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  • Published 20130424
  • ISBN: 9781922079978
  • Extent: 288 pp
  • Paperback (234 x 153mm), eBook

I HATED JUDY’S first boyfriend, as expected. He was oddly shaped, like a sweet potato. His clothes were exactly wrong. Judy had arranged for us to meet him at Circular Quay one Saturday morning, so that the three of us could go to the movies. He was waiting for us when we got off the ferry. He wore a T-shirt that said I love Brisbane, loose over his narrow shoulders, clinging around his womanly waist. He stepped forward when he saw us and produced from behind his back a bunch of yellow flowers, six or seven of them, wound in cellophane. I got out of the way so no one would think he was giving them to me.

Judy and Alfred held hands as we walked up George Street. He was taller than she was, which was a mercy, and he might even have been heavier. We were early, and had to sit in the dark recesses of the foyer, waiting for the doors to be opened. Alfred told us about his last girlfriend, who had gone to live in America. ‘She was stunning,’ he said. He had a slightly English accent, and a deep, pompous voice. ‘She had legs up to here,’ indicating his waist, or somewhere above it. I could not meet Judy’s eye, as I knew how ashamed she must be. I could picture Alfred’s old girlfriend. She would be the daughter of friends of the family, stupidly tall with lank hair and glasses, someone who had been silly enough to let Alfred kiss her during a game of murder in the dark. And now she was gone to America, too far away to correct Alfred’s version of their story.

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