It was almost evening and dinner was ready. It was the same usual dishes that Grandfather Billy prepared, meat and green salad with sides of rice. Jennifer and her daughter Arielle sat at both ends of the dining table, with the man in between them. They were silent as usual, no crazy talk during dinner, as Billy would always emphasize.
Arielle was getting feisty, hesitant to touch her food.
"Ari…what's wrong, why aren't you eating?" Jennifer spoke to her daughter.
"Mum…may I ask you a question?" Arielle asked, putting down her cutlery. She was feeling sheepish
"Yeah a quick one I guess." Jennifer said, forking a piece of meat and putting it into her mouth.
"Ok like…are you a virgin?" Arielle asked which caused her mother to choke.
"My god…I am. I mean I'm not. Why the hell do you ask such questions?" Jennifer raised her voice, coughing in exasperation while she pounded her chest. Billy stared at the girl, he too had stopped eating.
"My friend at school, she was bragging about having her virginity broken and it sounded really painful. I didn't know what that was and asked her about it. But she laughed and told me that a tom like myself could never break it."
"Geez who breaks it at the age of thirteen…" Jennifer mumbled only to be stared down at her father. She grimaced, getting back to eating.
"I mean you're pretty much a tomboy yourself, so I'm asking you. What's a virginity and did you ever break it?"
"What do you mean by me being a tom, I am never one." Jennifer talked with rice in her mouth.
"But you sing manly songs in the bar holding a mug of beer with one leg on the chair while wearing a dress."
"That doesn't make me into one, I just…entertain people. And besides…" Jennifer started to mumbled again. "That was a long time ago."
"Really!" Arielle's eyes budged. "What did you do to break yours? It must hurt a lot huh?" But Jennifer had cut her eyes in blinding speed at her father who took the cue.
"Arielle…" Her grandfather spoke in a gruff voice. "We do not talk about such things at the dinner table."
"But it's just a simple question…" Arielle argued back.
"This is not what girls should be talking about, I don't ever want to hear this again. Do you understand me?" The girl nodded and got back to eating.
Jennifer on the other hand got back into a grimace, looking at her Arielle. She resorted to stuffing her mouth full with rice. Billy was staring at his daughter while Jennifer was staring back before she cowered back to her plate.
"Go to your room Arielle." Billy asked his granddaughter.
"But why, I didn't do anything wrong today."
"I need to talk to your mother privately. It's important."
She scowled, getting out of her chair before she left, her stupid grandfather was always unreasonable anyways.
Arielle got upstairs, locked the door and dumped herself onto bed. She got on her earpiece and switched on her device which had the latest hit sung by the ever popular singer Treyden Travis.
Oh dear lassie…my heart's all messy. Treyden's deep voice drifted into her soul, smearing a smile onto her face. She knew it sounded tacky, but there's nothing wrong with being clichéd.
The heartthrob had set her into the mood to read her favorite book by Jasper Newman. She flipped to page hundred and twenty two where Beau was watching the stars with Vicky as he said that one line to her. Before she could even re read that part she slammed the book shut with eagerness.
"I am the sky and every-time you smile, you add something bright into my life. You bring happiness and I am completed with you." She said it as fast as possible, soon peering into the book before she could finish reciting the line. It was the exact sentence as she squealed and hugged her book.
All she ever wished was for George to say this to her.
"For the umpteen time dad, I do not want to find him and I don't care about your stupid reputations. I'm living fine together with Ari." Jennifer raised her voice at her father as he stared at her for a short while.
"Do you really entertain people like that at the bar?" Billy asked her, frowning in skepticism. He glimpsed at her frilly short skirt.
"I was getting excited, you know…"
"You don't need a man to teach you to be a woman. You're no longer seventeen and I can't always teach you to do the right thing isn't it?" He shook his head, there was a silence that followed. That was something new from her father.
"So we're not talking about him?"
"Which brings me to my next point…" Billy carried on as Jennifer got out from her chair, rolling her eyes.
"You are no longer young..."
"I don't care and the answer's the same, I don't ever to find him and I'm going to work now." Jennifer said, dumping her food scraps onto a fresh plate.
"Even if you do not want to do it for me, do it for Arielle then. She needs her father." Jennifer flinched but she managed to steel herself.
"Ari doesn't need him, I'm more than enough for her." Jennifer said, going into the kitchen.
"Why don't you understand Jen, he needs to be responsible."
"Dad just…shut up about him all right. I need to get to work now." Jennifer snapped, crashing her plate and cutleries into the sink. Billy had nothing more to say.
"You better wear some pants to work today." Then the man yelled back. He got back to eating
In the kitchen, Jennifer had glared through the window. I am the sky and you're the stars, you put light into my life. I am completed with you. That line of filth actually made her heart melt and her eyes blind back in those days.
And then he was gone, like a forgettable kiss when he broke it.