bowl of sugar with spoonA new family have moved in next door. They are English and they are Jewish. The girls are dark and very pretty; even I can see that. They have narrow faces like foxes and long sleek hair. Their dad is tall and handsome and he calls them ‘Sweetheart’. I wonder what it feels like to be called Sweetheart.

We lie on Kay’s bed on a hot, sunny afternoon looking at ‘Cosmopolitan’. I have never seen anything like it. There are naked women. “Does your Mum like looking at naked women?” I ask.

Kay shrugs. “I think so.”

“Does your Dad look at it too?”

“No, he reads the paper.” We amble down the hall to the kitchen. The bathroom door is open and her Mum is in the bath with her clothes on.

“New Levis” says Kay and I nod, dumbfounded.

We go into the kitchen and look around hopefully. “Do you have biscuits?” I ask. Surely this is the type of family that would have biscuits.

”No” she says “but this is what I do.” She dips her finger into the butter until it is coated then sinks it into the sugar bowl, then sucks. I copy her and we sit silently feasting for a while.

“Do you want to come to my house tomorrow?”

“Can’t,” she says, “Dad’s taking me to hospital,” and she holds up a perfectly formed bright green finger, still greasy with butter. I am in love.

© Catriona Windle 2013

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