June’s {rejected} Furious Fiction

 

June missed the boat. She saw it pull away from the dock as she turned the corner, screaming loudly. “Wait! Wait!” But it did not wait. She stood still, lungs heaving, watching the ferry as it set off across the harbour, passengers looking back, without pity.

She could not go home. And now, she would not go to school either.

June rummaged in her backpack for her sunglasses. She put them on, hitched her backpack into a comfortable position and set off back the way she had come. Not home, but over the road, to her friend Darrel. He would be happy to see her. He knew why she couldn’t go back home. Not yet, anyway.

Darrel’s house was surrounded by a two metre fence. You had to buzz at the gate for entry. June’s family has joked over the years that they must be drug dealers or mercenaries or even pirates {her dad’s favourite fantasy}, anyone who needed excessive security. June buzzed.

Darrel’s mum let her in and after a concerned look said “He’s out the back love. You know where to find him!”

And she did. Darrel had inherited the granny flat when his granny had, finally, died last year. Darrel had then left school and become a professional gamer. It suited him and paid well. His couch had now taken on his body shape, superseding his granny’s.

She knocked and walked straight in. They had no secrets from each other after all these years. She would have been most surprised if she’d walked in on him “in flagrante delicto”. He didn’t know the meaning of the phrase!

He was playing an old game using a joystick. It was obviously retro hour. She flung her backpack to the floor and muttered “Hey!” as she sat next to him.

“Hey!” he returned, glancing away from the screen briefly “Not going to school?”

“Nah!”
She could hear the note of concern in his voice, the questions he held back. He handed her the other joystick. She began to play. For a while they played against each other, army against army, until the last soldier died.

“I win!” he yelled, caught up in the moment, until he saw the tears on June’s face.

“Aw Junie! I forgot.”

He put his arms around her and they rocked and cried together.

“Not your fault” he whispered to her over and over again, “It was not your fault!”

 

June could not go home for she was supposed to be okay now. Enough time had passed they said when they thought she wasn’t listening.

Her mum did not understand. June felt the blame whenever they spoke.

Her dad had defended her but now lived in a wheelchair. His reality attacked hers everyday.

June could barely sleep without nightmares.

Yet nobody had been brought to justice.

 

 

 

 

Copyright July 2020