Happy Hour

The yard had lost its greenness and only the slightest breeze caused small eddies of dust to cover everything in a fine film. The deck, on the south side of the house, was the only place that offered shelter from the summer sun. The couple were seated on cast iron chairs that matched the table between them.

The woman reached for the glass that was closet to her, pushed her sunglasses down the brim of her nose, and glared across the table at her husband.

“How on earth could you say yes,” she demanded. “You know how she is these days; it was hard enough last year.”

“That’s why I said yes, it could be the last time Mum recognises us and it’s only for two weeks.”

Only two weeks, and who’s the one who will have to do all the looking after, not you that’s for bloody sure. You’ll run off to work and only deal with her when it suits you, in her better moments.”

He didn’t answer, just adjusted himself in the chair and rolled his glass across his forehead. Water clung to his skin.

“Well, I’m not going to do it. Will you stop doing that, and look at me?”

The man placed the glass on the table and slowly closed his eyes.

Lisa

This was usually one of my favourite parts of the day, on the deck, cold drink, chatting together, but not today.  I know he hates it when I look over the rim of my glasses, but annoying him is alright by me right now.

“How on earth could you say yes?” I really just wanted to kick him. “You know how she is these days; it was hard enough last year.” Doesn’t he remember the time she wandered off and we had to get the police to look for her?

“That’s why I said yes, it could be the last time she recognises us and it’s only for two weeks.”

Did I just hear that right, God he stayed away from the house the last time she came? I had to deal with everything, that’s not going to happen again.

Only two weeks, and who’s the one who will have to do all the looking after, not you that’s for bloody sure. You’ll run off to work and only deal with her when it suits you, in her better moments.”

I know he hates to see his mum this way, I’d hate it too, but he can’t just leave me to it and pop in and out when he feels like it. If he doesn’t say something soon and put that damn glass down, I’ll scream.

“Well I’m not going to do it. Will you stop doing that, and look at me?”

Rodney

The holes in the chair were cutting into the back of his legs, but it took his mind of the tension vibrating across the table. He knew she was going to say something soon, especially when she did that awful thing of peering over her sunglasses.

“How on earth could you say yes? You know how she is these days; it was hard enough last year.”

Ok, I knew this was coming, so why did I hope for a different attitude? We are slowly losing Mum, and she can’t give me a couple of weeks. Maybe if I just didn’t have this bloody headache. Why does she insist on sitting out here every single day?

“That’s why I said yes, it could be the last time she recognises us and it’s only for two weeks.”

Oh God, the glasses are coming down further, here we go.

Only two weeks, and who’s the one who will have to do all the looking after? Not you. That’s for bloody sure. You’ll run off to work and only deal with her when it suits you, in her better moments.”

I’m only asking for two weeks, ahh that feels so good, oops water is dripping; God that glare of hers is just making my head worse.

“Well I’m not going to do it. Will you stop doing that, and look at me?”

Maybe if I just close my eyes, it will all go away.

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Author: Jo Bryant

I was born in the land of Banjo Paterson, gum trees, and weather extremes. I am a freelance writer. I live in the Bay of Plenty, New Zealand, but still like to claim my Australian heritage. I graduated with a Bachelor of Communications in 2008. I am writing my first novel. I love to write poetry, short stories, and also write for the web. And there is nothing that is on a par with a sunny summer's day spent at Waihi Beach.

There are two things I know for certain. One: Bert and Ernie are gay. Two: I want to hear your opinion.

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