“Jimmy, are you awake?”

He slightly opened his eyes and saw it was still dark. The lack of enough sleep plus the memory of yesterday’s fiasco was still fresh in his mind. He disregarded the query and continued his slumber.

Again, Gemma shook him gently: she had no sleep at all. Her mind revolved on Sarah’s challenge and how to beat her without buying the same equipment. Her husband’s patience would not permit the competition progressing to another level.

“Are you?”

He grunted: all his fantasies vanished, back to the real world.

“If I did not answer, you should stop asking questions. I could not hear you because I am asleep.”

“You snore a lot,” she complained, rehashing her constant argument for being awake.

“I do,” he admitted but added, “like most people I know, you know who.”

She let the reference to her passed. It was undeniably a fact.

Noticing that his wife seemed out of character, he changed position and turned to her: she stared at the ceiling, perhaps plotting her next moves.

“What’s the matter? Do you want to buy something?”

She pinched him on his side. The teasing was uncalled for.

“I am a good singer,” she stated, waiting for his affirmation.

“Are you asking me or telling me? There’s a big difference.”

“You said so when you first courted me, remember?”

“That was a long time ago,” he tried not to uncover the past. It would get messy.

“So you mean to say, at present I am not?”

Jimmy stood up, keeping his wife’s question hanging in the air. He did not relish an early morning discussion about something mundane.

“Let’s have breakfast. I’ll cook.”

Gemma followed him out the bedroom. But instead of joining him in the kitchen, she went straight to the living room. In front of the TV, she turned the sound system on, reached for the microphone at the top of the shelf and connected it to the karaoke machine.

Jimmy went looking for her when she did not appear: he thought she still sulked in bed because he intentionally denied her of what she hoped for.

“This is a bit early, don’t you think?” he asked, admitting to himself that his question was futile: she has made up her mind.

“Cook whatever you want. Just let me be.”

She deftly pushed the right buttons on the remote control, turned the volume at full blast and waited patiently for the song’s intro.

“You are a good singer,” he said finally. “Turn the set off and eat something first.”

“Too late, dear!” she motioned him to go away.

“You’ll wake up the neighborhood.” Jimmy tried to steal away the microphone which she held tightly. Forcing it out of her would create a marital row so he relented.

“I’ll show her who’s the best,” Gemma’s conviction showed in her eyes.

When Jimmy saw the video on the screen, he sat down in front of her and watched.

“Do you remember this?” she asked him.

He nodded.

(to be continued)



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