You are aware that we opened our home to a stream of teenagers.
The format for weekends: 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. Dad shouted upstairs, ‘Isn’t it time you went out?’ A non negotiable tone to his voice. Off they trotted.
Windows left open for the balmy evening, I went to close, 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 Dad went in shorts and slippers. He stood at the bottom of the drive motionless. I followed.
Across the road, Bella was with her friends 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; my arms folded.
She sauntered over, took a deep drag from a cigarette in defiance.
I forbade her from going out. Bemused her friends staggered off without her. She was furious. Dad snapped. ‘Let her go. She’s an idiot.’
Should I have done? But, I couldn’t and did not. Not in the state she was in.
Would she remain this obedient? No.
She fell asleep fully clothed, and awoke to birdsong. Apologetic, she said she was disgusted with her behaviour.
A string of words we would hear continually.