ONE (angels in the outfield)

Following in the footsteps of the lovely and immensely talented Nike Sulway,  I will be regularly posting 300 word snippets of memoir in order to push myself along with the writing of my next project which is a collection of short memoir.

I was sheltered from death from a young age. When I was six I woke up one Saturday morning to find my mother gone. When I came out of my bedroom, my dad approached me slowly.

‘Sweetie,’ he said, ‘Pop died last night. Your Mum has gone over to the house to be with Nan.’

He brought me close, and what I remember most about that moment is the stale cigarette smoke that clung to his clothes and the feel of his beard scratching against my cheek. My brother and I didn’t fight that day, or the days after. We didn’t see much of Mum that week. We heard her though, behind her bedroom door. Softly crying, sometimes talking on the phone.

A week later when there was talk of a funeral, Mum said I couldn’t go, that I was too young.

‘But Michael gets to go,’ I protested.

It didn’t matter, Mum had made up her mind. On the day of the funeral, Mum and my brother left early in the morning. Dad took me to the movies that day. We watched Angels in The Outfield at Bankstown Square and went for ice cream after. I might have cried during the movie, for our loss, or just because it was a sad movie.

I didn’t understand at the time – and perhaps, still don’t – how to experience death second hand.

Published by becjessen

Rebecca Jessen lives in Brisbane. She is the award-winning author of verse-novel Gap (UQP 2014). Rebecca is the winner of the 2015 QLD Premier’s Young Publishers and Writers Award. Her book Gap was shortlisted for the 2015 Sisters In Crime Davitt Award for Best Debut Book. In 2013 Rebecca won the Queensland Literary Award for Best Emerging Author. In 2012 she won the State Library of Queensland Young Writers Award. Rebecca’s writing has been published in Overland, Meanjin, Going Down Swinging, The Lifted Brow, Cordite Poetry Review, Mascara Literary Review, Tincture Journal, Verity La, Voiceworks and more. Rebecca is currently studying her Honours in Creative Writing at QUT.

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