First Time I Saw Dad After He Died
was two hours after the funeral and everyone
was downstairs in the Pub.
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
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
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
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
over and getting the bruises. Mum used to
thought Carla was an Old Tart but she liked
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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