Sorry Sir

Ryan lives in a household that could have been spat out from hell itself. The man, the boss and the father is a strict as it can get but there's something mysterious that Ryan comes across about his own father's history; and he's willing to dig deeper....

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1. Cereal

1

We had been trying to teach Hannah, my little sister, to talk using tougher words. Things like cardboard box and cereal. She was having a pretty hard time trying to remember how to pronounce the words. Mum tried flash cards with drawings and treats but nothing worked.
“Bloody Politics,” muttered father, sipping crude coffee, “Written about, day by day in the papers...” Hannah was sitting staring at father, in her bob cut with a tinsel necklace.
Mum chuckled, wiping her hands on her apron. “Take that off!”
“Can I have some ce-e-r-il-l?”
Cereal?”
“Cirel.”
Cereal, honey.”
Cer-y-al.”
“Cereal.”
Cereal.
Mum clapped.
“Good job pumpkin! Now you can have your cereal.
She brushed her bleached-brownie hair from her eyes and left for the kitchen. Father folded the newspaper and took another sip of his coffee.
“How are we going with our school, ol’ chap?”
“Okay.”
Father leaned back hard so that the chair creaked. “Is that so? Is maths going good?”
“Yes.”
“Well English probably isn’t. You don’t have a very wide vocabulary Mr. Yes and Okay.”
Father yawned.
“Mrs. Blanch says my scores have climbed...”
“What scores?” Father burped, “Are they dishing out more tests?”
“Not too many sir.”
Father’s head slid down into his shoulders. “I think I’m gonna have a talk with that principle, Mr. Connor is it?”
“Hmm-mm.”
“Eh?”
“Yes sir.”
Mum returned to the dining table, spooning rice crackles into Hannah’s gaping mouth.
“I wike wice cwackles...”
“Hannah dear, don’t talk with your mouth full!” Mum scourged. Hannah wriggled down, so her bib tickled her chubby chin.
“Hannah, sit up!”
“Sweet heart, listen to your mother,” demanded father, “You’re being very difficult.”
“Sit still Hannah!” cried mum, “You’re making this more difficult than it should be!”
“No more!” squealed Hannah. Her poddy face went red with tears. “No!”
Mum slammed the spoon onto the table. Milk splattered on the table cloth.
“Hannah dear!” Hannah sulked in frustration through gritted teeth. Mum managed to pull her paunchy body from the high chair, Hannah kicking and screaming like the baby she was. Father grunted.
“Children!” he mocked. “Saturdays are the worst.”
I crumbled deep into my chair so my eyes were just seeing along the table. “I think you should go to your room. You’re mothers having a bad day.”
My arms and legs, I dragged down the hall to my room. They were heavy. If Hannah kept up eating like she did, she’d probably always feel like I do now when she’s older. Goodness, she’s so fat, I thought. That baby can’t manage to fit through the slippery dip tunnel anymore. We’ve rescued her on numerous occasions.
Most of the time Hannah runs around the house in a messy diaper. She’s the worst to have around when you’re enjoying a good book. She climbs onto your lap and digs her knees into your thighs, her head craned over the book to look you straight in the eye.
She was a baby born with a lot of hair too. Long sinister ringlets climbing from the mid-section of her neck to all over her head. Her grubby fingers are severely unkempt. Dirt makes its way beneath her fingernails. She chews mostly the ones on her left hand. They have jagged, scratchy edges. All mum’s friends rave about her gorgeous pink cheeks. I don’t exactly see anything special about them. After all, they are just cheeks. She’s the youngest, so of course she’d get all the attention. My elder brother is two towns away. He moved out four years ago, leaving me in this slim, scanty household with a fat sister and strict parents.
“We’ve got a lick of honey left!” I heard mum shout from the kitchen. “Ryan!”
I strutted down the hallway again.
“Ryan!” Mum said hotly. “I’ve called you a million times! I’ve told you over and over to leave that damn door open so you can hear me...”
“Yes?”
“We need more honey – and butter.”
“Is that it?”
“Those are the only two things Hannah got to.”
“Fine.”
I took a five dollar bill from mum and scooted down the street to the general store.
The day was warm and humid, there was a light drizzle of rain falling like glitter from the warped, whispy grey clouds. My shoulders were bare and the spitting rain was quite nice on my raw skin.
Mr. Quinn was behind the counter when I arrived with a ding-ding of the shop's doorbell.
"Make you're decision." He skewed up from his mac computer, then looked back at it, the screens luminosity reflecting in his glasses lenses.
"You're out of honey." I mentioned, searching the shelves.
"No we are not. We are never out of anything. Don't you get the idea you can go around town tattering about this store and put us out of business..."
"I wouldn't dream of it Mr. Quinn, it's just that you don't have any left."
Sheepishly, Mr. Quinn footed around the counter and came up to where I was standing.
"Yes - these are the spreads. Um - er."
I was staring him in the corner of his eye, watching his eyeball twitch as he scoured the shelf. "It seems we are." He trailed back to his comfy seat behind the counter and went on working.
"When will you be getting more?" I said hopefully.
"Wednesday. I'll order them tonight..." He muttered.
At least I found the butter and collected two jars since I had spare money from the honey. Also in case Hannah got her grubby fingertips on them.
"Thanks." I smiled as I paid for the two jars.
"Now leave."
I padded back outside, the atmosphere so hoarse. It was a tiresome walk back up the hill to my place. Mum wasn't going to be impressed I didn't have the honey, but I had two jars of butter and a pair of wet shoulders. I think that'll do for today.

 

 

 

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