Morning (barely) and I was woken up AGAIN by banging at the back door. I’d fallen asleep at the kitchen table sometime in the early hours, I can’t remember when. I think the last time I looked at the clock it was 3.42 am but it might not have been, I don’t know.
This time it was Lottie. She barged past me the second I had the door opened, storming into my kitchen shouting ‘WHERE ARE THEY? WHERE ARE MY GIRLS?’
‘Hold your horses, will you. They…’
‘TELL ME WHERE THEY ARE!’
‘I fucking ATE them, where do you think they are?’
She made towards the door that leads to the stairs, ‘PRISCILLA! CECILIA!’
‘Shut up, you silly cow, they’re sleeping.’
She turned round. ‘Are they all right? Were they upset?’
‘What do you think? He dragged them here in their pyjamas, they were crying their eyes out.’
‘Oh God.’ She sat down at the table. ‘I nearly died when I went into their rooms and they weren’t there. You could have rung me, you know, why didn’t you?’
Cheeky bitch! ‘Because I was SETTLING YOUR KIDS – that’s why. Anyway you’re a bit late to notice they’re gone, aren’t you? They’ve been here since half nine last night.’
‘He didn’t tell me. I got up this morning and… ‘ Then she BURST INTO TEARS.
She BURST INTO TEARS (sorry I just had to say it again, I couldn’t resist, I haven’t seen her in tears since we were little). She BURST INTO TEARS and sat there crying for a bit.
I watched her. She doesn’t cry like normal people, she makes a strange HAHURR, HAHURR, HAHURR noise in amongst all the snivelling. I think there was a moan or two in there as well but I couldn’t swear on it because of my tinnitus being so bad. I hate people who moan when they cry, they do it for attention – just CRY for fuck’s sake, don’t make a big show of it, no one gives a toss.
After a couple of minutes I put the kettle on to make a drink. ‘Tea or coffee?’ I asked.
I think she said tea so I made her tea. I had coffee – I don’t like tea, it tastes like soggy washing. I wanted to make some Cumberland sausages for my breakfast but I thought it might look a bit heartless if I put the frying pan on while she was still crying, but then I thought no it won’t because I’ll say I’m making Cumberland sausages for THE BERSERKERS’ breakfast.
‘I’m making Cumberland sausages for THE… girls’ breakfast. Do you want some?’
Fair enough. Wait till she got a whiff of them cooking, she’d want some then.
‘Do you want toast instead?’
‘I don’t want anything.’
Fine. I got on with making my breakfast. Two Cumberland sausages each for THE BERSERKERS, six little beauties for me. I was starving.
My Cumberland sausages were quarter-cooked when she said, ‘Did they get to sleep all right?’
‘What about Cecilia? She won’t go to sleep if she doesn’t have her teddy.’
‘She didn’t mention a teddy.’
Silence again except for the sound of the Cumberland sausages cooking. Hiss, hiss, pfff, pfff. And an occasional sniff from Lottie. I got the bread and butter out, and the plates, and a couple of cups for THE BERSERKERS’ milk.
‘Wayne’s seeing someone else.’
WHAT? FAT-FUCK? SHAGGING AROUND?! HA HA HA HA HA!
‘He’s leaving me. That’s where I went last night, why I left the girls with Scotty. I followed him to her house.’
I turned the gas down so my Cumberland sausages wouldn’t burn. I didn’t know what to say to her. What CAN you say? So I said, ‘I can’t believe it.’
‘No, me neither, I thought we were happy, everything was fine. I can’t believe he’d do this, he always says the girls and I mean the world to him.’
‘No, I mean I can’t believe someone else would want him.’
‘What do you mean?’
In for a penny, in for a pound — ‘Come on, Lottie, he’s a fat wanker – he’s a waste of good eyesight. You’ll be well rid of him.’
That did it.
‘WHAT DID YOU SAY ABOUT MY HUSBAND? HE IS NOT A FAT WANKER, HE’S WELL BUILT AND HE’S A PROPER MAN, NOT LIKE THE WIMP YOU MARRIED AND WHERE IS HE? OH LOOK, HE’S DEAD BECAUSE YOU MADE SUCH A GOOD CHOICE OF MAN YOU HAD TO KILL HIM.’
‘That’s a bit below the belt. And who said I HAD to kill him?’
She got up fast, scraping my chair across the lino.
‘Don’t do that, it hurts my ears.’
‘Fuck off, Dotty.’
Woohhooooo! She IS human. Off she went to get THE BERSERKERS and I let her, I could see it would all end in more tears if I didn’t (ha, she BURST INTO TEARS). I went back to cooking my Cumberland sausages which were almost done. A couple of minutes later I heard the toilet flush, then again, then they all came into the kitchen.
‘Cumberland sausages for breakfast!’ I said.
‘I’ve made their breakfast.’
She ignored me and handed THE BERSERKERS their coats. ‘Put them on.’
‘Want to thtay here.’
‘PUT YOUR COAT ON.’
And twenty seconds later they were gone and it was like they had never been. Except I had ten lovely Cumberland sausages for breakfast instead of six.