Sunday Bells (story)

It is based on an actual memory of being left alone in the house, confined to my bedroom one Sunday summer’s evening while my mother and her partner, Bert, went out drinking. I was aged seven or eight. My friends were playing outside and for a time came to the bedroom window of the ground floor maisonette to talk to me. I was in pyjamas and desperate to join in and play with them. But I was not allowed. Those Sunday bells could be heard in the distance.

I took the confinement in my stride. I don’t remember feeling sad. The sadness came as an adult as I recalled my lonely childhood. The distant peal of church bells is for me the sound of loneliness.