So there I am on my living room floor, shaking in the fetal position, flicking around a scrunched up bit of paper. Why? Because Frankie is at the door. Frankie who? Frankie the seven year old kid from next door. Now before you catapult over the canon (or ‘jump the gun’ as its more commonly known as) and start preparing your ‘Daniel gets beaten up by a seven year old’ jokes, let me explain. Two days ago Frankie knocked on the door……wait it gets worse……I answered the door…well, I opened the door, its not like the door asked me a question and I responded). Frankie is sitting on his bike looking up at me with a very playful look in his eyes. “Is Ashley in?” he asks. ‘He isnt’ I think to myself, then I decide I had better say that out loud in case Frankie doesn’t have mind-reading abilities. “No, he isn’t” I say. “He wont be back for another few hours”. Frankie looks puzzled. I replay what I had just said in my head……nope, that definitely made sense……I’ll just give him a little longer to process it before I close the door. He seems to be taking a little too long so I begin pulling the door shut. “I’VE GOT A WOBBLY TOOTH!!! WANNA SEE!!” he shouts before I even get the door halfway closed. “Err……I guess” escapes from my lips, totally disregarding the brain signals it was receiving screaming “NO!! SAY NO!!!”. Frankie lounges forward, still balanced on his bike and yanks the door back open so I could fully appreciate his ‘wobbly tooth’ presentation. I expected him to get straight to it but for some reason he starts stretching his fingers and shaking loose his hands. Now I’m no professional tooth wobbler but I’m pretty sure limber hands are not essential to masterfully complete the task. Nevertheless I allow him time to loosen up……he even hopped off his bike and stretched his legs to my further surprise. I impatiently watch as little Frankie reaches his fingers to his upper jaw in what can only be described as theatrical, melodramatic, slow motion!! He then grabbed what I shall knowledgeably refer to as the tooth below the left nostril and proceed to give it a vigorous shake. “SEE!!” he exclaims with a face that says ‘How is this even possible’. He really looked amazed by it all. Like a little monkey had appeared from behind the tooth and played ‘Eye of the Tiger’ on a little flute. I try my best to look impressed. I lean back, I raise my eyebrows, I give a one of those one-sided smiles, and if that wasn't enough I even give out an elongated “woooooow”.
Frankie folds his arms looking all smug like some kind of amateur street magician who has just pulled a coin out from behind someone's ear. “That was brilliant Frankie, very cool, you take care now buddy” I say to finalize this encounter. I begin to close the door when “I’VE GOT A SCAR TOO!!!” comes flying out of Frankie’s mouth like someone just Heimlich Manoeuvred it out. His eyes are widened with excitement. This time my lips listen to my brain and I manage to say “Sorry mate, I’ve got to go”. But instead of the reaction I had prepared myself for Frankie stomps his grubby red Reebok onto the doorstep and starts rolling up his trouser leg. DAMMIT FRANKIE!! Just before he reaches his knee he quickly pushes the door back open and again I'm back where I started. He pushed his trouser leg past his kneecap and there behold was a scar. Not the most show-stopping scar you’ve ever seen but indeed a scar. “Err………yea, cool” I muster up, shortly followed bye “ok, bye”. “AND I HAVE ONE ON MY ELBOW!!!!” He screams with the lungs of an opera singer. “Frankie. I really gotta go now” I try, but of course he has already begun rolling up his sleeve. As he does this I started thinking of ways I can get out of this without feeling guilty. I could tell him I’m cooking!!………but that may be interpreted as ‘Join me for dinner where you can share more of your bodily deformities’………I could say I’m running a bath!!……but how long would it take to turn off the taps, and besides, I wouldn’t want him to take THAT as an invitation!! I can see it now…”MUM!! DANIEL WANTS TO WASH ME!!! AND HE SAID HE ‘HAD TO GO’……HE WAS GONNA GO TOILET IN THE BATH!!!”.
Screw it, I’ve had enough, I’ll just tell him I’ve got to go and close the door…IM NO WUSS!! Frankie is again doing the self-impressing street magician pose, this time with his elbow exposed revealing another average scar. “Cool Frankie, anyway, I’ve got to…” I begin, but Frankie is looking away. I turn to see what he is looking at. It’s his mum waving next door. We both wave back. “Is he behaving?” she asks. “Yea, he’s just showing me his scars and his wobbly tooth” I yell back. “Ahh” she says, with a proud smile. “Show him the one on your ankle!!” she says before disappearing into the house. “Oh yea!!” Frankie bellows excitedly. Anyway, to sum up, Frankie continued his ‘show and tell’ by presenting me a viewing of his ankle scar, some YouTube inspired bike tricks, and his melted chocolate bar. I managed to get away by calling the house phone with my pocketed mobile and making a ‘oh this is important’ face. Yes i felt a little bad but he really is the kid you simply cant get rid of!! Like a spot on your face that wont quit or a stain on your favourite top that refuses to wash off. LIKE A WEB BROWSER POP-UP THAT WONT CLOSE, OR AN EYELASH IN YOUR EYE THAT YOU CANT GET OUT!!! So you see, this is why I am now on the floor, in the living room, in the fetal position, sucking my thumb……err, forget that last one. I lie there waiting for little Frankie’s persistence to retire. The doorbell goes off but I remain perfectly still. I then realise there is some writing on the scrunched up paper I was flicking about. I reach for it slowly and unscrunch it. It’s a note from my mum to me. It reads ‘DANIEL, DON’T FORGET THE REPAIR MAN IS COMING AT 4PM TO FIX THE DRYER – MUM’. At the same moment I remember something that sets my heartbeat into over gear. Frankie can’t reach the doorbell!!! In a panic I turn to the clock on the wall……4:06!!!……The bell rings again. “OH SUGAR PUFFS!!”. I jump to my feet and head to the door. As it opens I see a tall bearded man who declares he has come to take a look at the dryer……and behind him……little Frankie, grinning on his bike, with a fresh plaster on his chin and a tooth in his hand.