Chapter 2

Copyright© 2011 by Pedant

Mr. Simmonds says my journal is too terse. It's fine for me. Unlike Cecily in "Importance of being Earnest," it's not "simply a very young girl's record of her own thoughts and impressions, and consequently meant for publication." My journal is my journal. My dictionary says that's "a record of experiences, ideas, or reflections kept regularly for private use." So there, Mr. Simmonds!

Dad stopped Mum from destroying the garden. They talked for a while and then Dad came inside. "Do you think you could sleep in my study for a while?" he asked.

"Sure. Why?"

"I want to drive down to Margaret River and bring Rob back to stay with us for a while."

I thought about it. "That's good. I think the sooner the better."

"It's not quite 1700. I'll be back in four hours. You get two drawers of your clothing into the study while I'm gone. Okay? And make sure that you and Mum and Sarah have dinner." And he left. I heard the Rover leave.

I looked for Mum and found her scrubbing her hands in the kitchen. "Was I crazy?" she asked.

"No, just upset. What's for dinner?"

"I'm not sure what's in the fridge. Ask Sarah if she'd like to go out."

"Okay." Sarah always wants to go out. She always wants fried shrimp or pizza. Today it was pizza. So we went to Chelsea Pizza in Nedlands. We got a family-size with sausage and a kid's Margherita – for Sarah, she likes plain pizza. It was before 1800, so there was room and not too noisy. Sarah got tomato all over herself, of course. She's just six, after all. Mum had them wrap the two slices we didn't finish.

When we got home, Mum made up the sofa in the study for me and then re-made my bed for Rob. I moved clothes. Sarah got into the bath and got rid of the pizza topping. Then Mum bundled her in a towel and I read her two stories from The Dreamtime. I still love those books.

Sarah was asleep when Rob and Dad arrived. Dad looked tired; Rob looked awful. His skin was grey and his clothes were dirty and wrinkled. Mum gave him a big hug and a kiss and led him upstairs. I helped Dad get two bags and a small case out of the car. Dad took one of the bags and the case upstairs. He came back with the clothes Rob had worn and just emptied the pants pockets and dumped them in the wash. He then dumped the contents of the second bag, too, and started the cycle.

"Thanks," he said.

"I hardly did anything."

"You're here and helping. Is there anything to eat?"

"Two pieces of sausage pizza. I'll zap them for you."

"Thanks." Dad just dropped into one of the chairs. I microwaved the pizza and poured Dad a beer. I took everything out to him along with some napkins. Just then Mum came downstairs.

"He took a shower and went to bed. I see Patrick took care of you."

"Yes. He's really very good."

"I just helped."

"Yes. But you volunteered and you made things easier for your Dad and for me."

"I suppose..."

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