Matt, Sadie, Helen & Mo

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Matt - Saturday

“That looks even better in day light Matt, can you see out of it?”

“I can see enough to know that you look extremely sexy this morning, get back in,” he said as he held the duvet up.

“Mummy,” called Dot just as a mischievous glint reached Lorna’s eye.

Matt rolled over and groaned.

“Coming darling,” she called back.

A few minutes later Dot was in bed with Matt screaming and laughing as Matt tickled her feet and blew raspberries on her tummy.

“Still sore Daddy?” she said as she poked him in the bruised eye.

“Yep, very sore now thanks Dot,” he kissed her again.

“Can we have breakfast in bed please?” smiled Matt.

“Bacon,” squealed Dot.

“I’ll make it for you but you’ll have to come down to eat it. Dot’s table manners aren’t quite ready for bacon on clean sheets.”

Matt looked at Dot and they both shrugged.

“What are your plans today Tyson?”

“Who’s Tyson?” asked Dot.

“Today, myself and young Dot here are going to be ensconced on the sofa for the match this afternoon. What do real men play?”

“Rugby,” squealed Dot with a mouthful of breakfast.

“I shall have a can of lager, while my associate here will have a beaker of milk,” he glanced at Dot, “with a curly straw.”

Dot clapped and beamed.

“I’m going to the supermarket in a minute, then while you two sports fans are watching the match I’ll pop into town, if that’s ok with you?”

“That’s fine by us, isn’t it Dot?”

Dot nodded but clearly had no idea why.

“About your offer this morning,” said Lorna, “how about we have date night instead?”

“That is a splendid idea. In that case, I will join my associate in a beaker of milk and start with you later. I got us a nice bottle from Berry Brothers yesterday, and, my gorgeous wife, what say you to a Chinese delivery?”

“I say that would be great,” she smiled adoringly at her battered husband.

“No rush, why don’t you get your nails done or something while you’re out. We’ll be fine here, won’t we Dot?”

It was a close match and it wasn’t until the final whistle that Matt realised he had forgotten to put a bet on Leicester and that he hadn’t won £120. Dot had lost interest in the match pretty much as it had started and had played tea parties instead, with Matt and her new bunny being the only invited guests. Matt had drunk at least a pint of water out of a tiny pink plastic teacup that Dot had refilled out of the matching teapot, he had eaten at least a dozen pretend sandwiches and he had only sworn at the telly twice. All in all, it had been a pretty successful afternoon for them both, which would have only been made sweeter if he had of actually placed the bet. Matt hadn’t heard his phone ringing as it was up stairs still charging next to the bed. Just as Leicester were being presented with their winners medals the home phone rang.

“Hello,” said Matt distracted as he watched the telly more than listened.

“Oh my God Matt,” said Lorna.

Matt’s attention quickly swapped to his wife’s voice.

“What? What’s the matter?”

“It’s you, you’re all over the internet.”

“What? Why?”

“That tiny scrap you mentioned last night was slightly more than a tiny scrap wasn’t it? Someone filmed the whole thing and put it on the internet, its everywhere. I’m looking at it now, oh Matt,” her voice croaked.

“What?” was all he could manage.

“You could have been really hurt or stabbed. Matt, you could have been killed”

“But, I wasn’t.”

“Have a look at it, its horrific. It’s dark for a few seconds then there’s a man viciously punching a little Asian man and then there’s you and that fluffy rabbit wading in and laying on the man after he’s knocked to the ground. You took loads of punches and kicks, no wonder you’ve got that horrible black eye, it’s a wonder you didn’t get knocked out, or worse. Thank God that big woman stood up and blocked his way.”

“Lorna, I’m fine, calm down. It’s nothing that I haven’t had on the rugby pitch.”

“But you were on the tube Matt, not the rugby pitch. You need to call the police and have him and that awful woman arrested. She was the cause of it, screaming about bombs. It’s a wonder no one punched her after the choice of names she called that poor man. She’s got a lot to answer for.”

“It was nothing, honestly. I’m sure it looks worse than it was. It was over in a second.”

“Matt, they want to know who you all are.”

“Who does?”

“The whole internet I think. It’s on all the social media sites.”

