Harper nudges me with her elbow, pretending that I am not constantly aware of her presence at all times. She sighs belatedly, sliding down her chair till her head’s about the height of the ignition.
“We were supposed to go on a steam train journey on Saturday.”
Ah yes, she mentioned that. In fact, I believe she mentioned it to everyone at her work and now she’s afraid that she has no adventurous story to tell any longer.
“Sure, we had stuffed crust pizza and I binged and slept like a mama without her newborn.” She makes a noise at the back of her throat that resembles a choking dog. “But a steam train. That was supposed to be my grand weekend adventure! Doesn’t matter if, by the end of it, I’m an icicle.”
When Harper’s exchange friend visited from the U.S. last July, she was keen on making certain she made the most of what her wonder-home had to offer. One of them was said steam train adventure, mostly for young children, but they were all unabashedly children at heart, anyway. And so they went for a little trip to Belgrave, blasting Frank Ocean tunes and admiring the gables and rusty greens.
They reminisced about that time they watched “Something Rotten” in Broadway, recalling the annoying couple who watched themselves more intently than the wonderful display of art and music before them. They all agreed: #WhatAWaste
And upon arrival at the end station, they grabbed hot cocoa and took pictures of pretty birds, not minding their vanity at all. Harper recalls how much her friend hated birds (a flamboyant flamingo said cause) but she stood courageous enough to snap some shots. For her dad, apparently, whom she expressly missed so.
“Perhaps we can go next time,” I tell her, strapping her seat belt on.
“They’ll probably go this Saturday and I won’t be able to come.” They, meaning her family. “I specifically made sure that it was last Saturday. Specifically. I even declined a surprise birthday party.”
I offered to buy her fast food to sate her and she simply shakes her head. Then her eyes light up like someone turned on the switch too early, blinding everyone in the room.
“Let’s go and watch a musical!”
And that’s another story to tell…