• Vol. 09
  • Chapter 07
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That was then

As I looked up at Lizzy, a distant memory returned to tease me. Where was it? Who said it? I reached up and traced her shape with a finger.

“What are you doing?” I remember asking my mother.

"Venting my spleen,” she had replied angrily, scoring the wall with a piece of chalk.

I watched as she scratched at the wall, her face flushed with the effort. She took a step back and muttered something.

"What’s a spleen, mother?" I asked.

She began to mark the wall again, not bothering to answer. I couldn’t make out what it was she was drawing.

There was a slight sound behind me and I turned to see my husband coming along the old path that let down to the wall. He stopped and kicked at the old tyre then looked at me.

“Have you worked it out yet?” he asked, nodding at the wall.

I folded my arms across my chest, hugging myself tightly. "No. She never told me why she drew it or the reason she did.”

For a moment he said nothing, just stood beside me waiting for my anger to subside.

“It’s just a mural,” he said, emptying the bucket of food scraps onto the compost heap.

I turned away, ignoring him. I would come back tomorrow and ask Lizzie the same question. “What’s a spleen, mother?”