I went up tae Mum’s flat to get Alec. It’s ay full o smoke in Mum’s, coz her boyfriend Gerald’s on sixty a day. He just sits aroond in that chair next tae the fire, smoking and smoking, and then at night he opens his tins, and sits there drinking and smoking, drinking and smoking. He’s got this big lumpy nose wi potholes in his skin aw roond it, and these fat yella fingers that he jabs intae the fag packet as soon as he’s stubbed ane oot. He doesnae say much, but I had tae stop him lifting his hand tae wee Alec once. We dinnae like each other because o that.
Mum wis sat in her pink dressing goon reading the back o the cereal boxes left fae morning. I put the milk in the fridge so’s it didnae go sour, then gave the truck a wee wipe and handed it tae Alec to keep him quiet. He kept knocking it into aw the dirty plates on the table, making them crash together so yi could hear the mess o the place. Then he was being the truck, and rattling the room wi the sound o it.
I could see Mum wis getting annoyed, so I said we’d better go. We walked through the park on the way hame. Alec isnae lang walking so I had the pram an all. Coz Alec’s legs are dead wee, you get tae take your time on walks wi him. No like wi Boab, wha goes charging up and doon the place and it’s hard to see anything coz it’s aw whizzing past so quick and you’re just worried aboot standing in dog muck.
The wind wis really blowy and the leaves were circling aboot oor feet fir Alec tae kick. He spotted a tree wi hundreds o them underneath, aw dried oot and orange coz their time wis up. We got oor shoes right in there and stood on them, really lightly so’s tae hear them crack. Then we got blasted by the wind in the middle whar there’s nae trees, just a massive patch o grass laid oot wi nothing aroond it. Alec looked funny coz he wis walking aw diagonal, and I called him: my drunk wee man.
It usually gies me the creeps being in a big space like that, coz I’m just hanging there waiting fir something to hud onto. But the wind wis surrounding us, pressing against oor bodies and pushing oor faces, so it wis okay. Loadso breath wis stuffing up my nose, it wis hard tae fit any mair in. I felt my body battering against the wind, I felt Alec’s hand, and I felt the bairn pushing my ribs and moving aboot the space o my insides. It wis aw good feeling, like I knew whar I was.
This story was published in For Books’ Sake: The Weekend Read, sign up to get a short story delivered to your inbox every Friday.