Voices

a-to-z-letters-vMe and Jim were sent to bed early. My big sisters came over to talk to my mam and said that we were to be good and quiet and tomorrow they would buy us sweets.

I didn’t want to go but Jim pulled my arm and brought me upstairs.

We’re getting sweets, you can read or play with your dolls but just go to bed.

I got into bed but I wasn’t happy. I pulled the covers right up to my neck and closed my eyes.

I woke up and it was still dark. I could hear lots of voices downstairs. I thought that it was people fighting. I went out on the landing and Jim was sitting on the top of the stairs.

What are you doing, go back to bed Lizzy.

Why are you here? Are mammy and daddy fighting?

No. I don’t know. The girls are still here, one of them is crying.

We listened for a few minutes.
Jim was right. Someone was crying, but it wasn’t my mam.

The sitting room door opened and me and Jim jumped and ran to our beds. Whoever it was went in to the kitchen. We went back out on to the stairs and we could hear better cos they left the door open.

We’ll have a cup of tea, unless someone wants something stronger?
My big sister Ann was talking.

Well I do! My Da must have opened the press where his whiskey is cos I heard the door bang. Will you stop crying, she’s not dead.

I looked at Jim, his face was all white and it looked like he was trying to swallow something.

We’ll have to tell the kids something. 

Not yet. My mam’s voice sounded different, she was quiet like she was tired. Can’t we wait til we know more? Sure what would we tell them when we don’t know ourselves?

Ah, I suppose you’re right. 

Someone came out of the kitchen, I stretched to see. It was my sister Marie with a tray with tea on it. Jim pulled me back.
Marie went into the sitting room and closed the door.
We couldn’t hear any more, but we sat for ages trying to listen.

The door opened again and everyone was saying goodbye, so we ran back to bed.

My door opened and I knew it was my mam who came in. I kept my eyes closed and pretended to be asleep. She sat on my bed and rubbed my hair. I opened my eyes.

I didn’t mean to wake you, or were you awake already Lizzy Redmond?

Are the girls still here? 

They’ve just gone and now I’m going to bed. Just came in to tuck you in cos I couldn’t earlier. Goodnight love. 

Goodnight mammy, I love you. 

I love you too Lizzy

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If this is your first visit to Lizzy’s story and you want to know who she is and where she came from you can read A is for About a girl…

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