Kylie Trenton

Kylie Trenton is dumping her empties in the recycling bin after remembering that the social worker could be visiting today, if it is Thursday, which Kylie thinks it is. Despite the noise of crashing glass she hears a subdued shout of pain and the snivels of suppressed tears.

Kylie carefully walks around the back of the recycling block and discovers the oldest boy huddled against the wall with a flap of trouser torn loose at the knee to reveal a graze that turns redder as she watches.

“Come on, we’d better get that sorted”, she says, and leads the boy to the back door of her ground floor flat in a display of maternal care and aptitude that her social worker would have found reason to dismiss, if she had witnessed it.

The boy’s mother expresses her gratitude through rice and chicken, which Kylie has been craving for weeks, every since the smells started wafting across from the frequent picnics. Kylie feels obliged to return the favour and is caught by her social worker in the middle of filling a tub with home-baked buns. The social worker has never discovered that Kylie once won a school prize and fails to do so again, despite the evidence provided by the delicious fairy-bun crumbs escaping from her mouth full of admonitions.

Kylie knows the family live in flat eight on the top floor but she never enters the stairs or the lift. She waits until the next picnic before delivering her offering. The boy proudly exhibits his scab, which the men say he should pick because that’s what boys do. Kylie explains how the scab keeps the wound clean and helps the healing. The boy’s mother claps in delight at hearing her new English friend speaking with the same wisdom as herself.