I used to fight with my mum like it was a life force.
We would go hammer and tongs, I thought. But actually I would go hammer and tongs and she would wonder what exactly she had done wrong and I would wonder why she didn’t understand what she had done wrong but now I can’t remember what it was anyway.
The first thing I thought of when I woke up each day was how she was going to do me wrong and how I could even the score.
I wrote the tally on the inside of my eyelids and stared at it each night in bed, waiting for the day the numbers were the same and the fighting would be done and I would be victorious.
We would stand at opposite ends of the living room like a boxing ring and I would throw my word punches at her and I should have been disqualified for hitting too low or too high and she put her words up in self-defence but mine probably made it through sometimes.
I knew I was wearing her down because she would get my dad to step in and he would have to fight for her. He was better at fighting; he knew all the best words like “you are such a disappointment” and “you let us down”. She never said those words because she wasn’t as good at fighting as I was. She asked me to move out because I guess I was too close to her number and she didn’t like it.
Then one day we stood on a busy road in a foreign city and I hadn’t seen her for five months so my technique was pretty rusty but I was giving it a good crack anyway. She probably knew she was beaten so she turned to the road and a bus came by and it hit her.
After that I realised that the bigger score was mine. Now I use different words to try to even the score, but I’m pretty sure I’ll always be winning.