A Downright Trout

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My Aunt is, for lack of better words, a downright trout.

For what seems like my entire life I have been forced into excruciating holidays with her – wearisome weekends in Wales, tedious trips to London, and – the worst of them all – the what had now become compulsory biennial holidays in Florida. This was the fate I was now facing: two agonizingly long weeks with the woman who made the happiest place on earth feel like a punishment.

‘Are your boots new?’ she sneered as we piled into the taxi.

‘Yes,’ I replied, desperately avoiding eye contact as I sat in a lone seat at the back.

She looked me up and down, fluffing up her hair with talon-like hands. Her response was a demeaning ‘oh’ and she took her seat, far away from me.

The journey went on – through insane taxi drivers and dragging flights she was the same. Always moaning and groaning, she somehow found a way to insult each and every minute detail of the day. By the time she had shoved her way through the crowds at baggage claim and verbally abused a man at border control, already I had had enough, and I knew that my Mum had, too. Practically fizzling with anger, she flung the car door open as my Aunt stumbled inside. We exchanged significant looks.

My Aunt is, for lack of better words, a downright trout.

As the days dragged on, the most fun I had was the time I had away from the bore that is my Aunt. It was like she was determined to be as difficult as possible. We woke up early every morning, eager to get the day moving, and then she would wander around in her pyjamas.

‘When are we going to go to the parks then?’

‘Just as soon as we’re all dressed,’ my eleven year old sister answered, her voice ever so sweet.

I smirked – her sarcasm was completely lost on my Aunt, who had sunk into the sofa, choosing not to interrupt her busy schedule with one of her perfectly witty retorts. She glanced up from her magazine to look me up and down, lips curving into one of her infamous scorns. I self-consciously dragged a pillow before me.

My Aunt is, for lack of better words, a downright trout.

A week and a half in was when I decided that this woman was truly a servant of evil.

The riotous heat had put me in nothing but a foul mood, but, as I saw her stalking across the tarmac, I found myself lusting after my previous disposition. Praying internally (please don’t sit by me . . . don’t sit with me . . .) I shut my eyes tight, willing the worst not to happen . . .

It did.

She sat by me.

That was when the questions began: ‘Did you actually brush your hair today?’, ‘You’re not very ladylike, are you?’, ‘You know, I don’t think I’ve seen you smile since you were about four’. I said nothing, instead just smiling up at her whilst calmly thinking through escape routes. I could dig a tunnel, I could pretend to faint, I could –

I heard a voice say my name – to me, it was a rescue. The look on my Dad’s face as I walked away was enough to tell me that he agreed.

My Aunt is, for lack of better words, a downright trout.

Finally – after fourteen days of torture, it was finally over. Fourteen days of what should have been fun, in the happiest place on earth, turned to Aunt-inflicted torture, finally over.

We boarded the flight in very much the same way we had a fortnight before. Clad in too-tight-leggings, she forced her way through queues only for security to politely step in, and caused a commotion worthy of my six year old brother as a child stood on her foot. As she toppled into her seat, I turned to find my family staring at her, disgusted, looking just how I felt.

My Aunt is, for lack of better words, a downright trout.





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