The Nanny de Melissa Nathan
The Nanny The Nanny
by Melissa Nathan
Arrow General & literary fiction
Jo Green's eyes glazed over as she stared at her half-eaten cake on the table, twenty-three candles now splayed messily around it. How symbolic, she thought. One minute ablaze with light, warmly celebrating life's journey; the next, a crumbling testament to the disappointment and guilt that life's little highs invariably carry. Then she decided she really must stop listening to Travis.
She yawned. With the kitchen lights off, a soporific mood had descended upon them all like a sudden fog.
Her father, top trouser button undone, rubbed his hand over his stomach in smooth, rhythmic circles, conducting his body's quiet celebratory wind sonata, in several movements.
Jo and her mother exchanged glances.
'In some countries that's a great compliment,' said Jo.
Hilda snorted. 'Oh he's multilingual, your father.'
Bill belched softly again and proceeded to rub his stomach the other way.
'I don't like to stop him,' Hilda muttered. 'He has so few hobbies.' She shifted herself from the table. 'Right. Who wants another cuppa?'
'Don't mind if I do,' answered Bill.
'I'll make it,' said Jo.
'On your birthday?' Hilda's eyes crinkled up into a smile that created so many lines in her flesh it left almost no room for her face. 'Don't talk daft.'