Another Friday, another snippet based on a dream. The title makes little sense, to be honest, but I didn’t know what else to name it. Enjoy!
“Auntie!” I catch them as they’re leaving the house, a whole clutch of young cousins and second cousins rotating around my aunt Pam and her friend Mary from next door who won’t let me call her Auntie because it makes her feel old. I wave, smiling wide as I cross the street.
The wee ones brighten further when they see me. Laughing, shouting, calling me Auntie Linda, tugging at my sleeves, asking if I brought them presents, if I brought them sweets, they swarm me like a giggling waterspout. Their activity does nothing to slow the procession of the party as a whole – my aunt kisses my cheek without stopping, tells me they’re going into town.
Into town they go, me now in tow. We catch the tram, I race the kids to the seats at the back and feign a loss. We skip across cobble stones, pop into little boutiques, wait patiently as Auntie haggles cheerfully with vendors at street stalls. All the while little sweets and souvenirs drop from my pockets and fingers in a steady drizzle, falling into the small palms all around me. For hours, I am everyone’s favourite aunt, an honor rarely won and never long-lived.
The day is beautiful, the sun reflecting off of the windows and the water and the smiles of the children. We get hot dogs and ice cream and as the sun begins to set we stroll along the waterfront so Auntie Pam can complain about how the more modern additions to the city are breaking the heart of her poor architect father, if Heaven comes with a view of the city. I haven’t felt this at ease in a long time.
It isn’t until we’re back at Auntie’s house, the kettle on the stove and the children all in bed, that her eyes turn to steel as she looks at me across the table. “So…” Auntie begins. “Wanna tell me what you’re doing here?”