Another character assassination! This was the first unpleasant person I created. Enjoy…
That’s it darling, look at mummy and smile! Sweetie, you’ll be fine, just fine. Mummy and daddy are very proud of you, aren’t we, and we can’t wait to hear all about your new adventures at university! Graham, for god’s sake, she doesn’t want that bloody teddy – you’re going to make new friends darling, and they don’t want to see your silly teddy. Graham, take it inside quick, before she decides to take it.
Now darling, I know you’re going to miss Cookie, and she’ll miss you terribly too darling, but I promised that ghastly lady from the children’s charity that we’d have a trial run of letting some of the remedials ride her, so she won’t get lonely darling, but to be honest I was a teensy bit bullied into it by Mrs Bloxham so I’ll have to see if I can stop it – I know you won’t want a wretched special needs child dribbling all over your lovely Cookie.
And that reminds me, Toby sends love and kisses but he can’t come out to say goodbye because he’s indoors playing the cello and you know how much he loves practising – well, no, I can’t hear him now you come to mention it, but he’s inside and I don’t want to disturb him.
Anyway, Henrietta, it’s your special day. Off to Oxford! Have you got your oboe and your ballet shoes? You’ve forgotten them. Right. Graham! She’s forgotten her oboe and ballet shoes! You silly billy, I thought they’d be the first things you would have packed! Don’t slouch so, darling, you know we didn’t pay out for a deportment teacher for you to start slouching. There you go, there’s your ballet shoes and oboe.
Well! You could be a bit more gracious than that! After all, just think how upset you’d be if you went without them. Now sweetie, I’ve had a look around and I’ve managed to find you a new chess tutor because I know how much you love your chess, and I don’t want you to forget everything Mr Prokofiev has taught you. Don’t pull silly faces, darling. Anyone would think you didn’t like chess wouldn’t they, hmm, and we wouldn’t want that now, would we sweetie?
No. No we wouldn’t. Henrietta, I do wish you wouldn’t say such silly things. I know you’re nervous, but there’s no reason for that. Oh, do stop pulling faces – you know bad energy plays havoc with mummy’s chakras and gives her a headache – Graham! I’ve already told you! We don’t want that stupid teddy! What if one of the Rosenthals saw it? They’d laugh at her! No, sweetie, you’re not taking it. What else have I got for my little sweetie? Well, darling, I’ve signed you up for fencing lessons: it’ll be good for you darling, and you never know, Aaron Rosenthal does fencing and there’s bound to be socials, and – oh, what? What am I doing, Graham? Oh for pity’s sake, I’m not trying to marry her off, I’m just saying he’s very eligible – he was in Vanity Fair! – and you might bump into him. That’s all.
Now, for your first formal, I’ve bought you a dress. You’re welcome, darling. It’s by Laurence du Pont, so you’re not allowed to ruin it by any of that being sick nonsense, not that you would darling, because you won’t be drinking that horrid cider again – honestly, Strongbow, I don’t know what you were thinking – because you’re more confident now, and you’ll tell those awful people you don’t like their nasty drink, and we won’t do any more getting very drunk, hmm, will we. Because mummy really was very much hoping to impress that man from ‘Horse and Hounds’ and it was rather a disappointment to see you rolling drunk – yes you were, you were! – and I haven’t heard back from him. Never mind, mummy’s interview obviously isn’t that important, as long as you’re having your fun. Don’t get upset sweetie, it’s all right. Mummy only spent £1000 on a new dress for the shoot that hasn’t happened yet, so it means I’ve got a new dress for your graduation! Or if you invite me to your May Ball…
No, sweetie, I’m only kidding, you don’t have to ask your silly old mummy along! Although, Henrietta, now I mention it, Louisa Barraclough-ffrench asked her parents to go, and now she’s engaged to the eldest of the Fairfaxes, so sometimes mummy does know best!
Now darling, I’m being serious. Mummy has her serious face on. I know you have a Facespace, but I don’t want to see anything inappropriate on it – you’re online friends with daddy, and daddy’s workchums don’t want to see you doing karaoke again! No, darling, it’s vulgar, don’t do it. Louisa Barraclough-ffrench doesn’t do it, does she, and she’s done very well for herself!
Oh, stand up straight darling – you know mummy siply can’t bear to see you slouch, and you’re going to crease that Louis Van der Wood top to pieces! Graham, where is that dreadful little man? What is the point of hiring a driver to take you all the way there if he doesn’t turn up? You’re going to have to say something, Graham – I don’t care if his chemotherapy makes him tired; we’ve paid for him and besides, he shouldn’t be working if he can’t do it. We won’t hire him again, he’s making you late darling. We’ll simply have to ask for our money back.
Now, while we wait, have you got everything? Did you get your box of food? Now remember: it’s protein week this week, so none of those naughty carbohydrates! We want you trim enough to cox for the boat race! Oh, darling! You can’t take that Merlot with you! It’s all right for cooking with, I suppose, but we’ve got a lovely 2011 Riesling you can share with your new friends. Oh, good, here’s the driver…!
What kind of message does that send out, Graham? For god’s sake, I give you one job! You’d have thought that even you couldn’t go wrong with simply booking the driver, but this is ridiculous – don’t touch me, Graham, my nerves are shot to pieces. She’s not going to Oxford in a Nissan. I’ve got one of those headaches coming on – don’t smirk, darling, this is your fault! If you didn’t have to go away, we wouldn’t have the Nissan!
Well, I suppose it’ll have to do. I just hope to God Aaron Rosenthal doesn’t see her pulling up to Brasenose in a bloody Nissan of all things…
Anyway, darling! This is it! Goodbye then! No, don’t hug me – your top, remember! And no, sweetie, that nice Dr Cooper told me not to kiss anything until the fillers have settled down. You don’t want mummy’s lips to be swollen do you, especially if the ‘Horse and Hound’ do want a picture. Well, cheerio! Next time we see you will be skiing at Christmas! Oh, I can’t tell you how much I’m going to miss you, darling – mummy’s taxi service simply won’t know what to do without taking you to golf and ballet and squash! But it’s what you love doing and who am I to stop you, even if sometimes mummy does want a teensy bit of a lie-in at the weekends!
Goodbye darling! Promise me you’ll keep up the Japanese – you’re very interested in the language and it will be useful, especially if the Rosenthals do look to expand there. Oh, konichiwa darling!
Graham, Graham, don’t just stand here: get me a gin and tonic! Yes, a bloody large one! Our little girl has gone away and I’d be crying if my tear ducts would allow it – we really must chase up suing that cosmetic surgeon. Now, I simply must give the ‘Horse and Hounds’ chap a ring. Do you suppose he’d like a photo of Toby playing polo?
Don’t tell me she took that rotten teddy after all!