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Tomorrow

Page 2

Suzanne Frankham

The Pig’s Head was Johnsonville’s one and only hipster pub, jam-packed every night of the week, and the first person Katie spotted was Jimmy. He was slouching over the pool table with one eye on the door.

‘Oh goody. Look who’s here,’ he called out, waving the pool cue in her direction. ‘If it isn’t Plumpy.’ And in that single second Katie felt the ground fall away from underneath her.

‘God. Grow up Jimmy,’ Chloe yelled. ‘That joke’s well and truly dead.’

‘Plumpy, Plumpy, Plumpy...’

‘Shut up, Jimmy or I’ll deck you.’ 

Jimmy smirked but turned away. No one messed with Chloe. Not since she’d placed second in the Johnsonville Tai Kwando Championship.

Katie retreated with her friends to the other end of the room and downed a few sav blancs, but later drifted away to a quiet spot at the back of the pub where she could sit down on an old church pew and think. Tim Minchin’s words had been like a hammer blow to her heart, stirring up years of pain.  Did it really mean that all the self-doubt and confusion caused by Jimmy’s relentless teasing would never go away? That she would have to live with it all her life?  If someone as successful as Tim Minchin hadn’t shaken off his childhood doubts, what hope was there for her? She put her head in her hands and tried to ‘get a grip’, as her father used to say, but all she could feel was the worm called Jimmy chomping its way through her brain. Chomp, Plumpy, chomp, Plumpy, chomp, chomp, chomp. She gulped down the rest of her wine in an effort to kill it, but it still kept on chomping.

‘Katie? Are you okay?’ It was Greg in his signature white T-shirt and ripped pants looming over her.

She was about to say yes, she was fine, but as much as she tried, the words refused to form, and before she realised it Greg was sitting next to her and she was blubbering like a fish out of water. Spewing forth years of accumulated toxins.

Her first day of school, leaping out of her skin with excitement. Being seated next to Jimmy.

‘Plumb… ber.. ton,’ he said. ‘Cor. Plumby. No, Plumpy. Yeah. Plumpy. G’day Plumpy.’ He played with the sound. All morning he muttered away, Plumpy, Plumpy, rumpy Plumpy…

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