Saturday, November 12, 2011

We can't question God, or can we?


   Saranda was relieved that Mrs Hysa had decided to stay with them until George, Dad Dardon come back. Mum seemed to be better with her around.

   "Mum, could I go on Dad's computer to do my homework?" she enquired in the living room, where Mum was fussing around a sick Joyce. She hadn't given up teaching her Albanian and now she was able to understand almost anything.
Unfortunately Mum's progress in English was much slower. Now Joyce was showing her some photographs and 'Father' in English.

   "Is this your Dad, 'Fa-ter'?" Mum tried to pronounce English word pointing at a man on the picture.

   "Yep,' laughed Joyce, but it sounds silly when you said that: "Fa-ther."

   "Fine, fine, I don't say anything, anymore in your English, better you talk Albanian."

   "MUUM!" Saranda shouted behind her back asking for attention: "Can I use the computer in Dad's room?"

   "Now, in your holiday?" Mum turned around and looked at her quizzically.

   "Let her go," they could hear Mrs Hysa's voice from the kitchen, where she was baking a cake.
Her covered head appeared in the doorway: "Information technology is everything today, you know, it took me ages to learn how to use it...I own a simple cleaning business, but you can't do it without a computer."

Saranda didn't wait fro more and rand Dad's study room. They had the Internet now as Dad needed it for his studies and she loved to go online and talk to her email buddy. Now she laughed at times, when she couldn't use it. They had 'Apples' at school and she looked forward to every IT lesson. They had their Muslim's friends from different countries and Saranda had found it fascinated to have a friend from Indonesia.
Dad seemed to be pleased enough that she had a Muslim girl to correspond with and gave her set times every day to use the Internet at home, but he checked the website, in order to protect her from unsuitable images.
Tri was her name and she longed to come and live in Australia, she had four sisters and a dream to be an airline stewardess, which her family apparently discouraged her to follow. Saranda found amusing to find out that their problems were often similar, although written in funny English and from exotic country. Most of all Tri was two years older.
Saranda found herself spilling her heart to this girl, she had never met and found close bond with her. To her own surprise she found herself to write her about Jack.

    "Saranda, are you still alive?" Mrs Hysa called from the door and Saranda blanked out the screen in panic. She smelt the cake behind her back and soon the tray was put in front of her: "Have some nice tea and cake, which we have made with Victor."

   "Thank you, Mrs Hysa," She smiled guiltily, she had forgotten all about her home duties.

   "It's all right, but you're better to be off, George promised to call us tonight, to let us know how the boys' ride is going."

When she entered the kitchen, Mum and Mrs Hysa were engaged in some serious discussion. Mum stopped abruptly in half of the sentence and looked at her.

    "Where are the kids?" Saranda asked.

    "Watching cartoons." Mum replied and looked from Saranda to Mrs Hysa.

Always beaming Mrs Hysa looked somehow shrunk and worried: "Let her stay, it can happen to her too in the close future, especially here, you know," she had somehow cheered up and winked at Saranda.

   "Not to her, her Father wants her to marry a proper Muslim."

   "What you talking about Mum, I will never marry..." Saranda objected and took another piece of cake. Then she looked at Mrs Hysa: "What is this all about?"

   "I was talking about my son," Mrs Hysa sighed.

   "Son?" Saranda nearly dropped her cake in a surprise.

   "He lives with his father in Sydney, the man I divorced five years ago," Mrs Hysa sighed again: "It was a big mistake, my Musim-Christian marriage..."

   "That's not true," Mum patted her hand gently: "I was a catholic once too, you know, no religion should be preferred, it alone is the one true religion."

   "But you are Muslim now, Mum, are you?" Mum snapped at her angrily and Mrs Hysa looked up at her in surprise. Saranda blushed fiercely. She couldn't explain her adversity against Mum's passivity; she thought if she would stay Catholic maybe she could stand up for herself. Saranda expected another lecture from Mrs Hysa but fortunately she was lost in her own thoughts.

  "I let him go with his father, you know, he would be an outcast among Muslims here, but I thought he could find a place in his Father's Catholic community, " she smiled painfully: "despite her mother being Muslim."

   "And what about your girl, is this man her Father too?" Saranda asked enthusiastically.

   "Of course, he is," Mum looked at her disapprovingly and then turn back to Mrs Hysa lost in her dark thoughts: "You've done a right thing and you still have your girl, as Saranda said."
Saranda made a grimace and finished her second piece of cake. Mrs Hysa was an expert in baking. There was a silence for a while. Finally, Mrs Hysa continued.

