Yes We Can

Entry by: Jim bob

6th February 2015
Holiday Discussion

''Yes we can' he said, then pulled hard on a Marlboro, staring at her.
'No we can't, Mike, she replied, and waved at the fog of smoke that rushed at her face. Em wiped her eyes, the smoke igniting tears from moments ago, and her pinkness that flushed,was sympathetic to the way she felt.
' Come on, Em' said Mike. 'We've been through this before, over and over again.' He stamped out the cigarette in the full marble ash-tray, a butt spilling on to the table as if making way for the new arrival.
' I know we've been through this before'. she replied, taking a sip of tea. 'Too many times, but I just can't see how we can do it'. She walked over to the television and switched it off, the images of post terrorism in Paris adding to an existing, heated emotion.
'I have told you how we can do this, Em,' he shouted. ' You heard what my take on this is. Jesus Christ'. Mike rubbed at his grey stubble and looked around the room, noticing their son in the corner.
' Exactly, you see? Dont you?' She said, ignoring him and pointing at the baby. ' You are thinking the same as me, and don't say you're not.'
Mikes eyes shifted from the boy to Em, and for a moment he glared at her. Em re-coiled from this, something she'd done several times that afternoon.
' Ok, okay, Em.' he said moments later. 'You win.' He lit another Marlboro, again drawing deeply on it. ' I know Uncle Eustace cant take care of Tommy because he drinks too much. And, there is no one else who will look after him while we're away, because they're too, damn busy with their own lives, and we just dont know enough folk in this neighbourhood.'
He poured a large scotch in to a crystal tumbler, and lifted the bottle towards Em in a silent offer. She declined, shaking her head. Mike knew they'd both badly needed a break for a very long time. Traffic outside buzzed along in its consistent, evening, rush-hour way, the smell of exhaust fumes almost detectable in their small kitchen.
'Well, if it wasnt for Uncle Eustace and his un quenchable thirst, then our problem would be solved.' she said. 'He cant even take care of himself, let alone a toddler barely out of nappies.
' No need to get like that' Em, he replied. He took a large sip from the glass.
'He isn't a bad man, you know. My Uncle raised me well enough to know stuff.'
'Two recent admissions to hospital on two bottles of Vodka a day suggest he is a sick man, she replied. 'Not a bad one, just a very sick one'. Said Em, calmly and matter of factly.
Mike looked at his watch, noticing the one on the wall had stopped. From this, he knew he still had a half hour before his evening shift began at the station. Then, Tommy began rocking in his high chair, and Em was aware that the on set of tears was imminent.
'Time for bed, for you,' she said conscious of this noisy cue, and picked him up,his thick head of hair smothering over her chest. Mike watched them leave the kitchen, and could hear her footsteps against bare wood as she rose the stairs. He'd been meaning to get around to fitting the new carpet for them for some time now. But, right now, Mike knew something that Em didn't, and didn't think he could continue hiding it for much longer.

