Now the people by the coffee were really staring at us.
‘Can you please stop saying tranny-whore,’ I hissed. ‘I don’t think that’s helping the situation.’
Jack went all wide-eyed. ‘But she kept saying it.’
‘That doesn’t mean you have to keep saying it now.’
He shrugged and left with Delphine. Lulu fumed as we got the milk. The coffee group carefully avoided us at the checkout.
I took Lulu up to the Arts Centre for extra dance rehearsal. She got changed while I sat back and rubbed my eyes. ‘Lulu, when your dad tells you to stop calling your sister names, you need to agree with him. Three words. “I’m sorry, Dad.”’
‘Well, I don’t care.’
‘In that case you won’t have your phone. If you want it back, you have to start by caring.’
She gave me a death stare and left. I wondered if I’d see her alive again. Amazingly though, she was in a pretty good mood after dance. Like nothing had happened. I forget that Lu loved dance before Delph did and, even if she doesn’t love dance so much any more, it still calms her down. Thank you, human evolution for giving us dance charm.
She stayed ok over the weekend too. Didn’t want to hang out with her friends in town on Saturday. Said she was tired. She did find Snapchat on her iPad though. Somehow, this device seemed less sinister than her phone. The iPad lacking the sneaky portability and not seeming such a symbol of rudeness. I know. I’m kidding myself.
But on Saturday, Jack started chuckling. He walked into the kitchen from the living room. ‘Guess what Delph just did?’
She burped and blew it on Lulu.’
I stared at him. Tranny-whore popped into my head. Which of course is terrible thing to call your sister, but Lulu did have a point the other day. The word itself is funny. So ridiculous a concept around Delphine that it could reasonably stretch the comedy further. And yet, we’d had to rule that joke out for the sake of consistency. Now, suddenly the burp-and-blow was acceptable?
‘How’s that funny?’
‘You know – the shocking element. I don’t know. It just came out as funny.’
With this, he kept laughing about it, until the next morning.
I finished stating the obvious. He looked hurt. ‘I do NOT have favourites.’
‘Really? Do you have some kind of insult scale hidden somewhere then? Which weighs up that Lulu can’t call her sister names but Delphine can deliver a burp-and-blow?’
‘Exactly, Dad.’ The words came from Lulu’s bunk bed. We turned towards them.
‘That doesn’t mean you can have your phone, Lulu!’ I said.
‘It’s ok,’ she called back, ‘I don’t need it anymore since I’ve found my iPad.’
I rolled my eye to the ceiling. Meanwhile Jack was sidling away. ‘I don’t know. It was just funny. Burp-and-blow. Burp-and-blow.’