“You’re not going,” her father said gripping the steering wheel. “I don’t like what those other kids are into.”
Pressing her fingers against the falling rain outside, Shirley glared out of the passenger window with her feet resting on the dashboard.
“It’s a book club, Dad,” Shirley said. “Even parents are going to be there.”
“I don’t like what their parents are into either.”
“You don’t know what they are into. Have you even read any of these books, Dad? Do you even know what I’m reading? Like, you pay more attention to the books you don’t want me to read outside of class than the ones I’m studying in school. It doesn’t make sense.”
Her father continued to stare beyond the windshield, “Until you’re eighteen, what I say doesn’t need to make sense. What I say goes. You just listen and do. I pick you up from school so you don’t have to ride the bus, I do your laundry, I pay the bills. I do everything for you. The least you can do is show me some respect.”
Shirley’s breath grew shallow and her eyes began to flood.
“Those are things parents are expected to do, Dad. They’re not supposed to be things you hold over your kid’s head. Half of those things I don’t even want you to do. I want to ride the bus, Dad. All my friends ride the bus. And I definitely don’t want you doing my laundry. You ruin everything of mine you put in the dryer anyway.”
“That’s enough, Shirley,” her father growled. “You can be the boss when you have kids of your own.”
“That won’t be long. I’m the only girl that’s forced to sit in the hallway during Sex Ed. Do you know how embarrassing that is?”
Her father turned his head away from the road, “Why is that embarrassing?”