This is a typical Lulu tale:
‘So the drama teacher, Arthur put all the younger kids in the Shakespeare play. Why he did is a mystery to us. None of them have learned their lines yet. After weeks! Only me and Louis know them and that’s because we’re older. And in the meantime, Arthur has spent all his time working on another play for the One-Act Festival. In that play, all the actors are really good. That’s the play that’s going to win the festival. Definitely. And it doesn’t seem like a coincidence either.’
She is talking about her drama class she joined when we came back from Quest. I stand back and listen. For sure, if what she’s saying is true, it doesn’t seem entirely fair. Arthur the drama teacher seems to exhibit his own brand of favouritism. Big thespian surprise that one. After all, I did Theatre Studies A level. The ‘lurvey’ culture got to me too in the end.
Lu though, has an amazing memory. She’s good at voices. And she’s tough as a little Welsh hazelnut. There’s a lot Lulu knows… and there’s a lot she doesn’t. She knows the sense of a climbing sea pushing us across the Atlantic Ocean. She knows how to knead bread for lunch and the pull of a man-sized dorado fish. She doesn’t know about group politics, petty ambitions and a mean gulp of unfair. Hold on, she’s been living with us. Ok, change that slightly; she doesn’t know about it outside the family environment until now. And Lulu being Lulu, she wants more and more of it.
‘I want to do something to completion,’ she said one night on Quest, watching a bright orange sun sink into the Caribbean Sea.
‘Like what Lu?’ Don’t prickle, I told myself whilst prickling. That’s because Quest is funny like that. It often feels you’re living in paradise but the paradise is somewhat of a prison. You have to swap normal, everyday things like community and consistency for the being able to see the sea floor ten metres below you. Plus the fact that the sea is the temperature of a wonderfully salty bath.
‘Well, I could join that drama group when we go back home,’ Lulu said, looking wistfully out to sea. ‘They have a Christmas production. If we stayed at home for long enough, I could be part of it.’
With these words, my prickling melted messily down to my tanned feet. Ohh tanned feet. I miss those.
She was right though. Of course she was. How were we going to prevent our bright and funny, sensitive kid who can remember the Hangover Trilogy for ultra-handy, pop-out quote usage (Hangover will always have a special place in Quest’s heart) from following her desire to be part of something?
Seven months later, she is part of something. And she’s learning about it from all angles. The unfair ones included. Is she daunted? Does she want to give it up? Ha! I wish.