‘It’s the start,’ said my lovely friend B. ‘It’s the start of Not Knowing.’
It was after the Book Club had met at my house, and B was trying to return a coat she said Child One had left at her place after visiting her daughter last week. But I took one look at the coat and said it wasn’t my Child One’s.
‘Are you sure?’ she said, giving me a look. ‘Because we had a long conversation about it and I’m pretty certain it’s hers.’ But I was adamant. I’d never seen it before and, therefore, it wasn’t ours. ‘Could she have bought it when you weren’t with her?’ said another Book Club lady. Well, that was possible – but I still would have seen the new garment and heard all about it. Child One is good at sharing the minutiae of life. Usually.
Well, the ladies left and B insisted that Child One at least should look at the coat. I had a rummage myself before going to bed. It was the right size for Child One, but it was a bit of a stuffy make and would have been quite expensive. It just didn’t seem like her kind of thing. Plus B had form for this sort of thing – she once tried to palm a scarf off on us that definitely was not ours.
The next morning I airily called out to Child One, ‘Oh, B thought that jacket on the bench was yours but I said it’s not.’
‘Oh, yes, it is mine. I was so cold in Edinburgh (in August!) that I bought it from a charity shop. It cost six quid.’
‘Ohhhhh,’ I said, feeling curiously deflated. I’d been so sure that it wasn’t Ours. Now I realise there isn’t an Ours any more. I have my things – unless she wants to borrow them – and she has hers.
I texted B, my tail between my legs. ‘It’s the start of Not Knowing,’ she said. And I know she’s right.