Last update: 13-Dec-2013 3:20 am
Friday, December 13, 2013
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
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Back to Old School
Scotty sat as still he could in the back seat, watching the side of his father’s neck like Usain Bolt waiting for the flash of the starter’s gun or Kieron Pollard studying the bowler’s hand: when the carotid artery in his father’s neck started bulging, the explosion would not be far away. His sister dug him in the ribs. Aged eight, three years younger, she already knew not to speak before they got to the highway. If they beat the traffic, their father would relax and the tension in the car would evaporate faster than a politician’s election promises.
Scotty kept his eyes on the vein in his father’s neck, the fuse that lit his father’s temper. If Scotty looked at his sister, she would almost certainly say something, and any word could be a spark; but to fail to respond could also provoke her into speech.
He held her hand, firmly, not roughly, and pushed himself as close as he could to the car door, as far away as he could get from his father’s backhand that would come flying into the backseat like a brick flung over a wall. He turned to his sister and put his finger on his lips. She stiffened, then relaxed, nodded.
Just ahead, a car sprang out of a T-junction in front of them. Their father muttered a curse, jammed on his brakes, then swung out and accelerated to overtake. Their mother shrieked. “You ent see me putting on eyeshadow? You want to blind me with a eyebrow pencil?” Their father, mercifully, responded to the other motorist’s bad-drive. “Damn fool leap out the side street like Jack in Chag West,” he snarled. “Woulda kill all of us. Is only good driving save we!”
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