Aunt June chuckled. “You were in primary school, at least.”
“The saving grace,” she agreed. “If I had the internet back then, it would’ve been easier to hide what I downloaded and delete it before it fell into enemy hands. Never to be seen again.” She cringed.
“Do you want me to leave you to do this on your own?” Aunt June teased. “Go through all these boxes for your mum without help.”
“You have got to be kidding right?” Wendy widened her eyes and felt honest panic. Sixteen boxes were spread across the floor. A wave of anxiety crashed onto her. “You can’t leave me to do this alone.”
“I was joking.”
Good, because that was scary. So many CDs, so many memories, so much work sorting the sell and keep piles. “This is ridiculous. How can mum think it’s a good idea to sell any of this stuff? Can’t we just throw them?” She sighed like a spoilt brat.
Aunt June ignored her niece. “Look at this, this was the first CD I ever brought.” She flashed the brightly coloured cover in Wendy’s direction. “I’d just moved out of home and my boyfriend was fancy and had a CD player.”
Is she smiling?
Wendy brought her phone up and snapped a photo.
“What was that?” Aunt June glared.
“You looked so wistful remembering the past. I had to preserve this moment to show mum.”
“Brat.” Aunt June placed the CD into the keep pile.
“Are we going to have anything to sell other than Nicki Webster and the soundtrack for the Saddle Club?” She dug deeper into the box. Then jerked her hand back. “What is that?” It didn’t feel like a CD. Fuzzy. It prickled along her hand. “Gah!”
Wendy shivered and cradled her hand to her chest. “I don’t know, but it wasn’t a CD. I think something is dead in there.” Don’t be a mouse, please don’t be a mouse. “I have to wash my hands!”
“Hold on.” Aunt June snatched at Wendy’s shirt. “Dig it out.”
“Are you kidding?” She screeched.
“You have dirty hands already.”
For that, Wendy waved her hand in Aunt June’s face. She yelped, released her hold, and tumbled backwards into another box.
“Empty the box! I’m your elder, do as I say!” June rolled upright and glared. Her hair was all over the place now, falling over her face. Puffing her cheeks out she blew out a gust that shifted it to the side.
Wendy sighed. “But I don’t want to touch something dead.”
“This is peer pressure.” She complained.
“No, it’s delegating. Do it.”
It was a compulsion, to do as she was told. Pinching her face in distaste, Wendy pulled out CDs and stacked them beside the box. Then stopped. “That’s not a mouse.”
“A dead possum?”
“We should’ve known,” Wendy felt her face grow red. “There was no dead animal smell.” She pulled out the fuzzy make up bag and displayed it to her aunt.
June chuckled. “That’s a relief. Is there anything in it?”
Unzipping it, they discovered something so old, neither had a way of playing it. “Is that a cassette tape?” Wendy read the masking tape on the side. “Someone made a mixed tape for my mother back in the eighties?”
“I think I’m more amazed that you have cassette tape in your vocab than I am that… hang on.” Her jaw fell open. “That’s your mum’s handwriting… ha! She made her own mixed tape and pretended it was from a boy?”
I cringed. “Oh mum.”