The story so far: It’s the Sunday before exam week and Bianca has done more than enough revision. Unfortunately for her, no one else shares her attitude.
Kitty, kitty, kitty. Come here Vecino.’ The cat pawed frantically at the dishcloth that Bianca was waving above his head. The housemates had all shut themselves away in their rooms to study and she was bored. The house cat was loving all the attention and ran from one corner to the next. The door to Derk’s room swept open, missing the cat by a whisker, whereas Derk stepped right on Vecino’s tail.
‘Hey, watch out!’ cried Bianca. A screech sounded and a shocked Derk lifted up his foot. This caused a chain reaction. Vecino shot across the room, knocking over a vase of flowers that poured its contents over a small black box: the router. A muffled click followed and all the lights went out. In no time at all everyone was standing in the living room. ‘What’s going on?’ asked Vera anxiously. Wearing his bath- robe, Willem-Jan shuffled grumpily into the room.
‘What joker cut off the electricity?’ ‘Derk had to go and stand on Vecino, didn’t he?’ said Bianca furiously.
‘Calm down,’ said Derk. ‘A circuit breaker’s tripped, that’s all.’ He walked to the meter cupboard and seconds later the lights flicked on. ‘Only we’ll have to write off the internet. The cat has completely destroyed the router.’
Bianca frowned. ‘You mean you destroyed the router. What an oafish thing to do.’
Derk looked irritated. ‘It was an accident. These things happen. We’ll have to manage without the internet today, all the shops are closed.’
At once all hell let loose. A torrent of angry protest was directed at Derk. ‘I’ve got to finish my report!’, ‘I’ve got an exam tomorrow!’, ‘Accidenti, stavo vincendo mamma con Wordfeud…’
‘Guys!’ His raised voice created a moment’s silence. ‘Okay, okay. I’ll go all the way to Utrecht and get a new router. Even though it isn’t my fault.’
Well over 90 minutes later, Derk exited the Media Markt in the Hoog Catherijne shopping centre with a brand new router under his arm. On the way to the station his attention was caught by a shop selling sneakers. To hell with them, he thought and disappeared inside. Five shops, a coffee bar and five hours later, he was back home, standing before his own front door in Mortierstraat. Feeling a tad embarrassed he went indoors. Yet again he had been on a wild shopping spree. The sound of laughter came from the living room. All the housemates were sitting round a table laden with poker chips.
‘I’ve got the router,’ mumbled Derk crestfallen. Bianca replied breezily. ‘Ah, no one really felt like studying anymore.’ Derk felt like exploding but instead he just bit his lip. ‘Give the man a pile of chips,’ grinned Willem-Jan. ‘What a poker face.’