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Late night reading

funny short story: late night reading

At a quarter past eight in the evening, Claire tells her son Tom to sit at the table for dinner. Dad wasn’t home, so Claire had to do everything by herself. Five minutes later, she hears Tom screaming in the dining room “Come on! Do it faster! Faster! Faster”. She rushes to the room, only to find little Tom sitting and staring straight back at her.

“Why were you yelling like that?!” Claire said, upset by the meaningless rant.

“Because I’m hungry and I want to eat now,” replied Tom innocently, as if the shouts hadn’t just happened.

“You can’t scream like that, Tom! Didn’t I teach you to always be polite? You need to be patient and respect everyone, including your mother.”

Tom felt confused. He didn’t yet understood why shouting was a problem.

“But I was just saying what you say to dad at night.”

“What do you mean?” reacted Claire.

“Sometimes I hear you say that to dad, and I can’t sleep because of the noise,” replied Tom.

Tom saw no problem at all with those situations, which allowed him to speak freely. On the other end, Claire felt so embarrassed you could see the red taking over her face. Her next few words came rumbling through pauses in an awkward attempt not to have to explain to her child what adults do in their bedroom at night.

“We… we… your dad was reading… and… I… wanted him to read it faster… because… I wanted to… hum… turn off the lights…" She knew it was a bad excuse, but her son was too young to figure it out at the moment anyway.

“Oh… okay.” Tom replied, fully accepting her mother’s reasons.

“Alright. Let’s eat.” Claire was clearly relieved with the outcome of that conversation. She wasn’t ready to have the talk.

A couple of days later, Tom’s teacher was stunned as she heard little Tom scream during reading hour. “Come on! Do it faster! Faster! Faster.” In shock, she stops reading and asks Tom what was going on. Tom, even more innocently than before, explains himself.

“It’s what my mom says to my dad when he is reading in the bedroom at night…”

The teacher continued with the class. Afterwards, with Tom sitting by her side, she calls Claire. Upon hearing what the teacher had to say, Claire’s face was red enough to call an ambulance.

Written by Pedro Rompante.
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