Belinda felt weightless as she cycled blissfully along the narrow path. The sun’s warmth crept over her back and the wind rushed past her face, carrying with it the sweet scent of jasmine. She smiled as she thought about her neatly packed suitcase standing at attention in the hallway by her red front door.


Iris sat in her usual spot. Slumped in her wheelchair, against faded, peeling wallpaper, staring listlessly at muted daytime television. A thin, yellow gingham blanket hung limply over her boney knees. Her food lay untouched on a tray in front of her. I gagged at the smell of stale, cold fish that lay in watery mashed potato. Hard, under-cooked green peas, like beady eyes, stared at me accusingly, reproachfully.


‘Ah, c’mon Bobby, it’ll be awesome!’ Tommy looked up and smiled broadly at his older brother, revealing squishy pink gum where his two front teeth were missing.
‘I’ll get you an ice cream at Pat’s after?’ he almost sang in his effort to sound beguiling.

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