit jacket tight around the middle.

   "Bored." Simple and to the point, "Why are you here?"

   He rolls his eyes - git. "I work here."

   I lean down on my elbows, balancing on my knees, and regard him. "It's Wednesday, you're supposed to be off today." He stays silent. "Dad, you were going to go to the hospital with Mum to visit Kerry and the baby. Remember?"

   Licking his lips, he rearranges the papers that woman brought in. When he finally blesses me with his words, his voice is hushed. "Eva, there is much you don't understand. This is one of those cases." He looks away from me completely and stares at a painting of a mountain, he grinds his teeth; "It is her own fault. She is no daughter of mine. I only have you and Ian now."

   "Bull!" I yell, my voice scratching. "For Goodness sake, Dad, she had a kid - big deal. It seems that nobody but you gives a damn! Not even Grandma and Grandpa care as much!"

   He regards me coolly. "Young lady," his voice warns and his nose twitches in anger. "You should think before talking to me in such a manner." He elevates from his seat, his shoulders squared, his stomach almost tucked in. I lick my lips, and stand up straight. He trudges up, his eyes narrow. Suddenly, he relates. "Eva, my dear," he sooths and pats my cheek. "You need to learn your place in this world. You must understand that you mustn't talk to a man, like that. Who would want to marry a girl that talks like a man or gives herself up before marriage - like your sister?" My hands curl tightly together. He moves away to his desk and leans against it. "You see, my dear, in our world, you need to be careful with what you do. You don't want to marry any old bloke from the streets now, do you? Believe me, Eva; I say this because I care."

   I try to smile. Stop. Narrow my eyes. "You arse. You actual bloody arse." He opens his mouth to speak, his eyes flash in anger. I stop him with a hand motion. "Don't you interrupt me you ignorant old git. You have no idea what is going on in this bloody family, do you? Exactly! Have you even inquired about your grandson? - Yeah, that's right, grandson. You have another precious little boy, and you don't even give two monkeys!" I back up to the door. "Now, I'm going to go, see you." I open the door handle.

   He bellows something. Before I close the door, I smirk at him and say calmly, "Go rot in hell." 

The End

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