100 Trains of Thought: 6. Angela

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Words and Collage by Billie Jenkins

Things were really simple when it began. The first time he arrived for a cup of tea driving a brand new Honda Civic she was overwhelmed with pride. The family had been driving the same family-sized Citroen for eleven years, and it had been second hand when they bought it – already tarnished with the faint smell of chip fat and Ketchup. To think how far he had come. She rarely saw his father any longer but in the early days, until Andrew was eleven, they had lived like a family, with dinner at the table every night and a morning rush from Monday to Friday. It did strike her as oddly neat, to go from the son of a miner to a banker heeled in the finest Italian loafers was the ‘boy done good’ everyone secretly wanted for their child; but she didn’t know then how estranged she would become from the new cars, the wife from old money and the grandchildren who refused to drink the non brand coke they provided during fleeting visits. Christmas became a source of dread, there was nothing she could give them, nothing they didn’t already have. When the scandal hit a few years back, she became embarrassed every time he came round in his flashy car. She would never tell a soul, but she was secretly happy when it got scratched during a quick catch up; he never brought it round again.

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