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Of Life

Duncan sat on the veranda in front of his house, watching the removal men coming in, and out carrying boxes of his belongings into the large truck on the gravel drive. Brad sat on his knee.

“When will Mummy be home?” Brad asked, looking impeachingly at his father.

“Mummy's gone away for a while.”

“When will she be back?”

Duncan sighed but kept a smile on his face and looked at his son. “She will be back, Brad but not for a while.”

“When will she be back? Can I see her?”

“Yes, you can see her, but not quite like we used to. We'll have to go up to the place where she is now.”

“The prison?”

Brad looked at his son. “Yes Brad, the prison.”

“What did she do wrong?”

“In a way, she did nothing,” Duncan said, “and in a way she did.”

“Then why did she go to prison, if she did nothing wrong?”

Brad’s little face screwed up and tears started falling from his little eyes.

“I don’t understand. Why did she go to prison?”

“Brad, I can't explain it all to you yet. Sometimes the law is right on paper but is hard in practice. Your Mum did do wrong and she is being punished, but she didn't deserve the punishment she got.”

“So why are they punishing her so badly then?”

Duncan didn't reply. He just held the boy to his chest and rocked him.

“When will Auntie Kandie be coming?”

“Soon, Brad soon.”

“Will she be staying long?”

“Yes Brad she will, as will your new brother. It's what your Mummy wanted, and we must do what she wants, mustn’t we? We're all a family now."

Brad cried some more and Duncan held him tight.

“Do you still want this? Where will you want this?" a removal man asked him, holding up an old, framed picture of his father. “We found it under the sink with a load of other photographs."

“Yes,” Duncan said, “Just leave it here next to me."
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