THE SUMMER HOLIDAYS
Celest grabbed her school bag and drifted out of the classroom with the rest of the year 12’s. Everyone’s excitement about their final day of school washed in waves over her, leaving her cold. Her feet dragged along the pathway to the school exit.
Everyone was planning beach parties or going to the cinema. Excluded, a virtual stranger amongst her peers, she stood waiting for the school bus.
She would spend her summer holiday working at the family restaurant. It was the busiest time of the year. She has been doing this since grade 9 when her grandmother decided that she should become more responsible – not waste her time on the beach or at the cinema.”
Derek grabbed her from behind. “So Celest, are you joining us for our last school party on the beach next week?” Behind him she saw his friends sniggering into their hands. “They probably set the dumb fool up to ask me. Everyone knows I work school holidays.”
Her throat constricted as pure anger blitzed through her body. She just looked at Derek’s handsome face, her throat working as she wanted to shout something acid and obnoxious at him. She noticed the light of expectation in his eyes. “I don’t know” she stammered. Frantically her mind scrabbled, “how can I get Nana to agree to let me go out for just one night. She is not easy to convince.”
“Do you want me to ask your Grandmother?” Giggles erupted around her.
“No no no!” She pushed him away and fled down the footpath. “I could just imagine him asking Nana. She will have me confirmed pregnant out of wedlock before he could finish his request to take me to the beach party. I am after all my mother’s child…….”
Tears blurred her vision as she ran all the way home. “Why can’t I just have a normal young adult life?”