“Hello?” I say, answering the flat phone at 9.32pm last night.
“Hello my lovely,” Seb says. “I’m sorry to phone so late.”
“That’s alright my darling,” I say. “It’s good to hear from you. How is it going there?”
Seb is in Wales with his Mum and Uncle. His Grandma has just died.
“Well, I’ve seen Granny,” Seb says. “My first dead body. She looked beautiful and peaceful and at the same time, I could tell that it wasn’t really her anymore. It was interesting.”
“Wow,” I say. “I don’t think we’re meant to see dead bodies in my religion. The coffin is closed.”
“I think one should see a dead body,” Seb says.
“You mean so you know the person is really dead?” I say, “and they haven’t put someone else in the coffin or…”
“Maybe, a bit, but also so you can see that the body isn’t the person anymore,” Seb says. “Anyway: it was a Bank Holiday so the nursing home couldn’t get hold of the undertaker and so she was just still in her room.”
“I see,” I say, starting to unload the dishwasher. “So how’s Wales?”
“Beautiful,” Seb says. “Panoramic views. It’s stunning here.”
“I wanted to apologise,” I say. “You see I thought I’d be able to be helpful to you at the weekend, and then of course I wasn’t and I’m really sorry for being a burden and…”
Seb laughs. “You weren’t a burden, my lovely. Whether you’d been there or not, it was always going to be stressful, packing up my flat, because of the time frame. Unpacking, however, when I get my new room at University, that will be fun, because there won’t be the time pressure. What have you been up to?”
“Watching a programme called Dinosaur Britain,” I say. “Showing all the dinosaurs who used to live here with real CGI ones wandering around. It’s fab and…”
“Which ones?” Seb says, sounding excited.
“Cetiosaurus,” I say. “Iguanadon, baryonyx…”
“What’s baryonyx?” Seb says.
“He’s a great big therapod who ate fish,” I say. “Look him up. He’s amazing. Darling, I’m sorry but I have to go to bed now, I’ve got my Office in the morning and…”
“Goodnight, my lovely,” Seb says.
There is someone hiding in the attached photo. Can you see him?
Happy Wednesday everyone!
*2001. By Eric Garcia. A detective novel starring a private eye who is a dinosaur!