Chapter 14: Car Trouble


Karen was utterly ropeable. The fact that her car wouldn’t start and had to be left in the hospital car park only increased her anger.

“I knew this would happen sooner or later.”

“Which bit…the Grace getting pissed bit, the Grace ending up in hospital bit or the car not starting bit?” said Grant. He changed gears, deliberately keeping his eyes on the road, graunching down to second to give the old station wagon a boost up Battery Hill.

“The stealing drugs off her Dad bit,” Karen snapped.

“Woah….woah right there!” Grant suddenly swung the car over into a driveway, pulled the handbrake on and turned to face her.

“Are you saying Grace got the dope off me”

“Well, who else is she going to get it from? Particularly dope packaged in one of the plastic bags we use at the cafe for Chopin’s Cool Cookies. The cafe logo’s a bit of a give away, Grant.”

“Yeah, well she didn’t get it from me.”

Karen wasn’t really listening. She’d always hated Grant smoking dope and had never approved of him bringing it into the house.

“I told you that it sets a bad example for Grace and now look what’s happened. How do you expect to raise a drug-free child if you’re doing it yourself.”

Grant’s hands were clenched tightly around the steering wheel and a muscle was working away in his jaw.
He spoke slowly and deliberately.

“ We’ve been through this before, Karen. You may have a problem with it but I don’t . As far as I can see, having the occasional joint on a Friday or Saturday night, and it has always been only the occasional joint, is a hell of a lot better than going out and getting off my face on beer. Apart from the fact that it’s illegal, I don’t see much wrong with it.

I’ve never smoked in front of Grace so don’t give me that bad role model crap, either. You can accuse me of anything you like but don’t accuse me of being a bad father. Besides which, if you spent more time with me, you’d know that I haven’t smoked a joint in months.”

“What do you mean by that?” Karen snarled.

“You know exactly what I mean. When the hell do we ever spend any time together these days? If you’re not at the cafe, you’re thinking about the cafe or testing out new dishes for the cafe. And if it’s not the cafe, you’re chasing around after Grace…”

“Yeah, well someone’s got to,” Karen bit back. “When are you ever around to keep an eye on her? Don’t sit there being all holier than thou about me being at the cafe all the time. How much time are you spending at work these days?”

“It’s kind of necessary given that we can’t pay the mortgage on what the cafe brings in…”

“Oh don’t give me that,” Karen rolled her eyes. “You never used to work so many hours …”

“Times have changed and if you ever asked me what was happening at work, you’d know exactly why I’m having to work as hard as I am…”

“Oh, so it’s back to the whole “You don’t spend enough time with me” bit, is it?” she spat. ”Honestly, it’s a miracle you got me pregnant given how little time you feel we spend in each other’s company.”

The minute the words were out, Karen wished them back again. She hadn’t wanted to tell Grant like this.
“You’re pregnant.” It was a statement, not a question.

“Yes.” Karen slumped down in her seat. “Guess we must have found a spare 10 minutes for a quick shag sometime in the last couple of months. “

Grant was still clutching the steering wheel, his knuckles showing white.

“You’re not seriously considering having it, are you?” he said.

All characters in Remarkables Lane are fictitious and any resemblance to any person alive or dead is purely coincidental…. No seriously, you’re really not that interesting