The driver gets it. Christmas movies are full of people
like her, his buses too – people who’d prefer to drive
right past the season.
She can’t bear it. It’s got her all on edge – putting on a
brave face, weighing her words to keep it festive, to
keep the old sores covered over.
Her brother’s more reckless. He says, I don’t give a
stuff. He slams doors shut as if they can stay shut. He
yells things like idiot, broken record, milksop.
And just as easily: I don’t care if I never see you again.
But does he know the price? He’s ending eras,
throwing away years. Only later will he understand:
who will I have to talk to who’s been through it?
One afternoon he marched right out of his group of
friends, losing them all because he couldn’t raise a
wedding glass with one of them.
She wants to shout at him: ‘Do you want to be proved
right? Or can someone else say something too?’ Then
softer: ‘Are we only here to listen to the sound of our
own voices? Or are we looking for a solution?’
She wants it to come good again. But her patching has
only made more of a mess. Sometimes she wonders, do
the reasons make any difference?
She’d like to ask the driver: Foot to the floor and keep
on driving through the next few days. Turn this Qliner
into a Euroliner.
But when she sees his eyes in the mirror, she hears his
answer. If we start skipping days, he says, where will it
Christmas movies are full of them – people like her,
even if happiness has been written into the script for
them too. The boys and girls just need to find the right
All she can think is, how will tomorrow go?
Translation: David Colmer