Billy Wright, six-year-old hero of the novel WHAT I DID, blogs here.
Have you ever been so angry you turned into an idiot?
I have, and so has Dad, and even Mum has once or twice, because in fact it’s normal.
–Be wary of the man who never raises his voice, Son. He probably drowns kittens in his spare time.
Dad didn’t actually mean that quiet people kill pets. I know because he told me afterwards he was just speaking met-meta-metaf … I can’t remember, but I do remember that no kittens actually drowned.
So yesterday, when I wasn’t allowed the whole Toblerone, but had to share some with my cousin Lizzie instead, and when I got a bit cross because of that and sort of did a nasty stare at Mum, which made her take the whole of the rest of the Toblerone away and say I was being ungrateful, I could feel it rising up, and up, and up, and … and she was right … and I sort of knew it … and hated it, and … it … just … came … out … as:
–I HATE YOU!
–No you don’t.
–YES I DO I HATE YOU AND I’M GOING TO KILL YOU!
–No you’re not. You’re going to go to your room.
–FINE THEN. I WILL!
And I did go, using my hardest stamping on the stairs. But when I reached the top landing Dad was already standing there just looking at me without saying anything, and suddenly I felt like a balloon that had let go of itself and screeched round the front room before landing in a very saggy way on somebody’s foot.
–I’m sorry I’m sorry I’m sorry, I said.
–About what I said to Mum. I didn’t mean it.
Dad did a long pause. Then his eyes got good creases beside them. –Oh, that, he said. Don’t worry; she knows it was just an empty threat.
–Angry nonsense. Only an idiot would take what you said seriously.
–Yes. And remember this the next time somebody says something stupid to you: people say things they don’t really mean the whole time, he said.