Jun 21, 2012 - Thursday Story    No Comments

Rules of Engagement Part 3

A friend in need

Meanwhile, Kate was standing in front of Maribo Cafe, watching hopelessly as a 60 year old man was being carried to the ambulance parked in front of the Cafe.

Two hours before, as Kate was getting out of her building and heading for the tea place where she was supposed to meet Mike, her phone rang. “Missing me already”, she thought to herself, expecting to see it was Mike calling. Instead, it was her best friend, Tanya, desperately screaming at the other end of the line:

–          Kate, Kate, I’m so glad you answered. Did I wake you? If I did I’m really sorry, but I really, really need your help. See, the thing is my babysitter just called saying she has some kind of family emergency and she has to go home. So, could you please go and stay with Anna until I finish my shift at the Cafe?

–          Tanya, you know I would help you no matter what, but it’s really not a good time. And you know I’m no good at babysitting. Remember last time you left me with Anna?

Four months ago, Kate offered to stay with Tanya’s daughter, so that Tanya could go to her job interview. But what was going to happen was hard to imagine even after it happened. Kate wasn’t necessarily a clumsy person, but she wasn’t very organized, either. So, when Anna started screaming of hunger, Kate left everything, and went to the kitchen to make her lunch. Leaving 2 year old Anna surrounded by an entire collection of coins Kate used to attract her attention in the meantime. Because they were so shiny, Anna was almost captivated by them. Especially since it was the first time she was allowed to play with her mother’s coin collection. And no wonder it was the first time, since coins and little children are one of the worse combinations ever, as Kate was about to find out.

As she was sitting in the kitchen, with tons of pots on the oven, kitchen gloves and rags in her hands, looking at the open fridge and not being able to find what she was looking for, Kate realized she couldn’t hear Anna anymore. At first, she thought: “Oh, good, she’s finally calmed down. I guess leaving babies scream without paying them any attention really works. Look at me being a model mother”. But as the silence was deepening, and Kate couldn’t even hear a giggle coming from the other room, she left everything scattered all over the kitchen, and went to see what’s up with Anna.

Soon enough, the smile on Kate’s face disappeared as she started to panic. Anna was sitting on the floor, enjoying her meal. Her coin based meal. Kate didn’t know how many coins Anna got to eat, but even if it was just one, it was still a good reason to panic. She nervously started to collect the coins on the ground, while rebuking Anna. When she took the last coin of the child’s hand, all hell broke loose, as Anna started to scream louder than an Opera singer.

In all that mess, Sarah finally realised she had to take Anna to see a doctor, so she picked up the phone to call Tanya and ask her for the pediatritian’s number. Tanya was unreachable, but fortunately, as she was trying the speed dial, Kate came across the doctor’s number. Panicked, she was explaining the nurse the entire situation, when she felt a smell of smoke coming from the kitchen. She dropped the phone on the floor, hurried to the kitchen and got hit by disaster. The rags in the kitchen caught fire because she left them too close to the oven. As she was trying to take them away from the oven with her bare hands, Kate hit one of the pots, and the boiling water spilled all over the floor.

Just as Kate was struggling to fix the mess, Tanya showed up. The house was filled with smoke, water was coming from the kitchen, her child was screaming on the floor, and when she picked up the phone, Tanya could hear the nurse asking her: “And just how many coins did you say your child swallowed?” Imagine coming home to that! Fortunately, after going to the doctor, Tanya was relieved to find out Anna didn’t get to swallow any coins. And by the time they were back from the hospital, Kate had already cleaned all the mess. Guess all’s well when it ends well.

–          It’s all coming back to me now, said Tanya with a sigh. Then, could you at least come to the Cafe and take my shift for the night? Please, Kate, I really don’t have anyone else to ask. Please, I beg you.

–          Ok, I’ll be right there.

–          Thanks. You’re a life saver. And I guess here there’s not much of a drama you can cause, said Tanya laughing.

But little did she know…

(To Be Continued)

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