Tuesday, 1 May 2012
MayDay Flash - 'Breaking point' by Cath Barton
He’s always liked to goad me. That’s brothers for you. And I’m afraid I always rise to it.
“There’s a ladder in your tights,” he’ll say, just as I’m going out the door with two minutes to catch the bus.
“Why didn’t you say so before?” I’ll hiss, more than likely catching my nail on my tights as I examine them and starting another ladder.
Or, “Our Mam can’t stand the colour purple, sis,” when I’ve bought her a bunch of tulips for Mother’s Day, and though he’s bought her nothing and I could point that out I don’t, I just start feeling that I’m no good.
Today I’ve cooked lasagne for tea. I pull it out of the oven, all brown and bubbling, and put it on the table. I sit down and I’m about to pour him a cup of tea and he says
“That ‘orrible sludge something you made, eh?”
I put the teapot down carefully, because I am just that far away from pouring the contents over his bare hands and I stand back and I say nothing. I just look at him and I think very bad thoughts but I say nothing.
And he picks up the big spoon and goes to serve himself from the dish and something flashes red behind my eyes.
“Something I made, eh? Is that what you said? Yes, I made it, and I’m tired of your infernal cheek and...”
My mouth dries. I see myself, as if from above, pulling on the oven gloves, picking up the lasagne dish and doing something so bad, so much worse than I’d wanted to do with the tea, and the screaming’s coming from my mouth, or is it his or is it both of us? And I want to be five years old again, because then everything would be alright.