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him, all her love and happiness had been pushed out of her. She had

been hollowed out – an empty shell – and all that was left was a

brittle skin that had shrivelled up in the sun. That night his dad had

stood in the living room for hours. Head in hands. He had ignored

the touch of the son who he blamed. His mother had not been in an

accident. She had not slipped and fallen somewhere. She had filled

up the car with petrol and left Redburn for good.







you could see everything. The main street: a

beaten down pharmacy, the local store and a surf shop painted with

garish fluoro paint. The huddles of identical rooftops, and spots of

gums that stretched their wispy arms above their arching heads. On

the east side of Redburn was the heart of the town – the boats, the

concrete wharf, the thirsty nets cast forgotten on the ground, and

recently the shiny yachts. Redburn was changing – in the last few

years glossy white apartments had shot up, towering over the broad

stretch of shimmering blue.

He could see Ryan and Jordan doing backflips and somersaults

off the end of the jetty. Each time they landed, a spray of water

engulfed their tanned bodies and he was reminded of the splash of

his father’s body that day. On the other side of town was Emily

Longwood’s house. For a moment, his eyes rested on the back door

as if expecting her to burst out at any moment.

‘I love the view from up here.’ That voice. He jumped, stood up

quickly, nearly snagging himself on the rocks. Emily was standing in

front of him, blocking the sun so all he could see was the hazy

silhouette of her long lean body. She was in a bright bikini: a

pineapple yellow undertoned with crimson, zigzagging across until it

met creamy pink – like the pink on the wings of the butterflies you

find at Lorny’s Corner. It looked as though the colours had melted

away and been left to trickle down the curve of her breasts. He

caught himself and looked away. ‘You were there when Jimmy Whett

nearly drowned, right?’

‘Yeah, it’s great... I mean yeah I guess I was,’ he said. The words

came out jilted, standoffish. He sounded like an idiot. She gave him

a look. He turned so they were both facing out to the bay, then

sneaked a quick look at her tanned skin – the peek of white skin

where the two halves of her bikini met. He paused, and waited for

her to say something. She flicked her hair. He softened his voice, ‘We

Jetty View