The Mother is estranged from her sister. Her husband and her do not see eye to eye.
The Husband says the Aunt is a bully. The Aunt says the Husband is a drunk.
The Mother longs for a ceasefire. Her only focus now is her two young sons.
The younger son misses his Aunt because she praises his mediocre school reports.
The older son has reservations about all of his family. He is only eleven and knows he must be resilience.
The doorbell rings. The girlfriend Mother hears a girlfriend say: Hello It’s Only Me.
The Mother is uneasy. No appointment has been made.
The two sons are fighting in the sitting room.
The Mother wonders what her husband will say and if she has enough milk for coffee. The last time met this girlfriend he was unpleasant. I refuse to compromise with stupid people he said.
I’ve got another surprise for you. I’ve brought my family says the girlfriend.
The girlfriend beckons in her husband and their teenage son. The Mother hugs them with a few tears. You’ve grown so tall she says to the boy. Tall as the jolly green giant thinks the younger son.
One final surprise says the girlfriend pointing at the open front door.
The estranged Aunt walks in with her daughter and husband. The Mother is flummoxed. Sorry. I’m a Trojan Horse says the girlfriend. Everyone has an unconfident face.
This is quite a lot to take in says the Mother humbly as if she’s won a big prize. I wish you’d let me know in advance.
It wouldn’t have happened if we had says the Aunt.
The older son senses unease. The younger son senses opportunity. He hugs his Aunt and asks the tall teenager if he can climb onto his shoulders because he’s never been that far off the floor.
The teenager laughs and helps him climb up his back. The Aunt asks the older son: How Have You Been. The older son feels hunted and retreats into the sitting room.
Everyone hears his voice. Eyes glance and faces freeze.
What the FUCK do you think you are doing says the Father.
I’m touching the ceiling says the younger son from the shoulders of the tall teenager.
There is a mêlée of adults and hurtful words. The adults are immobile, fixed like bad actors to a spot and hurl words at each other in loud, trembling voices.
Soon only the Father and Aunt shout. The others pour balm and hand out olive branches. The Mother says: It’s just lunch. An attempt at reunion.
The Father leaves to smash kitchen plates. The Mother picks up her coat. The younger son is downstairs ready to go, already.
The older son has tied himself to a table to symbolise his rejection of a reunion and loyalty to his Father. He will always remember this morning as a farce, including his own theatricality.