Seni stopped sipping her milkshake and stared hard at her mum. “Did you hear that, Mum?”
Mum shook her head and smiled at her over the newspaper. “Hear what my love?”
“A noise. A sort of…well, I don’t really know. A kind of ‘ouch’ noise.”
Seni looked over her shoulder and glanced around the café. It was more or less empty, except for a customer, a waitress and a cook. The three of them were busy arguing over a bill. Not an ouch in sight.
Mum lowered her newspaper and peered over her glasses, smiling. “Not really sweetie, just the rain outside. I was a bit lost in the news. Have you hurt yourself?” She leaned forward and stroked her daughter’s face gently, a frown creeping down. “Is that tooth hurting again?”
Seni shook her head and sipped her drink, staring at the table. The surface would have reflected her face, had it been cleaned more regularly. As it was, all she could see was someone else’s lunch and the faded pink remains of yesterday’s burger.
“M’okay. It’s not hurting any more. I’m fine.” She smiled and picked up a crayon from the ketchup tray, twisting it around her fingers absent-mindedly.
“Honest Mum, I’m ok.”
Mum nodded and went back to her paper, smiling as she put her glasses back on. “Well, if you’re sure.”
Seni smiled and bounced herself around on the seat to look at the rest of the cafe. It was a ‘sort of’, type of place; the walls were a sort of gray, sort of green colour and were a bit faded and tatty in places, but it was warm and ‘sort of’ cosy on a rainy day like this.
She sipped her drink and coughed, a tiny pink bit dribbling onto the seat. Both the cook and waitress stopped talking and stared at her. The customer took this opportunity to leave quickly, taking his money with him.
Uncomfortably, Seni reached for a napkin left on the table and started to mop up her spill…