Husband and I were invited to a party, Laura was invited too. No need for a two car journey, we would collect Laura. She clambered onto the back seat of my car, sat quietly, responding to this, responding to that. Husband and I shared that look.
New faces at the party introduced themselves as the parents of a guy we knew. We sat on a sofa, the new people in tow. Laura interrupted the flow of conversation and asked the parents of the guy we all knew, ‘Do you have any children?’ The glass of wine tilted in her hand just so. Husband and I glared at Laura to prompt her mistake. I looked a little closer at her, she was drunk.
Laura felt tired, insisted the need to 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 her courtyard. I did not park my car, we had no reason to stay. Husband told her to, ‘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.