She stood in front of the preschool classroom, arms folded over her chest, blonde bangs falling over most of her face. Amongst the tracksuit wearing mothers and the balding, beer-gutted fathers, she was a true black sheep. Leather jacket, Motörhead band top, dark jeans and black and white Converse shoes. Almost 20 years old, and a second year nursing student. She had collarbone length, straight blonde hair, and navy blue eyes.

Pacey. Spacey Pacey. The bell rung and a four year old boy burst out, mop of blonde hair and big brown eyes, and clamped himself onto her denim-clad leg. Laughing, the until-now silent girl swooped down and hoisted the small child onto her hip and walked heavily on one leg over to the bags, and took the small Transformers backpack off the peg.

"Good day, P. Boy?" Pacey asked, looking down at the golden head on resting on her shoulder.

"Yeah, Auntie Pacey!" She laughed gently, and lowered him down onto the floor. Parker's little sandles impacted with the ground and he took off running, tearing like a fireball towards the playground.

She followed him, swinging the backpack onto her shoulder.

"Don't be long Parker, we've got juiceboxes waiting in the car."

A small Indian woman approached her, holding a muesli bar in the general direction of the child clinging onto her hand in the vain hope that the little girl would take the bait and eat it.

"He's adorable. Is he yours?"

"No, he's my nephew."


Ten minutes later, Pacey finally managed to get Parker into his booster seat in the back of the car. Sitting down in the driver's seat, she turned the key into the ignition and "Rock of Ages" by Def Leppard fires up.

With a grin, she passed the apple juice box sitting shotgun in the car and stuck the little white straw through the silver plastic and handed it back to Parker's awaiting, chubby hands.

With the sound of a slurp, they pulled out of the carpark, leaving all the mothers watching, lamenting youth lost.



October 2009

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