It was mid-afternoon by the time all the guests had left and I was ready to go home. Well, not really home, better to call it the place where I was a paying guest - a rather unwelcome paying guest at that. Nan, especially, was somewhat deaf so during my first few days with them I had been able to hear some confidential exchanges between them that had made the position totally clear. They didn’t want me there and that was just what I didn’t need.
Nan and Granddad did their trademark slightly condescending goodbye and thank you to the manager. Then off the three of us went in their car. We hadn’t even left the car park before Granddad turned on me with a whole series of bitter recriminations about my “antics” at the funeral. He was, he claimed, “bitterly ashamed” of me. On and on he went getting crosser but less coherent by the minute. This continued until we got back to their house.
I was worn out both mentally and physically so I went to my room to get some peace and quiet and above all some privacy so that I could have a cry without my Grand Parents noticing. After about half an hour I had calmed down enough to get changed and to have a quick wash in the bathroom next door.
I didn’t want to see either of them as I had a premonition that round two was about to kick off. I made it as far as the kitchen unnoticed and started to make myself a cup of coffee. But as soon as Granddad heard the sound of the kettle starting to boil he was out of his favourite seat and into the kitchen like he was jet propelled.
He didn’t speak and so I made the mistake of turning my back on him. I cannot remember Mum and Dad ever hitting me so it caught me by surprise when Granddad suddenly hit me hard on my bottom with his hand. It didn’t hurt much and when I had retreated to my bedroom I found myself trying to make excuses for him and hoping that now the funeral was over things in the house would soon calm down.