Her Mother’s Daughter
2. Conflict — The final week begins.
No! I thought as I drove home. Not my daughter! It wouldn’t be right. It was an easy drive from Edgbaston to Sutton Coldfield... Sunday night, remember? Most of the traffic was pub or Indian takeaway bound—the Balti had been invented in Birmingham, remember?
I thought about some of the Mother-Daughter double acts who were club members: what was the working definition of incest? ‘Rolling your own’, that was it! Mothers and Daughters, Aunts and nieces, Sisters... The latter was perhaps the most common incestuous relationship that I knew of... But Caitlyn and Sammie??? I rephrased my conclusion: It wouldn’t be right for me/us.
But damn you Maud: I can’t get the idea out of my head... What have you done to me? As I drove home, I had a vision, a dream of Sammie: Sammie naked: Sammie in bed waiting for me: Sammie being nice. My God! The latter was a real eye opener! Sammie being nice.....!
“Stop it! Stop it now!” I shouted out loud. “She’s only a child.”
There was silence and I suddenly realised that the traffic lights were green. I put the car into gear and drove off. A little voice broke the silence: “Four more days.” It said. “On Friday, she’ll be an adult.”
I recognised the voice: it was mine. The realisation made me feel as if I had been slapped. I screamed.
I arrived home about ten... Sammie was still up and was looking better. There was a scatter of textbooks and lesson notes on the dining room table and her laptop was active.
She looked up: her blue eyes burned with annoyance, but this faded. God, Maud was right, my daughter was beautiful!
“Hi, Sammie, how do you feel?” I asked as sympathetically as I could as I sat on the chair next to her. I could smell her warm musky womanly odour and it was turning me on.
She stared at me for a second or two. “Fine! Everything’s okay.” Her voice was gentle and friendly.
I smiled and patted her hand which she snatched away as if I was contagious or may be she thought Lesbianism was... Not that way darling, not like that.
“Sammie, I’ve got some really wonderful news...” I began to say.
The opportunity was too much for her to pass up on and she placed another of her barbs.
“If you are about to tell me that your going to shack-up with one of your crop-haired dyke friends, forget it! I’m just not interested in you or her!” The venom was heavy in her voice and I felt as if she had kicked me in the stomach.
“Sammie!” I shouted as tears welled up in my eyes. But deep inside, another button went: click!
She jumped up. “You make me sick—I’m going to bed: just don’t touch anything! Do you hear? It’s coursework so it’s important!” At that she stormed out, slamming the door behind her.
“We’ve won the lottery, darling.” I announced to the empty room; which was becoming a habit.
Next morning, Monday, began unusually. Normally it’s a battle to get Samantha up and ready for college: I give her a lift as I have to drive past on my way to work: I’m the Court Reporter for the Birmingham Herald—one of the city’s evening papers. Sammie is the reason why I am usually late.
Well, Sammie: I’m never going to be late again...
No, this Monday morning, my daughter surprised me: I awoke to the smell of bacon cooking. Before I knew what-was-what, I was out of bed and pulling on my dressing gown, I ran down stairs where I found my dear daughter, in the kitchen, cooking breakfast.
She gave me an angelic smile. “Good morning. mom.”
I should have been suspicious but, quite frankly, I was too shocked. Samantha never ever attempted to help prepare a meal... Or at least, not since she turned twelve.
“Good morning darling, this is a very pleasant surprise!” I replied, trying to hide my shock.
She gave me a beaming smile and then went back to her cooking and dishing up.
As we sat down at opposite ends of the little kitchen table, I had scarcely got the first forkful into my mouth when she revealed her ulterior motives.
“Mommy,” she hadn’t called me that since she was about eight, “I’ve been thinking... I’m really sorry for being so rude lately...”
Lately? But I didn’t say anything other than. “It’s alright, dear: I know things have been stressful of late.” A cooked breakfast AND an apology all at the same time... It was bound to be a biggie.