“Oh,” he sat on the arm of the sofa and tried to think, “I’m sure it will blow over in an hour or two. Come home and we’ll have that wine. I’ve got to go, there’s someone at the door.” He gathered Dot up into his arms, who in turn gathered Big Bunny into hers, “shall we see who’s come to see us Dot?” he smiled.

The woman on the doorstep did introduce herself, but all Matt heard was News Desk South East as he stared down the lens of a TV camera.

“We’re here, with the hero of the hour, Matthew Sherbourn,” she said into her microphone, “as you can see he took quite a beating last night, hello Matthew what can you tell us about your now infamous journey?”

Dot’s bottom lip began to tremble as she felt the stress rippling through Matt’s body. “I’ve nothing to say, excuse us please,” he said as he stepped back into his house and tried to close the door.

“Please Matthew, give us the exclusive.”

Dot started to wail, “sorry, the baby needs me,” and he shut the door. It was then that he noticed that the house phone was ringing again.

“Hello.”

“Is that Matthew Sherbourn?” said a stranger’s voice.

“No, sorry you must have the wrong number.”

Matt hung up went upstairs to retrieve his mobile, forty six missed calls.

He text Lorna, ‘reporters out front. WTF!!!’

Next, he went online to see if he could find the footage, it didn’t take more than a few swipes and there he was in full colour on the internet for the world to see. He had to admit watching the footage was hard, it did look pretty savage, he didn’t remember it being that bad or lasting that long, he rubbed his back subconsciously as he watched himself take a heavy blow.

By the time Lorna made it home, Matt had switched his phone off. He was pacing the house not sure if he should laugh or hide.

“Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No it’s Matt Sherbourn,” came Toby’s loud voice over the landline answer machine. “Pick up if you’re there.”

“I’m here,” said Matt, “what the…”.

“You’re the hero of the hour Matt, but are you ok? Looks like you got battered.”

“No, I’m fine, a few bruises. You’ve done worse to me on the pitch and I was on your side. I don’t get it. Why so much fuss? I’ve heard on the news recently that this sort of thing happens every day. I’m not saying its right, but why have I got reporters camped out on my doorstep?”

“Melissa says it’s because, and I quote, you look so fit and you’ve got that massive rabbit with you.”

“The rabbit?”

“Yeah, big man in a suit with a fluffy bunny, isn’t that a calendar shot right there? Listen, we’re coming over. Ok?”

Matt hesitated “Sorry to be a pain, but how’s Bonnie’s cough?”

“She seems ok, probably teeth, the kids are staying at home with their nanny, it’ll just be me and Melissa.”

“Great, see you in a bit then.”

“We can also dissect that Leicester win. I won a grand.”

“I’m delighted for you. I forgot to put my bet on.”

Toby was laughing as he hung up.

The expensive wine was delicious, but unfortunately, there was only enough for a glass each. Melissa knocked up a few tasty treats in Lorna’s kitchen as they talked over Matt’s now famous tube journey. The telly was still on in the front room and even with the sound of their own chatter they all heard Matt’s name being mentioned. They rushed in to see, and there on the TV screen was the footage. Lorna yelped as she watched the vicious assault again and she spun Dot away from the screen. Next, they all stood wide eyed as the news showed Toby and Melissa arriving on their driveway not an hour previous. The subtitle read, ’celebrity chef rushes to friend’s aid’.

“Of all the effing nerve, I’m your best friend,” laughed Toby, “and now after twenty odd years you’ve got yourself a new pal. Now where’s the thanks in that?”

“Sorry Tobes, she’s just better looking,” said Matt as he looked at Melissa.

The subtitle now read, ‘London train assault goes global’.

“Oh man,” said Lorna.

“First things first, do you want to be famous Matt?”

“Not really, no. I don’t want Dot involved in any of this. I don’t want her CF to come out, it’s no one’s business.”

“Right, in that case here’s how I see it. You do one and only one interview with the large lady and the victim, if they are up for it. Then you go on holiday and wait it out. Sound like a plan?”

“Sounds like a plan,” replied Matt. “Lorna, you ok with that?”

“Yep.”

“You can go to my parents place in Nice if you’d like to, you can probably fly for next to nothing as it’s term time,” offered Toby.

“That would be amazing thanks Toby. We’ll drive over though, if they’re definitely ok with it. I don’t think flying is best for Dot, you know, tonnes of germs and all that.”

“Of course, and the offer’s always there.”

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