    "Do you remember, when I went to Sydney to celebrate two days of Eid there?"

    "You came back very upset, I remember, I was thinking, it would have been much better for you to stay with us to celebrate the end of Ramadan." Mum shook her head.

    "I visited hime there," Mrs Hysa whispered: "I wanted him to meet his sister and celebrate with us, but..." she stopped and breathed heavily: "He wasn't interested in Ramadan. His sister and him, they had nothing in common, except their looks."

    "They are siblings, they are not supposed to have anything in common, look at me and Dardon," Saranda pointed out, but Mrs Hysa took no notice.

    "I sometimes wonder if we didn't misunderstand the real purpose of religion here, today."

    "You see, Mrs Hysa, I was right, we can ask God if women still have to wear head covers," Saranda pointed on her scarf: "I just prefer not too."

    "You can't question God, Saranda," Mum looked at her crossly, then she looked up and said: "There is only one God..."

    "But you can look for him for the answers, can't you?" Saranda replied quickly.

    "Yes, you certainly can Saranda, but the answer is not simple as that, the head cover is merely a custom, some Kosovo Muslim's girls don't wear it at all, do you remember the girl with a ponytail from barracks, what was her name?" Mrs Hysa suddenly cheered up.

    "I know who you mean, but I don't remember her name either," Saranda now seldom thought about their first home in Australia.

    "Oh, I nearly forgot," Mrs Hysa stood up suddenly and grabbed Saranda's arm: : "Let's get something from my room." She dragged surprised saranda behind her and quietly closed the door behind them.

    "I don't want mention Kosovo in front of you Mum, it always upsets her," Mrs Hysa whispered rummaging through her bag: "The Albanian Association received a letter from some of the Kosovo families, who had been living with you in the barracks, you know..." She finally found a piece of paper: "There was a note for you inside, from that girl with a ponytail."

Monday, September 26, 2011



     The first light had barely brightened the window of their bedroom. It seemed to Saranda that she had
only just fallen asleep when the noise outside her window woke her. She waved Jack through the window and sleepily put her long gown on.

    "Come on, you lazy bones, times for a trip..." he shouted and threw another stone on the glass.

    "Jack, shut your mouth," she nervously peeped outside through the curtains: "I'll be there in a sec."
She quickly pulled on her jeans and long jumper, leaving the scarf behind. After a second thought she tied her long hair in a bun.

     "Kathy forgot to wash my favourite shirt," Jack mumbled, when she met him outside.

     "It's all right," she reassured him: "It's too dark to notice it anyway." He jerked and when she looked up at him, his eyes glowed strangely.

    "Kathy said, no point to dress up," he smiled to himself: "She is right, you know, my Dad can see the piece of shit I am." Jack suddenly lost his balance and she steadied him in a last minute.

     "I am perfectly fine," he noticed her quizzical look: "It's only little bit of dope to help me go."

They could hear some noise from inside the house.

    "Hurry up," she grabbed his hand and hurried through the front gate: "Better meet him on the road."

     "So 'cuuute' these little houses and perfectly cut lawns and perfectly happy families inside..." Jack grimaced when they slowly walked through her street.

Everything was dark, sleepy and cold. She shivered in the frosty morning. She couldn't use to this funny weather pattern, freezing nights and hot middays. She secretly peeped at Jack, he seemed to be warm enough in his surf shorts and sleeveless shirt. At first she could not see anything clearly in the gloom. It was not until the very last minute that they noticed approaching car. Jack had turned pale and was nervously looking around.

    "It will be all right," Saranda said reassuringly and both stopped in the middle of the road.

The car suddenly stopped using brakes heavily. "What's going on here?" George pushed his door open and stepped out.

Saranda pulled Jack's shirt and they approached the car. "Hi, Dad."

Saranda looked up at Jack surprised at the gloomy tone in his voice. But George was impressed, a tear trembled on his eyelid: "JACK." He put his arms around his son.

There was a silence for a while.

    "I thought, I never see you again, fearing every night..." George gulped: "Every time I have been asked to identify a body of a junkie, I was relieved it was not you..."

    "I didn't come for that," Jack freed from George's tight embrace: "I just want see the oldies at York.." He stood woodenly, gazing at the path.

