Friday 1 September 2023

London Calling by Leonie Jarrett, a glass of celebratory champagne

My face turned white with surprise and then flushed red as I replayed the caller’s words in my head:


“Congratulations Emily. You’ve won the 3ZZ competition to attend the Ashes Test Match at Lord’s. You and a guest will be flying Qantas all expenses paid. It’s a bumper prize. Hope you have a valid passport.”


“Ahhh, that’s impossible. Really?? I won??? Oh and yes I have a passport,” I stuttered.


“So who are you going to take Emily? Who’s the lucky person who will go with you to London?”


“Mum. I’ll take Mum.”


“She’s a lucky lady Emily. If you don’t mind me asking, how old are you?”


“13. I’m 13 and Mum isn’t lucky at all. Not really. But she loves the cricket. So do I. She’s always wanted to go to Lord’s. That’s why I entered the competition. Can’t believe I won it. Thank you.” Lucky I remembered my manners at the last minute or Mum would have killed me!


I felt the colour starting to come back into my face and I thought briefly about ringing Mum straight away but she’d be at work. Anyway, better that I tell her face to face.


I kept walking home from school and I tried to let my win sink in.


I called Dad. As always now, it went straight to his recorded voice message - “This is Jack Morgan. Leave a message and I’ll get back to you. Ta.”


“Hey Dad, you’ll never believe it but I won that radio competition. I’m going to take Mum to London like I said I would. I know, I know, we’ll cheer for the three of us! Got to go Dad. Luvya.”


When Mum came home from work, I was so excited that the news literally burst out of me.


“Mum, guess what? You’ll never guess. You know that radio competition. The one about going to the Ashes Test at Lord’s. Well, I won it! I actually. WON. IT. And guess what else? I’m taking you with me. So you’d better email your boss and ask for the time off. Because we’re going to London. You and me.”


Mum just stared at me, mouth open. I should have snapped a photo. She hates it when I take ugly pictures of her! Then she started crying and telling me that I was too good to her.


“Don’t be silly Mum. Be happy. This is great!”


“I know Emily,” Mum whispered. “I am happy but I just wish your Dad was still here. He was the real cricket fan. He would have done anything to take you to Lord’s.”


“Yeah, I know Mum,” I said. “Don’t worry. I talked to Dad about it. He said that, if I won, we’d need to cheer for the Aussies for the three of us. He said he’ll be watching from Heaven to make sure that we’re cheering loud enough.”


About the author

Leonie Jarrett lives in Melbourne, Australia with her Husband of more than three decades, her four adult children and her twoGolden Retrievers. Leonie has variously been a lawyer and a business owner. Now that she is semi-retired, Leonie is loving writing some poetry, fiction and non-fiction.

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