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The First Time I Saw Dad After He Died

It was two hours after the funeral and everyone was downstairs in the Pub.

I walked down the hall and pushed the door and went into the smoke and all the voices went quiet like I was the ghost.

Carla the Barmaid was wearing her hoop earrings and her tired eyes. She was pouring a pint and she smiled at me and she was going to say something but the beer spilt over the top.

Uncle Alan who is Dads brother was there wearing his suit that was tight with his neck pouring over like the beer over the glass. His big hands still had the black on them from mending cars at the Garage. They were over Mums hands
and Mums head was low like it was sad and Uncle Alans head kept going down and he lifted Mums head up with his eyes. He kept talking to Mum and he looked at me for a second and he saw me but he didnt say anything. He just looked back at Mum and kept pouring his words that made her forget about Dad.

Nan was sitting on her own with her silver sticks on the seat next to her and she was drinking red juice like blood in her glass.

Her eyes went in a squint and made her face more wrinkly and she saw me. Her skeleton hand said Come here come here so I went and sat with her and she just stared at me and didnt say anything at first.

She just looked round at everyone and went Sssss because of her pains like she had a puncture.

After a bit she said Ee now come on pet dinny you fret. It will be all right son.

Nan lives in Sunderland and she speaks Sunderlanguage. Mum used to live in Sunderland but she hates it and says it is a Ghost Town and she doesnt talk Sunderlanguage only a bit when she talks to Nan but most of the time she talks normal.

Nan said Youre not a little bairn now son. Youre the man of the

I am 11 so I am not a little bairn and I am not a man but I didnt say anything I just nodded my head a bit and Carla came and gave me a glass of Pepsi.

Carla said in her croaky frog voice Theres a glass of Pepsi duck.

She put it on the table and smiled at me with her thin lips and she itched the dryness on her arm and then smiled at Nan and she went back to the bar.

Nan kept on saying things and I just drank my Pepsi and looked round at the people. I think most of them were happy that the Pub was open and they were talking louder than at the funeral because funerals make voices quiet and beer makes voices loud so now they were speaking about normal.

The Regulars were there like Big Vic and Les who were at the bar and smoking Hamlet cigars and speaking to Carla.

Carla always talked to men since her Divorce and since she

falling over and getting the bruises. Mum used to tell
she thought Carla was an Old Tart but she liked her really.
dont know if Carla is older than Mum because she has twins in my Year at school but she looks older than Mum.

Les didnt look happy but Les never looked happy and that is why Dad always called him Les Miserable. And when I was looking at them Big Vic looked at me and normally when he looked at me he smiled or said something funny like Oi Philip its your round. But that day he looked away as soon as his eyes touched my eyes as if looking at my eyes could be dangerous or make him ill or as if my eyes had lasers in them that cut him in half.

I moved my eyes and watched Mum and Uncle Alan and I wanted Uncle Alans hands to stop holding Mums hands and they did stop when Renuka went and talked to Mum. Renuka is Mums best friend who goes to Step class with her on Mondays and Thursdays where they Step on boxes for an hour to make their bums smaller. Renuka had been with Mum lots this week and she had made 700 cups of tea and Uncle Alan looked cross now because when Renuka talks no one can fit words in because she doesnt have any spaces.

I kept looking round the bar and Nan kept talking to me and that is when I saw him. That is when I saw Dads Ghost.

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