Frank Lampard was lonely. His first christmas without Elen had turned out to be more depressing than he thought, and he was stuck by himself in his huge mansion. He was spending the night sat in front of the television when suddenly the telephone rang. He sighed. He was reluctant to move because of the effort it caused but decided he better pick up.
"Hiya Frank, happy Chrimbo, what you up to mate?"
Frank smiled to himself. It was John.
"Evening John, not too much just sat here watching The Food Network & thinking about the kids, you know." That was a lie. All he was thinking about was the delicious roast Jamie Oliver was about to put in the oven.
"Ah mate, you can't be doing that tonight, it's Christmas Eve. Toni suggested that I ring you and invite you to pop round ours for dinner, what do ya say?"
"Dinner? Yeah I could go for something to eat.....oh, and some company.... what time do ya reckon?"
"Well Toni's just putting dessert in the oven so it how bout you come round in about an hour, see you then yeah?"
"Sounds good mate, cheers."
Frank could hardly get those last words out. As soon as John mentioned dessert his heart almost stopped beating. He couldn't remember the last time he had a delicious treat and then, once he REALLY thought about it, he did: it was earlier that day, after lunch.
Frank raced back into the den to power off the TV. He wanted to look his best for his teammate and wife and knew he didn't have much time to get ready. Surprisingly, he was able to tackle the stairs, shower, and put on his best outfit with a few moments to spare. Before walking out the door he made a pit stop in his kitchen to grab a scone for the car ride.
He locked the door and took the moving sidewalk over to his car. With no pockets in his coat, he stuffed the scone in his mouth to unlock the door and get in. Tasty. He backed out of the driveway and pulled in the one next door: John & Toni's house. He was finally here.
Frank didn't need to knock and instead strolled right in. The Terry house was extremely festive with decorations everywhere. Frank took it all in, including the smell of Christmas dinner coming from the kitchen down the hall. Toni came around the corner.
"Happy Chrimbo Franky!"
Frank, John, and Toni have always been extremely close. Along with Elen, they used to be the closest foursome at Stamford Bridge but those days seemed so far in the past. Frank kissed Toni on both cheeks.
"You'll have to come into the living room love, I was just telling John about my horseback ride this morning."
'Horseshit', Frank mumbled. He wanted dinner. He strolled into the living room anyways to find John sitting in the chair looking bored to death. They chit-chattted for a little while, catching up on the days events. It's never hard for these two to come up with conversation even though they see each other every day. However, Frank was getting agitated.
"What's wrong lad?" asked John, "you seem uneasy."
"It's nothing JT, just thinking about the kids that's all."
That was a lie, but John seemed to buy it. The truth was Frank couldn't concentrate on anything except what was going on in the kitchen. He could hear Toni banging pots and pans and opening and closing the fridge, but that was nothing compared to the smell of delicious, moist turkey that was wafting down the hallway. Frank thought this might be someone's idea of torture, that maybe John was playing a prank on him by making him wait. That's when he spotted it.
Sitting on the windowsill, just lying out in the open: a freshly baked, golden brown, steaming hot Christmas pie.
Frank stared, his mouth watering. Drool escaped from his lips, and he quickly wiped it away before John noticed. His mind was completely blank, all he could focus on was diving his face straight through that golden crust into the warm centre.
"...Frank? Franky?" It was Toni. "Come on lad dinner's ready."
A tear dropped from Frank's cheek.
"Oi mate, don't be upset. You'll see your girls tomorrow, they're opening gifts at yours yeah?"
Frank nodded, somewhat relieved. Truth was, the tear wasn't for his girls at all. It was because he knew now that he would be forced to sit through an agonizingly long dinner before he'd be able to taste that Christmas pie. He rolled off the couch anyway and waddled into the kitchen.
Laid out in front of him was a table meant for ten but set for three. And it was covered in food. Turkey, yams, sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, carrots, ham, cauliflower drizzled with melted cheese, cranberries, cold egg nog.... and much more. Frank couldn't believe it. All of his favourite foods.
'This might not be so bad after all', he thought.
They sat down.
"Before we begin, I think it might be nice to say grace, don't you think?" Toni asked.
Frank didn't want to be rude but said no anyways. He just couldn't wait to pick up his fork and dig in, and he did just that. First he grabbed the turkey, then the yams, then mashed potatoes, then the cranberries. Basically anything he could smother with gravy. Next he grabbed the vegetables, obviously starting with the cauliflower and cheese sauce first. After that came the carrots. That's when he encountered a problem. He had no room for the sweet potatoes!!! It was a true crisis, but he did what anyone else would do, and that's grab a few more plates. When he had each plate full of the delicious Christmas feast he began to eat. And eat. And eat. He took periodic breaks to wash everything down with that ice cold egg nog, but mostly he sat there stuffing his face.
Toni was stunned. She knew Frank could eat but she had never seen him at this level.
"You don't think he's...eating his feelings do you?" She whispered to her husband.
JT knew better. When Frank put his mind to something he could accomplish anything, even though he admitted that this usually applied on the pitch only. Frank knew they were staring but didn't care. He was trying to enjoy what he ate but at the same time had one thing on his mind: finish this and then - THE PIE.
