Marie pulled the final bag out of the boot, slammed it shut and looked over at the in-laws amassing by the cottage door. She had been looking forward to the trip. With others around it was a chance for her and Joe to have some much-needed space. They might even get time for a country walk, something they did all the time before kids.
But seeing them all now, bickering about who had the key, her optimism drained.
She had already dragged Ellie out of the road because Auntie Joan had forgotten that she was supposed to be watching her. In her heart she knew there would be no respite, no lie-ins and certainly no country walk.
They had arrived later than planned, so after the rush for bedrooms had taken place, Marie set about getting the children ready for bed. She was pinning Miles’ legs down for a nappy when Joe’s aging Grandfather stumbled in.
“Oh, sorry dear. I thought this was my room. You haven’t seen my toothbrush have you?”
“No, sorry George. Have you tried in the bathroom?”
He wandered out, banging the door on his way and headed straight into another of the bedrooms.
A while later, after Marie had calmed Ellie down because she had left Night Night Bear at home, she decided that she might as well get ready. She grabbed a towel and went into the bathroom.
After showering and taking off her makeup she searched for her toothbrush. Rather than in the glass where she had put it, it was lying suspiciously on the shelf.
She felt the bristles. They were wet and sticky with toothpaste. She reached under the sink and dropped the brush straight into the bin.
It was going to be a long weekend.