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Saturday
Nov192011

THE MUM AND DAD: NOT BONNIE'S, THOUGH SHE SOMETIMES WISHED THEY WERE

Mum smiled at him. He reached for his glass and lifted it.  Mum got to her feet and lifted her glass too.  ‘God bless the children,’ Dad said, eyes fixed on Mum.

‘And God bless us too,’ Mum said.

They drank, and their eyes never left each other’s faces and there was not a person at the table who would have joined them.  This toast was just for them.  Then Dad lifted his glass again.

‘God bless Highholly Hill.’

Everybody clattered to their feet.

‘God bless us, each and every one,’ said Mum

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'I know what it's like,' said Mum, 'to watch the still dust hanging in the air, and to be lonely and to think that nothing's ever going to change.  I know what it's like to want a friend.'

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'I'm not a fool,' Dad said.  'I've seen your face, Bonnie, when you didn't know anyone was looking.  I watched you tonight, striding up and down...'

'Oh, Dad...' Bonnie hung her head.  She's thought - Arabella had thought too - that they couldn't tell him things, that they'd have to go to Mum or nobody at all.  But they'd got it wrong. It was they who had been fools.