The International Writers Magazine: Lifestories

Diane and the Doughnut
John Demetriou

4.46pm – three bed semi, in the kitchen.
I wonder if they have tidied away the toys.

Giles will be home for dinner soon and I must set the table. I also need a clear space for my after-meal meditations. I can't very well sprawl out in a darkened room and play my therapeutic Enya CD with transformers-in-disguise scattered all over the floor.
Oh dear, I'm going to lose my voice too at this rate.
"Er, Timothy, could you come into the kitchen please? Hi. Would you like to stay for tea? You may call your mother from the telephone and ask permission. It will be ready in approximately two and a half hours. I heard some laughter earlier, what was going on? I see, OK. Well, no bad language. It upsets the girls."
I hope I have not bought too much from the supermarket. Let me have another look at that daily list and compare it to my budget.
"Would you like a doughnut till tea arrives, Timothy? You would? Ah, right, I see. OK. Let me have a look, I'll be right back in a tick."
He wants one.
"Timothy, I'm afraid we've only got one doughnut left and if I give you this one there won't be a doughnut for Giles when he comes back from work. Oh, dear. I don't know what to do. Are you sure, Timothy?
Maybe you could have a half? Really? O.K then, maybe next time. It's just that it's not fair on Giles and I've only one doughnut left. O.K. then."
4.37 – around two weeks later
They didn't take their shoes off outside. Oh, dear. Now I shall have to clean the matt in the porch. Not to mention dust the piano before the piano instructor arrives tomorrow afternoon.
"Timothy, could you come here please? Hi. Have you called your mother to ask permission to stay for tea? The telephone is on the wall behind the curtains by the bay window. Try to keep the call under sixty seconds please."
I did not see him wash his hands. I would have heard the steps. I will need to polish that handset.
"Timothy, would you like a doughnut? Sorry, what did you say? You would?
Oh, I see. Right, now. Yes, go ahead and call your mother, I'll be right back."
He wants a doughnut.
"Er, Timothy, have you finished making your call? Right, well it's just that I've only got one doughnut left and if I give you this doughnut, Giles wont have one when he comes home from work. Mmmmm. Well, I'm sorry Timothy. Actually, well, you can have it if you want to, but if you do, Giles won't have one when he gets home. Are you sure? Are you sure? Are you sure?
No, have it. But hang on…I'm sorry, what was that Timothy? You don't want it? Oh, but a minute ago you said you would like a doughnut? Ok, it's just that Giles…yep. O.K. Maybe next time."
4.50 – Approximately ten days after
I wonder how many glasses of cola the boys have drunk today. Look at the bottle, it's nearly two thirds empty and I only bought it two days ago. Good grief. Right, I'd better tell them to turn the television off and keep it down. The floorboards play merry hell with my migraine.
Now let me see what's going on. The net curtains are ruffled, I suspect they've been playing again.
"Timothy, would you like a doughnut? I'm giving one to each of the others. Oh, I see. You don't want one. Are you sure? Why not? They are jam filled. Well, you can have one if you want. Here, I'll bring you one on a plate in case you get sugar on the carpet.
Here you go. Are you sure you actually don't want one? They are delicious. You would! O.K. here you are."
He's going to eat it. I just know it. Then that'll be it.
"Er, Timothy, can you quickly come into the kitchen please? Have you started to eat your doughnut, yet? No? Well, you see, I've just checked and there are no more doughnuts left, which means when Giles comes home there won't be one for…
Oh! You don't want it now? It's ok, you can have it. It's just that…well! Timothy, there is no need to be rude. Where are you going?
Yes, I know Timothy has left the house Matthew. Jolly good job too, how rude he just was to me. I don't think you should invite your friend here anymore, Matthew. Now put your transformers away and prepare the table, please."

© Peter Hunt November 2006
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