When she cuts her knee in her grandad’s garden and cries, he carries her in and sits her on the settee, rubbing her leg.
“It’s a strange thing, crying,” he says, “Some people cry because they’re happy. Some people watch sad movies to make themselves cry.”
Confused, she stops crying and twists her hair like her mother does.
“When I’m sad,” he says, bringing his laptop over and sitting next to her, “I type ‘lollipop'”. He slides the laptop over. “Go on,” he says, “Try it.”
She wants to show off. She knows it has a double L.
“See how easy it is? Try it again.”
She types it three times, faster and faster.
“I like raspberry ones,” she says, “They’re blue, because red ones are strawberry. Blue’s my favourite colour.”
He remembers the lollies in the freezer and brings her a blue one, taking the laptop away because he doesn’t want it to get sticky.
“That was the last one,” he says. “Your gran used to keep an assortment in the freezer. I’d better buy some more. Maybe they do packs of blue ones.”
She makes the lolly last, watching him as he types faster and faster.
Tim Love’s publications are a poetry pamphlet, ‘Moving Parts’ (HappenStance) and a story collection, ‘By all means’ (Nine Arches Press). He lives in Cambridge, UK. His poetry and prose have appeared in Stand, Rialto, Magma, Unthology, etc. He blogs.