As soon as they saw the front of the train come whooshing out of the tunnel, all the mummies would grab hold of their little girls’ wrists and yank them back to the other side of the yellow line. To safety. It was the same for Mummy and me, sort of. The only difference was with us it was the little girl who pulled the mummy back so as she wouldn’t get slapped by the clanking train.
We used to go on the train to mummy’s appoinkment. If the appoinkment went well, and if it wasn’t raining, we’d go to the park and Mummy would push me on the swing till I nearly touched the sky. Else we’d take a bus to the top of the hill and go to the cafe where there were old newspapers on the walls and Mummy would tell my fortune from the leftovers at the bottom of her coffee cup. Once, a long time ago, the appoinkment went so well we did both: the park and the cafe, and when we got home it was nearly time for Emmerdale.
If the appoinkment didn’t go well we’d get the train straight home to watch A Place in the Sun with the curtains drawn. And Mummy would open a bottle of cider and then she’d cry and I’d try not to move till she could talk again. Then she’d say I was her angel and she didn’t know where she’d be without me and would I pop two cheese and tomato pizzas in the oven.
We were all right, Mummy and me. I loved her more than the whole wide world, and she loved me back, double. We didn’t need nobody else. And then Mrs Isaacs said I had to go to school.
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