Keep It In The Family – Episode 17

Rosie had no idea of the storm clouds gathering as she cleared away the dishes from the family supper and settled with Alan and the kids to watch an hour of TV. The living-room needed tidying, but that could wait. It had been a long, tetchy day, with her and Adam walking on eggshells around each other.She knew he was becoming frustrated at her lack of enthusiasm for his ideas on expanding the business, but when she thought he was wrong, what else was she supposed to do but point out the pitfalls she could foresee?“Have you finished your homework, Ryan?” she checked as she pushed Alan’s legs aside and curled up beside him on the sofa.“He hasn’t even started it,” Jodie put in, and Ryan scowled at her.“Tell-tale!”Rosie looked down at Ryan, lounging on the floor with one of his computer games.“Didn’t you do it before supper?” she asked. “What were you doing in your room for three hours then? I thought you were working.”“He was on the internet, chatting to his friends,” Jodie chipped in again, and earned another scowl.“Is this true?” Rosie nudged Alan, sitting beside her. “Alan, are you listening?”Alan folded up the newspaper where he’d been checking the TV listings and eyed his son.“Ryan, you know the rules. We don’t mind you chatting online, but you have to do your homework first.” He pointed the remote at the TV and switched it off. “Sorry, son, but no TV until your homework’s done.”“Aw, but Dad! It’s David Attenborough!”Alan shook his head.“Ryan, you’re the one who wants to be a vet and you know the grades you need for that. Do you think you’re going to get them by messing about on your computer all night? It’s your choice.”Reluctantly Ryan got to his feet, and with one last glare at Jodie, headed up to his room.“And don’t you dare switch on that computer!” Rosie called after him.Once the door had closed behind him she turned to Jodie.“What about you, miss? Homework done?”Jodie laughed.“Mum, you know me of course it’s done. They don’t call me the class swot for nothing.”“They don’t, do they?” Rosie asked.“No, though I do get a lot of stick from some of the girls for taking all the techy subjects. But it’s nothing.”Alan and Rosie exchanged a look.“Serious stick? You’re not being bullied, are you, love?” Rosie asked, and Jodie pulled a bit of a face.“Not bullied. Just some name calling. Like I said, it’s nothing I can’t handle. Don’t worry about it.” She stood up and yawned. “I’ll go check on Ryan see if he needs any help with his maths. Remember to record that nature programme for him. Night.” With a quick kiss for each of them, she followed Ryan.Rosie looked at Alan in concern as he pointed the remote again.“You don’t think that’s anything we should check up on, do you?”“What Jodie? Nah.” Alan considered. “She’s got a sensible head on her shoulders. She’ll tell us if it turns into anything.“But talking of things turning into anything, I heard an interesting little something today. Apparently someone’s been bad-mouthing Willson’s on the haulage grapevine. I don’t have many details yet, but someone seems to know about the mistakes Adam’s made remember the double booking? And when he messed up the fuel order last week?“And didn’t you say you’d had a couple of cancellations lately? Well, now we know why. Someone’s using Adam’s mistakes to say that Willson’s aren’t up to it without your dad. Radley’s are stirring it to try to destroy the business. And at the moment it looks like it’s working!”


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