certainly bought us some time if nothing else and his points at the meeting
were well justified. I wanted to hug
him but instead I squeezed his arm and said, “That was brilliant, thanks so
they need to get their act together.
It’s just Fothergill trying to strong arm Brendon out and without just
cause he’s going to fail.” He smiled and winked. “Look, there’s no point me driving down
south now. Not on a Friday afternoon in
rush hour, I’ll just be stuck in traffic for hours. Do you want to go out for something to
sure..Brendon?” I looked to see if he
might want to join us. Brendon didn’t
really do family social outings, not without causing a ruckus and after the
meeting I didn’t think he’d be in a sociable mood.
good.” He smiled. “I’ve got to go out anyway; I’m going to Luke’s house.”
don’t be late. Enjoy yourself.” I gave
him a hug and was glad that he seemed quite calm and relaxed. “We’ll go through
all this on Sunday night.”
always seemed to hold big meetings or dish out hideous punishments on a Friday
night. Just in time for the weekend,
they’d send your kid home wired like a time bomb and your weekend would be a
complete fuck up.
Brendon at Luke’s house and drove home to fetch Bryony. Karl was already outside in his car making
phone calls to work on his mobile. I
indicated that I’d be five minutes and went inside. It was a painful reminder to see his car on
the drive. Just something so simple brought
forth a rush of emotions I seemed to have buried somewhere deep within my soul.
already texted Bryony to get ready before I left knowing that she’d want to take forever to get dressed in case she was ‘seen’ by some fit lad from
school. Miraculously she was already
donned in her disco pants and thrift shop 70’s shirt when I got back. “Don’t
you feel weird going out with Dad?” she asked.
life is weird Bry. I’d be concerned if something normal actually happened.” I
rushed upstairs to freshen up and change my skirt to Jeans.
We made our
way in Karl’s beast of a car to the Baltimore diner on the edge of the
Canal. We discussed the meeting in parts
and Brendon’s behaviour at home. That
was difficult and it felt like we were treading on eggshells and avoiding the
real issues we had once lived together.
Bryony was a welcome distraction and we focussed on her and the dramas
of life as a teenage girl as we munched our way through our American style
On the way back
home Bryony asked if she could have a sleepover at one of her friends and Karl
dropped her off before we arrived back home.
There was an awkwardness between us when she’d left the car that was
difficult to fill except with trivial, unnecessary chat. I’d been with this man for years and now I
couldn’t talk to him normally. As soon as we arrived Brendon came running out
of the house and opened the passenger door.
“I’ve made you both some cake!” He exclaimed “Come on, come and eat it,
I was so full
up after the meal the last thing I wanted was cake. However, the fact that he’d made something
and was so proud meant I was going to eat it and wax lyrical about it
to come in and eat some or he’ll be upset...” I looked across at Karl whose
engine was still running ready to leave.
off the ignition and we made our way into the house.
you were at Lukes? And since when do you make cake?” I laughed as Brendon was
clumsily cutting sections of some brown stodge and putting it on plates.
that’s what me and Luke were doing at his house, making cakes Mommy.” He said in his put on American
accent. “And they taste just like
buttermilk biscuits.” He drawled on in some southern, hillbilly fashion. “Now go and sit down and I’ll bring them
through.” He was remarkably chipper I
Karl and I
made our way to the lounge and sat down on the sofa awaiting our prize. Karl didn’t remove his coat. I knew he’d want to take off as soon as he’d
through proudly carrying two plates with a chocolate slab of cake covered in
heart out Gordon Ramsey!” I said, thinking how sweet and kind he could be.
He sat down
and waited eagerly for us to start eating it in his usual controlling
manner. Karl spooned some into his mouth
first and pulled an interesting face. I
immediately went to taste mine so I could say how marvelous it was but...it
wasn’t. It tasted kind of odd.
“Mmmm, it’s nice darling.” I lied. “What is it
exactly...it has an unusual flavour.” I
carried on eating it and tried to swallow quickly without chewing too long so I
could get it over with. Karl was doing
the same and giving me that ‘WTF?’ look.
what is this Brendon, it has a strange taste?”
I was slightly concerned because you could never fully trust the hygiene
of teenage boys. You never knew what
they might have been playing with before they went into celebrity chef mode.
you both wash your hands before you made this?”
I stopped mid spoonful as I stared at him. Karl had already finished his
and put his plate on the table.
OH.MY.GOD. Mum, just eat it. You’re such
a control freak!” He exclaimed.
it off and decided to make a cup of tea to wash the peculiar taste away and hope
to God I wasn’t about to get food poisoning.
you a drink.” said Brendon uncharacteristically. “You two just sit down and get
ready to kiss the sky.”
going on Brendon?” I asked sternly not liking his weird behaviour.
you’ve both just eaten is a hash brownie.” He laughed. “There’s some serious
skunk in there and you are so going to
be able to chill out and relax for once!”
I looked at
Karl and Karl looked at me. We then looked at Brendon with utter disbelief.
I said. “Hash brownie? A HASH BROWNIE?
Are you GODDAM KIDDING ME?! PLEASE TELL ME THIS IS A JOKE AND YOU HAVEN'T
JUST DRUGGED YOUR PARENTS...”