Minus Seven

Remember those hanging plants you used to see outside of houses? I just don’t see them any more. A mere fashion accessory for houses and public houses alike. Difficult to water and I never really understood the love of them, to me they always looked sad. Taken out of their natural habitat to be apparently used to create a beautiful scene. Like so many other things in life I suppose.

That is my earliest memory. I was under 7 years old. I lived in a small town and my parents were the landlords of a local pub that never managed to keep the fights and the travellers out. Now if you really think to your earliest memory is it heartfelt? Maybe you got your first bike, the doll you always wanted, the birth of your younger sibling. Or maybe you are like me, your earliest memory bringing back emotional fear. Luckily it was an innocent sense of fear.

I was stood in the living room of our upstairs flat above the bar. I think I had just got out of the bath. I tended to look after myself a lot. More than I would recommend any parent to let their child do. Giving a child that sense of independence so early really does take away their innocence so very quickly. He was tall, about 6’4. Which is pretty tall on its own but to a child under the age of seven, he was a giant. He was my king. We looked so similar. I was his princess.

With a mother with a height of under five foot, she made a dainty little daughter. I am informed I looked like a porcelain doll for years. I was the mix of the two of them. My eyes soft like my mothers, full of love and compassion. My nose is unfortunate and mimics my fathers along with my mouth, however that was a gift I appreciated. It tends to get so many comments now. And you always thought it was peoples eyes people fell in love with. I tend to find the ones with the love of full lips, almost perfectly shaped, so I have been told. What is the use of nice eyes anyway? They just take, at least a mouth gives back. That’s my opinion anyway, but it would be, I am bias.

My hair fell long and frail, blonde in colour and it glimmered in the sun, golden rather than white like my cousin of the same age. It fell far down my back and always collected little curls in the end. It matched my father’s in colour, my mother was blessed with a beautiful auburn colour. I was the child my dad wished for while I was in the womb, apart from the eyes. He wanted an Arian child, pale in colour, hair and eyes, and a girl, maybe looking back it was a power thing. My eyes were dark, I believe it now to be so I can hide behind them. They are gentle. I always find brown eyes to be comforting and trusting. Blue are stunningly beautiful but ice cold, and I have come across many so far that can break any soul.

It seems the eyes didn’t deter him from loving me the minute he set eyes on me. Please don’t misunderstand, my mother loved me just as much. But I was his first. I can only imagine the feeling he felt when our eyes first met. I just hope that memory has never left him. I truly believe that love was all he felt for me. I was his. He made me. Who wouldn’t be proud?

We were inseparable. He was strong. I was delicate.

I just stood there on this particular day, I watched him as he preceded to climb out of a first floor window with a watering can. Remember those hanging baskets I mentioned? This was the first time I had caught him actually taking a risk to water a set of ridiculous plants. Fear filled my body as I watched him do it. I remember his award winning smile flashing back at me as he must of caught my glance and saw my pain. Those damn eyes, they gave away all my secrets. My words fell out of my mouth so quickly, “Daddy, please, no!”.

It didn’t end in disaster, he walked the edge of the building hanging on for life with this rusty green watering can. I wonder now why a hose pipe never sufficed. Maybe it was the thrill he took. It would explain the thrill-seeker in me. But I wouldn’t know what personality traits we may of shared, he didn’t last long in my life.

It’s amazing that a first memory, so simple, is of a person who spent so little time in my life. My king.

My Dad.

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