Childhood,  Family,  Friendship

Freeze Frame

Change comes to us all.

A tight-knit family, torn by disagreement. A pandemic that alters the very idea of human interaction.

Change came to me.

When I look back, I see a video. Characters entering and exiting like actors in a Shakespearean play, scenery morphing in the background, colours, shapes, shades blurring in the fast-paced journey I travelled.

Yet, one still image remains. The one I look back to, pine for, the days when I couldn’t imagine anything changing, when I was utterly happy. When my Dad took my brother and me to the local motor shows. We were allowed to pick one toy car from a mountain of them with our pocket money. I still have my cherry red Chrysler. Ryan picked a Ferrari. The days were filled with glorious blue skies, the sweet melody of purring engines, sun-kissed motors that were so magnificent we couldn’t believe our eyes. A bright blue ’66 Ford Mustang, a Panther Lima in lustrous purple with a velvet panther swept across the boot, a Bond Bug, a Humber Super Snipe, and the stunning Ford GT40. People lay in deckchairs, wolfing down sandwiches, licking ice creams, the atmosphere alive with laughter and a brass band playing near the food vendors. My brother and I watched in awe as each car sloped around the main arena, flirting with the audience.

‘Ryan, look!’ I pointed.

‘Dad! An army jeep!’

‘Wait for the Merc,’ Dad said.

It was a girl that changed everything. Love tore brothers apart. And now my love is gone, and my brother hasn’t spoken to me in ten years.

I clutch my phone and stare at the crumpled piece of paper with his number scribbled on it. There’s nothing quite like a pandemic to weld together a neglected motor.

‘Ryan?’ my voice cracks.

‘Dan?’

‘I wanted to ask you…’ I clear my throat, rubbing my thumb over the toy Chrysler. ‘Did you keep your Ferrari?’

Writer. Faith walker. Notebook collector. Coffee drinker. Coffee Drinker. Coffee Drinker. Mother of two...and counting... @BathSpaUni MA CW grad.

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