Anna opens the kitchen blinds and expects to see the bamboo bushes flapping in the wind. Instead she puzzles at the puce concoction splattered against the Georgian bars. Putting on her coat, a birthday gift from Simon, she ties the belt and goes outside. There are pink drips marking the wall, fallen from her son’s window and an empty bottle of gin, landed on the lawn.
Only the previous evening, while Patrick played pool in his bedroom, Simon and Anna discussed his future.
‘We’ve just got to keep him focussed for the next six months. Get his GCSEs out of the way. Set him on the path to university,’ said Simon.
‘Of course.’ Anna squirmed, knowing that Simon hadn’t read Patrick’s school report before she’d squirreled it away. Heat flushed her cheeks as she remembered the comments about Patrick falling asleep in physics and playing the class joker in mathematics. ‘So long as he does enough revision, he’ll be fine.’
‘That’s my boy,’ said Simon. ‘Invest the effort when it’s most required.’
With her knuckles poised to rap on Patrick’s door, Anna hesitates. Making a scene will alert Simon to their son’s habit of taking bottles from the drinks cabinet. And vomit dribbled down the pebbledash isn’t going to score Patrick any points with his father. Anna considers an alternative and collects a brush and bucket from the utility to begin cleaning up. Effort when it’s most required, she remembers.
If you’d like another story about teenage trials, please read Hoping on the 1000 words website, 6 May 2012.
I’ve also heard from Ether Books that they’ve accepted my piece of flash fiction titled, Beginners’ Guide. You can get a free download of the story from the Ether app. See the Ether author portraits here and find out more about the stories here.
Now, all I have to do is get to grips with the technology.