“It’s not fair!!!! Why are you treating me like this? I’m not a child anymore, you know.”
Amber leaned back against her oven. It was warm, comforting even, the heat from the latest batch of crusty bread still seeping through the glass front. The smell of baking lingered in her kitchen, and she took in a deep breath, savouring the thought of freshly baked loaves for dinner.
Another slam of books on the table brought her attention back to the present and to her 14 year old daughter Willow.
“EVERYONE is going to be there. I’m going to be an outcast, and it’s ALL YOUR FAULT.”
Amber sighed, bringing her thoughts back to the situation at hand, and to her fierce, glowering teen.
“Let me get this right. You’re mad because I won’t let you go to a party thrown by your cousin, when you and I know full well that “everyone” as you put it will be there drinking, and you are definitely underage. You didn’t even tell me about this party, I only found out because Auntie Ju called to tell me she was going to be away.”
Willow slammed yet another book on to the table. Amber winced.
“Everything is going wrong and it’s ALL YOUR FAULT!!!”
For a second Willow seemed to crumple and Amber caught a real glimpse of her daughter. Not the raging creature that stood before her, furious, but her sweet youngest child who rescued insects and helped her with chores. The one who called just to talk and would always check on her before bedtime.
Without saying a word, Amber walked over to the freezer and pulled out the tub of ice cream that was a staple in their family. Walking back to the countertop, she deftly spooned two big scoops into bowls, returning the ice cream back where it belonged. Grabbing sprinkles and chocolate sauce in one hand and the bowls in the other, she walked to the table, plopping a bowl down in front of her daughter.
“I don’t want it.” Willow was surly.
“Okay then. Sit. I’ll eat, but I want to talk to you.”
Willow sat, reluctantly. She picked up a spoon to toy with the ice cream. Amber showed no reaction, focussing instead on topping hers own off with chocolate sauce and a hint of sprinkles.
“You want to tell me what this is really about?”
“I heard you and Daddy fighting last night. I came down here to get some water and I.. heard you.”
Amber winced. “All of it?”
Willow kept her eyes on the bowl. “Yeah. You never fight like that. EVER. That’s how Emma’s parents sound, and they hate each other.”
“Honey, I am so sorry you had to hear that. I’ll admit that wasn’t one of our finest moments and Daddy and I may have said some things to each other, but sometimes that happens when people are upset. We love each other. You know that, right?”
Willow’s head remained bowed, but she nodded.
“Daddy and I are okay. We talked this morning, and sorted things out. Seems a good night’s sleep helped both of us.”
Amber tapped her bowl with the spoon. “Don’t tell anyone, but I MAY have had a bowl of ice cream at 1:30 am.”
A hint of a grin split across Willow’s face. They were so alike, she and her daughter. Fiery and feisty. Animal lovers, travellers, extroverts and optimists. Ice cream was their kryptonite.
Willow reached for the sprinkles.
“So… you know I can’t let you go to the party right? But how about we have a girl’s night here. We’ll go out and get supplies. Movies, popcorn, nail polish. If Daddy decides to join we’ll have to insist on at least a face mask. Keep the camera ready.”
Willow giggled. “Fine, but I get to pick the movie. And we get pizza.”