Turning eleven had not been the momentous occasion Esmé hoped it would be.
She certainly felt older, and like all her friends she was beginning to feel more and more part of the wider world, as if all the companies and all the television programmes were aimed directly at her, which of course to certain degree they were.
Such huge changes had taken place over the past year that turning eleven held little joy, in fact she was already longing for her life before.
“Mum?” Esmé asked Lizzie.
“Yes, Ezz,” said her mother Lizzie who was writing the final chapter of her novel, ‘Having it all (not)’, an ironic look at what Lizzie believed was the modern myth of women who can juggle career, marriage and parenthood.
“When is Dad coming to collect me?”.
Lizzie sighed heavily, “He’s not coming today Ezz, I thought we’d already had this discussion.”
“But it’s Saturday, why isn’t he coming, Mum?”
“Ezz, I’m trying to work Sweetheart, can we talk about this later.”
“I just want to know why he’s not coming today.”
“He’s busy, Ezz.”
“Doing what?” Esmé protested.
“He’s in Japan with Emma.” Lizzie said before continuing to tap away at the tiny keyboard on her laptop.
How had their family become so crowded thought Esmé. Where once it was just her Mum, Dad, Esmé and her bother, now there was Emma, her fathers ‘friend’ and Aaron, the man who wrote those terrible books which always had mournful looking people staring out from the cover.
Her mother called Aaron's books, 'inspirational'; however, she had recently overheard her Aunt Heather describe them to her Father, Marcus as ‘miserable’ and ‘self-absorbed’. Esmé wasn’t certain what ‘self-absorbed' meant, but from the way her Aunt and rolled her eyes as she said it she knew it was not a compliment.
“But Mum, Dad said I could stay at this place straight after my birthday.”
“That was only a few weeks ago, Hon” said Lizzie without a moments break in her typing.
“No it wasn’t, I’m eleven years, one month and ten days old so that means it was six weeks ago.”
“You know Esmé, counting out your age like that is awfully childish, now please Hon,” Lizzie implored, “I need to work on this for a bit longer, then I promise we can do whatever you want.”
Esmé thought for a moment, and then responded adamantly, “I want to see my Dad.”