Community Spirit – Episode 42

JEANNIE’S face fell, which prompted Cally to go on.

“But he’s always asking if I’ve seen you and how you are and other things. So if he’d known I was coming over, he definitely would have said hi . . .”

Jeannie tried to look stern but inside she was singing.

“Cally!” In a timely reminder of just why she and Nate weren’t together, Tasha bellowed down the stairs at her friend.

“Will you stay for dinner, Cally?” Jeannie asked. “It’s only omelette, but there are plenty of eggs, and I have some ham and mushrooms.”

“No, she doesn’t want to stay for dinner.” Tasha appeared in the doorway. “I only eat here because I have to. We came here to get my charger and then we’re going back to the pub. Come on, Cally.”

Tasha stomped back upstairs and Cally gave Jeannie a look of apology before following.

Should I have taken Tasha to task in front of her friend, Jeannie wondered.

It wasn’t something she’d ever had to do, but Tasha’s behaviour was beyond the limits of what Jeannie considered acceptable.

It soon became apparent there would be no need to berate Tasha as Cally was doing it for her.

Through the ceiling above her head, Jeannie could hear Cally telling Tasha she shouldn’t have spoken to her mother like that and how out of order she was. Tasha’s voice was low, but Jeannie could tell she was trying to defend herself.

Cally wasn’t having it.

“I wouldn’t speak to my father like that,” Cally said.

“But what about your mother?” Tasha’s voice rose, even though what she said was a low blow.

There was silence from Cally, then Tasha’s bedroom door was wrenched open.

“I think you’ve hit the nail on the head!” Cally cried from the top of the stairs. “It’s not your mother you should be taking out your frustration on. It’s your dad!”

With that, she came down the stairs, pausing briefly to say goodbye to Jeannie before disappearing out of the door.

Reeling from what had just happened, Jeannie was even more shocked when Tasha appeared in the doorway, looking sheepish and contrite.

“Sorry, Mum,” she said, uncertain of her reception.

Jeannie gave her a smile.

“That’s all right, love.”

Tasha ran across the room and flung herself on to her mother’s lap, sobbing.

I’m either the devil or her saviour at the moment, Jeannie thought as she did her best to comfort her.

Alison Cook