The format for Laura’s weekend at my house: girls brought alcohol, listened to music, chatted, checked their appearance in the mirror, applied lip gloss to their lipsticky lips before stepping out into the night.
One summer evening two friends called and went upstairs. It was getting late, the girls were still in residence. Husband shouted upstairs, ‘Isn’t it time you went out?’ A non negotiable tone to his voice. Off they trotted.
I went to close windows left open for the balmy evening and heard a commotion from the street. ‘Go and have a look,’ I said, ‘The girls have just gone out. They may have encountered thugs.’ Off Husband went in shorts and slippers. He stood at the bottom of the drive motionless. I followed. Across the road, Laura with her friends were waiting for a nonexistent bus. All three were paralytic.
I shouted our daughter’s name. ‘What?’ she demanded. I gave one of my sternest looks. I tightly folded my arms. Laura sauntered over to me, taking a deep drag from her cigarette.
I forbade her from going out. Bemused, her friends staggered off without her. Laura was furious. Husband snapped. ‘Let her go with them. She’s an idiot.’ Should I have done? Allowed my daughter to go into town drunk? I could not. Not in the state she was in. Would she remain this obedient? No.
She fell asleep that night fully clothed. Laura awoke to birdsong. Apologetic, she said she was disgusted with her behaviour.
We would hear this lament many times to come.