Indigo Heads Out On The Town With Tara ~ But What Will The Family Say?
Autumn, Year 6
Bill is 52, Indigo is 16, Tara is 15
It felt like longer than the duration of the day before Indigo met Tara outside The Tudor Tavern, one of the most popular restaurants in the area. He’d never been on an actual date before and, even though it was Tara and he’d known her for ages, he felt very nervous.
He had nothing to worry about. They were seated at a beautiful table on the patio and, once the ice was broken with awkward small talk, the conversation flowed easily. Indigo began to relax.
The evening was surprisingly easy. He’d expected to have to work really hard to try and impress Tara but he didn’t have to; she already was.
It was a relief. After the difficult atmosphere at home, following his sister Caddy’s announcement, he felt like he needed some good news.
After their meal, they went for a walk along the river. The weather was perfect and the temperature was surprisingly warm for Autumn.
“This has been lovely,” Tara said as they strolled along. “Thanks for asking me. I wasn’t sure you would – but I’m glad you did.”
“So am I.” Indigo smiled and stopped walking. “There’s something else I wanted to do tonight, too.”
And with that, Indigo leaned in for his and Tara’s first kiss.
Neither could quite believe their change of luck. Tara was so used to being picked on and teased; she’d been taunted and bullied right through primary and middle school and so far, senior school hadn’t looked that much better. She still couldn’t believe Indigo actually liked her.
As for Indigo, always being the odd-one-out at home and school, having someone like Tara around who understood him was the best feeling in the world. There was just something about her that made him feel giddy.
They spent the remainder of the evening watching videos on Simtube and taking selfies.
“Are you sure that camera is even on us?” Tara asked, as Indigo held his phone up high.
“Absolutely! Trust me, I know how these things work.”
After taking the final photo, Indigo suddenly noticed the time. “Oh my Watcher, it’s almost midnight! What time were you supposed to be home?”
Tara’s eyes widened. “Oh no! I should have been home ages ago! And I left my phone switched off. My parents will kill me.”
“Mine too.” Indigo sighed. Suddenly, he grabbed Tara and twirled her around. “I’d better leave you something to remember me by if our parents are going to kill us later!”
As he expected, Bill was waiting up for him when he finally slipped through the door.
“What time do you call this?” Bill was furious. “I expected better from you, Indigo. You’re one of the very few responsible members of this family. We let you go out for the evening and look at the thanks we get for it!”
“You’re lecturing ME about responsibility?” Indigo snapped. “Where was this energy when Caddy came home from her very first experience at University with a little surprise? She’s just moved her new boyfriend in and she’s only known him for a few weeks, yet they’re now having a baby! I get home an hour later than I expected because, for the first time in my life, I was actually doing something for me and you’re all over me.”
Bill was startled but Indigo wasn’t finished.
“Do you know, while you’re tucked away in your own little world of art exhibitions, who does the cooking and cleaning around here? Who tends to Forrest when he cries? Who makes dinner? Who does the laundry? Who hoovers the dust off the floor?” Indigo scowled. “Me and Saffy, that’s who. Mum doesn’t lift a finger around here anymore – not that she ever did in the first place. I remember watching you doing all the cooking when I was little. Now Caddy’s carrying on the same way but you never say anything, do you? She’s always been your little favourite, hasn’t she?”
Bill opened his mouth. “Indigo-“
“No.” Indigo shook his head. “I’m not listening. You just ruined the best night I’ve ever had. I’m sorry I was late; I lost track of the time. It won’t happen again.”
And with that, he turned and ran up the stairs, slamming the bedroom door.
Bill massaged his temple as the house fell silent. He hated shouting at Indigo; his son was usually no bother at all. He knew Indigo was in the wrong by being late but the teenager had made several good points.
He could hardly go on at Indigo for the first mistake he’d made in years when his eldest daughter was upstairs right now with a man she’d just met and planning their future family.
Suddenly, everything had become very complicated and all Bill wanted to do was get away from it all.