Sometimes I think mum loves O’Mally more than Dad

She’s so down on Dad. I just can’t work out why. I hear them shouting in the night.

I think she maybe hates him. 

At Sunday school they say to love mum and dad. 

But I don’t see dad much he’s always off on jobs. 

Some Sundays he lets me sit in the drivers seat and work the wheel when he’s mending the car. 

I look at all the dials and numbers and stuff and work the nob stick back and forth. 

He whistles tunes while he’s fixing the underneath. In the side mirror I see his legs sticking out. He lets me look under the bonnet sometimes too. 

I love the workshop mix of smells. I sniff the cans when he’s not looking.

‘They don’t make them like this anymore’ he says.

I wonder why they don’t and who ‘they’ are. But I don’t dare ask him.

Mum keeps having accidents. Getting bashed by a kitchen cupboard door and giving herself a black eye. Falling and having her arm in a sling. She banged her head as she got in the car the other night she said when she came back from her friends house late. Dad doesn’t like her ‘stupid’ friends. He tells her she goes to church too much. 

The thing that gets me most is the face she puts on whenever O’Mally’s around. The nearest thing I’ve seen to that face is Jakes puppy. It’s as if Ma’s not my Ma but someone TV.

Ma went to an Orphanage and so did Da. They lost their parents somehow but they don’t say how. They say I’m too young to know. I think about it a lot in bed at night. How do grown ups die? It doesn’t say on any of the grey stones round the church. I can’t read all the words but it’s mostly names. I asked Mum about one long word and she said the word was ‘beloved’. Ma met O’Mally at her Orphanage children have to go to it if they loose their parents. She said he came with an older priest and saved her. I asked from what but she said she’d forgotten. I think there was a monster or something. I worry about the cupboard in the corner of my room. I am sure there’s a night monster in there. I feel so scared I want to run but the door is too far from my bed. 

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