Hannah was sat at the table, waiting for the toast to finish browning, when the phone rang. “Oh, that’s early, I wonder who that could be”, she thought to herself. She rose quickly to her feet and picked up the phone from the wall.
“Hello? Hannah? Is that you?” her mother panted down the phone.
“Yes, mum, it’s me, is there something wrong? You sound out of breath.”
“Oh dear, Hannah, it’s your father. He’s fallen down the steps in the back garden - he was just feeding the chickens - they think he may have broken his ankle, it happened half an hour ago, and we’ve just arrived at the hospital in the ambulance”. She paused briefly to take a breath. “I don’t know what I'm going to do, I’m due at Auntie Emily’s house tomorrow, and your father will need someone to look after him while I’m away. Can you help?”
Hannah sat down again, in disbelief. “Is Dad ok? What happened? Do you have to go and leave him – this weekend especially? You know me and Frankie are setting off on our trip this evening”.
Hannah had arranged to hire a gorgeous lime green camper van as a special surprise for Frankie (her favourite colour); they were to catch the ferry to the Isle of Wight that evening and collect the camper van, and it was all going to be fabulous; just the two of them, having a wonderful experience touring around the island, going to the sandy beaches and generally relaxing together. And now what should she do? Her father was such a misery at the best of times and she knew that their tranquil holiday would be ruined. What would she say to Frankie? She’d be so upset.
“Yes, yes, dear, I know, but there’s no-one else I can leave him with, I really need you to help your father, there’s no other alternative”. Hannah’s mother jolted her back to the present with her shrill tone.
“Can’t he go with you instead? He could sit around in Aunty Emily’s garden when you’re up there?” Hannah asked, hopefully, smiling down the phone. She already knew the answer though. Hannah's mother was only thinking of how much she'd been inconvenienced already, she was just thinking of herself, as usual.
“No, he can’t!" Hannah's mother snapped back. "They’re having a new swimming pool fitted and Auntie Emily will be far too busy getting ready for her show next week, you know that’s why I’m going to help out”.
Hannah took a deep breath, trying to sound calm, and agreed to have her father come with them after all. "As long as he’s not grumpy all week. Poor Frankie", thought Hannah.
“Morning, Mummy! Today’s the day – hurrah! We’ll be on holiday after school, what time are you finishing work?” Frankie danced into the kitchen, holding her school bag, ready to put her packed lunch in before she sat down for breakfast. She was already dressed and was in a great mood. “Can I have that toast in the toaster?”
Hannah had forgotten the bread she’d been waiting for, it must have popped without her noticing. “Yes darling, you can have the toast, you might want to warm it up a bit though, I forgot it was in there”.
“Are you alright Mummy? You look a bit worried”.
Hannah waited until Frankie was sat opposite her at the table, eating her toast, before she broke the news.
To be continued . . .