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Fun With Parents
"What are you doing?"
"Nothing."
"You're doing something. I can see that."
"Writing in my diary. I'm allowed to do that, right?"
"Writing ... what about?"
"Stuff."
"What kind of stuff?"
"Just stuff."
"Oh. Is anything wrong?"
"No."
"Because if it is, you can always talk to me."
"Nothing's wrong."
"Is it school?"
"No, there's nothing."
"Boys?"
"Nothing's wrong. I'm fine. I'm just writing in my diary."
"Are you sure?"
"Yes, I'm sure."
"Because I'm here if you want to talk."
"I don't want to talk. I just want to write in my diary."
"About what?"
"Stuff. Just stuff. Stuff-stuff."
"Any interesting stuff?"
"No."
"Then why are you writing it?"
"It's interesting to me."
"Well, maybe I'd be interested by it, too."
"You wouldn't."
"Try me."
"No, it's just private stuff."
"What kind of private stuff?"
"You know, just ... stuff."
"Boys?"
"Would you stop?"
"I just want to know, that's all."
"Just stuff! Private stuff! Personal stuff!"
"You don't have to yell."
"I wasn't yelling."
"You were yelling. That was yelling."
"I wasn't yelling."
"You were."
"Fine. Whatever. I was yelling. Satisfied?"
"I just wanted to talk ..."
"Fine. Talk."
"I wanted us to talk."
"About what?"
"You, what's going on with you."
"Nothing's going on with me."
"Something must be going on."
"Nothing's going on."
"How's school doing?"
"Fine."
"Got any homework?"
"Did it."
"Tests?"
"No."
"Boys?"
"Would you stop it? Everything's fine."
"I just want to know ..."
"I've already told you. Everything's fine."
"Fine."
"Fine."
"So I'll just let you write now, then."
"Thanks."
"You're sure there's nothing to talk about?"
"I can't believe you! You and Mom. Why aren't you ever like this when I want to talk to you?"
"What, is there something you want to talk about?"
"Not now. But if I actually want to talk, you're not there."
"When haven't we been there?"
"I don't know, you're just ... not."
"Have you wanted to talk sometime this week?"
"I don't know. But you guys are always busy."
"We've always got time for you."
"Yeah, sure."
"Really. Is there anything you want to talk about?"
"Not right now."
"What did you want to talk about before?"
"Before when?"
"Before, when you wanted to talk to us."
"Just ... stuff. It's not important now."
"It's not?"
"No. It was important then."
"What was it?"
"Just stuff."
"But it's not important now?"
"No."
"Then what's the big deal?"
"It was important then."
"What was it?"
"I don't remember, exactly. But it was important."
"Oh."
"No, really, it was."
"I'm sure."
"You don't believe me."
"Well, you don't remember what it was, and it's not even important anymore."
"But it was important then."
"I'm sure you thought it was."
"It was."
"What was it?"
"Never mind."
"No, really, I'd like to know."
"Never mind. It was nothing. Can I write now?"
"Of course. I'm not stopping you."
"Right."
"What, do you think I am?"
"Never mind. Can I just write?"
"Of course. What are you writing?"
Copyright Sarah Kathryn Blumenthal 1997.