She had tried to discuss this with her husband, but he waved the conversation aside in his wet non-confrontational way. He was disbelieving that there could be any problems in the Maven household, and flippantly passed a remark ‘at least we know Verity’s not on drugs or hanging with the wrong crowd... she doesn’t seem to have any friends these days!’ And he nervously laughed, realising that not only had he betrayed his daughter, he had neither the integrity nor inner strength to fix it. Underneath the family ideal lay something awkward from which he shied. As far as he was concerned it was a mother-daughter thing... Now if they’d had a boy... then.... he pictured himself passing a rugby ball between father and son and sorting out all the kid’s issues on a Saturday afternoon. Teenage girls were intricate and delicate and... he shuddered.
The timer buzzed on the stove and the thought disappeared with the steam rising from the saucepan of peas on the boil.