Withdrawal

By Jade Hayden
“Get the boat over next week,” Mam said to me, sitting at the kitchen table, toast still warm on my plate, scrambled eggs still steaming on hers. I’m staring at the checkered pattern on the table cloth when she speaks.

When I told her, she had been silent.

It’s blue and green – an ugly, snot-green that has turned my stomach since I was a little girl who played with Barbies and didn’t have to worry about too much at all. She hadn’t touched her food, and suddenly, I wasn’t that hungry either.

“I’ll go on the site now,” she mutters, standing up and moving across the room, away from me. “I’m sure we’ll be able to find a good deal. Mary from down the road went over for fifty quid last month.”

She says it as if she’s proud of Mary. As if she secured the world’s greatest bargain. As if popping over to England for a cousin’s wedding is the same as travelling for an abortion. I cringe at her words.

There’s a clock on the wall behind us, and it chimes at twelve o’clock. A plastic bird projects from it’s hollow middle. It squeaks a song about children and an age-old game. It sounds like screaming, to me.

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