H is for Headache

         NB: This post may contain inappropriate or offensive language.

 I woke up with a ‘I’m-never-drinking-wine-or-champagne-again’ headache and if you could take the smell of an old, wet dog and put it in my mouth, I’m sure that’s what it would taste like.  It was relatively early and still dark outside so I made use of the stillness  and went downstairs to get a cup of tea and a two paracetamol.  I sat quietly and wished I could just have one day a week that was like this.  Peace.  Solitude.  

I spent the next ten minutes mulling over the previous night and wondering how the hell Karen must be feeling when I remembered it was the Governors meeting later today.  I still hadn’t heard from Karl.  Damn him.  I went back to my bedroom and checked my phone.  Nothing except five emails from ‘Living Social' and ‘Groupon.’  It was only 6.45 am  but I decided to ring anyway.  Karl was one of those annoying, chirpy, morning people. 

“Good morning!” he boomed,  his phone obviously attached to his car audio as I could hear the rumblings of the motorway behind him. 

“Why haven’t you responded to my call and text about this school meeting?”  I asked holding the phone an inch away from my ear in fear of perforation.

“ Ah, I had every intention of doing so but I have meetings all over the place and not sure if I can change them. I was going to call later when I’ve seen what I can do.”

“But this is important.  You know what Mr. Fothergill’s like and I don’t want to face a whole bunch of Governors on my own.  He’s going to get kicked out if we don’t fight his corner.” 

“ Look, if I can I’ll be there but I’m not promising.  I have to work and can’t pander to the school every time Brendon has an outburst. They need to get a grip on controlling it or he needs to learn a hard lesson and face the consequences of his actions.”

“Righto, Daddy dearest!” I checked my attitude quickly.  I wanted him there so needed to play nice. “Look, I’d really appreciate it and I understand what you’re saying.  I could do with your people skills and expertise in argumentation and negotiation.”  I went straight to the ego. Always works.

“I’ll do my best and I’ll call you later.” He rounded up, ready to go, but I knew he’d now feel more compelled to turn up.

I got Brendon and Bryony up and fed and managed to stop a huge fight where Bryony had nearly worn her Weetabix on her face for calling Brendon a douche bag.  Thankfully, it made a turnabout  into brother and sister unite when I went mad- bitch- crazy and started yelling.

“You two are so BLOODY SELFISH! I don’t need this crap in the morning.  I’ve got to get to work and I’ve lots to do and your trivialities and arguing can STOP NOW! I don’t CARE if you think Bryony’s friends are a bunch of hapless skets with no brain cells,” I directed at Brendon “And you, Bryony, shouldn’t give a flying banana if he thinks that anyway because you KNOW he’s a chauvinistic, arrogant and opinionated swine!”  I snatched away the breakfast plates and wondered if I was having a brain hemorrhage.  My head was pounding so hard and I seriously wanted hurt someone.  

“Are you on your period?”  said Brendon. 

Bryony burst out laughing. “I know right?”  She smirked at Brendon.

“GET. IN. THE. CAR.”  I glared at them.

On the way to school I gave Brendon a lecture. “Look, it’s the meeting after school.  Your Dad might be coming too. Maybe.  Can you please, for just one day NOT break into any computers and actually behave yourself. When we’re in the meeting, be polite, do NOT get annoyed and let me or Dad do the talking.”  I looked at him rolling his eyes at Bryony.  “I’m DEADLY serious.  This is not a joke and if you don’t start towing the line you’ll be expelled.” 

“Yes Mommy.” He replied in a brat voice.  

They got out and wandered down the street collecting friends.  Brendon grabbing one of his in a bear hug since he was one of the biggest in the year and used his physical strength as a way of control.  

I drove to work playing classic FM in order to zen myself out but even Mozart couldn’t quell my desire to scream until my throat bled.

I was at work before time and got straight into loading and editing photos.  By the time everybody else started to arrive I was well into my Gateway lounge  article.

“Good night?” Asked Johnno as he slapped his Adidas sports bag on the desk.

“Good morning.” I replied not looking up and trying not to break my roll.  