She smiled and then daintily picked at her mushrooms for a few seconds. “Mommy, you know how it’s such a chore driving me to college every morning? And you always being late because of it?”
“Hmm? Yes dear?” I knew what was coming... But the breakfast was very good—cooked to perfection. I’d always been a fan of the full-English breakfast and she knew it.
“Well... I’ll be eighteen on Friday... You’ll be able to put me on the car insurance... Then I’ll be able to drive myself around. Alan’s been giving me driving lessons ever since he passed his test three months ago.”
I spluttered to hide my laughter: her pet spotty moron had been teaching her to drive? That was rich as he already had two convictions: one for speeding and the other for driving without due care and attention.
“We’ll see dear: but let’s get today over with first!” Oh my beautiful daughter! Why can’t you always be like this?
She frowned. “I know that you hate Alan because he is a boy and you want me to have a girlfriend!” She muttered petulantly.
I decided to test how deep her wish for driving lessons really was. “No dear: I don’t hate Alan because he is a boy, in fact I don’t hate him at all: I just don’t like him because he is a moron!” I answered sweetly with a smile to match.
She dropped her knife and fork and he face turned deep red. Then she calmed down instantly. “Oh, mommy!”
“Look darling, I’ve a busy day ahead: and yes, driving lessons are a good idea: but from someone who can actually drive!” Had I gone too far? Her glare told me that I had.
“Anyway, let me tell you my good news first...” But I was speaking to an empty room. “We’ve won the Lottery, darling!”—SLAM!!!
The drive to college was as usual: Sammie hunched down in the front passenger seat, glowering at no one in particular.
“Darling, you really must let me tell you as it concerns both of us.” I made a last attempt to tell her that she was rich, but she was already fixated on something else.
“Look!” She hissed. “I told you, I am not interested in your dyke friends and don’t care who you are shacking-up with. So shut up! You make me ashamed of you! I hate you!” She shrieked as she got out of the car and ran into the building.
After I had dropped her I drove to work and told them that I was quitting as from today... Needless to say, they were more than a little displeased: but my mind was made up.
“But you are supposed to give a month’s notice.” The man from the personnel department almost wailed.
“We won’t be able to give you a reference for your next job!” It should have sounded like a threat but it was more like a plea.
I shrugged again. Next job? I thought. I’ve got several million reasons why that doesn’t matter!
He gave up and I cleared my desk before driving home home. I took a long look around the office and wished my workmates farewell, I would miss the place. I’d only ever worked for the Herald but it was time for a change. Although I will admit that I had a lump in my throat as I drove home that day.
My daughter really had gone too far this time: there was no way that I could see of patching things up... It was time to say ‘Goodbye, Sammie!”
I slumped into an armchair and picked up my mobile phone: I hesitated... “Oh Sammie,” I muttered, “what am I to do?” I dialled Maud’s number and waited to be connected. “Sammie? Why?” I felt a tear course down my cheek, soon to be followed by others.
“Hi, Caitlyn.” Maud gushed. When I didn’t answer immediately, she continued. “Had another row with her Ladyship, have you?”
“Uh-hu!” Was all I could manage to say.
“Okay, Cat, I’ll set things in motion.” She answered.
“No! Wait!” I managed to force out, but it was too late: the phone was dead. I dropped it and sighed heavily. “That’s not what I want...” I muttered to the empty house.
I set about putting my life into some semblance of order: I’ve always been a little chaotic. Actually, more than a little, if I am honest with myself: something had poisoned my relationship with my only daughter: was it me? Was I really such a lousy parent? The day dragged on, then at three, I received a text from Sammie: “Staying the night at Linnie’s.”
This in its self was suspicious: she normally didn’t bother telling me until much later. Well at least I knew where she was! It was obvious—She was with Alan... No doubt pouring out her heart to someone who was only interested in a tiny part of her anatomy and how to get into it.
At four I received a text from Maud: two texts in one day and neither of them trying to sell me something I didn’t need. This one was more complicated: “Expect a visitor tomorrow afternoon.”
The game was now playing me.