HAPPY FAMILY – PROLOGUE
My dad is this man who hurts my mother. I force myself to love him, but in fact I hate him. When he throws knifes on the wall, because the meat is not tender enough while we are having dinner, exactly like tonight, I keep on dipping my chips inside my glass full of dirty salty water, then, I drink the water pretending it’s the sea, and then, I start to go in my head to pretend nothing’s happening.
I am seven and a half years old, but I can hear and understand nearly everything. I am not dumb because I’m small. I have feelings, a heart clicketting, a stomach with butterfly wings, eyes crying. I was born in London the 26 of November. My name is Rebecca Fisher, like ‘her fish’ but upside down, get it? Each time I say that, no one laughs, but I don’t care, because I am a funny girl anyway. That’s what my mam always says. Sometimes I make her laugh but many times I make her cry. It’s because I’ve got a sharp tongue, she says, and a big mouth with bumps and holes and teeth falling apart. She always says I’ve got weird taste, but she loves me very much, because I’m exactly like her, she says, a little bit loopy. Like when I eat cheddar cheese with strawberry ice cream, or when I put cherries on my ears pretending they are precious hearings.
My mam also says that I am blind as a mole, because, even if I have beautiful blue eyes like a Siamese cat, I don’t see anything with them. But it’s not my fault if my eyes are buggered. That’s what my best friend Shane Kane, who’s already 9 years old, says. He thinks they’ve been buggered since I was in my mam’s belly, because maybe my dad punched her belly by accident, and I just got kicked in the eyes. Now, I don’t see anything without my tree double frame glasses, and I am always afraid to loose them, but I’m not afraid to fight the bullies at school. And even If I die, I swear to Jesus the Christ that no one will ever call me four eyes. One day, the eye doctor said that, I will not need my glasses anymore when I will reach the age of 15. With a big smile on his face, he said that instead, I will have plastic glasses stuck on my eyes, and that would be very ‘handy’, and I will look extremely beautiful, he said again starring at me with a strange face. But then, in the night, I started crying imagining him sticking them on me with super glue, so I guess I will never be beautiful.
I am blond like my mam, who looks exactly like the film star named Julie Christie. But me, I’m too chubby to be in movies. So I prefer to sing. I love to sing alone! I sing in my bath with my bubble bathing suit, made especially by myself, in front of the mirror opposite me. I sing songs that I have in my head, sometimes very loud, so I don’t hear my mam and dad shouting at each other. And sometimes, I whisper, so no one can hear any of my secrets, apart from one very special person: Peggy Colquhoun. She’s my favourite Barbie doll. She’s Scottish, and she loves me so much, because whatever I say or do, she always smiles at me. She is not very pretty, because she misses one ear, but she’s got a very lovely red sweater with a quilt, white shoes all chewed up, and a small white bag attached to her hand where I can put tiny teeny little papers with scribbling on what I think of life, so she can carry all my secrets. And I forgot! I love bags and high heel shoes! They are my favourite things in the whole wild world. When my mam is not at home, and I‘m all alone, I rush to her cupboard with Peggy Colquhoun, and then, we both dress up to pretend we are beautiful girls.
© Frederique Feder Macleod 2012