    "Of course," George laughed wholeheartedly: "No worries!" Saranda stole a glance at her swimming instructor, trying to judge his mood. She liked him more and more. George opened the back door and gestured at them to come in: "You're bound to survive this weekend with me, I should say."

In the car Saranda glanced at Jack. Sometimes he seemed to be both sad and funny at the same time. Strange as it seemed, she imagined that Jack would grow up to be the same kind of man as his Dad. Approaching the house they saw Dardon to meet them.

    "Saranda," he shouted noticing her inside. Suddenly he tore along the path, skidded and went flat.
George stopped the car and stepped outside laughing. Dardon forced himself to laugh as well as he trudged over to join him.

    "Never mind, mate, it can happen to anyone," George stopped laughing and patted him on the back.

    "It can happen only to HIM," Saranda laughed winding her window down.

     Dardon sighed peeping inside the car: "What are you doing there, sister?"

     Saranda stepped outside to reply, when she noticed Dad standing at the front porch. She felt naked under his icy look and she quickly touched her uncovered hair.

    "Saranda, back in house!" His voice hammered over her and she ran as fast as she could, passing him in a sudden fright. She nearly felt over Victor near the front door. Victor screamed and grabbed her hand pointing on the car: "Car, 'brrm', trip."

    "Yes, Victor, let's go inside."

    "No, " he suddenly let go her hand shooting to Dad skidding next to his feet. He pulled himself up again holding onto Dad's pants and peeped curiously behind his back on the car.

Closing the door she looked back at Jack. He looked out at her through the open window with a mix of shock and curiousity. She quickly closed the door and ran to her room. She gasped meeting Mum in the dark corridor. She looked like stone statue, cold and so lifeless.

    "Where have you been again?"

Saranda turned around to answer but the noise outside made her curious and she quickly reached her window to look out.
Dardon joined Jack at her spot on the back. George was talking to Dad in front of the car. Suddenly she felt Mum's hands on her head. It felt so good. Saranda tried to feel them and touched the scarf.

    "No," she screamed and threw it on the floor without looking at Mum.

She couldn't hear but felt that Mum left the room. Suddenly she saw Dad entering the car with George and they took off. Passing her window George blowed her kiss from the front seat and Jack looked at her...somehow differently.
Victor was left on the porch crying loudly until Mum reached him. They both stood there waving in the car's direction until it disappeared behind the gate. Mum's grey long dress contrasted with the shiny green vegetation outside. Saranda joined them and dried out Victor's tears from his face.

    "I go trip," he wiped his nose.

    "Few more years and you will join them." Mum smiled at him and took his hand to take him inside.

    "Not, now," he freed his hand and stomped his little foot.

    "Come on, don't be baby, Victor," Saranda picked him and twirled him around: "If you would be a girl, you will go nowhere, you see, you are lucky Victor."

    "They are places you bound to go," Mum said watching them. When Saranda stopped with question in her eyes she continued firmly: "Mrs Hysa's daughter is sick so she couldn't go with George, but she will be at Mosque this morning  and I expect you to join us."

     "Why?" Saranda asked but Mum's icy look stopped her prepared objection.

Saranda touched gently the faded carpet under her legs. Suddenly, there was silence after long periods of prayers. She breathed deeply edging closer to the fat Mrs Hysa's body next to her. For a second she dreamed that it was Granny praying there. Saranda looked desperately around. One of the covered girls in front row turned quickly back to smile at her encouragingly. It was Doha. Saranda lifted her chin and tried to grin back. The prayers started again. The strangeness descended all over her again hearing these words, which have not meaning for her.

Saturday, June 18, 2011


    The next day Saranda had no chance to sneak out. Dad didn't allow her to leave the house because of her disobedience. She moved aimlessly around the kitchen putting dry dishes away. Victor followed her closely everywhere on his wobbly legs, what he had always done when Mum got sick. Saranda looked out of the window and caught the sight of Dardon talking to a kid from the neighbourhood.
Dardon was so excited about tomorrow's trip with George that he kept boasting to everyone about it. Saranda felt awful. Victor kept taking out all the dishes she put back.

    "Victor, stop making a mess," she angrily grabbed the big pot from his hands: "Go and see Mum."

    "Mum sick." Victor looked at her with his big brown eyes.

    "Go to see if she is better, go!" She waved here hand and he ran through the corridor, but skidded on the rolled carpet and started to cry. When no one took notice of him, he stood up again on his wobbly legs and shoot straight into Mum's bedroom.
Saranda sighed with a relief and started to cut some vegetables when Dardon came in looking sweaty and hot.

