The visit

Roncalli Central High
Port Saunders, Newfoundland

By Hope S. (Grade 12)

If there was one person Timothy hated it was Aunt Edna.

Who could blame him? How many nine-year-old boys want to spend the afternoon with their seventy-year-old great aunt? Yet, there he was, strapped in the back seat of his mother's Volkswagen as it slowly crept up the long, dusty driveway which led to the old, brick dungeon his aunt called home. As the car came to a stop, he made a final plea for mercy which made his mother smile, but did not stop her from prodding him out of the car and up the rickety steps to the door.

As his mother knocked on the front door, he felt a lump rise in his throat with the anticipation of what he knew was ahead. Then, suddenly, "it" was standing in front of him, all five feet five and 200 pounds of her. He followed his mother into the dingy living room and took a seat as close to her and as far away from his aunt as possible. He sank back into the worn-out sofa and decided that, for once in his life, he'd follow the rule that children should be seen and not heard, hoping that if he were quiet he'd soon be forgotten.

He sat for what seemed like an eternity, gazing around the room at the dust-laden pictures on the walls and out of the lace-curtained window at the overgrown yard, wishing he was at home and playing baseball with his friends. Somewhere in his daze, he heard his aunt mutter through her flabby gums about how nice it was for them to have come to visit an old woman like herself. That, he knew, was the cue. It meant impending doom ... and death. The hairs on the back of his neck stood on end and, even as he stood on his feet to leave, he began to pray. The walk to the door was a long one and he felt like a French noble being led to the guillotine. Then, freedom was in his grasp as he twisted the doorknob. He was home-free!

"Aren't you going to give your Aunt Edna a kiss goodbye?" his mother asked.

She spoke his death sentence.

At that moment, he hated the woman who had given birth to him as his dreams were dashed. The inevitable had happened. He stepped cautiously towards the beast they called Aunt Edna and felt his stomach churn as he caught a sudden whiff of mothballs and stale raisin toast. His lips quivered as the monster leaned her pasty cheek towards them. Just when he thought revulsion would overtake him, he brushed his lips swiftly across her clammy flesh and, fighting the urge to vomit, ran out the door. In his urgency, he almost fell down the steps but, he somehow managed to make it to the car.

Once strapped safely inside, he finally caught his breath and overcame his nausea. His mother slowly climbed into the driver's seat, turned to him and said, "See? It wasn't that bad, now, was it?" Timothy, quite proud of himself, nodded his head in agreement. "Good," said his mother, "Because she's invited us back for lunch next week."

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