First up, a short story. This is from a couple of months ago.
The patches of grass crunch under foot. I stop once I’m standing beside the grave.
“Hey Gran. How’s it going today?”
I glance around the rest of the cemetery, one person is leaving, and we’re alone.
“So, things haven’t changed much since the last time I was here. My cousin has gone on a diet; no sugar, no fats, no takeaway, actually no food I guess. But she’s losing weight, which is good. I read it on facebook. I don’t know what aunty is doing. As you know we don’t talk. Um, Mum and Dad are fine. Still annoying as all hell. Mum has a migraine today and so Dad has been hassling me about doing more around the house. I have no problem with doing chores but he makes out like I do nothing all day. And it’s not like he helps out. I don’t even remember the last time he washed up or pushed the vacuum around. I hate it when he says he does plenty, and that it’s not his job, it’s a pink job. Nothing in the house should be gender specific.”
Roughly I swipe at my eyes. They sting.
“I really need to move out. It’s not just today, for the past couple of weeks Dad has been harassing me about chores and when am I moving out. He makes me feel like a waste of space. I really hate it. Mum doesn’t disagree with Dad. I don’t know if she just doesn’t want to get involved or she thinks the same way, actually I do because she tells me to pull my weight more. Which is funny because then she’ll just sit down and read for an hour, not doing any sort of housework.”
I look down and snort.
“Why is it that every time I come out here for a visit I end up standing on my own grave? I guess I’m getting ready to jump in with both feet,” I give a humourless laugh. “There was a girl who died a couple of days ago. She was a Korean pop star, really talented and pretty. She was 22. It’s scary how someone like her could just be gone. She was living her dream, probably had so much more that she wanted to do, but she’ll never do anything else. We’re the same age and I’ve barely completed any of my dreams. If I died today or tomorrow what will be left? I haven’t really accomplished anything, yeah I have a book published, self published and manuscripts for other things. But I’m not like everyone else who have jobs, uni, and partners. I love writing but I want to do more with my life. I don’t want to spend my days cleaning a damn house and doing as I’m told.”
The words stopped. It felt nice to spill everything out, even though I knew it wouldn’t last. As soon as I walk into the house I knew Dad would be yelling at me for something else. I sounded so childish, complaining about house chores and whinging about my parents.
The self disgust crept up again.
“I’m having one of those existential crisis’s again. Well, I’d better get going, I’m really hungry right now. I’ll be out next week. Love you Gran.”