35. 7pm. Bottom deck, in the middle of the back row.

Six words, spoken by a mother, which transformed the bottom deck of the bus into that space at the bottom of the stairs in a two-up two-down house, by the front door. I could make out the ghosts of wellies and the shadow of a hallway mirror:

‘Adriana! Michael Alexander! Come down please!’

We turned our eyes to the stairs. By now we were all members of the same household, waiting for our siblings to hurry up so we could head off to school.

Two pairs of tiny, white trainers appeared at the top, followed by two brown hands which proceeded down along the handrail, leading the way for two white jumpers and then two heads of fluffy hair and two cautious smiles. It’s hard to explain in words why this was so utterly transfixing.


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