Bella’s friend looked aghast to see Bella’s parents burst into the room looking for alcohol. She frowned at the way Bella’s mother treated her daughter.
‘We were only having drinks and take-away,’ the friend started to add.
I could not say to her, the friend, ‘My daughter’s life will go down the toilet if she doesn’t moderate her consumption of alcohol.’
I could not say that. Bella’s drinking was a family secret. Our pow-wows kept in house.
Bella was bemused by our interaction, the alcohol made her so.
Husband and I stormed back out of Bella’s apartment. We went home and had a chat.
I felt bad for my daughter. My poor girl was enjoying an evening with her friend. Wasn’t that what I wanted? For Bella to have decent company.
I let a few hours slip by, then got in my car to go back to see Bella.
Her friend had left, not surprisingly. Bella had cleared away the debris of the evening, she cleared away the makeup from her face.
‘I’m sorry,’ I said, ‘for behaving that way. I am just so desperately worried for you.’
I was worried she chose a drink to put a smile on her face.
‘Come home,’ I offered.
‘This is my home,’ she said.
I left her. Back home I told Husband how sick I felt inside.
He pulled the duvet over his shoulder–get to sleep–he implied.