January 04

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January Blogging Challenge: Imaginary Friend

If Sarah  wasn’t a writer,” OH said over dinner, “I’m sure she’d be schizophrenic.”

As you can imagine, Mother was horrified. A brussel sprout clattered back onto her plate. A dead ringer for Her Majesty in a younger day, she called on that to deliver a stinging retort. It involved the words “bloody” and “idiot”. Dad looked confused. As a retired medico he understands the concept of schizophrenia.

“She has voices. They scream in her head until she writes their stories down. She talks to them. If they don’t tell her the story, she can’t write.” Dad accepted this explanation in a way that suggested he agreed with Mother.

“But she had an imaginary friend?” OH persisted, clearly determined not to be put off by Dad’s obvious contempt.

“Oh yes,” said Dad. “Can’t remember her name. But the amount of times I shut her in the car door, in the car, locked her out of the car. Forgot her!” He turned to Mum. “Can you remember her name?”

“Peter” said Mum.

“I thought Sarah’s imaginary friend was a little girl!” Dad was back to looking confused.

“Was it?” She paused. “It’s a long time ago, dear. I really can’t remember.” Mother smiled regally.

“So she’s always talked to people that weren’t there?” OH tried again.

Mother looked at Dad and sighed. He’d left the conversation and was contemplating Christmas pudding. “She’s not the only one. I’ve been talking at her father for years.”