Victoria is coming to stay

Like most people she knew, Adelaide had visitors coming for Christmas. Victoria was coming to stay. Victoria would be two nights with Adelaide and two nights with their mother.

Adelaide’s mother was pleased, but Adelaide stressed about her tiles.

‘She’s coming to see me, not my grout,’ Adelaide said to her husband. She sat on the lounge and pretended to relax. ‘She knows how things how they week before Christmas.’ Adelaide kept her eyes on the television as she spoke. ‘We live in a beautiful house,’ Adelaide said. ‘I wouldn’t live anywhere else.’ Her husband didn’t say anything. He probably nodded, but Adelaide couldn’t be sure. She couldn’t take her eyes away from the television now. Amy was about to kiss that black guy who helped her out in court.

At ten o’clock, after Judging Amy and repeats of Frasier had finished, she made fizzy pastes of vinegar and bi-carb soda. And Adelaide scrubbed.

Adelaide rang her mother the next morning when Play School was on.

‘I can’t stop and talk,’ her mother said. ‘I did the mince pies last night, but I’ve still got the bathroom to do.’

Her mother pretended not to play favourites, but still Adelaide knew. Deep down her mother preferred Victoria.

Adelaide’s mother never scrubbed for Adelaide. Adelaide liked Victoria, of course she did. She was fun and adventurous and was always stylishly dressed. But two nights would be enough. Victoria could be a little patronising.

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