Tag Archives: brothers

2197. The treehouse

It wasn’t much fun being the only boy in a family with seven girls. For starters, the house had only one bathroom. You’d think after twelve years that Chad would be used to it. He wasn’t.

Chad decided to build himself a treehouse in an old sycamore at the back of the property. That way he could escape with his friends and have his own space.

What a magnificent treehouse it was! It could be accessed only by climbing a rope. That was something some of his sisters wouldn’t be seen dead doing.

One day he came home with two of his friends from school and there was a ladder propped up against the tree. Inside the treehouse was a pink plastic tea set.

Even though Chad had been taught at school that there was no difference these days between girls and boys, the treehouse trapdoor soon had a padlock on it

1556. Memories

It seemed like just an ordinary old photo. Granddaughter Natalie was showing it to her grandmother. Grandmother Lilianna had been born in Poland but had come to her new country with her parents and siblings when she was nine.

Which one are you? asked Natalie.

Lilianna had not seen the photograph before. Where did you find it?

It was with a pile of stuff in a box, said Natalie. What are the names of your brothers and sisters?

Lilianna pointed them out as she named them. There’s Franciszek and Filip. And there’s Zofia and Maria. You know great-aunt Maria. And I don’t know who that other little girl is. She must have been visiting at the time.

But, said Natalie, it’s written in Polish on the back. Daddy translated it for me. It says “Our six children”.

The photograph had taken Lilianna back to that terrible day. She knew who that fourth girl in the photograph was. It was her sister Dominika. Dominika was still alive and living not too far away. Dominika was ostracized. She had never been spoken about for decades. And now her photograph had emerged. It brought back extraordinary memories of… of…

Can I keep the photo? asked Lilianna.

Of course, said Natalie.

After Natalie left to go home, Lilianna threw the photograph into the fire.