Mistakes

Billy Wright, six-year-old hero of the novel WHAT I DID, blogs here:

I woke up early because Dad had put the clocks back and I needed a wee anyway, so I got up and hit my head on the big banister because I wasn’t looking where I was going.  It’s called a newel post.

–Ouch, I said.

Nobody replied because they were all asleep so I said it again, louder.  –Ouch.  And a third time, in nearly a yell:  –OUCH!

Mum came out.  –What’s the matter? she said.  Her eyes were little slits, like button holes.

–I hit my head.

–How on earth?

–I just did!  Don’t you care?

–Of course.  She rubbed it.  –Now go back to bed; it’s not morning.

I stamped and yelled –No! because she wasn’t being nice enough, and anyway I needed a wee.

–Please, said Mum.

So I stamped again, and suddenly Dad was there, too hissing, –Get back to bloody bed!

–Leave it, said Mum

–YOU leave it, said Dad.  –He gets us up in the middle of the night, then starts waking the neighbours, and you’re negotiating?

Mum stormed off and Dad grabbed my shoulder and dragged me nastily back to bed.  He smelled of oranges left in the bowl too long and his hair was all stuck up in blades.

–But it is morning, I said.

–It’s five thirty.

–But I need a wee!  I shouted.  –And I hit my head!

–THEN GO TO THE TOILET QUIETLY he yelled, which made Mum call out –Jim! and that made Dad shove me back out onto the landing so hard I fell over.

I started to cry.

Mum was there again.  –What did you do to him? she hissed.

–He tripped over.  It was a mistake.  I’m sorry.  IT’S NIGHT TIME! he yelled.

I was sobbing.  –Only because … you put … the clocks … back … it won’t … be night … if you just put … them back again.

Everyone makes mistakes.  Here is a squid.

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