‘Go long!’ I shouted to my giggling eight-year-old, sending him running down the hallway towards the stairs. ‘Longer!’ I called, then let the football fly.
It flew over his head, smacking into the wall and bouncing in a totally new direction. It twisted its way around a corner, and I scrunched up my whole body waiting to hear the damage.
After a few moments, I breathed a sigh of relief.
Which is obviously when the sound of glass shattering ricocheted throughout the whole house.
‘Damn,’ I swore under my breath. My son sprinted towards me, hiding behind my legs as his mother flew out of her office.
‘What was that?!’ she asked, glaring at me.
‘I don’t know,’ I said. It technically wasn’t a lie – I didn’t know what was broken yet.
‘I heard glass,’ she said accusingly. I could only grimace.
‘Dammit, David,’ she sighed, trudging down the hallway. ‘Do you know how expensive glass replacement can be?’
‘It might have just been that ugly vase!’ I said, reluctantly following her.
‘My mother gave me that vase!’ she glared, rounding the corner. ‘Oh, great – it wasn’t the vase.’
I gulped and followed her – skidding to a stop before I stepped in the pile of shattered glass that used to be our balustrade.
‘Not the vase,’ I whispered sheepishly.
‘Michael, honey,’ my wife said sweetly, bending down to speak to our boy. ‘Go play in your room – your father and I need to have a grown up conversation about where to purchase new glass balustrades around Melbourne.’
I briefly considered pulling him in front of me as a human shield, but decided against it.
‘Don’t let that be the last thing he remembers about me,’ I whispered, closing my eyes and wincing.
‘Shut up!’ she snapped, storming away to get a dustpan and broom. ‘Help me clean this up.’
I breathed a sigh of relief and followed her.
‘Then I’m going to kill you.’