A nice breakfast would work. She woke up especially early to mix dough for the cinnamon wheels, which were his favorite. Her recipe used yeast, so she had to start it several hours in advance. With that time, she could finish cleaning the kitchen, the bathroom, all her favorite parts of the house, where she was so lucky to live.
She was scrubbing the floor when her uncle bellowed, “What’s all the racket? Don’t you know I’m trying to sleep?” He was standing behind her, red-faced and unmade. Tabitha could think of nothing to say more articulate than “I’m sorry.” When she said it, her uncle mocked her, “I’m sorry,” and stomped off back to his room.
When the rolls were in the oven, Uncle Bert came out again. “I’m late for work. I have to go. Try to do something productive today, huh?”
“Oh. I made cinnamon buns. They’ll be done in a minute.”
Her uncle smirked in exasperation. “Sure, I’ll tell that to my boss. Sorry I couldn’t get to work on time, my niece insisted I eat junk food. Are you trying to embarrass me?”
Tabitha lowered her head and swallowed. “I’ll save them for you.”
“Don’t bother. They’re only good warm.”
She watched his car drive out down the gravel path. She’d have to spend the rest of the day figuring out an appropriate apology for wasting all that flour and butter, which isn’t free. Not to mention the rat poison. She was really sorry to have wasted that.