    "View!"He said: "It's old in here." Then he added: "Are you really not going tomorrow?"

    "No, and you know why?" She hissed from her spot.

It was mystery to Dardon why Saranda looked so surprisingly unconcerned about missing the trip. But he knew there was no point to ask. After the conversation with Mrs Hysa she refused to take him anywhere. He felt hurt and left out and decided to watch her every step. Anyway, Dad said it is his responsibility to watch her. It doesn't matter that she is older than him. She was a GIRL.
There was a silence and Saranda watched Dardon suspiciously as he picked his drink from the fridge.

    " No, why?" He finally asked.

    "Because you are a little kid," she pointed at him with a carrot: "you can't hold your mouth shut."

Suddenly they could hear Victor's cry from the Mum's bedroom. Dardon quickly disappeared in there. Soon he was back, followed by Victor, who skidded in the corridor, got up and they ended up playing tumble game on the kitchen floor. Victor accidentally hit the chair and started to cry loudly banging Dardon with his both little fists. Dardon laughingly pretended to be hurt.

     "Stop you two or Dad will come!" Saranda shouted but they couldn't hear her. lost in their shouting. Dad informed them last Sunday that he had started Islamic Studies University course by correspondence.  He spent holiday's mornings locked in his Study and on the slightest noise he came out shouting at them. Saranda left the kitchen and burst into her Mum's bedroom.

    "Mum, come and do something, they are wild again, " she suddenly stopped and looked at the pale statue sitting at the corner of the bed: "Mum, come to cook something, it's nearly lunchtime." Saranda pushed the heavy curtains to let some light inside.

    "Leave the curtains and go away." Suddenly Mum opened her eyes and said almost savagely: "Did you hear me, leave me in peace."

Saranda turned around and opened her mouth, when suddenly she noticed the pile of cut out newspapers' articles in front of Mum. She slowly picked up one and started to read the headline:
Nick Hawton
Up to 600 Kosovo Muslims are thought to have been buried in the largest mass grave found in Kosovo.
The grave holds victims of the Morina massacre, and if the estimate is correct it would be twice as large as any grave found so far...

   Saranda put it slowly back, hesitated for a while and then went out quietly closing door behind her. The house was quiet. Apparently the boys went outside or been told off by Dad. Waling through the corridor she could hear dad greeting someone at the front: "Salama lejkum, Doctor Polkin, welcome in our humble home..."
Saranda rushed to the door to greet her new teacher of Science. Although he was not a Muslim but a Christian, he was well known and respected for his good humour and kindness among his students. Most surprisingly the Muslim teachers respected him too, for he was not only experienced scientist but also famous follower of Dr Pokinghornes' religious theory.

    "Saranda, nice to see you," he squizzed her hand and winked at her: "my best science student..."

    "She is very stubborn and free-minded," sighed her Dad and Saranda blushed.

    "That's what you need in science, don't you agree my friend?" Dr Polkin replied laughingly.

   "Let's go to my Study to discuss all the College matters," Dad beamed and showed the way. Saranda watched the way. Saranda watched him in amazement. He was so proud of his Deputy's position, his Islamic studies achievements, was he still proud of them too? And what about Mum? Oh, Mum, suddenly she realised that she forgot to tell him.

    "Dad!" She caught the door before he could close behind them: "Mum is...,she is not right again..."

    "Hush, not now Saranda," he whispered and closed the door. Saranda turned back when she heard the  door again: "Saranda, bring us some coffee and some halal food," he turned back to see if Dr Polkin is not listening: "Better you tell Mum to get up and tell her we have a visitor staying for a lunch."

Saranda went back to kitchen and had found Mum already there.

    "I've heard, " she muttered and wiped her tears: :Take this coffee there and come back to help with cuisine," Mum passed her the tray piled with food without looking at her.

Leaving Saranda heard her praying: "Oh God, there is no God except you, please help me to get through another day."

Entering the Study she accidentally dropped the sugar bowl. She watched desperately how it hit the floor with big bang and broke into pieces, sugar spilling everywhere reaching the colourful rug where Dad and Dr Polkin were sitting. Holding the heavy tray tightly she approached them and put it on the small table in front of them. She was relieved that they hadn't noticed her at all apparently enaged in some religious argument.
Dr Polkins' voice hammered across the room: "The world is not, as your religion would have us believe," he pointed his finger at Dad, "all just and illusion."

