Richard Pierce

Life, Sport

Day 239

Today I actually did things I wanted to do. Had a lie-in. Drove down to Stradbroke (and dropped A at work on the way). Watched the lads play cricket (they lost, unfortunately), had a bit of banter, had a good long chat with Marty (Radio Stradbroke Station Manager), finally picked up the goodies Wild Spelks sent me for having them constantly in my Top Three Hottest Records In the World Right Now since the beginning of May, and my song of the year so far (video – go watch and listen; it’s fab), had a sandwich watching cricket, and then wended my way back home (dropping said Marty on the way). It would have been nice to have a pint with the lads, but post-cricket drinks (especially when they start at 16:45) have a tendency of not staying in the singular. It was lovely to see all these people again, tinged with a bit of sadness, actually, because that now brown playing field (it will be green again when the rain comes, if it comes) remains my cricketing home.

It looks like M spent the day doing what she likes to do best – rearranging rooms, making new shelving units from the innumerable Ivar units we have (sawing side supports in half being one of the great hacks she’s discovered), moving more books out of my office and into the house so we can get some more books out of the sheds this weekend. And when I stepped into the office to start writing this, I noticed she’d hoovered as well, which makes the place look almost civilised. She is a superstar, and a doer, where I’m just a thinker most of the time nowadays (and not for want to trying to escape my impracticality). The last bits of rearranging will have to wait until all the work on the house is done. And then, well, I think we’ll both have the environments we crave (she in her house, and me in my office).

In the last few days I have almost automatically tried to add emojis to the narrative here. Weird. Because they have no place here.

It has been a good day so far. Thank you, universe.



Marit sighs. ‘Can’t we go home and fix the house?’

‘With a dead man inside it?’ Aggie says.

Marit shrugs. ‘These days are such a fucking waste of time.’

‘What else would you be doing?’ Aggie says.

‘Living. Having fun.’

‘When you know Valentine’s after you, and would probably kill you?’ Katharina says.

Marit shrugs. ‘Better than schlepping around with three other women who don’t actually know what they’re doing.’

‘And you do?’ Lilibet is standing up now, her arms folded across her chest, her accent broader than ever. ‘Did you even suspect that poor boy of being someone who pretended to love you for money because he probably wanted to top up his finances?’

Marit shakes her head, looks down at the table, rearranges her cup and spoon nervously.

Lilibet’s voice changes register, a soft tone, and it’s obvious she understands that she has to step carefully, her finger having pulled the trigger that blew killed the boy. ‘It’s not your fault, you know. Valentine will try anything to get into your mother’s head. He thought he was already there, but she’s obviously even better than him at misleading people, at pretending she’s someone she’s not.’

Marit wipes her tears from the table top with her left hand, two dark stains on the light wood. ‘I don’t even know her. Never knew her.’

‘At least you know who she is,’ Aggie says. ‘So you can mend the rest when this is all over.’

‘That’s all I ever hear you say,’ Marit says. ‘When this is over. When things are back to normal. When we have peace. But you can’t guarantee it, can you? How long will we have to wait? How long until I can look my mother in the face and ask her why she had me in the first place if she wasn’t going to stay with me?’

‘You’re right,’ Aggie says. ‘Of course you are. And I have no answers. Sorry.’ She gets up. ‘The sooner we go, the sooner you lot will get back. And on the way back, you can stop off somewhere where there are no cameras, and buy some fresh food with cash. I’m surprised there was anything edible left here.’

‘It’s only been a few days,’ Katharina says. ‘Stuff doesn’t go off that quickly.’

‘And the maid obviously was very good at stock control,’ Lilibet says, and smirks.

‘I must give her a tip,’ Aggie says, grabs her stuff from the back of the chair, and heads out of the kitchen.

‘Give us a chance to get ready,’ Katharina says, rushing after her.

‘Ten minutes,’ Aggie says, looking at her watch. ‘It’s not like you’ll need much.’

‘It’s like you can’t wait to get out of here,’ Katharina says.

‘So I can be back sooner. Do you really think I want to be away from Lily for any length of time?’

‘Sorry. I wasn’t thinking.’

‘It seems to run in the family.’ Aggie says.

‘A bit harsh,’ Lilibet says from behind her.

‘We haven’t got time for this,’ Aggie says. ‘I hate long good-byes.’

Ten minutes later, Aggie locks the house, hands the keys to Lilibet, along with a piece of paper with the alarm code on it. ‘Don’t lose it,’ she says.

‘I won’t.’


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