‘Is it going to hurt?’ Brian piped up from the back seat.
‘Is what going to hurt, darling?’ his mum, Vanessa, asked, only half-paying attention as she rummaged around in her purse for the garage door remote.
‘What surgery, dear?’
‘When they cut open my eyes so they can give me new ones,’ he said, simply.
‘What?!’ Vanessa put down her bag, spinning around with a frown. ‘Who told you that’s what they’re going to do?’
‘Suzie,’ Brian frowned, pointing at his sister in the front seat.
Vanessa turned towards her older daughter, ever so slightly arching an eyebrow.
Suzie found something very interesting to stare at on the garage wall.
‘Suzie?’ Vanessa asked. ‘Anything to add to that?’
‘Sorry?’ Suzie said, turning around. ‘I wasn’t listening. What are we talking about?’
‘That’s funny,’ Vanessa frowned. ‘I could have sworn I saw you giggling to yourself.’
‘Just thought of a funny joke, that’s all.’
‘Care to share it?’
She smiled sweetly up at her mum.
‘You know,’ Vanessa nodded, ‘I wondered why you wanted to come with your brother for his eye test. Brighton is usually too long a drive for you, with your car sickness and all.’
‘I wanted to be supportive!’ Suzie insisted. ‘And it’s not too bad, going there and back.’
Vanessa found the garage door fob and clicked it, flooding the car with sunlight as the door rolled up above them.
‘Hey, Brian?’ she started, as she reversed out of the driveway.
‘What do you say we go for a nice, long, scenic drive after we see your paediatric optometrist? Around Bayside can be so lovely this time of a morning.’
‘That sounds great!’ Brian cheered, throwing his hands up.
‘And you’ll love the roads!’ Vanessa said, putting the car into gear and smiling at Suzie. ‘Lots of fun twists and bends!’
Suzie already looked like she wanted to vomit.
‘Mum…’ she said.
‘Don’t worry, honey,’ Vanessa said. ‘If you feel a bit queasy, just think about that joke from before – seemed to distract you well enough then.’
And she put her foot down.