15 Years Old

Lulu was talking to a boy last night. Oh boy.

Lu said she doesn’t know this boy in person. Most boys she talks to are from Aberystwyth, which means she knows them from school. This boy meanwhile is from Aberaeron, a thirty minute drive south of Aberystwyth. Lot of Abers back home. Aber means ‘mouth of the river’ in Welsh, and we live on the coast. It’s logical.

I don’t mind Lu talking to a boy. I mean, duh. She didn’t tell me though. Double duh. She said she was talking to her best friend, Amalie.

I didn’t realise. This is because she talks to Am most days. On Wednesday evening, Delph and I were watching Megamind – for the third time over a couple of months. Lu started it – the Megamind craze. It’s one of her faves. Will Ferrell at his underrated best. The way Megamind himself is a genius, but also a little dyslexic. I mean, ‘Ollow?’ Brad Pitt as the washed-out Metro Man is excellent too. My only reservation – shock, horror is for Tina Fey’s character, Roxy. But as Lulu says, what could she do with boring?

Lu was supposed to be watching it too. She was – then she snuck off. It was sneaky move number one. She went off into the front cabin and put on a significant amount of make-up. Really my eyes should have pricked up at this point. I did look up and admire her as she moved to her cabin. Megamind was good though. I’ve never watched it before without falling asleep at the crucial part. Delph also had a beady eye on me.

Sneaky move number two: Lu called out casually that she was going to talk to Am. Not unusual. Then she closed her cabin door. Hmm. That doesn’t happen much. See, there is nowhere to go on Quest to have a properly private conversation. Well, maybe on the bow outside. No one goes there. She doesn’t usually bother to close the door to talk to Am.

Finally got to the end of the movie with no unconscious gaps. We were just letting the credits roll when I said it to Delph, ‘Lu’s talking to Am.’

‘Uh huh.’

I stopped in my tracks. Never have I seen so much sassy wisdom on the youngest person on the boat. It made me feel instantly ashamed. She knew the whole time? And she didn’t care? She didn’t care.

That’s when I went a little loopy. I admit it. A little Clouseau’s arch-nemesis, Dreyfus. I went and stood outside my older daughter’s door. I stood there till Lu finished talking. The door opened. She looked a little shocked. I did tell her I didn’t appreciate being lied to. And I didn’t mind her talking to a boy. Of course.

She was, in fairness, quite sorry-looking about it. Promised me she wouldn’t lie again.

‘Who were you talking to?’

‘A boy.’

‘Which boy?’

‘Just a boy. You don’t know him.’


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