Our family unit was changing.
We took our last holiday together. All dressed for home, Bella knocked a glass of coke over her dad. Stress of travel, stress of returning to work had given him a short fuse and he blew. When he had vented, she looked at him–she was never a character to back down–‘Well, if you think I’m coming on holiday with you again.’
That summer she holidayed with friends at a caravan park, not too far from home. The girls came back with boyfriends, their courtship lasted, in written form, for a while. I searched out one of those letters then wished I hadn’t: crude drawings of sex acts sent to my daughter. I shoved the letter back in the envelope, perturbed. Their communication came to an end–I think she felt the same way as I: disgusted.
Bella’s hair is dark, jet. Her eyes are brilliant blue. She has a quality that you would describe as stunning. She was a unique looking girl.
And so she finds makeup and lots of it. She works like an artist on her eyes, and perfects a dramatic look, her way not mine. I spoil her with fashion; we shop for the latest design.
She is noticed by the popular boy at school, is taken on a date. It does not last. She had tasted admiration and wanted more. Sadly the boy killed himself through dangerous driving. A tragic loss for the town, his family, and friends. It was Bella’s first funeral that of a teenager’s wasted life. Her dad drove past the gathering, reported home that she had been smoking a cigarette.
Not the first time she had been spotted inhaling. Not the first time she swore never to smoke cigarettes again.