Nine One One

Jason, so help me God, if you don’t move it, I’m going to ban all Saturday morning cartoons from this house and take away your damn Nintendo games and if that doesn’t get you moving then –

Ah, there he is.

Of course he’s asking me to tie his shoelaces when I had put out his Velcro strap ones this morning. Of all days to be an awkward and difficult little ‘angel’ . . . urgh. Right done. Perhaps I could actually make it on time for a –

OH, FOR CHRIST’S SAKE!!

Ok, maybe I shouldn’t have yelled at him. No, no baby, don’t cry. I blame my mother for this.

“Show them whose boss when they’re still in diapers and they’ll never forget. He’ll grow up to be just like his father otherwise!”

She was a nurse in Vietnam. And not the Florence Nightingale type. Contrary to her personal files, she’s insane.

Oh good he’s calmed down a bit. That’s right sweetheart, on with the jacket that cost your damned father a fortune and yet never bothers to see you in it. Bastard.

But I’ll never say that in front of you baby, never. You don’t need your mother foul-mouthing your dad and growing up with a huge prejudice chip on your shoulder, turning into one of those demented rock musicians that never shut up about their goddamn daddy issues.

Crap, it’s already 8:30 AM. Ok time to haul ass – Oh no, what now?!

*   *   *

 

Why my son insists on taking his stupid Spiderman action figure to Kindergarten when his backpack is already fit to burst with half the Justice League crammed inside it along with other die-hard essentials like his juice-box and his Oreo fix, I don’t know. I swear Jason is an addict for those things. How many times we’ve had that argument about the amount of toys he intends to take every morning and the sheer impossibility of him smuggling them out of the house . . .

“Jason, honey, Spiderman can’t come unless you leave the Green Lamp or maybe even Batman-”

“He’s the Green Lantern!!”

“Jason I don’t care if he’s the Green frikin’ Holy Beacon of Hope, they can’t all go with you!”

“But he NEEDS to!!”

“Well his ‘needs’ are not taking priority over mine. Not today.”

Now he’s muttering what I can only guess as preschool profanity and it’s so damn cute that I could quite possibly cave in but –

That blonde hair falling into his eyes just like his father’s does, he’s staring at his oddly tied laces, yeah, ok so my lace-tying skills aren’t great, so sue me. His tiny fist clutching for dear life onto a miniature red, over-muscular, plastic arm.

God give me strength.

With a sigh I relent and we’re off,  he’s still gripping Spidey as if it was about to go AWOL on him.

At least he’s wearing his seatbelt today. . . .

*    *    *

 

I wonder why he’s looking out the window, Spidey’s not even in the picture anymore. At the red light I’m turning round to check he hasn’t slipped off his seatbelt.

Nope, still got it on. Still staring out the window. And there’s poor Spidey, lying facedown – discarded like a wounded soldier on the battlefield of our Honda 4-wheel drive. Kids.

“Look mommy, an aeroplane.”

“Jason, mommy’s driving. She’ll see it later.”

Anderson’s gonna pin my butt to the wall. Why did we have to move so far away from the World Trade Centre? Why? Not another red light – come on. That’s it. I’m screwed. It’s 8:45 AM and I’m late again. Dammit, I’m just going to have to take Jason in with me for an hour or so. We’re just in front of the towers now. Maybe if I just ran up the stairs. Ha! Run? Pfft. Yeah ok, and how am I gonna drag Jason up there with his legion of Marvel superheroes on his back? The meeting had to be today, of all days. God hates me, it’s official, God absolutely despises –

“MOMMY!!”

JesusChristohGodohGodohGOD

S**t, s**t, we need to get out of here – Jason! Oh my baby. My baby’s screaming, why is he screaming? No, no it’s ok, stop crying sweetheart, everything’ll be ok, everything will be fine. No, don’t take off your seatbelt, baby wait don’t go on the floor, please stay where I can see you – 

“No! JASON!!”

Damn belt, GET IT OFF ME! Why won’t this unbuckle? Why – ?

Is that gasoline? Oh God, no please wait, let me get Jason out, We need to get out of here. I can’t see out the front window, what is that on the hood? Surely it’s not –

There’s something trickling down my forehead, down past my eye and along side my nose. It tastes coppery, metallic. I must have got some if it in my eye. I can’t see too well, what’s with all the dark shapes? Why can’t I hear properly? Where’s Jason?

The sunroof has smashed, that means there’s glass on the floor, if Jason cuts himself on the glass . . .

Glass . . . Jason . . . please don’t go baby, don’t leave mommy. I need to know you’re . . . safe. I – I can’t breathe. It smells strange and I can’t – can’t move, I can’t – Jason please get back in  . . . back in the seat. Don’t go on the floor . . . Jason . . . baby . . . my baby . . . what have I told you  . . . about . . . about Spiderman? . . .Leave him . . . .don’t leave me. . . No, don’t open the door, you . . . please don’t go out on the . . .on the street, honey, you . . . might . . . you might . . . get  . . . hit.

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