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On a need to know basis - fiction




Responses by SSOA writers to a prompt about when not to listen ...


'I know that I don’t want to know what you’re about to say.


You’re such a chatterbox, you tell me more than I need to know.


If I don’t know, it won’t hurt me, not like it would if I did. And if you tell me more, I’ll know more than I need to know, more than I want to know, more than I can know.


There’s only so much that I need to know.'


Jim Piotrowski



Marianne and Denis glanced at each other as Rosa walked out the door in her handkerchief of a skirt and top, soon to reveal to her friends the navel ring she’d persisted in getting with her birthday money from Granny Walsh. Granny had dementia, so she didn’t mind in the least.

‘It will be the tats next,’ Marianne remarked when she’d left.


‘Don’t you remember yourself at that age?’ Denis grinned. They were childhood sweethearts, part of a large, mixed neighbourhood gang who hung out together. ‘Remember the row with your mother when she found out you'd climbed out the window at midnight to go to Kelly’s party, and I picked you up on the motorbike. Then she read the juicy bits in your diary!’

‘Yes,’ Marianne sighed. ‘I guess she has to get her rebel streak from somewhere.’ Rosa had just turned sixteen, and the mother and daughter had a good relationship - frank and open - unlike Marianne’s continuous battles with her own mother. She didn’t care to remember the evening she announced she was pregnant. Then, as the bump started to show, her parents dispatched her to the nuns in Dublin.


'She’s doing secretarial training’, everyone was informed.

Every so often, Marianne wondered where her son was and would he ever come looking for her.

Rosa had been at a house party the previous weekend, and Marianne and Denis found out that she didn’t sleep over at her girlfriend's place. There was a big row. Eventually, she admitted to going off with an older lad new to the area whose parents were away.


'I don’t need to know that bit, Rosa,’ Marianne shouted.

She booked an appointment at the local Family Planning clinic.

Gerdette Rooney


Copyright to the authors above. Photos Wix.

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