Saturday 24 June 2023

'Sherbet Lemons' by Lesley Bungay

Bryony sits in the window seat, her favourite place to watch for daddy coming home. No shoes on the cushions, mummy says, so Bryony slips them off and tucks her feet under her skirt.

Yesterday, or was it last week, a nice lady came. She brought a quarter of mint humbugs. They’re Bryony’s second favourite sweet. Not too many or your teeth will rot, mummy says. But Bryony can suck that humbug until it’s barely a sliver. It doesn’t touch her teeth once, so mummy needn’t worry.

A lady walks up the path wearing a blue dress. Blue is Bryony’s favourite colour. She has a blue dress with a white collar, her Sunday Best. Better keep it clean, mummy says, although Bryony never does.

Bryony waves through the window and the lady smiles, a bright beaming smile with dimples in each cheek, just like daddy. Bryony would like to press her finger into those dimples, it makes daddy laugh, but It’s rude to point, mummy says, so perhaps she shouldn’t.

There’s a little girl skipping behind the lady. What a bundle of energy you are, mummy says. But why would Bryony walk when she can hop and skip and jump high into the sky.

Bryony peers at the door into the hallway, watching as the lady in the blue dress stops. She’s talking to matron and the little girl is tugging her hand. It’s rude to interrupt, mummy says, but Bryony can never wait.

The nice lady smiles her dimply smile and let’s go of the little girl’s hand. She’s running towards Bryony holding out a white paper bag.
    ‘Look, Grandma, we brought you sherbet lemons this time.’

Bryony smiles, a bright beaming smile with dimples in each cheek. Sherbet lemons, now they are her favourite sweet.

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