Chapter 5

Written by: Ken Burns

Sucker punched on the dating scam, I slapped my own stupid head and said, “Cheer up dumb-ass. Just get with the program. Live a better, more productive life”.

The slap hurt but definitely woke me up. I felt more human now.

The girls walked from the kitchen, stopping and staring at the group of warm family photos in the hallway. They each have separate bedrooms. Esther closes her door, Nestor’s is left slightly ajar. 

I did my tour of the photos and stopped outside Nestor’s room. She was curled up in a ball having a gentle cry. I didn't rush in.  I’ve often interpreted these situations as “just leave me alone” behaviour. This time though, I had to make sure that she knew I was there. I quietly entered and sat gently on the side of her bed. She chose to paint this one yellow. Yellow is a healing colour Sally told her. Nestor wanted bunks in her room for a couple of reasons. Firstly, she could sleep on the top one. This gave her a bit of the Queen of the World attitude. Not a bad thing. Secondly, this is a good set up for having a friend over or even having her identical twin sister sleep in the same room. Whoever was there always exchanged chatter with the other throughout the night. 

Being a parent at home has softened my attitude to my everyday life rules. The girls have given me a different perspective on relating to others. What little advice I'm constantly being given about being a parent by others is always taken with a grain of salt. Just because I’m a man doesn’t mean I don’t know how to do it. I've always said, “Thanks for that.” It goes to the bottom of the pile of my mental ideas pile. I usually want to call them 'dumb-ass' but call myself that more often than not. 

Amy Irving though has been more effective in her approach. She was closer to the girls than I realised. This panned out when I went into school to see her interact with them and hear about their education history.

Nestor turned to me, her little eyes swollen from crying. She was hugging a light blue oversized t-shirt close to her chest. This was Sally’s favourite piece of everyday clothing. It still smelt of her favourite perfume Estée Lauder White Linen.

When that smell hit me, it went deep inside my body and mind,  I started to cry. Nestor and I embraced each other and wailed uncontrollably for a few minutes. Nestor then unpeeled herself and sat cross-legged looking at me with her back against the wall.

“Dad.  I don’t want anyone else in my life apart from you and Esther. Mrs Irving isn’t my mum.”

Esther’s door opened.  She walked through into Nestor’s door with her arms folded looking like she’d just cried.

“Dad,” said Esther, “Nestor’s right.”     

 

Comments

This is a sensitively portrayed chapter. I liked the way you caught the way scent can evoke memories and emotions. Beautiful.