“Why do I always have to make it?” John grumbled from the kitchen. Clinking a teaspoon against the rim of one of the steaming mugs of tea he’d brewed, he let out an exaggerated sigh. “You haven’t bought the milk for weeks, either,” he added as an afterthought, frowning as he threw the spoon into the sink; it clattered shrilly as it fell past towering piles of dirty saucepans and used plates.
Easing the two cups of tea from the kitchen counter and cautiously carrying them through to the sitting-room, John continued his verbal list of his flatmate’s flaws. “You hardly ever do the washing, either—” he set the mugs down on the desk with a groan “— and don’t get me started on the hoovering. In fact, you—”
He broke off, listening: soft, timid footsteps echoed from the hall and a gentle knock on the door followed them. Pushing it open with a creak, Mrs Hudson entered the flat. Tears shone in her eyes as she crossed the room to hold a bewildered John in her arms, silencing the various questions his open mouth was about to ask.
“John,” she whispered hoarsely in his ear. ”You’re speaking in the present tense again, love.”