Sunday, May 25, 2008

Romeo & Juliet

The best memories of all were when my siblings and I were all home from boarding school and perhaps my cousin James was out on a university break. We would spend the days sitting in the sunroom reading "Reader's Digest" jokes out loud to each other or trying to fathom a mind bender that my cousin had heard at Uni. I only remember one of these well. The idea was that he would give us a few details of a scenario and ask us to work out how it came about. We would ask him questions but he could only give us yes or no answers.
This time He said;

"Romeo & Juliet were found dead on the floor. How did they die?"

It took us a few days but eventually we worked it out. If you don't know this puzzle please feel free to ask away and 'play' with me.

I adored my cousin. He was a lot like my father I think, just a younger and better looking version. He had made quite a fuss of me when I was small and would swing me around and throw me up into the air then catch me again as I squealed with delight. I distinctly remember the visit when I had become too big for this kind of treatment and my adoration of him had begun to get on his nerves. In the sun room he gently but firmly refused my access to his lap, when I knocked on his bedroom door he ignored me and at dinner my excited chatter went unheeded and as he concentrated instead on whatever my sister was saying. I was gutted.

My sister was smug about it, a look of victory on her face, the same look she used to get when we were smaller and our great uncle favoured her over me. I didn't understand why Uncle preferred her but I can't remember it bothering me overly much. I had so much love from Grandma which Cassie clearly resented, our big sister Julie would always take my side and big brother Robert chose to bully me over her(It was easier I suppose) I can understand so clearly now how she felt so overlooked in our family and how my arrival, when she was aged four, unseated her so badly. This is why it was so easy for him, our great uncle, a man in his fifties who never married, to prey so evilly on that little girl. What strikes me now is the fact that although we all grew up in the same household with the same environment, our places in the family resulted in us having such monumentally different childhoods.

James has four lovely, well adjusted daughters of his own now, our uncle was killed in a car accident in 1976 at about the time of that holiday I guess.... and then there was Romeo & Juliet....