Monday 15 April 2013
Esmé’s car descends Acacia Grove on the wrong side of the road, briefly parks by the right-hand side of the Old Man’s front lawn, then moves to park at the kerb alongside Vinnie’s short hedge and garden-gates. Esmé shakes her head as she puts a blue-and-white blanket over the baby in the push-chair. She looks slightly flustered. I don’t see her school-age son.
A woman aged 35 or so, with straw-blonde shoulder-length hair, crosses the road towards the boundary of the Old Man’s front lawn and the CJs’ property, then walks off in the direction of Cypress Crescent. She is wearing tight, royal-blue trousers — possibly made of denim.
Scarlett parks alongside the lower part of the school-house garden, and a maroon Maladroit parks nose-to-nose with her. When she returns to her car, I notice that her hair is much blonder, and perhaps a little longer, than it used to be.
It is sunny during the late morning school-run. Scarlett arrives very early, and parks alongside the lowest part of school-house garden, but doesn’t get out of the car for over twenty minutes.
When she returns to the car, she lets Tiny Boy in via the fully-open driver’s door (he is a dark little figure, almost a silhouette); then, standing on the pavement by the driver’s door which is still open, she chats with an unknown woman who is wearing a long-sleeve white blouse and dark trousers, and who has a somwhat flighty manner.
In the afternoon school-run, Scarlett parks alongside number 35. She gets out of the car, carrying Tiny Boy against her right front. He is bare-headed, and wearing a dark-blue anorak. (The weather is sunny but there is a rather gusty wind.) Tiny Boy may have been having a nap on the fps, but he looks alert enough. Scarlett carries him across the road, but after that he is walking inboard of her. Then he breaks into a toddle-run. On the pavement alongside the middle entrance, there is a slit of sunlight, with the shadow of the wall at either side.
When Small Boy is returning to the car with Scarlett and Tiny Boy, he is walking at a steady pace — not loping, nor walking with long strides. Perhaps he is tired. After they all reach the car and get in, there is a long pause. The front passenger window has been wound down, and Small Boy is twiddling the fingers of one hand on the middle of the top of the door-panel. A cushioned brunette with two small children walks past the nearside of Scarlett’s car, and she calls and waves a greeting. (I saw her earlier, descending the far pavement. She is wearing a long-sleeve top with dark and white horizontal stripes. I have seen her, dressed the same way, previously.) The brunette and her children eventually get into a silver car parked by the right-hand side of the Old Man’s front lawn.
The sun comes out again.
At George Street, Scarlett’s car turns right, but then has to wait for ten or fifteen seconds with its tail overlapping the junction.
Some minutes before 21:00, the lights are still on, very faintly, in the left-hand-side of the upper storey of the school.