Written By Alex Harding


It’s not their fault – they didn’t ask for me – I didn’t ask for them – I felt – I felt I had no right to be there, not any more. Peter went off to the war, and at first things seemed easier, but then Aunty Maureen got a telegram – Peter was on his way home, he’d trodden on a land mine and lost both legs. From that day on I felt I was a constant reminder of their son, but it was me running around on two legs, not him. Aunty Maureen was alright, we’d talk. We’d listen to the wireless. I loved the plays best – I’d like to do that one day – write plays. Could I listen to your wireless sometimes Guinea? I miss it. Do you think that I could get a job in the theatre – or on the wireless? (Beat) I’d go with Aunty Maureen to the army hospital to see Peter. I hated it. Other blokes there – the same age as me – half dead, screaming. Peter would be crying all the time – he wouldn’t say anything. Everywhere was pain and I was terrified – that they’d make me stay there, that I would never get out – I felt guilty because I wasn’t in those beds, I was free – I was – free. And my uncle would look at me and behind his eyes would be the word ‘coward’ ….. I’ll never go back, never.