‘Oh, just shut it!’ Ethne said to Rick as he continued to tease her. She rolled over in the bed, so her back was facing him. Not truly upset with him, but she knew where this was headed, and honestly, she just couldn’t be bothered.
Rick huffed with impatience. After a few minutes of listening to the screeching of the children, who were supposed to be quietly watching telly, he got up. There was no point staying in the bed with Ethne; she was sulking now.
As soon as he walked into the living area, Rick barked at the children, who were in one huddle, wrestling each other on the rug.
‘Settle down you lot! Why can’t you just watch the TV in silence?’
The kids broke apart and murmured a collective apology.
Ethne wished for the peace and serenity of her younger years. She let her mind wander to those years when she slept in until midday, woken only by the telephone. A friend, asking her out for brunch, or to a club that night. In her bed, with the doona up to her chin, she smiled at the memory.
Clawing its way forward, though, was a recollection of aching loneliness and poor choices in early boyfriends, simply because Ethne yearned to share her life with someone. But now, in these middle-aged years, despite being constantly tired, she was anything but lonely. She was the mother to three gorgeous children. Rick had patched the holes up for her; he was Polyfilla, she, the walls. Again, a contented smile curved over her face.
She hopped out of bed; the heaviness of guilt cloaked itself over her shoulders. In the kitchen, Rick was making scrambled eggs. Ethne wrapped her arms around his waist and curled her body around his shape. His left hand moved from the bench to gently caress hers.
‘I’m sorry for being so snappish,’ Ethne said.
‘I’ll always forgive you, Eth,’ he said, turning so they faced each other. Stuff his breakfast, he thought as his lips found hers.
‘Eeew, gross!’ exclaimed Lara, their second child.
‘Oh, get a room guys,’ said James, who, at fourteen, was embarrassed by the slightest sign of affection between his parents. James and Lara’s sister, Shelley, mimicked vomiting.
Rick and Ethne laughed.
‘Love you,’ he said.
‘Love you too.’ She slapped his arse playfully. ‘Your eggs are burning.’
Rick pulled the pan off the stove. ‘Ah, shit.’ He surveyed the damage. ‘Never mind, they’ll be dandy.’
Ethne chuckled as she switched on the coffee machine. Their life together was not always riveting, but she’d struck gold. He was everything she needed.
All names have been changed to protect the innocent/guilty, depending on your personal outlook 🙂 However, this is a thinly veiled tribute to life with Hubster, my very good man, to celebrate Father’s Day. Have a happy day!