MUM! MUMMY! He broke it!!!
What? What’s wrong, young man?
He broke it! Look...it’s broken...aw.
He held the makings of a plane in his hands, well, now it was the half makings as the rice-paper was flapping and one wing was tilted askew and one of the wooden rods was broken and sticking at a very odd angle.
Are you sure he broke it? He wouldn’t do that. You know he wouldn’t.
Aw...he picked it up and maybe looked at it and dropped it. Look...aw...it’s all broken.
Can you fix it? Let me see...yes, see, that can be fixed. And the paper can be re-glued, can’t it. It isn’t too bad, is it.
Aw...well...yeah. I can fix it. Yeah. I have another wood-bit and I can glue it back. Yeah...aw. Where is he? He isn’t allowed near it from now on.
I didn’t. I didn’t. You said not to touch it and I didn’t. Honest, I didn’t.
He turned to see his brother at the door, standing right in the middle and not hiding like the time he accidentally broke a strut on their kite and only later said he was sorry; that he didn’t mean to; that it was an accident; and he was sorry for lying and he would never lie again.
You did too break it. Liar! Don’t come NEAR IT AGAIN!!!
Slow down there, young man. He said he didn’t, and you know he would never lie, and you know he listened to you when you told him not to touch it. You didn’t touch it, did you?
No. No. I didn’t. I promise. He said not to touch it and I didn’t. I looked...but I didn’t touch. I promise.
He saw the tears well up in his brother’s eyes and spill over, course down his cheeks and pool then drip at his jaw. He was sorry now. He truly was sorry now. He doesn’t like to make his brother cry at all, no matter what they get up to, especially by accident. He never gets angry at his brother as he loves him so much, and he really is special. He nearly wasn’t here at all, as his mother likes to say now and then about how special her boys are. He feels a tear well up in his own eye and has to go over; has to hug him; has to believe him; has to feel compassion instead of anger, no matter how the plane was broken, whether by accident or purpose, it didn’t matter. All that matters right now is what he can see and feel and hurt at what his brother looks like right in front of him. And he can fix the plane. He knows how to fix it. He took their little alarm clock apart and his mother wasn’t happy to find all its pieces spread about on his bed. And he put it back together again. They had put her watch next to it and checked the second hands moving right along in time with each other. He could fix anything now. He knows how to. He just knows how to take something apart and put it back together again. Except the hammer didn’t hit the bells anymore. And he couldn’t work out why that was so.
He raced through the house and pushed the backdoor open and jumped down to the path.
I’ve finished it! I’ve finished it! The elastic band works and the propeller turns oh, so fast, and the wheels are straight and the wings have stickers on them and it looks like it can fly to the moon! Come and see!
He lead them into the bedroom and there was Shadow on the bed, pawing at the plane and scratching the paper on the wings. And then it fell off the bed onto the floor and a wing snapped. He put a hand on his brother’s shoulder.
I believed you when you said you didn’t touch it, didn’t I. And now, I have to fix it again. You wanna help me?