Elasticated Easter Eggs
She stepped out of the navy winceyette elasticated knickers, that her father’s girlfriend had bought her. She hated them. The long ones that came half way down the thigh. She had wanted to embarrass her of course.
She was the only one in her class that had knickers like that, but then, she was the only one in the class whose father had a girlfriend. She lowered her head in the light of her bedside lamp to check for pubic hairs. Still no sign. Still like a dolphin, sitting on the top of chubby, shapeless legs. No wonder the boys called her Fatso, that is, except for Andrew, whom she married today, in the school playground.
She fingered the green lucky bag ring on her left hand, that Sybil, her friend, had produced, excitedly, from a tartan satchel, that morning. Andrew and herself hadn’t spoken another word to each other following the ceremony in the yard. He went back to his game of football and his mates, and she rejoined the girls under the oak tree, to look for acorns.
Pulling on pyjama bottoms that were inches too short, the corner of her eye collected a longer black version of herself, pulling up longer bottoms that were still too short! Crabbed hands projected black ducks, dogs and dinosaurs onto a wall, drained of its greenness by the yellow light of bedtime, before drawing back maroon, shining eiderdown, and sliding between striped sheets.
As she reached for What Katy Did Next, four chocolate eggs foiled in Purple and Red, tempted from a brown shelf, opposite. She reminded herself of the pact, she had made with herself, not to disturb their perfection until the following Easter. There was an opportunity to command a self-control in this corner box-room, like no other part of the house. She wanted to make the egg moment last; wanted something to last longer than the stretch of the elastic in her knickers!
Her father’s feet travelled from the top of the stairs and into his room, without stealing in to pin, ‘Good night’ on to her forehead. She called out, ‘Dad!’, but her door remained closed … loudly. But he had made her a white cupboard with green handles for her books, hadn’t he?
She slipped out from underneath the bedclothes and opening the door of her father’s handiwork, she picked up an Anglo-Saxon history book; stroked its cover and smelt its smell. It had been on special offer in W.H. Smiths, where most of her pocket money was spilt. They were an obsession …. the books and the rose-scented writing paper!
Sneaking back into the warmth of bed, she felt comforted by words, rose oil; the lullaby of a whispering wind, and the licking light of a street lamp belonging to the outside world. The books, the rainbow writing paper, harboured in a white handmade closet, would live on, in her mint imagination, long after the last Easter egg or the elastic in her navy knickers!