Still stottery Steph got out of bed, brushed her hair out of her eyes and pulled it back into a messy pony tail. On the floor she located a pair of pyjama trousers and tried to remember if they’d had sex or if she’d just not been in a fit state to put them on last night. Bloody hell it’s not even 8.30 am.
“Get your backsides out of bed,” she yelled as she made her way downstairs, holding onto the bannister. Her fibromyalgia was going to remind her of its presence and make her pay for daring to have one night out a year.
“I’ve been up since six,” an indignant Jake yelled.
Downstairs in the kitchen, young Luke sat at the table, reading a comic. She ruffled his hair. “Hey, kid.”
“Hi, Mum. I’m trying to work out what kind of plasma I need to build a light sabre.”
“Honey, I’m having an existential crisis and a hangover can we wait until I’ve had coffee before we deal with the easy questions?” She moved to the sink. “What’s this?” Steph waved her hand over the cereal scattered and milk spilled over the worktop.
“Breakfast. I had some – it was yum.”
“I can see. Go get the vacuum cleaner and lets get this all cleaned.”
“Whatever.” He shrugged but he got up and went out to get it whilst she set about making herself the promised coffee. She clicked on the kettle and stared it as the steam rose.
Jake stormed into the kitchen. “Ellie’s a bitch! I’m going out.
“Don’t talk about your sister like that. Where are you going?”
“You always take her side. It's not fair you go way easier on her cos she's a girl. I wish I was a girl - oh yuck no I don't"
"I asked where you were going."
Two teaspoons of coffee. She needed the caffeine. “At least slip your wellies on.”
“It’s just the garden.” He stamped his face and did that sulky thing when he blew out his cheeks like a frog.
“It snowed last night.” When she went into the cupboard for the caramel syrup her hand hovered over the brandy bottle. Nobody would know she’d had a nip. It took will power but she left it alone and consoled herself with an extra big slug of his or is it now her expensive syrup. Steph tried to cry but she didn’t know what she was crying over. She didn’t even know what to call the man she’d been married to for over ten years. Or was it woman. Damn.
“Right, I’m going. Satisfied?”
She looked and nodded. “Have you had breakfast?”
He shrugged. “Yeah cereal.”
Luke dragged the vacuum in by its hose.
“Where’s the bowl?”
“I washed it.”
Her, “Yeah right,” was drowned in the noise of the cleaner sucking up cereal and milk. Usually she'd call him back and make him eat but today she couldn't be bothered.
She needed painkillers. Two paracetamol, maybe something stronger as a treat. Tramadol? But that made her sick and she might have to ask Nick to come home from work. She wasn’t ready to face him yet. There was nobody around to talk to at this time of day as they were all at work.
"Best Possible Taste" is very loosely based on real life events.