Feigning self-sacrifice

Chapter ten continues πŸ™‚

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Dinner was almost over and Jared was helping Mum clear the table.

“Hurry up Luke,” Jared was impatient to get to Youth Club and wasn’t allowed to go until he’d done the washing up.

“You want me to get indigestion I suppose!” said Luke, not really surprised that his brother would be so blasé about the dangers of rushing one’s food. He’d learned about them from the Rennie advert. “You want me to get acid an’ a burnin’ heart from eatin’ too fast do you?”

Truth be told, Luke was just full up. He really wanted that last roast potato but knew he couldn’t swallow another mouthful. He pushed his plate away.

“Go on then – take it,” he said, feigning self-sacrifice.

Mum ignored them both and went upstairs to run a bath. Luke followed her.

“Do you want your lavender bubble bath Mum?” he asked helpfully, “the one I got you for your birthday?”

Mrs Walker smiled.

“Yes please, it’s on my dressing table.”

Luke brought it to her.

“D’you want me to get your KT Tunstall CD? The one I gave you for Mother’s Day?”

“Wasn’t that from both of you?”

“Yeah, but it was me what chose it. Jared wanted to get you a set of tea towels but I said that wasn’t a relaxin’ present. I told ‘im Mother’s Day is for mothers to relax so it had to be a relaxin’ present.”

Mum nodded slowly.

“Is there something you want Luke?” she asked.

“No, you just have a nice bath. I’ll get the CD for you,” he volunteered.

“Wait,” said Mum, quiet but firm. “What do you want?”

“Oh nothin’ really,”

“Luke.”

“Well it’s nothin’ much, jus’ thought I’d better mention that I’ve bin feelin’ hungrier at lunch times and I could really do with a bigger lunch.”

“Really?” She raised her eyebrows and tilted her head, “since when?”

“Well, jus’ this week really, but I think I’ll be hungrier from now on coz I’m growin’ fast.”

“Are you?”

“Yes.”

“So, just how much extra food do you think you’ll need?”

“Prob’ly about twice as much I should think,” he said nonchalantly.

“Twice as much?” she exclaimed with exaggerated surprise, “So that would be two sandwiches, two bags of crisps, four pieces of fruit and two cakes?”

Luke nodded.

Mum shook her head.

“I’m sorry Luke, we just don’t have enough money in the budget to give you two lunches every day. I’m sorry if that means you’ll stop growing but we should be thankful that you’ve had a good spurt recently.”

Luke had a sneaking suspicion she was being facetious.Β  He frowned.Β  As he turned to leave she called him back.

“Don’t forget my CD,” she reminded him, smiling, “and tell Jared not to give the potato you didn’t have room for to Dudley or he’ll get the runs.”

****

The following morning Joe called for Luke and they walked to school together.Β  When they reached the bins outside the Memorial Hall, Joe stopped and took out his sandwich.Β  Egg mayonnaise.Β  Before Luke could stop him he tossed the whole thing into the bin.

“So, what have we got for lunch today?” Joe smiled, enjoying the quiet rebellion.Β  Luke felt awkward.

“Well, erm, …”

Joe’s smile faded.

“Couldn’t you get it?” he asked, disappointed.

“Well, it’s not that I couldn’t get it,” Luke didn’t want to admit defeat, “it’s just that I was thinkin’ a lot about it and I decided that actchally it’s not a good idea.”

“Why not?” said Joe, feeling hungry already.

“Well, if your mum still gives you meat andΒ eggs and cheese and stuff, even though you don’t eat it, then it’s still bein’ bought for you, which means animals are still bein’ killed for you.”

“Oh. Yeah,” Joe agreed. He didn’t want that.

“So we’ve got to find a way to make your mum listen,” said Luke decisively.

Joe was not hopeful.

“She won’t listen.”

“She hasn’t listened yet,” Luke corrected him.Β  He liked a challenge. “We’ve just got to tell ‘er in a way she can’t ignore.”

Joe sighed.Β  He preferred to do thingsΒ quietly.Β  Secretly.

******

Chapter ten continues tomorrow πŸ™‚

For chapters 1 to 9 click here πŸ™‚

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vegan, vegetarian, vegan children’s story, vegan children’s book, books, children’s books, juvenile fiction

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