five minutes behind the bell

We skated to school on the sides of our shoes. Travelling faster between lamposts than we dared. The car park was an ice rink; carless, we use it as a short cut.

\”Watch out\”, I said. \”You\’ll get a ticket.\”

Two teenage girls took their sisters ahead of us, laughing and dragging a five year old on her knees, her woolen tights snagging on frozen stubble projecting from the ground.

All girls. The youngest one giggling all the way. Big fun. The fifteen year old tugging a cropped halterneck down over her navel.

\”Ha!\” I thought. \”You\’ll catch your death.\”

I have a wish. I hope when my son is older, and I am gone, that he will remember these mornings with fondness and some affection.


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