A memory

Delving into my childhood for a short film…

It’s a summer afternoon late in the school holidays. I’m 11. Aunty Margaret had taken me away on holiday to a caravan in Anglesey with my younger cousins. Oak Avenue feels different now as we get out of the car. It’s quieter.

The front door to the family home is never locked. I enter the carpetless hallway. Nobody is downstairs so I begin to climb the wooden staircase. Hazy light filters in through the interstices of the banister as I make my way up. The steps are still big, even now I’m getting taller.

My mother is on her bed. The sheets and the duvet cover are new. Floral. She is surrounded by boxes of memories and she’s in the middle of a process I don’t recognise. Something isn’t right.

I hear my auntie on the floorboards downstairs – hushed. She’s ushering my cousins to leave through the front door. She’s creating space for Mum to tell me why Dad’s oily coats aren’t in the hall anymore. I realise that the holiday was a ploy to get me out of the way for a while. Dad has left.