“Ha ha. Ok, DID you have a good night last night Soph?”

“Splendid. You were sorely missed.” 

My day was super productive despite the pain in my temples refusing to take leave.  I even redid my article three times over because Colin wanted to move things about and have more photos, less text, then more text. Ugh.  Then there wasn’t room for the book review so all the layout had to be re-arranged.  By the time the afternoon came I was desperately in need of a nap.

“Johnno, you know you want to go to Starbucks and get me a caramel latte and a muffin.” I pleaded

“No. That stuffs bad for you.”  He reached into his drawer and threw a muesli health bar at me. “Have that instead.”

“ Ugh. Damn you sporty types.  Have you no soul?” 

“I’m heading out in a minute.” said Monica. “I’ll bring something back for you.”

“Thank you FRIEND.”  I smiled and blew her a kiss.

“Hey, how’s the arsehole?” asked Johnno.

“Which one?” I asked puzzled, notching them up in my mind.

“The one on the game.” 

“Well let me see....” I picked up my phone and clicked on Word.

The Voice: You need to be inspired to start a conversation? How interesting.   Are you that easy to annoy? 

“Yep. Still an arsehole.” I replied.  However I was starting to find The Voice somewhat intriguing.

Sophistication: You’re not annoying me, though I’ve no doubt that’s your intention.  I just happen to find you amusing.

Like I would give him the satisfaction of thinking he’d annoyed me.  I had mostly vowels which didn’t help with my desperate need for victory.  He was twelve points ahead.  Not good.  As I was playing around with my letters the little green chat bubble delivered a new message. Well, looky, looky, ‘The Voice’ was awake and live online.

The Voice:  Amusing? What, like a monkey?

Sophistication: Yes. Like a monkey. 

I played my pathetic vowels for 14 points.

The Voice: You really aren’t trying very hard are you.  

Sophistication: At this conversation with a monkey or with my play?

The Voice: Either.

It suddenly occurred to me that I was assuming ‘The Voice’ was male.  Just because they were rude/amusing/belligerent and so on shouldn’t make me assume it was a man.

Sophistication: What gender are you?

The Voice: Rare and amusing male monkey. 

That actually made me smile.

The Voice: Are you really sophisticated or is that just something you aspire to be because you’re not amusing like me?

Sophistication: Yes I am as it happens. 

The Voice: I’ll take your word for it.  I must leave now and go to work.

Sophistication: Well I must leave now and finish work. 

I closed the game and wondered where ‘The Voice’ lived if he was only just starting his day.

I noticed my latte and muffin had been put on my desk.  I reached for the polystyrene beaker and poured the sweet coffee into my mouth, begging that the caffeine would have some magic affect on my sore head.  

My phone beeped with a text from Karen:
 “Just got up. Dying. Didn’t get in until 4 am.  Drunk as a fucking Lord. Thank God not at work today as would vomit on patients. Though could do with raiding the hospital meds cabinet for some serious pain relief, it hurts to even blink.  BTW - Vodka boys are planning a big come back and buying that old cafe next door - it’s all hush hush but of course I was going to tell you. Ring me when I’m better.  About 5 days. x

Sophie Rhodes:  And you wonder why nurses get such a bad rep ;)  Thanks for the inside info.  You can always work here! x

Brilliant.  I rushed in to Colin’s office and told him. “Send one of Monica’s girls in later to find out.  I’d go but my head hurts and I’ve got to leave now for the BIG school meeting. Wish me luck!” 

“I expect nothing less than victory for Brendon and if they don’t go for it tell ‘em we’ll be writing about their discrimination against children with disabilities.” Colin held up his hand for me to slap. 

“Nice!” I gave him a high five and left for Hillfields School.

As I left for the car I rang Karl who hadn’t got back to me as promised.  

“On my way. Be there soon-ish.” He answered.

I let go of the breath I hadn’t realised I was holding.

“Thank God. OK, well put your foot down it starts at 4.30.” 

I knew he would because he had a Volvo T5 and he couldn’t help but pretend he was on par with Lewis Hamilton.  And Bond of course, James Bond.