~3~ paranoid parent

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“Amelie!” Dad opens the door before I can even take the keys out of my pocket.

He looks peeved off. This is what always happens whenever I come back home later than 4.00pm. I’m literally a prisoner in my own home. 

“What, Dad?” I let out a deep exaggerated sigh.

Dad shows me his wristwatch. “You know what time it is.”

As If I didn’t already know the time… 

“Yeah.”

I shrug off my coat and drape it on the bird coat hook. Dad’s one is an eagle (suits him) while my one is a sparrow (argh). That monstrosity has been taunting me for years. One time I tried to destroy it with a hammer but Dad caught me in the act… He nailed it back on the wall and banned me from going out for a month. 

A flicker of irritation appears on Dad’s face. “Don’t say “yeah.” Say “yes”."

Oh no. Elocution time. 

“Yeah, Dad,” I walk into the kitchen and head over to the fridge. 

“Yes.”

“Yeah…”

YES!

“Whatever…” I pull out a bottle of cherry cola and guzzle it down.

He’s getting frustrated with me. God, sometimes Dad acts like a flapping hen. “Amelie, you’re impossible! You come back at 9pm! Anything could have happened to you…There are bad men about.”

So predictable. He’s going to launch into his “Rivers of R@pe” speech soon… I prepare to shut my brain down for the next thirty minutes. 

“It’s not that late. Stop exaggerating.”

“You could have been r@ped…”

(Bingo!)

“Dad, you’re crazy. I was with friends…” I smile innocently.

“If you ever fall pregnant, my girl — you’re out.”

“That’s harsh…”

“That’s life.”

Dad pauses to take a breath. He has to wipe his forehead with a kitchen flannel. Then he remembers about dinner and takes out a plate from the oven. He looks ready to kill me. The plate bangs against the wooden table top. I peak under the foil. Oh goody! Lasagne. Creamy layers of goodness. This is going to be a good night. 

Dad watches me eating for a moment. A troubled look passes across his features.

“Football is a bad influence on you, Amelie. You’ve turned cheeky. You were such a sweet girl when you were younger. So affectionate—”

Now he’s blaming football… 

“I’ve been playing football since I was nine…” I shovel down forkful after forkful of food. Sport makes me hungry. But the bonus is that food always tastes better. 

He goes over to stand by the window. “Too long. It’s a waste of money. Football is for hooligans…”

“Guess that makes me a hooligan…” I’m trying to rush eating so I can get away from him. 

Dad turns around with a scary gleam in his eye. My cutlery clatters down against the plate. 

“We’ll make a lady out of you yet.”

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