Sunday Best by Hannah Storm

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I remember every Monday, the soft scent of soap, bubbles filling the air in your laundry room, clothes hanging from the line that grandpa fixed from one wall to the other, the soft hum of the wireless. When the sun shone, I followed you outside, my feet in your footprints, toes pointed like yours. We danced beneath the clothes line, spinning our way across the outdoor stage, hanging each item of clothing with an arabesque or grand jete to our avian audience.

On Tuesdays after tea, I listened for the putt-putt of your old Citroen from streets away, then skipped from the house, curtseyed at your coming, snuggled into your blue cardigan, always blue, the same navy below-the-knee pencil skirt and row of pearls, for today’s smell, cigarettes mingled with Pears soap and peppermints.

Wednesdays, I waited for the school bell to ring, practising my ballet positions under the table, then I ran across the playground, through the squealing throngs of other children, into your arms. On this Wednesday, you’re there in your mid- week wear, a burgundy cardigan, grey skirt, white blouse fixed with an opal brooch, wearing a different smile, and as I lift my arms to yours, you demi-plie, reach inside your bag, draw out a doll, my very own ballerina. We skip to your house, humming the tune from Swan Lake, my dolly dancing to the sweet sound of your memories, and I beg you ‘tell me again about the time you danced with Margot Fonteyn?

But Sunday is my favourite day. Sunday is when you invite me into your bedroom, where I sit at your polished mahogany dressing table, and pick up the mother of pearl brush your mother gave you, that was her mother’s, that you say will be mine one day. Sunday is when you untwist the plaits crowning your head, let me brush your waist-length hair, and suck polo mints that make my nose all peppery and whisper don’t tell Mummy and Daddy, when you light a cigarette to stop your coughing – and that makes the peppery feeling even worse – and we both collapse into fits of giggles when you say again don’t tell Mummy and Daddy. Sunday is when you plait my hair, when you laugh as I walk, en pointe, on my tippy-toes, the Dabby walk I still call it, even though I can say Granny now.  Sunday is when you take my hand and we walk to the kitchen and you show me exactly how things were and how they always will be. I sit on the stool’s faux leather seat, my Mary Jane shoe heels clicking against the metal bar, a captive audience as I fill my nostrils with a life time of memories and you serve the roast beef and potatoes, then pass me the packaged Viennetta ice-cream with a curtsey, and I know when it comes to that final course, you won’t tell Mummy and Daddy what we’ve already shared.

*****

Hannah Storm

Hannah Storm has been a journalist for the past 20 years. Though her notebooks have long been full of snapshots from her adventures, she only started writing flash fiction, poetry and creative non-fiction last year as a way of honouring some of the extraordinary people she has met, remembering the places she has been and processing her own experiences. She lives on the south coast of the UK with her husband and two children and juggles parenting with work, writing and long-distance running.

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You can read Hannah Storm‘s other story published in STORGY by clicking the title below.

How Do You Classify Mammals

– Photo Credit –
RyanMcGuire

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