We were Invited to a party; we knew we had to go.
Bella was invited too.
We call and pick her up, no need for a two car drive.
She clambered onto the back seat of my car, sat quietly, responded to this, responded to that. Husband and I shared that look.
New faces at the party introduced themselves to us as the parents of a guy we knew.
We sat on a sofa, the new people in tow. Bella interrupted the flow of conversation, ‘Do you have any children?’ The glass of wine tilted in her hand just so.
Husband and I glared at Bella to prompt her mistake. I looked a little closer, you guessed? She was drunk.
She said she felt tired, insisted on the need for rest.
Our evening had ended.
I felt heart-sick with sadness to see her like that. Her hand by her side, wrapped in a ball, my baby’s hand still.
Husband was fuming – said she was a disgrace.
We bundled her in the car. Drove home, not speaking. Her head was on a swivel, said she saw a lad she knew. He drove his car close behind, followed our tyre tracks, until we pulled into the courtyard.
I did not park my car; we had no reason to stay.
Husband told her ‘get out.’
I don’t know what she did that evening. She might have gone to bed or hooked up with that lad, the one who tried to kiss our bumper.
Husband and I went home, stared at the television set.
With no enthusiasm to chat.