    "How can you prove the existence of God, as a scientist?"

    "You can't prove the existence or non-existence of God, " Dr Polkin scratched his forehead thinking and continued: "the idea of existence of God in an insight, not a proof."

    "What you can't prove stays always an illusion..or the proof for non-believers..."

    "It is an insight which explain a lot more about the things are that atheism can do."

    "How can you explain the connection between religion, not only Islamic but also Christian religion and science?"

    "Religion, I believe, gives a much broader and deeper view of reality than science can do on its own."

There was a long silence as the both men were lost in their own thought. Saranda tiptoed from the room but before she reached the door, Dad waved at her:

    "Saranda tell Dardon to come here, it's time for him to learn something more about Islam."

    "Dardoon!" She was looking around the house, skidding on some spilled marbles. The house was white against the midday blue sky. It was really hot. Shielding her eyes she looked through the kitchen's window inside.

Mum was looking at her, but her eyes couldn't see hers. Holding the wooden spoon half ways in the air she was looking at something beyond, something very far from them all.
Suddenly Dad's Call to Midday Prayer entered the air outside:
God is most great. God is most great. I testify that there is no God except God. Come to prayer! Come to success in this life and the hereafter...
Saranda suddenly wished so much that Granny's God could help them, it didn't really mattered to her if he was only an illusion or a real one, only if he could help her family to find their bond and love, which was lost somewhere on their way to the freedom.

Thursday, April 28, 2011


    "It was a car accident, Jack," Saranda whispered remembering what George had told them on their visit.

    "How do you know, who you think you are, sticking your nose into other people's business," looking at her savagely, he put his hand into his jeans pocket and took out a carefully folded letter: 'You may as well read this."

Saranda opened it with open curiosity, the top part was unreadable, there were brownish dried out patches, looked like spilled beer. She skipped with her eyes to the middle part, where the letters emerged: ...the biggest thing I have been dealing with is that she is dead and not coming back. I am so sorry but sorry just isn't enough, I just can't make up for it. I feel sorry for you, my son. I've taken her away from us. It's something I can't give back. It's impossible...the letters disappeared again but now they looked like washed by...tears?

    "Oh, again, Jacky whacky family story," Kathy boomed over them and Jack quickly grabbed his letter from Saranda's hands and put it back to his pocket.

    "So what about your bargain?" Jack glared at her angrily.

    "Bloody bastard, he chased me nearly up to here," Kathy was bubbling over with joy as she handed them the beers and chips.

    "Watch him, he's a real nasty one, you'll end up in jail," remarked Jack: "Gosh, I used to hate stealing, more than anything else..."

    "What's the matter with you?" Kathy opened the can and took a big gulp: "That's a beauty!" Her curls bounced about as she spoke.

    "Sorry, I don't drink beer." Saranda shyly handed back her can.

    "I'll be a monkey's uncle!" Kathy wiped the white stuff around her mouth: "Every child love beer in our settlement in the bush beyond Halls Creek."

    "You mean the collection of wretched caravans and iron shacks along an old creek bed in the middle of nowhere?" Jack grinned at her.

    But Kathy continued ignoring him: "Mum used to cook our tucker on the fire. Then when it came night time, she would fill an old bathtub and all the little ones have a bit of a swim in it," she stopped watching dreamily the flock of seagulls fighting over a dead fish: "As a little kid I loved the camp but as I grew up I got itchy feet..."

   "Not only feet, I can tell you that..."Jack grinned at her again and she slapped him laughingly over his head with the empty can.  When she turned back to Saranda her eyes were sad although her mouth was still twitched in a disappearing smile.
   "I got really depressed there," she continued and made a funny grimace that even Saranda couldn't suppress laughter.

    "Oh, you laughing lot, I wish to see you there," Kathy waved her hand: "I remember my drunken father came to where I was sitting and slapped me for nothing. He slapped me so hard it sounded 'bam' and knocked me over so I landed in the branches of a nearby bush. Once he hit me with his fist so hard that there's still a scar on my head here. Look." Kathy showed Saranda a big red mark. A single sob welled up from somewhere deep down and shook her shoulders.

A big lump rose in Saranda's throat. She knew how Kathy was feeling. She suddenly held out her arms and hugged Kathy tightly.

