Fragments of ‘Whatever happened to Jojo’
Georgina is 19 and in her parent’s kitchen
It was a miracle that it had set. Georgina would be the first to admit that her culinary skills had not been the best in her home economics classes. She had dropped those as soon as! She praised the scudding heavens outside her Mother’s kitchen like a gentle pilgrim might do on sighting sanctuary.
Outside in the garden, a teatime breeze sang the gospel along the serpentine, ribbonesque vines. Vines! In the North East! What was Dad thinking of? They were gently withering from a combination of an inclement climate and neglect.
The sound of a spanner falling echoed from the garage through the open window. Just like Dad to jump from one passion to another, Georgina thought, like a tiger moves in turbulent silence from prey to rest to prey. She smiled at his latest obsession. The smell of yellow wafted, inculcated and evaporated. A grain of happiness ran through her. She turned back to her creation. ‘Now, will they like turquoise jelly?’
Half an hour later and their tea was all ready. Sandwiches, scones, an apple pie just out of the oven, jam, cream and custard, and that jelly. Georgina looked at the golden bowl of custard. A peculiar thought held her a moment – what does yellow smell like? Like my glory hours perhaps? Those that begin after dark and continue on into the perfect splendour of the fridge of night.
Her little cousin Charlotte wandered into the kitchen and promptly stole out with the jelly. ‘Hey, Charlie’ shouted Georgie. Is theft everywhere she wondered? (Little Charlotte, who would forever wear the splendid halo of beauty and would never know whom she should not trust.) ‘What fruit did you use to make the jelly Georgie?’ cooed Charlotte from the lounge, ‘everyone wants to know.’
Georgina brushed castor sugar off her hands, sung to the stones in her head and sidled up behind Charlotte. She placed her hands conspiratorially on the younger girl’s shoulders, crouching down close to her. ‘Well, I think it was fruit that had been kissed by the blue fairies, my pet,’ Georgina winked at her Father, now sitting near the fire.
Charlotte giggled. Her laughter was infectious. It traversed the room, a filigree of renewal, touching everyone.
Georgina is 6 and on a trip with her Uncle Jimmy
The week after the stupendous trip to the toyshop, Georgina’s Uncle took her surreptitiously (without her Aunt’s or Mum’s permission, so he had said) to a place full of his passion. The shop window in front of them was piled high and wide with it, gleaming. Inside, the place was teaming with it and with people interested in it, she assumed. Stalls and cabinets packed to, packed with, what would Uncle say? Packed to the rafters! That’s what it was like.
From behind the stools of legs, Georgie squeezed her head here, poked her nose through there, seeing the adults everywhere lost in examination of it, standing, sitting, stooping. ‘Georgie,’ her Uncle’s voice called over the hum of conversation. She stole through the forest of people, slinked this way, sashayed that, and slithered over to where he was beckoning – his crooked finger a sanctuary of expectation.
He was holding something in his hand - a sliver of delight to her big eyes. ‘What is it Uncle Jimmy?’ She whispered, subdued by the shining object.
‘It’s a brooch my lamb, a silver brooch, can you see what it written on it?’ He held it out to her. The brooch shimmered with magic when she touched it. Letters were picked out in a sparkling blue colour along its length. Georgie spelt them out, her face breaking into a big smile.
The copyright of this post belongs to Gabrielle Goldsmith