Day 109 – The Sausage Rolls Are Burnt

Word count:1066

 

 

The kitchen resembled the local tip. Pots and pans were stacked high by the sink with a carefully balanced arrangement of oven trays and bowls still sticky with oil. An odd aroma was emanating from the oven and the crime against nasal senses was slowly started to invade into the adjacent living room.

Lizzie was darting around in the kitchen in the manner of a child. She was not used to being in a kitchen for anything other than adding boiling water to teas and coffees; defrosting pies and chips in the oven and plying herself with toast on a Sunday afternoon. Even piling the dishes seemed an alien task to her.

Today, however, was different. Adorning her newly bought apron, she was commanding the kitchen as if it were her own ship, despite how much it currently looked like a capsized yacht off the Cape of Good Horn. Watching from the doorway with utter bemusement was Lizzie’s mother, who was admiring her daughter’s confused state for several minutes before announcing her presence.

“Lizze, I don’t know why you’re doing all this,” she said in her Northern accent.

Lizzie jumped and an avalanche of cutlery plummeted into the sink, splashing water everywhere.

“Mum! Just leave me be – I’ll get this all done.”

“There’s smoke rising from the oven, you know. We can all smell it.”

Lizzie’s expression turned to panic – she had clearly forgotten all about the sizzling contents of the oven.

“Oh no, oh no!” she said, flinging open the oven door and wafting the thick smoke out of the way, “Do you reckon these sausage rolls are salvageable?”

Lizzie’s mum peered at the charred baking tray from afar and was not sure if she had the heart to break the news to her daughter. Lizzie had already presented several trays worth of spring rolls, biscuits and cocktail sticks of cheese and olives. There was even powdered soup for poured out of its sachet into a bowl and mugs on standby for anyone that wanted a hot drink. All the food was presented on the dining room table and scattered around on anything that could support the weight of the platter of little freshly defrosted sandwiches.

“Lizzie, dear, the Robinsons have just parked in the drive and I’m pretty sure I see the French’s car across the street to. The rest of the guests won’t be far behind and I still don’t know what all this is about!”

“You’ll find out in time – uhm, oh I can’t read that clock, I’m sorry…”

“It’s digital, dear, you can…”

“Eighteen? What’s eighteen again?”

Lizzie’s mum shook her head. She had always thought that she had dropped Lizzie as a baby for she was never the brightest of the lightbulbs in her family. In fact, Lizzie’s mum had often described her daughter to her close friends as being incapable of turning on a light switch without instructions and a diagram, so quite how she was managing to cook all this food and coordinate a party, Lizzie’s mum had no idea.

The first of the doorbells began to ring.

“Eek!” Lizzie shrieked, throwing the burnt sausage rolls into a bowl and diving upstairs to get changed leaving her mum to answer the door and occupy the guests.

When everyone had arrived, Lizzie started to mingle, giggling erratically midway through conversations. No one had any idea why they were there or what Lizzie had on her mind. She never hosted parties and was certainly not one for social grace and small talk. Lizzie’s mum was in a state of continually shrugging her shoulders whenever she met eye contact with anyone.

All this went on for at least half an hour. All but the sausage rolls has largely been devoured and the teas and coffees were being handed out like rations. Lizzie then grabbed herself a cup and teaspoon and chimed one on the other to bring the quietly rustling room to a hesitant silence.

“Uhm, please, may.. I – oo whoops,” she dropped the teaspoon, “Thank you all for coming… I know it’s not the sort of thing that I – er – well do – but uhm. I hope you like it.”

There were a few yawns from her congregation.

“Now I know that none of you know why you are here – not even my dearest mummy over there – hi – but I think that the time has come to tell you what I’ve been dying to tell you all for weeks.”

Lizzie paused, inhaling all the tiny gasps of anticipation. Meanwhile at the back her mum looked slightly terrified.

“This is my engagement party!”

“Engagement party?!” Her mum yelled from the back of the room as if the words had been on the tip of her tongue for years.

“Yes mummy, isn’t it fabulous?”

“Who too?”

The rest of the room was silently witnessing this maternal exchange.

“Now don’t worry, he’s a lovely man – and well, well you’re just going to have to live with it because we are getting married!”

“But you don’t know any men! You’re thirty-two and you still live with your mother – I think I’d know!”

Lizzie brushed the insult aside, slinking passed some of the guests to get to the door.

“This man…” she said, pulling open the door as if it were the lid to a Jack in the Box.

This time the room gasped for the most handsome man appeared in a smart suit and Ray Ban glasses dangling at his side. He was oozing with success and charm.

“Mum, meet Max. Max Vermillion.”

“Hi!” he waved, mechanically.

“You’re American,” Lizzie’s mum said simply.

“Yes I am, Texas in fact.”

“Oh dear.”

“Max, this is my mum and my aunties and my uncles and my cousins and my mum’s friends…”

“How much.. no wait…no wait how much is she paying you?”

“Paying me?”

“Is it a Visa thing?

“What?”

“Max is a successful business man. He’s a millionaire.”

“And you’re with her?”

“Yes.”

“Do you come with any other phrases?” Lizzie’s mum mocked.

“What?”

“You do know she can’t cook?”

“Yes.”

“Or clean.”

“Yes.”

“Or communicate on any other level other than basic greetings and pleasantries?”

“Yes.”

“And you want to marry her?”

“Yes.”

“Oh my lord this is going to be a tough evening.”

“Don’t take the lord’s name in vain.”

“Oh Jesus.”

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~ by S.G. Mark on January 24, 2012.

One Response to “Day 109 – The Sausage Rolls Are Burnt”

  1. Hope they were vegetarian sausage rolls!

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