Out of Reach

This is a story of a teenage romance which blossoms into something beyond beautiful. It has twists and turns, where a young couple fall in and out of love with each other and other people. How do their lives pan out in the end though?


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36. Graduation

 

I park the car in the university car park where Daisy’s graduation party is being held. My stomach does flips inside me as I unbuckle my seat belt and turn off the ignition. Megan squeezes me thigh.    

   “Are you ready?” She asks me with a nervous smile.    

   “No. I can’t believe we’re doing this. Our daughter is nearly as old as us, she’s 22 for god’s sake.”    

   “I know, it’s strange. I feel like she’s my friend, not my daughter.”    

   “It almost feels like this is it. This is me saying goodbye to her. I didn’t even feel like this when she moved out. Now it feels like she’s grown up.”    

   “I get what you mean, it’s like you aren’t going to be a parent anymore.”    

   “Exactly. But of course we have these 2 little monkeys!” I turn around and tickle Ethan, watching him laugh.    

   “Dad, stop it!” He squeals.    

   “Come on kids, let’s go.” Megan says, getting out the car. Lucy and Ethan unbuckle their belts and get out too, leaving me sat alone in the car. My 10 year old daughter knocks on the window and waves at me as she walks off holding Ethan’s hand.    

   I get out the car.  

   “Wait then.” I yell after them. I grab hold of Megan’s hand. The university looks big, and bad memories suddenly swamp me as I remember everything that went on in my life whilst I was here. Then I feel guilty.    

   We take our seats in the big cold hall, and wait patiently. We all play eye spy for a short while to keep Lucy and Ethan occupied, but then Lucy insists it’s for little kids. That saddens me too, because not only is my oldest daughter now 22, but my youngest is 5, and soon all my children will have graduated from university.    Names are called out and people walk down the centre of the hall, an aisle made by the split in the chairs. I watch Daisy walk down the aisle in a skirt and a smart top. She has heels on her feet, and she’s wearing makeup. Her name is called through the microphone, and she receives her certificate. I turn to Megan, who is crying quite heavily, and I begin to do the same, but stop myself; the kids wouldn’t like it.     

   Daisy sees us from where she’s stood on the stage and waves at us. I wave back, remembering when we used to do the exact same thing when she had a school nativity.    

   I look down at my hands. They look old and worn down. I swallow hard, and smile up at my daughter, whose smile is lighting up the room.   Balloons scatter the ceiling of the hall, and graduates are dancing, laughing and smiling for photographs with their families. There is a bar on one full length of the venue, with people serving constantly. The rest of the room is one giant dance floor, apart from a few vacated round tables at the other end of the room, and a few small pub tables near the bar. A glitter ball is shining sparkles of light across the dark room.     

   I see Daisy slow dancing with her long-term boyfriend, Kyle. They’ve been seeing each other for 2 years now. He’s nice and respectable, and cares for Daisy so much. He reminds me of myself when I was his age, which worries me, but I have a feeling he loves Daisy too much to go behind her back. If he dare hurt her though, he won’t know what’s coming.    

   “Don’t they seem perfect for each other Dyl?” Megan asks, cuddling me.    

   “Very perfect.” I say, smelling her hair.    

   “I hope he doesn’t hurt her.”    

   “He won’t” my uncertainty showing in my voice.     

   We dance too, and the night closes in on us, until we have to leave to get Lucy and Ethan in bed.  

   “Where is Daisy going?” Ethan asks.    

   “She’s going in Kyle’s car, but don’t worry, they’re coming home.” Megan explains, strapping him into his car seat.    

   “Is Kyle having a sleepover?” Lucy asks this time.    

   “Yes darling.” Megan says.    

   The car goes quiet, so I put the radio on. Nobody has anything to say, but the quiet drum of the music is nice, beside the fact that that’s all I’ve heard for the past 2 hours.    

   We pull up outside the house, and see that Daisy and Kyle have beaten us. They stand beside the front door, and kiss. My heart drops, as I see my little girl is no longer mine, she’s his now.     

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