I would stay in bed just slightly longer than she did. She’d get up whenever dawn arrived and she’d softly pad about the bedroom while she dressed. Then she’d pop downstairs and turn the kettle and the radio on. Hearing the comforting sounds drift upstairs was charming. I felt so lucky, so loved, it made getting up so difficult!
Since she went to the field I’ve had to get used to making my own breakfast. My porridge isn’t as nice as hers and I can always turn the radio off! I know I should have told her a few years ago I don’t like local news; it’s all funding and accidents. I always preferred international news because it made me feel like I lived on a world where anything can happen, not in a place no one knows and they’d never find you. But I loved our mornings so much. I never complained. I worried that the slightest criticism would spoil the magic – and it was magic.
But she became unbearably defensive and looked for a fight – drove me mad. She changed! Everything was anger, everything was bitterness. She would get so defensive. “My porridge is as good as anybody’s!” she’d snap. I never said I didn’t like… bloody hell! So touchy!
I’m good at keeping the place tidy but she was so much better, damn it. It’s true what they say about missing the little things and no one could clean a cup as well as she did. So fast, blink and you’d miss it. In the water! Out of the water! In the water! Out of the water! You’d feel as if you’d just seen a trick, and in a way you had; all you could see was her skin and the colour of the cup. Suddenly it’s drying on the draining rack and the cleanest it’s ever been. I should ask her when I go up to see her. I’ll put it on the list for later. I’ll write “cups” in my notebook. So much to do today! They’re not the tasks I’m used to. She did everything for both of us, apart from the washing-up; she told me I was good at that, the lying cow. It was just because I was bad at things that she made me do them, she would laugh and tell her ugly pig friends. She was very clever, manipulative really. She knew I was easily flattered and easily furious. She’d say to every visitor that I was useless but lovable; she said I was exceptional at the washing-up and “other things besides.” Then she’d do big theatrical wink and the visitors would laugh awkwardly like a mayor at a sport’s day. Was she making a sex joke? I still hate asking her about sex. It was her making a sex joke last month to the postman that made me do it. It’s her fault. The postman is a woman as well and they were laughing at me, like they do. I heard a mumble and then laughing like Satan’s friends. It made me so angry I had to bite my fist again. She always thinks I have marks on my hands from being pecked by her stupid geese in the field. Maybe I could tell her that I was biting my hands in fury. She doesn’t understand shame or guilt. “See these marks on my hands? You fat cow!”
When I went to the field last week I told her the postman was asking for her, (I’m lying to her, I haven’t seen the woman in weeks but I thought it would cheer her up) Sometimes I don’t have any questions. I just tell her about my week, the trouble with the travellers parked outside the supermarket, what I’m doing with the garden, the price of geese feed, that sort of thing. Sometimes I just take the hood off and stroke her. When I’m feeling sentimental I want to kiss her too but the magpies get jealous. Last time it was rooks. They fight over her. They like perching on her arms. Once I saw an eagle on her head.
Now. I must find my boots.