Smithy – chapter 9


Tiny diamonds sparkled on the top of the pond and little ducks paddled and splashed about, chasing each other and fighting over soggy bits of bread.  The trees rustled and swayed in the bit of wind.  The sun was warm on our backs.  We walked all the way round to the gate at the bottom end of the park.  It was nice, peaceful and nice.  He never talked very much all the time I knew him and that morning was no different, we just walked, just being together.  He always understood when it was better to just be quiet, I learned that from him, you don’t have to make a noise, silence is okay.

Suddenly he stopped and turned round, so that he was standing right in front of me.

“Will you come away with me Phil?”

I’ve heard people say that their heart missed a beat, well just then I think mine missed about half a dozen.  It was so out of the blue, and for a few seconds I couldn’t think. No words would come out at first; my mind was all jangled and sort of panicked.

“Away, howd’ya mean away?”

“Just away, away from here and this and all of the past.”

“But away where?”

“Does it matter where? Have you anything here that is holding you?  Is there any real reason why you shouldn’t just walk down this road and keep on walking?”

“Well, I don’t suppose so, but I never really thought about going away.”

“I know, but if you stay here what are you going to do with your life?  If you stay here will you go back to college?  Will you get a job when you are old enough, a home maybe?”

“Erm, I don’t know.”

“Come on, are you brave enough?”

“What about the house though?”  The night sleeping on the camp bed had been so great after the hostel and I’d been dying to ask if I could stay again.  I guess I knew that he would probably say yes and, to be honest, the thought of it had been making me feel pretty good.  Now here he was, out of the blue, asking me to go back to nothing.

Really he was asking me to go back to less than I had before.  If I went with him now there would be no hostel even. There was Marjie as well. I know I didn’t really see much of her, but she was all the family that I had left, and if I went she’d be gone as well.  If I gave up auntie Marjie I was giving up Mum for good wasn’t I.

Smithy reached over and touched my shoulder.  I swear that as he did that my mum jumped into my mind.  I felt her there just as I had when we had been sitting on the bench.  It was as if a little empty space inside me filled up for just a few seconds.  I felt safe and happy, the way that I had when she had been there every day.

“You always have her Phil.  She is part of you.  It doesn’t matter where you go.”  Well that freaked me out a bit.  How did he know what I was thinking, what I was feeling right then?

“If you come with me now I promise you absolutely that tomorrow will be better than yesterday.”

“Come on man you can’t say that, you can’t know what’s going to happen.  If we just set off now and walk you can’t even tell me where we’re going to sleep. I haven’t got anything, a couple of pounds left in the bank, my bag with some socks and pants.  That’s all I’ve got Smithy.”

“No, that’s not all you’ve got.  Those are the material possessions you have right now, but believe me Phil, that is not all that you’ve got.”

He’d turned away and he just took a couple of steps along the path.  As he moved away I felt colder, weird I know but it was like when you move out of a shelter and into the wind, suddenly it was cold around me and I shivered and goosebumps popped out on my skin.  So you see I didn’t really have a choice did I.  If you had to decide whether to stay in the warm or let yourself shiver in the cold well, what would you do?”

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Filed under Serials, Serials, Shorts and Stuff

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