It is 4.20 am on a Sunday morning and the Pier Pressure night club is still open. A man and his friend walk down from the club towards South Beach. A group of people have gathered on the wooden steps leading down to the sea. There is laughter and music. The man opens his mouth and shouts, Susan! Susan, he shouts again, sort yer fucking shit out! His fists are clenched, his shoulders hunched up tight. He pulses with anger.
Each day there is rain. Persistent she called it. The author. The author who keeps bees. The rain is keeping them in their hives, she says. They’re eating all the honey.
It’s because she put her finger in a foxglove, he tells me. My sister, he reiterates. I know. I know the story but I let him tell me again. My sister put her finger in a foxglove before I was born, he says, so that I would be a boy.
I used to do that too, the little trumpets felt furry inside. Sometimes there was a bee.
A woman’s handbag lies on the ground next to the gate into the children’s playground. I hear voices. Laughter. Four young people are on the climbing frame. A girl giggles. It’s wobbly, she says.
The rain has taken the petals from the dog roses. A confetti of pink on the tarmac. The scent still lingers though. An innocent, gauche sort of sweetness. A memory of walking through long grass, wet against my legs.
There is only forgiveness. And love. Just that. It is enough.