The Camel’s Back
We came home from school to a rock on the kitchen table, and an argument. When I say rock, I don’t mean a small one, either. Dad never did do things by halves. This one took up most of the table. It was beautiful. We dumped our bags on chairs and stared at it. Dad basked in the admiration.
“Where did you get it?”
Dad just smiled. He kept smiling until Mum got home from the shops, weighed down with plastic bags, and saw it there.
“Where am I supposed to put these?” she asked.
“In the cupboard?” my brother offered helpfully. This was clearly not what Mum wanted to hear.
I caught some of what followed, after they chased us off upstairs to do our homework. Dad saying Mum ought to be pleased- he’d spent so long looking for something like that, and finally found one. Mum saying he had no respect for her. A lot of things we thought they’d forgotten about got brought up again.
A year later and the rock wasn’t on our kitchen table any more. Dad got it when he moved out, but he sold it. He jokes that when he brought it home was when his marriage was already ‘on the rocks’.