|General Fiction posted December 2, 2023
|...15 16 -17- 18...
The childhood hallway was another place of much activity
A chapter in the book A Particular Friendship
by Liz O'Neill
As we study Lizzy's childhood we find much of her joy and exploits occurred around the hallway
Previously: After an accident surgery was required.
I remember the sweet sickening, swirling blackness of the ether, enveloping me, creating an increasing fear that I would disappear into nothingness and never return.
I’d felt invisible most of my life thus far, anyway, but this was the real thing for me. And worse yet, Mother was out having a cigarette when I woke. I was sick, scared and vomiting.
I felt abandoned. It did not matter that the nurse told me my mother was just outside having a cigarette. I know Mother felt horrible, like a bad mother, like she didn’t have a right to take a break.
This did not dampen the way Nike and I played around. There was no difference, just because I had stitches. One time when I was sliding down the banister railing to get away from Nike, I ripped out some of my stitches.
Another time, I got going too fast on my crutches and ripped out some more. I wasn’t going to let stitches prevent me from riding my bicycle. Besides the fact that my leg has grown, I do have a good-sized scar there.
I do have to confess here I took joy in tormenting my one year younger brother Nike. I know he secretly loved chasing me down into the brook, just a little terrified. Let’s face it, we loved all aspects of the adrenaline-pumping game.
When I knew Nike was headed up the stairs to use the bathroom, I scurried into the bathroom, closed and locked the door. I was just in time to leave Nike on the outside crying, hammering with sometimes angry fists and most times just determined fists.
I would step up onto the toilet seat and heft myself to the narrow high window sill, drop onto the outside roof, cross to my parents’ room and sneak out into the hallway where my brother was still pleading at the bathroom door to let him in.
When he saw me he chased after me as I ran back the way I’d come, this time having to frantically heist myself up to the high chin-level exterior sill.
Sometimes my brother got ahead of me, locking the bathroom window. This put him in control of the bathroom, where he wanted to be, to begin with. If I got in through the window first, I would lock it and rush out through the bathroom door and down the stairs to get as far away from him as I could. I was sure he was going to kill me.
It all ended when I ran down over the neighbor's bank of broken cans and glass into the brook. After chasing me, he probably went back upstairs to use the bathroom as he had originally planned. This ritual was carried on day after day, either running for the bathroom or running for the brook.
It seemed Mother was always in the kitchen cooking, washing dishes, or cleaning up. This made it quite easy to sneak up on her, dial open the imaginary combination to the safe, grab the goods, and high-tail it back to the hotel to divide up the day’s take.
The yummy, coveted, sweet, chewy leftovers, numbering one or two, were placed back in the safe, ensuring our fun would continue until the next bank deposit. When that was carried out a fresh plan for another stickup could be formulated.
© Copyright 2024. Liz O'Neill All rights reserved.
Liz O'Neill has granted FanStory.com, its affiliates and its syndicates non-exclusive rights to display this work.