'Why do you have to do that!'

'At least I don't stick my wet teabag in the ashtray, Kate.'

'But smoking's okay. Coffee and a cigarette for breakfast?'

'Will you two shut the fuck up. Please.'

'Oh, God. His highness is up early today so we'd all better be nice.'

'This is Jess' cousin.' She turns back to you. 'Coffee? Tea?'

'Coffee. Thanks.'

She crosses the room and puts on the kettle. Gestures around the table: 'Ned, Kate, Sam, Dave. And I'm Polly.'

You smile at everyone, stand in the doorway.

Ned nods at the chair next to him, 'Sit. Welcome to our happy home.'

'We're not usually all up together like this. Kind of a special day... you're so lucky!' Sam snarls.

'It's we hate Jeff day.' Kate raises her fist and smiles. 'Come to join the fun?'

Polly leans back on the stove, watching you, 'It's a rally to explore just how much we all hate our esteemed leader. If you're not doing anything else, you should come.'

'Should be a hoot.'

Polly snorts, 'It's not meant to be a hoot, Kate. It's a serious political demonstration. To make the bastard know we're serious. It'll be great.'

'Well it must be something to make Ned get out of bed while it's still daylight,' Dave, the guy who was at the door, laughs at his own joke and Sam leans over to cuddle him, giggling.

'With you in the house, it's no wonder I stay in bed,' Ned picks up his mug and leaves the room.

Polly and Kate exchange a look.

'God, he's so rude!' Sam grabs Dave by the hand and drags him out of his chair, 'Come on, let's get out of here.'

'Are we going to the rally thing?'

'No, silly. Just come with me.'

'Why?'

'Dave, I think she's dragging you back to bed.' Kate interrupts.

The kettle whistles and Polly pours water into a cup and gives it to you, 'Sugar. Milk.' she gestures.

'Oh.' Dave follows Sam out of the room, blushing.

'I can't stand living with the slob and her idiot boy anymore,' Polly stands staring at the mess left on the table.

'You and me both,' Kate stares out the window. 'So. Are we having fun yet,' she suddenly turns around and looks at you.

You look around the room.

'We call it home,' Polly sits down and sighs. 'Something's gotta give though. Maybe Jess had a point in doing a runner!' She shakes her head, 'I can't believe I said that.'

'Me either,' Kate gives her a filthy look and goes over to rinse her mug at the sink. 'Maybe see you there later then.'

'Yeh,' Polly watches her leave the room, 'So... here we are. Want to come to the rally. Or you can stay here with the others and we'll catch up later and talk about Jess.

I mean I assume you want to talk about Jess, now you're here and everything. But right now, I've gotta get ready.'

You go to the rally with Polly and Ned.

You stay at the house.


Philippa J Burne 1996

e-mail pburne@peg.apc.org