Episode Seven « The Caliente Affairs
Act 4: Beau’s Birthday
“Someone wanted to wish their brother a happy birthday!” Brandi said, as Calvin crawled into Dustin and Beau’s bedroom.
“Do I look any different yet?” Beau asked Dustin.
“Is my party going to be fancy dress?” Beau asked his brother about his birthday party which Dustin had organised with the help of some of his friends from work.
“Of course. I’m not about to miss my son’s birthday party.” Brandi yawned again.
“You’re so good at bargaining with mum.” Beau laughed.
Later on, with Calvin clean, Brandi kept up her part of the deal. “You two have a good time – and don’t bring out the cake until I’m there. And no heavy metal music or alcohol, okay? Dustin, are you listening?” Brandi stopped Dustin, as Beau hugged his mother and went to rush out of the house.
But it hadn’t been more than forty-five minutes until Calvin cried for some food. Brandi was sure if she just got through with this, he’d fall right back to sleep. But, as she opened the fridge-door, she realised why she was not throwing Beau’s party at home – there wasn’t any food left in the house. Everything at Beau’s party was bought cheap by Dustin’s shifty work friends. The party had been a welcome gift, as she knew she hadn’t got enough money to throw one herself, especially with Calvin growing up so quickly too.
Brandi closed the door and realised Calvin had stopped crying, having begun to play with his toys. Quietly, she crept over to the couch and lay down. But the moment her head touched the soft pillow, Calvin screamed out loud and began smashing his xylophone with the stick for attention.
Brandi’s head began pounding with the pain of a terrible headache, as Calvin continued to scream. She suddenly felt her insides boil, as the screaming got louder and louder. Brandi could take it no more. As if floating above her body, she watched down at herself, rushing over to Calvin and snatching the xylophone stick from his tiny hands. She saw Brandi had grabbed it with both hands and snapped it straight in half.
The pieces fell to the floor, and Brandi returned to her body. There was nothing but silence now, until Calvin began to sob at the sight of his broken toy. But instead of getting angry again, Brandi swooped up her youngest in her arms and cuddled him.
“I am so sorry.” Brandi cried, as she hugged Calvin. He began to smile, but it wasn’t enough to cheer her up. She was exhausted and ashamed. How could she give Nina advice on being a good mother when she herself wasn’t even a good one. “I promise I will never ever take out my anger on you again.” Brandi looked at her son, and he gently wiped the tears from her cheek with his finger. Brandi placed Calvin back down and his smile faded. Inside, Calvin felt different, it was as if everything the world had taught him had all of a sudden snapped into place. With all his might, he stood up and walked over to Brandi, who had sat back down on the couch. Brandi looked up, and realised what Calvin had just done… for her. Feeling more awake than ever, Brandi soon forgot about sleeping and spent the next hour playing with her son.