- Vol. 02
- Chapter 07
Walnuts Sit on Top Of Walnut Whips Don’t They?'Hazelnuts!'
Ivan glares and does that thing with his teeth: pushing forward his jaw and grinding. It's like a bull pushing back dirt with its hoofs. It's like winding up a toy car - you know the elastic can't wait to let go. Ivan was learning to control his rages, and I knew it. That's why it was more fun. Every Tuesday we get a pound coin from Dad and we head down to Jacky's newsagents, at the top of Queens Rd. In our fists we hold the key to our weekly pleasure, as the bell over the door rings, our hearts for once synchronize to the task - which sweets shall we buy? Our eyes flicker over the assortment. We know all the wrappers intimately. Ivan glances at me, wondering what I will choose, grinding his teeth.
'You're an idiot. She's seeing Tim down the road,' Ivan shouts at me, I knew that of course but relished Ivan having to raise his voice. What does he think I am? Stupid? Sarah would never fall for a spotty idiot like me: I stutter and my hands shake giving me away. Embarrassing really. Ivan had always had a girlfriend since we were small, well, smallish. At least from age 11. I'm fifteen and have never kissed a girl.
Ivan looks grand in his suit and Sarah is stunning, just too stunning to behold. You know, it's the first time I've really seen Ivan sweat. Dad and Mum look like mutton dressed as mutton. I'm sure they argued before they came, Dad had that funny red rash on his neck, he only gets that when they argue. Ivan whispers over to me, 'You got the rings?'
Walnuts Sit on Top Of Walnut Whips Don’t They?I make a play like I'm looking for them and can't find them. Ivan's eyes widen, he wipes his forehead with a hanky. I pat myself all over. I shrug. Ivan is just about to start jutting his jaw when I pull them from my trouser pocket. I grin.
I try to visit Ivan every week, depending on how mobile I am. He's fortunate that the care home he's in really care about him. There's a lady there who's also got Alzheimer's, she dances and Ivan watches her, his eyes never fall from her until he sees me. I bring him his favourite, a walnut whip. He unwraps it slowly, his weekly pleasure, holding it up in the air like a precious gem he announces, 'Hazel Nut!' I laugh and shout, 'Walnut!' then he shoves the whole thing in his mouth. Walnut and all. He stopped that jaw jutting thing after he married Sarah. The lady dances and I've lost him again. She does her usual trick, she dances close to Ivan and then stops and taps him on the head. 'Walnut,' she announces before sailing away to another room.