(aka Bike, est. 2007)
Copyright© 2017 Angharad
In bed later that night Simon and I discussed what we should do about Trish. He was a little miffed that after going all the way to Cambridge and getting accepted at such a young age, I was stopping it happening. At the same time, he could see my argument that she was too young emotionally to cope in that sort of environment and was extremely trusting and so would be very vulnerable.
“Anybody hurt her and I’d pay for them to end up under the next motorway we build.”
“If you can find enough of them, be my guest.”
“Oh, the mamma bear bit—okay, the female is the more psychopathic of the species. That’s Kipling you know, updated a bit.”
“The cake maker not the author,” I added declining to give the advert’s by line of, ‘exceedingly good cakes’.
“Very funny, now are we going to have some nookie or what?” In some things he can be quite direct, sex is probably the major one. I wasn’t especially in the mood, despite his efforts to make me so, but I played along so at least he enjoyed it. I know some women are highly sexed, I’m not one of them, so I’d rather have a cuddle and go to sleep most of the time. Having to clean up afterwards and then find him fast asleep, probably with one leg still in his underpants, does little to encourage my libido.
It was quite late when I finally managed to get to sleep, I felt exhausted and the school holidays had just begun—how I was going to survive for seven or eight weeks of this, I had no idea. I decided I would take them to the villa in Menorca for a couple of weeks and was half tempted to invite Diane to come as well and bring her daughter—at least that way, there’d be two adults. It was pointless asking Simon to come, he simply doesn’t do holidays, except for the odd long weekend and then he’s watching his phone or laptop much of the time. Cyber attacks are his main worry or the defrauding of his clients by fraudsters who often use simple tricks to con, particularly elderly clients out of their account details, who find two minutes after disclosing the information that their accounts are empty—having been distributed around the globe by the criminals who conned them.
Catching them is a real problem and when they do, rarely is justice done. I remember one of my colleagues bemoaning that his wife had given away their details and they’d been cleaned out, all their savings and holiday money was gone in seconds and the bank was not very sympathetic as the wife had been sloppy with her security. I did lobby Simon over it—yeah, it was our bank—and he got them to repay the money, but they also sent a strong message—be so dumb again and we won’t rescue you.
Sammi had confided in me that the security services were still pursuing her, asking for her to just sign up for so many days a year—a bit like the volunteers in the Territorial Army, I suppose, except she’d be paid a great deal more then them. She gave them a non-committal answer, agreeing that if a specific problem arose that they thought she could help with, she may do so if she had time. Not sure what I think of her as a spook, but they might take her answer as lack of interest rather than lack of time, which is actually what she meant.
I also heard on the grapevine that the LSE, that’s the London School of Economics, for the uninitiated, were trying to inveigle her to do some teaching there. That I’d whole-heartedly support, I could see her as a reader or professor one day, she’s certainly clever enough for it.
The next morning I sent an email to the guy at Cambridge expressing my concerns about Trish’s age and immaturity in a social context. He replied saying he understood but he’d keep a place open for her from next year and would also continue to send her problems to try and solve by herself or with someone from the school or my university. That I thought would help to keep her occupied, or her mind at any rate, because clever kids who get bored can also get themselves into lots of bother.
During breakfast I asked generally if anyone wanted to go to Spain and the response was underwhelming to say the least. Danielle was concerned that the soccer season was about to start and she’d either miss games or training.
“You’re a school girl, you’re allowed to take holidays, especially family ones.”
She shrugged her reply and Simon told me not to pick on her as she was at that age when she’d prefer to go with friends than family.
“She’s not fifteen yet,” I said angrily, “she’s too young to go with friends, unless it’s with their parents as well, in which case, I’ll bet our holidays are more fun.”
“Sure, taking on the mafia is always such fun,” she said drily before excusing herself from the breakfast table.
“She’s sore that they left her out of the world cup squad,” offered Simon not adding that telling her she was too young for such a sustained campaign, when she suspected they were discriminating against her for being a transgender athlete.
My advice was to show them what they were missing and she did rather overdo her reaction, in a friendly game she scored six goals before she was taken off to rest her. Her club know she’s the best player they have and is probably better than several who’ve made the England squad but they are older and bigger.
Hannah was in favour of going but the looks from the others shut her down very quickly. They all decamped from the table and I looked at Simon. “What did I say? Most kids would give their eye teeth for two weeks at a villa with its own pool.”
“Ours are most kids are they? They do things differently.”
I’d have simplified it even more, our kids are different—and I don’t necessarily mean the transgender ones—they seem more calculating at times, perhaps they’re just cleverer and clever kids are difficult. Except for the little ones, it wasn’t enough to promise them ice creams or small rewards for doing what I want to do, they want to say what they want to do and sometimes it’s okay and sometimes it isn’t. Making a bomb from household chemicals and blowing up an apple tree in the orchard was definitely not. You can guess who was the ringleader but the others were all on board. They still haven’t told me where they acquired the hydrogen peroxide.
“I’ww come to the holiday house with you, Mummy,” said Mima quietly, possibly so the others didn’t overhear her.
“Okay, sweetheart, perhaps just you and I will go and leave Daddy to look after the others.”
“Pwaps I’ww wook aft-ah Daddy instead.”
I forgot, she’s her daddy’s girl, so my only ally betrayed me. At this rate, I’ll book them all into a holiday camp and go by myself—except I’d spend most of the time phoning them or worrying about them. Bugger, I wonder if a human has ever managed to hibernate—maybe I’ll be the first one?
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