Tuesday, 22 January 2013


The hill is steep and I’m tired, it’s late and all I want is to go home, to watch TV, to eat from the fridge and sleep till twelve the next day. It stands there like a dark green menace, smug and waiting for my clambering feet to climb it and then give up, for it to win... Well, she’s already half way up now and I’m at the bottom alone and cold cause it is nearly February. Does she not know that? She runs around all the time with her skirt flapping and no coat or scarf or gloves and hat on, as if she’s invincible. Or smug, smug like the hill I can’t climb. Smug cause I can’t climb a hill and I get cold. Well, I’ll show them both...
She’s at the top and calling down to me “Jack! Jack! Hurry, its b-e-a-utiful! Oh, I’ve never seen stars like these from up here, I could just grab one and put in my pocket!” What a child... She doesn't read either, not that I really do, sometimes I just pretend and show off in English cause i’m the only one bothered to read Wikipedia as if my life depended on it... Sometimes I don’t know why she’s my friend, Mother says I’m above her. That she’s a distraction, that all she wants to do is get smashed and kiss boys and in the morning gorge her little fat face out and say she’s going to learn how to cook and camp properly, like the experts on TV. I should study, she says, study hard and read more, more more more, that’s the key.
“Jill, well, that girl is raised as if she were a wolf. Wild and rabid and eating raw meat if she could! Ha! I bet she’s never even left the country.” Sometimes I don’t want to leave the country, but I do anyways.
It’s muddy and I slip and get dirt all over my clean and ironed shirt, so I call out that I’m taking a rest, so I do. I look out over the country and the town. I can make out landmarks, the church, the library, the schools and resource centres. I think I can see my house but i’m not sure, it might be a bit hidden behind the school. I can make out Jill’s house, out there alone in the country with its farm. That’s another reason Mother doesn’t like Jill, her family are farmers. My family are all important people she tells me. So important that they don’t have time to meet the farmers, too busy... I’ve met the farmers, they’re perfectly nice, charming and warm and they chuckle, all of them, deep and throaty chuckles, the best type of chuckling... That was when I was little and since then I’ve always reminded myself to chuckle, not giggle like my parents. They hate chuckles, say chuckles take too long, “a quick giggle is all that can be condoned.”
I get up and start again up the hill, slipping and cursing loudly into the darkness. Three-quarters of the way up. I can hear Jill shouting out and tracing star patterns with her fingers. Do I have homework for tomorrow? It’ll be too late by the time I get home anyways.
I get there and there she is, lying in mud, her skirt pulled up high and her eyes wide looking up at the stars, so I lie down next to her and look up, and...well, she was right, these are the best stars I’ve ever seen. So many that I’ve seen before and all of these new ones, scattered across like jacks. Christ, why does she always have to be right? She doesn’t deserve it...

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