'Is he sleeping?' asked Mike as she entered the kitchen.
'Like he should be' she replied, morosely.
'Like a baby!' said Mike, and let out a smile to this little joke they'd often share after she'd set Tommy to bed each evening. But, Em wasn't smiling this evening, and Mikes grin didn't even influence her. She had been wanting this break away together for a long time, as well as her husband. Efforts, she'd thought now utterly futile. Mike watched her load the dish-washer, her jeans, he noticed, how snugly they still fitted her shapely figure after ten married years. He carried the rest of the crockery over to the sink, and then put his arm around her.
'Come and sit down, love' he whispered quietly in her ear.
'Got to get this done, just leave me be for now,' she replied.
' Got to go to work shortly. Come on. Dont want to go off with us having had a row.' Em could smell warm whisky breath on him, and this enticed her to pour a small one in to a plain tumbler, the last clean drinking vessel left in the place. She sat at the the rickety, but clean table, and Mike joined her.
' We can go, you know.' he said.
'Mike, please dont start again. I thought we were going to have a little chat, not another bout of this.' she replied, burying her hands in her face.'We cant go' she concluded, her speech sounding muffled through her hidden appearance, and long hair that had fallen in to it.
'Yes we can' he anwsered.
She removed, her hands exposing tearful eyes and an expression of amazement.
' Why dont you just go to work, love,' she said finally, knowing now she was already upset enough with all this to become further enraged at her apparently sensless husband.. ' And whats that?' she asked noticing the white envelope he'd removed from his pocket,and placed on the table.
'Oh yes we can,' said Mike, ignoring her question, instead developing a barely noticeable grin.
'What you been up to Mister?' she asked, aware of his sudden change in temperament. She drank from the tumbler, then folded her arms.
' I visited Uncle Eustace this afternoon, between shifts, Love.' he said, and lit up a cigarette.
' How is he doing?' she asked curiously, moreso for Mike's change in mood.
'He is okay,' he anwsered. 'A nurse visits him every other day now to check over him, and make sure he is taking the medication. He was up and about which was good to see. He gave me this.' Mike picked up the envelope.
'Whats in their?' she asked, taking another sip.
' Uncle Eustace took me to one side' Mike said, ignoring Ems question. 'He took me to one side and handed this envelope to me' Mike slid it across the table to Em. 'He said we both needed a holiday, and thanked us for all the help we'd given him recently. He said I looked tired. Cheeky sod, I thought, and asked him if he'd looked in the mirror recently. That made him laugh, it really did, Em. It made me laugh too. Just to see him, his old self back, or some part of it, at least. But hey, I was even happier to find out what was in the envelope.'
As Mike spoke, Em was opening it.
' Oh yes we can, Em. Yes we can.' he said, a larger smirk widening on his face now.
'There's over £500 here, Mike'she said,oblivious to his ranting.
' I know' he said. 'Uncle Eustace said if it wasn't enough to let him know, but....
' Hey you,' Em shouted, interupting. ' Why then have we been arguing just then, when you knew about this already?'
' We have more than enough to pay Toddler Carers for Tommy, so I may give some back to uncle.'he said, ignoring her again but, however, smiling in full awareness of her reaction. He stubbed his cigarette out, this time in a clean marble ash-tray.
' You bastard' she said.
'Holiday is paid for too, Love.'
'When?' she asked. 'When was it paid for?'
'This afternoon, just after I came from Uncles.' he said.
' I cant believe this. Why didnt you tell me' she shouted, getting up from the table while reaching for a hand towel.
' No time, Em. It was all a rush. Had to chat with Lorna at Toddler Carers to arrange to drop Tommy off on Saturday.
'And all that palaver earlier. You knew...
Shhhh' he said,interupting. He got up to meet her and placed a finger horizontally against her lips, smiling.
'Dont shush me Mister' she said backing away, and then suddenely she swiped his backside with the towel. Mike moved away putting his arms up to prevent the blows she tried to apply to him.
' We're leaving Sunday Morning, love' he said trying to get away from her swipes.
'Really? she asked,somewhat out of breath
'Really, Em. Two PM British Airways, non-stop to Bermuda.'
Silence pervaded. Between them both.
' And now, is this the part I'm supposed to say I love you?' she asked, breaking the peace,and putting the tea towel down.
'If you want' he replied, moving towards her. But his sarcasm went unnoticed, and Em shed tears of a different kind,a joy emerging on her face,one that Mike hadn't seen for a very long time.
'Yes we can, my love.'
'Yes we can' she whispered, smiling. ' And yes, you can?
'Yes I can what? Mike asked puzzled.
'Take the night off work' she returned, a smile broadening.
'No, Em, I cant do that.'
'Oh yes you can,' she replied, lifting the tea towel again.'You are going to help me pack, young man. Em started applying blows to his backside once more. Then, she lifted a finger to his lips,horizontally.
' Pack, and more,' she whispered.
Then she giggled, and they kissed in the way only loved ones can.
Marker 1
Marker 2
Marker 3