"Would you sit a peace. Your father will be here in a minute" said the cross, and getting crosser by the moment, woman to her fidgety daughter. I think she meant it more in hope rather than expectation. It was half six and daddy dearest still hadn't arrived. The other daughter appeared to know, what I assumed, that daddy wouldn't be here soon.
They had been booked for 6pm and were in for something to eat before heading to a school carol service. The little girls were dressed in matching outfits, the sort you save for a special occasion, and the mother had clearly gone to some effort too as she looked resplendent in her best frock. They were on a tight schedule as it was and the daddy's no show wasn't helping the mother relax. She took her frustration out on her youngest who was hungry. I knew she was hungry because she kept saying it.
"I'm hungry, when we getting food. I'm hungry", she said about two thousand times.
I had refilled their drinks three times but still bad dad didn't arrive. The fucking laggard. I was trying to leave them alone as I didn't want them to feel under any more pressure but time was moving on, as it tends to do, and if they wanted to sing happy and joyous songs to celebrate jebus' birthday then they really did need to make a decision.
I approached the table with some bread and tapenade just as mother finally, and understandably, lost it. Through gritted teeth and with an angry voice bordering on shouting she exclaimed, "You'll get your dinner when your father gets here. Now sit at bloody peace."
"He's always bloody late", replied the fidgety and hungry seven year old.
"Don't you use that language with me young lady", warned the mother.
"BUT YOU SAID IT FIRST."
"Here's some bread!", I announced as if that was going to solve the case of the missing daddy. They stared at me as if I was the one that was mental but the older daughter said thanks and blobbed some tapenade on a little bit of bread for her little sister. It was sweet. The exasperated woman tried to phone him again but still he didn't answer.
"Do you want to try my phone? Just in case there is something wrong with yours?" She knew what I meant and her eyes light up as I handed it over. Seeing a different number on his mobile phone display the cunty fucker answered within three rings.
Daddy arrived five minutes later wreaking of booze and full of kisses for his little girls. They eventually ordered and I got the kitchen to rush it through. But daddy, the utter shite, insisted on ordering ice cream for his princesses, as he kept calling them. This was going to make them late and caused mother to rush to the bathroom clearly upset.
I was seething but the mother had gone past seething and on to a much darker and angrier place. By the time they left they were about twenty minutes late for the start of the carol service. The kids were giddy as they were full of ice cream and fizzy pop. Dad was giddy as he was full of whiskey and beer. Mummy wasn't so giddy as she was full of anger.
I hope the manipulative bastard gets rabies, I hope he gets rabies and fucking chokes to death on his own spit. And we have rabies in Belfast now apparently, so fingers crossed.