“Mum, will you forgive me?”, asked the boy. “You haven’t done anything wrong”, mum replied. “Well, I haven’t been the best child. We used to fight all the time when I was growing up. I must have been the worst teenage boy any parent could have asked for”, he looked back in regret. “No you were not, you were an absolutely beautiful boy. I’ve always appreciated how determined and independent you were, and I’m very proud of what you have become”, mum assured him.
The following morning Will and James were driving the car in silence, not mentioning last night’s events. As Will pulled over to drop his mate off at the hospital, he whispered “Do you think he’s alright that guy? We kind of left him out there in the dark injured, you know”. He looked away as James leaned back against the window. “Are you kidding me? He got what he deserved. Toughen up dude, what’s wrong with you?”.
“What did you say?” he called out in anger. “I said G’day”, the guy responded in a very calm voice. James looked at Will with his eyes wide open in complete disbelief. “Did you hear that? He said ‘G’day’. The fuck’n immigrant is using Aussie slang”. “Right, where did you learn to speak like that, ha? Do you know any other words in English? You bat-eater”. James was already on his front foot. “Hey, why don’t you go back to your country, Corona-man”.
It was an early autumn evening. The trees started to shed their leaves, signaling the end of summer. That was the worst time of year for Jono, who simply hated it when daylight-saving ends and all of a sudden it’s getting dark much earlier. Jono was sitting in his car, driving back home from another hectic day at work. “I have to do something” Jono thought to himself.
As the whole family gathered around the table, Luke was scanning the room, feeling the tension. He knew people were whispering behind his back. He knew he needed to prove himself all over again. Then, while the entrée was served, an unexpected visitor showed up at the door.
Standing in the rain, waiting. Joey didn’t mind the rain, although it was pouring quite hard for the last thirty minutes or so. But he didn’t care. The sound of big drops pounding on the concrete, on top of cars moving along the road, on Joey’s half-broken umbrella. That noise was overshadowed by the voice inside his head. She will turn up. She will. She has to.
The pub was busy as it always is on a Friday night. A group of men were standing right at the centre, dressed in gold-and-green jerseys, cheering in front of the big screens as the Wallabies scored their first Try of the match, knowing this might be the highlight of the evening. A few couples gathered on the other end around a bottle of champagne, celebrating something which seemed to be rather special. Ben stepped in with a couple of mates from work, and with no hesitation walked straight to the bar.