by R.J. Kinnarney
lightly carbonated water, one ice cube and half a slice of lemon
‘Brian!’ Her voice reverberates through the flat, like a pneumatic drill.
How does she always know? She was fast asleep a minute ago, when I crept out of bed. When we sit across the breakfast table, I have almost to scream for her to hear me. Yet, in the dead of night, she can hear the suck as the door seal on the fridge releases itself. It doesn’t matter how stealthy I think I’m being, she always hears me.
I climb back into bed.
‘What have you had?’ she asks. I don’t respond. ‘Some of that pastrami and gherkins. I can smell them.’ She rolls away. ‘You know it’s not good for you, eating in the middle of the night.’
It’s not long before she’s snoring again. I lie and savour the taste of the pickle.
She glares at me across the breakfast table as my hand reaches for the cheese knife. ‘Not too much now, darling. You know it’s not good for your cholesterol.’
That’s what I take my statins for. What’s the point in advancements in medicine, if it means you can’t enjoy a little extra bit of taleggio that Luca at the deli put aside for you?
I cut off a corner of the cheese. She’s still glaring. I smile at her and pop the creamy oozing chunk into my mouth. She tuts, gets up and begins clearing away the breakfast things.
‘What would you like for your lunch?’ It’s only 11.30 but we’ve always got up early, so 12 is a reasonable time for lunch.
‘Is there any more of that chicken and chorizo stew left?’ I know there is. I can pretty much draw a detailed diagram of what is in the fridge at any given moment. She knows that I know.
‘Why don’t you have a piece of salmon? With some of those lovely greens? I’ll spice it up for you.’
‘I think I fancy the stew.’ I am already imagining what it’s going to taste like. Second day stew is the best. And her stews are outstanding. How am I supposed to diet, when her cooking is exceptional? I’ve been mollifying her with this reasoning for 57 years now. She doesn’t call it reasoning; she calls it an excuse.
She stomps off to the kitchen and I can hear the stew being turned out into a saucepan for reheating.
It’s as delicious as I imagined it was going to be. Probably more so. But I always fancy a little something sweet after lunch.
When she’s settled down for her afternoon nap, I gently open the sideboard and reach to the back, where I know she’s hidden the dark chocolate gingers.
‘Brian!’ How does she do it? ‘Think of your diabetes!’
She’s going through the fridge, sorting something out for dinner. I busy myself at my computer in the living room.
‘Brian!’ This is trouble. ‘Where is the second of those mini pizzas I made for you?’ She’s now standing in the doorway, with the face of a disappointed headmistress. ‘I told you about the news on TV and how dangerous high fat diets are and how they can cause memory loss.’
I don’t answer.
‘Well, did you eat it?’
This is going to be good. I wink at her. ‘I don’t remember.’
About the auhtor
R. J. Kinnarney lives with her family of orange animals and her own purple hair – note: the animals are tamer than the hair. Words lie out there in all sort of places. Links to online and print published works can be found at rjkinnarney.com Twitter: @rjkinnarney