Mum’s got a problem.
So does Dad.
It’s not my problem, though.
At least, this is what I tell myself.
I never got much, as a kid. Like toys and stuff. We couldn’t afford them. Dad couldn’t hold down a job, and mum spent all the cash on alcohol. I thought we were normal, until I started school. All the other kids had posh lunch boxes with matching lids. Inside them they had a ripe banana, a packet of chips, and a luminous brown bread sandwich with Nutella or peanut butter. Something diverse every day, these kids had. Sometimes, they even had lamingtons. Yeah, I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking ‘Lamingtons for school? Bloody rich kids.’ Oh. You weren’t thinking that? Must just be me, then...
Anyways, in my lunchbox – if you could call a mismatching tin container that at all – I had an apple, a little stack of twiggy sticks, and a white bread cheese sandwich. And not even the good stuff, just that plastic crap you get for real cheap that taste like nothing. You know the stuff? So anyways, point is, from first day of school, I could tell I wasn’t like the others. The lugubrious thing was so could they.
School days came and went. At three o’clock I’d be so glad to escape the schoolyard torment of my clothes, my food, my hair – whatever, only to realise that I must enter another realm of humiliation and suffering.
Abuse rains come down on me as soon as i enter, “ told you not to come home without bread! You,” indicating my father “look at your bloody son! He’s a good-for-nothing, just like you! How can I live in this house anymore?” She raises her arms above her head. I can see her hands are shaking. I look across the small living room to see my father in his pyjamas, unshaven and distant. Knowing he wouldn’t be of much use, I pull a loaf of bread out of my scabby backpack. Mum looks at it, and then at me, then looks me up and down. “We eat white bread, you worthless piece of –" I try to cut her off. “Ma, I thought we could try something a...
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