Chapter 4

 

 

Mary stares at Helen’s phone. She knows that Brenda has had little contact with Helen. She was the one who gave her up for a better life. 

Helen is not shaken. Mary is surprised.  Helen is relaxed.

Mary drops the cake onto the kitchen bench.

“Why is Brenda in contact with you Helen?”

Never one to wait for thinking about a reply Helen says, “She knows I’m having a baby.” Mary is taken aback.

“She wants to be part of my life now. She said she’s the true bloodline to it. She says it’s a boy.”

 

Denis comes through the back door.  Mary looks towards him.

He knows she is rattled.  He takes his steel capped work boots off. The dirty Huffer work jacket he lives in gets thrown on the back of the kitchen table chair. The back-door sides shut to the right.  Denis walks up to Mary. She drags him into the lounge.  

 

Helen returns to looking at her phone.  A smile continues on her face.

 

“I’m not having this happen Denis.” Mary wraps her hands around Denis’s right wrist while shifting closer to his body.

Denis has lived to be the defender in this family. He has never backed away from that role. That’s what a dad does he tells everyone.

“Can you go and look at Helen’s phone please Denis?  Read that last message she got.”

Denis always backs Mary no matter what the situation.

He walks into the kitchen. Helen looks over towards him and puts her phone down.

“Mary’s a little bit rattled Helen,” says Denis.

“She asked me to look at your phone.”

Helen’s comforting smile disappears.

“I know what she’s talking about dad,” Helen replies a little unnerved.

“OK.  Sure,” Helen hands her black smart phone to Denis.

 

***

 

Afternoon tea at the building depot is exactly the same version of morning tea. Today there is one exception.  Everyone wants to go home but Amanda wants to stay. Her mood has changed.

“I want a boyfriend,” says reception.

“I want to be skinny,” says accounts.

“I want to have dinner with my real parents,” says power tools.

“My grandma just died, says gardening.

“Some things never change you losers,” says Amanda.

Everyone listens to Amanda.

 

“It’s Good Friday next week.  It’s a public holiday.  I’m going to a party.”

Nobody is the slightest bit interested now.

“It’s my birthday.”

Even less notice is taken.

“I’ll be turning 30.”

 

“Will there be drinks?” asks paint.

Amanda stares and walks out holding up the middle finger of her right hand.

“Idiots,” she yells back.

 

***

 

Denis is scrolling through Helen’s phone.  He pauses over a few messages.

“There’s nothing to write home about here,” says Denis handing back Helen’s phone.

“Good,” replies Helen.  

“I didn’t think so.”

Denis looks over at Mary. She walks up to Helen, takes her phone and starts scrolling.

“Where is Brenda’s message Helen?”  

   

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

Comments

Ken, I Iove this. In this, I can see and sense a script in the way you right the dialogue coupled with action. Your style is unique and witty and yet not over the top. I think the most enjoyable part is the way a comment is made by each department rather than a particular employee. "I want to be skinny," says accounts. "My grandma just died," says gardening. Humour intermingled with everyday problems and human emotion. This is great writing, Ken. Keep it coming. There is so much to learn from one another.
Yes I really enjoyed that section with cryptic comments from the department reps. Each comment revealed something about the inner lives of the characters. Short sentences yet carrying a punch.