Aftermath - Cover


Copyright© 2010 by Pedant

Chapter 15

There was a little whispering at the door and Martha and Angus came into the still-littered kitchen.

"Martha said you wanted to talk to me, sir."

"Sir's unnecessary. But yes. Martha said you had mentioned marriage and that you wanted her to come with you to Tamworth to meet your parents."

"Yes." He was very solemn.

"Will they have a problem with Martha's colour?"

"No, I've told them. I prefer to say 'mixed-race.' But no. It's not that unusual anymore. I read a survey by someone at Monash that last year 55 per cent of partnered indigenous women were married to or living with non-indigenous partners. I know what you're thinking, but I don't think it'll be a problem."

Martha sighed.

"I understand," I said. "While I was in Darwin, I saw it wasn't about the colour of your skin or your ethnic background, but your state of mind.

"In New South Wales, where there are large Samoan, Italian, and Indian populations, I see the kids all speaking in a similar way, wearing the same clothes, they all have the same piercings, and they seem to have a tolerant approach to each others' ethnic heritages," said Angus.

"Okay. Grilling's over. We brought Martha here. We really like her. And I know what blokes are like."

"Well this bloke really likes her, too. She's my muse. I want her to be my permanent muse. But she's wary. Afraid. I'm hoping that a trip to NSW will reassure her." Martha was holding his hand so tightly that her knuckles were white.

"Martha," Weena said, "it's okay. There's no problem. You're a grown woman. Angus is a man with a career ahead of him. It's not throwing a few dollars in a pokie machine. If you don't want to, you never have to see Cape York again." Martha gasped. ['pokie machine' = "one-armed bandit"]

"You understand."

"Yes, I do. I've understood since you came to stay with us. And soon you'll go off to another new place. Mentally, you're no longer from Cape York. You went from there to Brisbane, to Mitchell, to here. Soon, in a few months, you can tell folks that you're from Perth. Now, go off and have a pizza or a drink or whatever. Take her, Angus."

"Thank you, Weena; thank you Gordy. See, Martha? There was nothing to worry about." She hid her face in his shoulder. Angus and I shook hands and they left.

"Another crisis coped with," said Weena. "Want some wine?"


We hugged and Weena got glasses. She was getting a bottle out of the fridge when Patrick made a noise. "I'll change him," I said.

Patrick was sitting up. "No Martha?"

"Martha went out with Angus."

"'Gus not mad?"

"No, Angus is fine. They will take a trip to visit Angus' mum and dad."

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