It’s a coincidence. The pressure cooker whistle sounds at the same time as five year old Ryan’s yell.
“But mommy, we have to go!”
His mother shakes her head as she walks down the staircase. He slides down the banister and steps in front of her.
“But mommy, Henwy’s sick!”
His mother picks him up and puts him on the sofa before walking to the kitchen. She turns off the heat and takes the lid off the pressure cooker, wrinkling her nose when the warm steam hits her.
“I said no. I’m very busy today. We’ll go tomorrow.”
“But tomowwow will be too late! Henwy won’t be sick anymore!”
His mother laughs and ruffles his hair before planting a kiss on the tip of his nose. She pours the contents of the pressure cooker into a big bowl and sets it on the table.
“Henry broke his arm, Ryan. He’ll be in the hospital for a long time. We’ll visit him every day tomorrow onwards. Just not today.”
Ryan pouts and stamps his foot on the floor. His mother frowns at him and instructs him to take his seat at the dining table. He’s angry with her but he listens to her anyway, for he has never dared to argue with her. They eat their lunch while watching Curious George, his mother asking occasional questions, forcing him to remove his eyes from the screen to reply to her.
“Are you excited for your first day of kindergarten next week?”
“I’m excited to go to the hostipal to visit Henwy today.”
“I want to go to the hostipal today!”
His mother sighs and stops asking questions as they finish their lunch in silence, listening to the monkey sounds on the television. After they are done, his mother sits on the sofa with her laptop while he sits on a high stool, swinging his legs, playing with his Lego blocks. He swings his legs with force and the stool wobbles.
“Ryan, stop moving your feet.”
He swings his legs even harder and the stool keeps wobbling faster and faster until he falls down with a crash. His mother flings her laptop to the side and rushes over to him, a worried look on her face. She gently picks him up, examining every part of his body to make sure he’s all right. She rubs his back to make him stop crying and kisses his forehead.
“Are you okay, honey?”
Through his tears, Ryan mutters an incomprehensible response and gets carried to the sofa where he lies down, his head in his mother’s lap, as she calls his father who’s out of town. Once the call is over and he has stopped crying, he asks his mother a question.
“Did I bweak my arm?”
“I don’t know, sweetie. We’ll have to go to a doctor and find out.”
His mother looks at him with concern as his mouth turns into a grin.
“Now I can go to the hospital to meet Henwy!”