- Vol. 01
- Chapter 05
PresentsI think she had been there for a long time. Waiting. The garden was a mess, of course everyone had been right, it was always going to be too big for me, what was I thinking of? It was a strange and beautiful mess though, old, over grown and untidy. I suppose that’s why I never really saw her at the start. Lots of places to hide. I just gradually became aware of her. When I was out there she was watching me, she wasn’t hiding, wasn’t scared, oh I thought that, at the time, but not now. Now I know what she was doing. Making sure I was the right choice. She probably had a good look around, looking at all of the houses on the road. But the rest of them were loud with families, gardens neat and tidy, it wouldn’t have taken her long to rule them out. They wouldn’t give her what she needed.
Gradually she allowed me to catch a glimpse. Glimpse, after beautiful glimpse. Each time I saw her I wanted to see more. I started spending more time in the garden. I wasn’t making any difference to it though, I wasn’t even trying to. All I could do was wait and hope she’d turn up. I don’t know when the presents started. It just seemed the right thing to do. I think it’s normally the other way around, but in our relationship I was definitely the giver. I made some terrible mistakes to start with. What made me think she’d want any of that? She couldn’t have made it more obvious. Come on, try harder. So I started going to the best shops, buying her things I’ve never even tried. She took them, I never saw, but I think she enjoyed them. But I think I always knew, in the back of my mind that it wasn’t going to be enough. She wanted more than that. More than I wanted to give. She wanted presents that were heart breaking to give, but she wanted me to give them.
So today I make the little pile by the steps again. The little pile, still soft and warm, just how she likes them. She likes to touch them first, to decide which one today, to push the rest to one side, left for me to hide guiltily where she doesn’t have to see them.
She’s here now, I watch as she makes her choice. She glances at me, hard grey eyes, she doesn’t care for me, I’m here to give, to provide for her.
As the cat leaves I pick up the trowel.