Here, and Only Here by Christelle Dabos EPUB & PDF – eBook Details Online
- Status: Available for Free Download
- Author: Christelle Dabos
- Language: English
- Genre:Coming of Age Fiction
- Format: PDF / EPUB
- Size: 2 MB
- Price: Free
She let my hand go. Didn’t even wait until Mum’s car had turned the
corner. I look at what’s left of her face under that mass of hair. She got
trashy this summer. Dodgy make-up, hair-dye disaster. She didn’t say why
she let my hand go. No need to: I get it. I’ve been getting it for ages. I got
Dad’s illness. I got Mum remarrying. I got every pregnancy that followed.
No one explains anything to me, but I get things the way a weathervane
knows the way the wind’s blowing. So, I get that it’s over for hands. It’s a
law in the new world—which is much older than me—that’s about to
swallow me up on the other side of the gate.
You won’t have a sis, Here.
Fine. I slow down and let her get ahead in the back-to-school scramble,
walk through the gate when my turn comes. The buildings draw my gaze
upwards. The sun makes the yellow walls even yellower and the green
shutters even greener. There’s a ginormous clockface, and it’s not even
showing the right time: 2:28 P.M. I brace myself. Under the paint, plaster,
and cement, inside the walls, deep in the invisible, I detect something I
can’t yet name, something seriously fierce that inhabits the whole school
and is seeping into my bones. That will soon be part of me.
There’s nothing playful about this playground. It stinks of drains and tar.
I hope that at least I don’t smell. Recently, something bushy has sprouted
from my armpits; I get rid of it as soon as I can with the stepfather’s razor. I
search for any familiar faces in the crowd; I find some. Old classmates from
primary school who are clinging to the straps of their school bags. Do I also
have the panicked look of a parachutist? Émile is there. We shared the same
desk every year. I ate his beetroot, he ate my spinach. He spots me and
smiles, relieved to have a cheek to slap a kiss on, at last. We held hands,
often. We hold hands right now.
“Let’s hope we’re in the same class,” he says to me.
I don’t reply. I do what I do best: I stand in the right place, neither too far
ahead, nor too far behind, and I observe. It’s because I observe that I get it. I
see what my old classmates, including Émile, haven’t yet noticed. A gap is
forming in the playground, between us and all the others. Last year, we
were the big ones; today, we’re back to being the little ones. I observe.
We’re too tense, too neat, too extra, too obvious. And I get it. All that I
learned in my playground, just a few streets from here and already so far
away, I must swiftly erase from my mind.
My sister has found some friends on a bench. Even her laughter is trashy.
Ingrid. We’ve got names that resemble each other, but as for me, no way do
I want to resemble her.
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