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The mask

Lara looked anxiously in the mirror and her mask stared straight back. A sudden thought made her remove the mascara, and carefully replace it with a waterproof product she bought recently.


Better be safe than wish, her mother used to say.


Lara had been putting off taking Lucas to the medical centre, but after two reminders from the Plunket she made the appointment. And an appointment is like a promise.


Be good as your word, my girl. Her mother again. The tough-life face with the small mouth and laser eyes was getting harder to recall, but her sayings were etched deep. She would have been appalled to see the heaps of clothes on the floor, with milk-stained sheets turning sour and shoes to kick out of the doorway.


If only her energy would return. George didn’t care about the state of the place, as long as dinner was on time and beer was in the fridge. If George cared he would use those strong brown arms to at least clean up the kitchen for her. But he had been crap at housework, even as a flat-mate when Lara first came to Auckland. She knew he would never change, but now she ached for his help with the baby.



This is an extract from the short story, The Mask. The rest of this story, along with others, is published in Biopsies: Stories of Struggle and Hope in South Auckland. Available here.

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