This is all he remembers of his mum leaving.
His mind has created the detail, weaving a fiction of his own, because he wasn’t there. All he has to go on is what his dad said.
Haunted by it, the images are grainy, like deteriorated film stock.
He stands by the kerbside on a busy street. People jostle his shoulders, but he can’t hear them, only the rattle of the bunting in the wind. It feels like a procession, as though at any moment, brightly coloured carnival floats will roll past his location, but no: Andrew can see a single, dark blue car in front of him. The chrome bumper gleams in the sunlight. It is driving away, slowly, silently, on the opposite side of road.
His mother is in the passenger seat closest to him, and the driver is a shadow, all dark hair and sunglasses. He realises that this must make the car an import, since otherwise he wouldn’t have been able to see his mum so clearly.
Her head lolls back as she laughs. He hears her shriek of joy. Her face is half turned to him, but her features are blurred and indistinct. The more he needs to see her face, the more it eludes him. This alarms him, she was his mother, and yet the more he tries to focus, the less he sees; like burning a hole through the reality of the dream.
He hates the man she left with, hates him with all his heart. There is no understanding there, that she is heading off into a different world, that there, the arguments and fighting will stop.
Only that she has abandoned him.