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Trampoline

Updated: Feb 13, 2022

A benefit of being trilingual is that I can do Wordle in three languages. Before work, though, I only had time to knock off the English one. I tried TIRED as the first word.


⬜⬜⬜🟨⬜


I decided to use the E as a magic e, although I couldn’t go with CRATE, which would have been my first choice, because I knew the answer didn’t contain an R. Instead, I went with PLANE.


🟩⬜🟨⬜🟩


Ah, that was handy. I was correct about the E being the final letter of the word. I’d lucked out getting the P first attempt. I recognised that it was unlikely that the A would be second-last, so I went for it after the P instead.


🟩🟩🟩🟩🟩


Getting it in three, with PAUSE as the answer, I was pretty proud of myself. I copied and pasted my results to post them in our group chat, then left for work. The ride was smooth, and I chained up my bike out the front. When I arrived in the store, we were offloading and stocking a new shipment of eggs. My mind was somewhere else, thinking of the siamangs flying to Adelaide today. The box slipped from my hands and onto the floor. I could hear the cracking.


“Oh dear.”


I took a breath.


“Oh dear.”


“It’s OK,” Maryam promised. “It will be alright.”


I wasn’t sure if she was convinced. We unpacked the box and, thankfully, most of the eggs remained unscathed, so there was only a couple of cartons we needed to remove.


“I can pay for them if you like, I can take home the unbroken ones.”


“Look, this happens. Don’t worry about it.”


Maryam gave me the carton nevertheless which I kept in the staffroom fridge, and I decided to leave there. Once the store opened, I got to work on the checkout, and tried to lose myself further in scanning groceries. At lunch I flicked through my phone, then decided it was a waste of time. I was about to start the Wordle in Indonesian, when I received a text message from Tallulah.


I’m eighteen


My heart started to thump faster. It had come into my mind before, but it had fallen by the wayside.


Can I come over tomorrow night?


Of course


I put down my phone.


“Are you alright, Jumilah?” Maryam asked, as she retrieved her lunch from the fridge.


“Yeah,” I confirmed.


“You just seemed a little rattled, that’s all.”


Maryam closed the fridge door again, then removed the lid from her container and started shovelling pasta salad into her mouth.


“I’m sorry about what happened with the eggs this morning.”


“Look, that could happen to any of us.”


Maryam sat down opposite me.


“Listen, I can cover a shift for you if you ever needed it.”


I smiled at her.


“Thank you. I appreciate that.”


My break came to an end far too quickly, and it was only once I was back out at the checkout that I realised I hadn’t had anything to eat. I thought about that meal for the rest of the shift. Once I’d ridden home from work, I had the house to myself. I got myself a snack of muesli and almond milk. After sitting down in front of the television, I could finally eat something, until my phone beeped.


Look outside; read the message from Patrick.


I raced out onto the front porch. Patrick had parked his car off the road near the house. He got out from the driver’s door.


“I heard that you needed to give your trampoline back.”


“Well, it wasn’t our trampoline--.”


There clearly was one, strapped to the roof of his car.


“Either way, I was thinking that you might like one. This one was on a council clean up.”


“Well, at least you didn’t steal it.”


“I would never--.”


“Come in,” I invited. “There are some things I’d like to talk to you about.”


First, though, Patrick needed to unstrap the trampoline and carry it through to the back. We brought it around the side and planted it just where next door’s had been, before Gavin had taken it away again. Patrick climbed up onto it and started to jump.


“Would you like to join me?”


Patrick extended his hand.


“Sure,” I agreed, scrambling up.


We began to jump together, although I found it a little unnerving.


“Are you OK?”


“It’s just--.”


“Is the bouncing too much?”


I nodded, and we lay down on the trampoline side by side, to stare up at the sky.


“Sloane’s decided that she wants to give the baby up for adoption after the birth.”


“How do you feel about that?”


“I know that it’s her decision.”


“That’s thoughtful of you to say that, but how do you really feel, personally?”


Patrick shrugged his shoulders.


“I don’t know if I ever actually told you I’m the father.”


“I’d kind of figured.”


We went quiet for a little while.


“Do you remember the night of Bonnie’s going-away party?”


“Yeah. That was during my exams. I didn’t stay long, after I gave her a photo frame as a present.”


“Well, it was that night. We’re not an item though, we never were. I’d never want that situation to stop, or put you off--.”


Patrick rolled over slightly. I didn’t move. Patrick cupped my cheek in his hand.


“May I?” he asked breathlessly, leaning in to kiss me.


“Patrick, I can’t do this if there’s anything remotely going on with you and Sloane. I can’t go behind her back.”


We both lay back down.


“There isn’t. I’m telling you the truth, Jumilah, I’m not just trying to get into your pants. It was one time, and yes the pregnancy is a shock, but as I said, she wants to give the baby up for adoption and I will support what she wants.”


I felt kind of exhausted.


“Do you have any more shows planned with Bushmint Lovechild?”


“Not at the moment.”


“Thank you for having Luke involved. I think that he really loved it.”


“I’m always thankful for a drummer.”


“I really hope that you’ll get to have more shows.”


“Me too.”


Clouds floated across the blue sky. We sat up.


“Did I tell you that Georgia is pregnant? She’s a siamang. Georgia was one of the animals evacuated from Nanek and Kakek’s sanctuary. She was being moved to Adelaide Zoo, today actually, with Medan, the male.”


“That’s wonderful news.”


Patrick tucked my hair behind my hair.


“I really miss my grandfather. My grandmother gave me his diaries. I really miss him. It’s been hard since he died.”


“Monday is the public holiday for the regatta. Would you like to have breakfast with me in town?”


“Alright. Where would you like to go?”


“How about the Customs House Hotel?”


“Sure.”


“I would be happy to drive you, if you wouldn’t think that would be too weird.”


“No, that would be great.”


"Perfect."


I shuffled across the trampoline and shifted my legs so that they were swinging over the side. Patrick did the same, but with more force.


“Come on.”


He got down, then took my hand. Patrick left just as Mum and Dad were arriving home from work. I clung to the railing on the front porch, as they pulled into the driveway and parked the car, getting out with smiles on their faces.


“Good afternoon. How was your day?”


“Oh, a usual Friday,” Mum replied.


They approached the house, as Dad locked the car.


“How was work?” Mum asked, although she flashed me a knowing grin.


I mouthed ‘Thank you’, while Dad wasn’t looking.


 

Jumilah Fioray is a recent high school graduate from lutruwita, Tasmania. Her parents, Catherine and Adriano Fioray, met at the University of Melbourne in the 1990s and returned to Hobart after finishing their degrees, where they raised their daughter and worked in agriculture. Jumilah's passion for conservation reflects her grandparents' work running a sanctuary in Sumatra.


Abbey Sim is the founder of Huldah Media. She is a creative writing, law and theology student who lives on the lands of the Dharug people in Sydney, Australia. Abbey has long had a passion for the weird and the wonderful of stories, sport and zoo animals. 'From the Wild' is her first anthology.


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