So again he continued to eat. And eat. And eat some more. When he finally polished off all five plates of food, he knew he was in luck. Toni and John were just starting on the turkey and he was finished. The first part of his plan had worked. He sat there and smiled to himself. All he had to do was wait patiently for a few minutes and then everything would fall into place.
He sat there watching the couple eat, making small talk about Roman Abramovich's ugly new baby, how happy Frank was that Xabi Alonso was in Spain and wouldn't terrorize him on the pitch any longer, and how excited they would all be at the end of the season when Ballack might finally get a chance to lift a trophy. That's when he started faking being ill.
"Toni, this was a lovely meal you've prepared but I'm sorry I just don't feel like myself right now. Maybe I ate too much, I just feel sick to my stomach." And then, something happened that Frank couldn't plan: his button popped off his trousers and flew into his glass of egg nog.
"I'm sorry, the feast was delicious but please excuse my while I use the lavatory."
Frank struggled to push out his chair so they both jumped up to help him. They each grabbed an arm and led him towards the hallway.
"Thanks guys but I can take it from here." He said. He had to if his plan was going to work. They let him go and went back to the table, while Frank took a few steps and ended up in the living room.
There it was, sitting in the windowsill just like before: that beautiful Christmas pie. Frank knew this was probably impossible, but he couldn't help but notice a light radiating around the pie. He took a couple of steps forward and almost slipped on his own drool. He knew he only had a couple of minutes at most to get the pie away from the window and take it some place safe. When he approached it the smell of delicious mincemeat almost made him loose focus, but he managed to do it. He grabbed the pie and almost ran (or so he thought) down the hallway to the bathroom, where he closed the door and locked it.
"You and I are finally alone" he whispered.
He put the toilet seat down and parked his huge arse on top of it. He was really drooling now but he didn't care. He lifted the entire pie towards his face and closed his eyes, inhaling. It was the moment he was waiting for. He bit slowly at the crust wanting to savour the moment. Some pieces flaked off and onto his lap, so he opened his eyes to eat those too. He wasn't wasting anything. Then, he really dug in. He took a massive bite out of the centre, grabbing a mouthful of crispy crust and delicious mince meat. He took slow, meaningful bites, taking the time to savour and taste each piece of dried fruit and spices. He ate bite after bite, mouthful after mouthful, completely attacking the delicious insides!! He paused and looked in the mirror. He had pie all over his face: in the corners of his mouth, the tip of his nose, on his eyebrows. Frank didn't care. He felt totally uninhibited as he bit into it again.
Before he knew it, it was gone. Completely gone. Frank started licking the bottom of the pan trying to get every last piece of crust, filling, and even the butter that had been put there to stop the crust from sticking. He licked the corners of his mouth, tried licking the filling off his nose (he couldn't) and even picked out the pieces in his eyebrows. Only then did he feel satisfied. He sat there for a few moments relaxing and patting his stomach. That's when he started to look around. He was here, in the middle of his best friend's washroom, sneaking a Christmas pie. He started to feel ashamed. So ashamed!!! Who had he become? He knew he had different eating habits and had often snuck food, but he never went so far as to hide in the bathroom - the dirtiest room in the house - and eat it.
'Wait a second', Frank thought. 'Dirtiest room in the house? That's a little bit kinky...'
The shame left him almost as quickly as it had arrived and he wanted more. Then he heard a knock at the door.
"Franky mate, you all right?"
Shit. It was JT. Why did he have to be such a good friend and check up on him? This aggravated Frank, because now he had a problem. What was he supposed to do with an empty pan? He couldn't eat that too, even though he wanted too.
"Uh, yeah JT I'm doing ok I'll be there in a minute."
He heard his footsteps walk away. Frank put his hands on the counter to help himself up. His trousers almost fell down because he no longer had a button to hold them together. He got what he thought was a genius idea. He took the pie pan and shoved it down his now extra-spacious pants. He tried walking. The pan didn't budge. It would work! He opened the door and peeked in the hallway - no one was there. He made his way slowly and carefully into the kitchen where Toni and JT were washing up. He felt somewhat guilty.
"There you are Franky boy!" Toni said. "We're just washing up and getting ready for dessert, and I know how much you love dessert. Are you feeling better?"
Frank knew he had to get out of there before they discovered the missing Christmas pie.
"Actually Toni, I just wanted to say thank you so much for the delicious supper. It was truly nice of you to invite me over but I'm really not feeling like myself. Maybe I ate too much, or maybe it was the memories of meeting Alonso at Anfield, but whatever it is it's making me feel sick to my stomach. I think I'm just going to go home."
"Aw mate that's too bad, but you really don't look to well."
"No, he doesn't at all does he" echoed Toni.
'They're buying my lies again', thought Frank. He thought this was particularly remarkable since to be honest, he never felt more satisfied and content in his life.
They said their goodbyes at the door, with Frank being careful not to hug John too tightly in case he might feel the pie pan in his trousers. Finally, he made it. He was out the door! He waddled down the stairs on the front porch and got in the car. He sat there for a moment, thinking fondly about that delicious Christmas pie. He started the car and began to drive home.
'Yes', he smiled to himself, 'that was definitely a meal to remember.'