Clear Your Plate – Part Two


Our story of the week is a toxic relationship story from the writer Mei Kerr.

Mei was born in Singapore, where she still lives and works in retail operations, which gives her a great opportunity to observe human behaviour! She travels widely with her husband, who is from Scotland. They run marathons and see the world!

Mei started writing for fun and profit when she was seventeen, publishing a children’s novel in 1994. She started writing short fiction in 1999, after winning a second prize in a local competition. She has also been published in two short story compilations by Monsoon Books, and was made writer and editor of the local Comics Association in 2005. As their scriptwriter, they have published several titles, including SupaCrossArena and Get Carter.

In Clear Your Plate – Part Two, Mei explores the consequences of an abusive mother.


‘”She’ll grow up to kill you, you know.”

That was what I wanted to say, but how can you say that? Every time I see them, and smile at that poor little girl, and she tries to smile back at me, I want to seize her mother and shake her, slap her, shout at her, do all the violence to her I can see burning in her daughter’s eyes. How old is she? Eight, ten? So hard to tell these days. They grow more than we used to.

My wife used to be the same, you know? Every morning I heard her shout at our daughter, “Wake up, you lazy pig, you better not be late, I tell you.” Imagine waking up to that?

When she was about ten, I bought my daughter an alarm clock, a red one with Minnie Mouse bows, the kind I imagined a little girl would like. Henceforward she set it to ring about half an hour before my wife woke up and she’d turn on all the lights in her room. I think she then got fully dressed and went back to bed, because the moment my wife’s voice rang out – “Wake up, you” – my daughter would simply open the door, switch off the lights and leave the house.

In the beginning my wife would scream, “Eat your breakfast! Waste my time, making your breakfast!” But eventually she gave up.

She used to be the sweetest child, my daughter, when she was young. We used to go to the zoo together and I’d get her a Cornetto, those were very popular then. The ice cream would get all over her face and she’d laugh.’ Read more…