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Uncle Billie and Aunty Vera did make us welcome that first night. There were a lot of tears as my mam spilled her story. Even my nasty cousin behaved himself a little, although I felt his eyes and his sneering face looking at me, even when I wasn’t looking at him.
We ate sandwiches and cakes at the kitchen table (all bought from the local cake shop because Aunt Vera never baked). After tea we went and sat in the living room and Uncle Billie poured my mam a glass of sherry and himself a glass of whisky. Aunty Vera sat chain-smoking and drinking gin and bitter lemon while my mam finished her story.
I snuggled up tightly against my mam, something didn’t feel right. My foot hurt. I thought it was because my shoes were too tight, but it was on the bottom of my foot, I really wanted to cry, but didn’t because my mam was already crying and I didn’t want to add to her sadness.
Pretty soon I couldn’t help but cry. My foot hurt so bad, a deep throbbing pain. I didn’t just snivel and whimper, I howled loud and hard. Conversation stopped and everyone looked at me. Julian was smirking at me, a look that said, “see she is a big baby”. His look made me cry even louder. I was holding my foot as I cried.
Aunty Vera left the room, lighting one cigarette from the other one was she walked out. Julian followed, slapping me on the bottom of my foot as he did so. My mam held me close while Uncle Bille gently took the sock off the foot I was clutching. He looked up at my mam “you need to get her to the doctors tomorrow” he said “looks like a verruca, it needs to be burned out”
Now I was howling like a banshee, I didn’t want anyone to burn me!
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