Kathy smiled at her broadly and continued: "One morning a truck came by on its way to Perth. I went over to the driver and asked for a ride. I looked older than I am so he agreed and here I am, happy as Larry."

They kept sitting there, heads together. Kathy studied Saranda. She like her, like her quiet soft foreign voice, he half-shy air and the suggestion that hung about Saranda of things seen and done. Jack watched Kathy with obvious disgust: "I think I better kick off, you drama queen..."

   "Jack," Saranda suddenly remembered something: "Could you come over early morning this Saturday, it's a long weekend, you know," she handed him a scrap of paper with her address: :Here, I mean if you have time to spare."

He took the paper and put it in his pocket: "ep, why not, I have nothing against home cooked 'brekky'," he stretched lazily on the sand: "Can I stay for roasted lamb as well?"

   "Can I come too?" Kathy jumped up licking her lips.

   "Sorry guys, but my parents..."

   "Don't like homeless and especially Aboriginal ones, " Jack finished her sentence with a wink: "We heard this one so many times before, didn't we, Kath?"

   "No," Saranda shook her head, but Kathy looked doubtful. "Kathy, why you don't go to school?" Saranda quickly changed the unpleasant subject.

   "Her school days are over," Jack said. "She likes booze too much, and also..."

   "And what 'bout' you, dag, you don't?"

   "Give me something I can believe in and I'll stop."

   "Phew, what a whopper,"" Kathy sighed and then she turned to Saranda: "Look, here, I 'll show you something if you give me some dope..." she danced around Saranda holding her repaired tiny golden chain on her outstretched palm.

    "My golden sun, and it's repaired," Saranda grabbed it quickly from Kathy's hand and put it around her neck: "Look, I am really sorry..."

    "For what, I would not come anyway and him," Kathy pointed at Jack pretending to sleep on the sand: "He needs to wash somewhere anyway..."

    "What you talking about?" Jack jumped up and chased Kathy along the beach.

When Saranda came home late that day, her face was beaming. Her Dad was waiting for her at the front and told her what she had already expected. She can forget the trip to York.  She didn't mind, not now when Jack was coming....

Thursday, March 31, 2011

HE KILLED MY MUM (July 2001)

 Saranda left the main noisy road and swung into Lilly Street where the trees provided patches of shade along the way. All the same, the afternoon sun was blisteringly hot and she sweltered in her long jumper. Now she could see the weedy block of land in front, desolate and empty. Where was Jack? He promised to be here today. And Kathy? What if she will never meet her again, what if she will never return her golden sun? Suddenly she felt very weak. Half way down Saranda paused under the big eucalyptus tree and wiped her forehead.

    "What's up, Saranda?" Kathy asked sitting in its shade with Lucky by her side.

    "I hate your winter," Saranda flopped exhausted next to her: "Cold mornings and hot afternoons." Jack's blond head appeared from behind the tree trunk. They looked rested and in a happy mood, although dressed only in some T-shirts and baggy jeans.

    Kathy muffled Lucky's fur dreamily: "Soon we have to move to Uncle Toby's verandah for the nights, it's too cold to sleep on the streets."

    "Too bloody noisy for me," Jack scratched his dirty hair.

    "You can freeze here," Kathy snapped at him: "Or p.... off back home."

Then they tossed a coin for their turn. Jack won and Kathy went to find a 'ten-ounce sandwich' for them. Saranda followed Jack and Lucky heading of to the beach.

    "What about going home?" She caught up with him: "To see George and your room, you know it's the same like you have left it...your medals and everything."

But Jack ignored her and moved on.

    "There is a crab." He suddenly stopped and lifted one of the rocks on the shore. Lucky sniffed underneath.

    "Will he bite me?" Saranda leaned forward with an outstretched hand, but hesitated for a second, afraid.

    "If you give him a chance." Aware of danger, the crab shot across the stones to the sea. Jack sat down with his arms round his legs and his chin resting on his knees staring at some surfers in thermo-suits having fun in the ocean: "What a dumper!" He suddenly pointed at the big wave that broke suddenly hurling the surfers down with great force: "Dad's always told me that I would become a champion surfer one day."

   "Do you miss him?"

Jack had a faraway look on his face: "How do you know his name and my medals?"

Saranda described her first meeting with George and her embarrassing exploring of George's house. She has also mentioned the trip to York on a long weekend. Jack listened carefully without any interruption, when he suddenly blurted out: "He killed my Mum, George, he's a bloody killer..." He shouted and put his head into his hands.


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