He woke up with a throbbing headache; as if his brain had grown too large for his skull. It was to be expected the morning after celebrating his 18th birthday. He lay still and stared at the ceiling for a long while before gathering the energy required to move. Jake sat up in his bed and slowly made his way towards the kitchen. He could smell it the moment he opened the door, his father’s anti-hangover breakfast.
“Hey kiddo,” Daniel Winters said as he pulled the last strips of bacon off the frying pan. Jake could let out little more than a groan in response as he dropped himself into the kitchen bench and lay his head down on the cold granite.
Daniel placed a plate of eggs, sausages, bacon and pancakes in front of his youngest son along with a glass of freshly pressed orange juice. “Protein, grease, calcium and sugar. What else could a man need in the morning,” Daniel said.
“Bucket,” Jake replied. Daniel laughed. “Seriously, bucket, now,” Jake repeated.
Daniel acted quickly; he grabbed a bucket from under the kitchen sink and threw it to his son. Jake caught it and instantly emptied the majority of the previous nights drinks into it. “Sorry,” Jake said.
“Don’t sweat it, just means you did it right,” Daniel replied. “Me and Patch are heading out of town for a few days, friend of ours needs some help with a pest problem over in Marriton.”
“Alright,” Jake said as he made his way to the kitchen sink and washed his mouth out.
“Trust me, finish that plate and wait half an hour, you’ll feel right as rain. Tell your brothers I said to go easy on you today,” Daniel said as he slung his large black bag over his shoulder. He rubbed his hand through his son's thick brown hair and made his way out the door.