Chapter 3: Diva , Tae

03 ] Diva , Tae

The last time Tae had been to visit her parents, they had just got a dog to replace her. Apparently, wealthy people owning poodles was officially ‘out of fashion’. Their new West Highland White Terrier looked mightily comfortable sleeping in her bed. Yes. I said in.

The worst part about it was that Tae had begged them for a pink poodle for years. Now, of course, she shared her current lodgings with the Kiss Kiss Bandits and our docile Bombay cat Sierra, whose vacant copper eyes bore into her with every movement she made, watching and judging. What a kick in the face – to want a dog for so long, end up with a cat, and discover that the place she’d just left now has a dog.

Queenie, the new princess of the household, haughtily trotted out of her special kennel to meet her with its little nose in the air. To be honest, why they let it sleep in Tae’s bed if it had a kennel, I have no idea. The small canine sniffed her with suspicion, and then proceeded to ignore her.

“Mutt.” Tae muttered, fiddling with the ends of her hair uneasily. In her family, reunions were never pleasant. For her.

Suddenly, her mother flung open the front door wearing a dress too fancy for indoors and shrieked, “Chaaaaawntaaaae!” for the whole road to hear, rushing across too-perfect-to-be-real grass in pink fluffy slippers. Tae no longer tried to escape the bone-crushing hug, instead she stood stiffly and accepted it. As infuriating as her mother was, she had that special, comforting smell of home-baked cookies, the type that were warm and gooey in texture.

“Sweetheart.” came her father’s calm voice.

He stood on the doorstep with a hand outstretched, motioning impatiently for them to come inside. His hug was lumbering and awkward; Tae was used to this. She once told me her parents were too up their own asses to behave like proper parents. At the time, I’d just exchanged a quiet look with Carmela and said nothing. Coming from generally loving families, we always felt awkward when other people dissed their parents.

“We obviously have a lot to talk about,” her father continued, leading her into the enormous sitting room. “Come on then, don’t be so glum. Sit down.” he urged, sitting down himself and pulling her mother to sit beside him.

Anyone who saw the state of Tae’s house would think she was completely insane to leave at all. A large, cream coloured manor with a mint green roof and a front yard the size of a football pitch. Even Queenie’s kennel was one of those custom-made things that was an exact replica of the house. I didn’t know people still bought those.

“Look, I’m not here to kiss and cuddle, sorry to burst your bubble.” Tae told them, struggling to keep her irritation under control, which was always ten times harder in the face of her prudish parents. “Why did you cut off my allowance?”