“Why do you consistently try ruining my life?” I screamed, while slamming my bedroom door.

“Maybe if you went out with some civilised boys once in a while, I wouldn’t have to vet your dates,” shouted back my Dad.

No-ones ever right for Daddy’s little girl. The guy that I am going out with at the moment is called Fred and he is the nicest guy in the world. Why then, would my dad want to wreck my dates with him? ‘Appearance’. The clothes he wears are dreadful. I can only imagine that it is all down to his appearance. Even if I say so myself, his dress sense doesn’t leave much to be desired. However, he’s worth fighting over. Not many parents turn up to their daughter’s dates and ruin it.

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I lay on my bed thinking about my family. There are four of us, my Mum, Dad, older brother and myself. My Mum seems to be the only one that understands me. Maybe it’s because she’s my Mum or maybe it’s because us girls have to stick together. My Mum’s maiden name is Jill Wellar and once she married my Dad, James Atlas she also took the second name as Atlas. They had my brother John two years into their marriage and three years later had me. They named me after my Grandma Sarah.

John graduated from High School and has gone to work on dentistry in Glasgow. He is nineteen, I am sixteen and we both share similar characteristics. My family have stuck together through good and bad times and we are very fond of each other (most of the time). I just think that my dad becomes a little over protected when he sees me going out with boys. But he’s going to have to learn that I’m not his little girl anymore. This weekend is very hectic. We have my widowed grandma coming to stay with us along with John, who is coming back from university. We’re all squashed into our four bedroom house.

“Neighbours!” I reminded myself, as I jumped off my bed ecstatically. My friends had told me that Liam was going to be shot. It said in the papers that there was going to be an unforgettable climax to the program. It was a late night special on Channel 4 and it would never be repeated. Everyone would be speaking about it at school on Monday. Since I had become one of the more popular girls, I had to watch it! My reputation would be ruined if I missed it.

“Where are you going?” asked my Dad while watching the football in his bedroom. “Neighbours is on,” I replied, walking down the stairs.

I walked into the playroom to find John also watching the football.

“John can you watch the football upstairs with Dad?” I asked as I got to the playroom to find John also watching the football.

“Shut-up! This is an important match. If we (Manchester United) win we’ll win the Premiership,” replied my not so charming brother.

“Mum, are there TV’s that aren’t being used at the moment?” I asked as I entered the kitchen.

“Try the living-room,” replied my mum


“Finally I can watch my program,” I whispered to myself as I approached the door to the last TV in the house.

I opened the playroom door only to find my grandma slumped in a chair dosing on and off whilst watching the TV.

“Come and watch The Antiques Road show,” said my Grandma, as she started awake.

“No thanks, I’ve got lots of homework,” I answered unhappily.

I despondently climbed the stairs without lifting my head. I went into my bedroom, feeling exhausted and just crashed onto my bed. I fell asleep knowing that it was probably the worst night of my life. My date was sabotaged and my TV viewing was totally restricted.

“Ring, ring, ring, ring,” went my phone, the next morning.

“Hello,” I said in a very lethargic tone of voice.

“Hi, it’s Fred.”

I started to think why anyone would phone me back after what happened yesterday. It just showed how much of a caring guy he must be.

“Sarah, are you there?”

“Yea, sorry. Listen I’m really sorry about last night. My Dad is just really over-protective,” I said.

“Don’t worry about it, I know how parents are. I phoned because I need to see you again. You’re brilliant and I had a lovely time last night until your Dad came along.”

“Thanks,” I replied blushing.

“So, when am I going to see you again?” he asked.

“Tonight. Firstly I think we both know why my Dad doesn’t like you.”

“Yea, I suppose,” he responded.

“Come to my house tonight at seven and wear the nicest clothes that you have. Preferably a jacket and tie. After my Dad has seen you in nice clothes he’ll realise that you’re a nice guy and let us go out. The address is 387 Twilight Road, Surbiton. ”

“Not only are you beautiful, but also clever. See you later.”

“Bye,” I replied, leaping out of my bed like a frog.

I had a quick shower, threw on my clothes and headed downstairs to enjoy the fried breakfast that I had smelt wafting up the stairs.

“Mum, it looks delicious,” I said.

“Morning,” the whole family (except for Dad) replied.

“It’s twelve o’clock. Where have you been? You’ve done no work this morning and it will probably stay that way for the rest of the day. However, I suppose it is your birthday, I’ll let you off,” said my Dad giving me a big hug.

I had completely forgotten that it was my birthday. It must have been because of all the events that happened yesterday. I was seventeen.

“Sarah, happy birthday,” said Grandma, giving me twenty pounds.

“Thanks Grandma,” I responded giving her a hug of thanks.

“Here’s another twenty pounds,” said John, handing me the money.

“Thank-you,” I replied also giving him a hug.

“Finally; your mother and I have booked you driving lessons,” said my Dad.

“I love you all so much,” I said with tears looping up in my eyes.

As we all got up to go my Mum held me back and gave me a smaller present. It was the episode of Neighbours that I had missed the previous night. It was brand new, without a speck of dust on it. The outer wrapping shone as bright as the sun. While looking down at the tape I knew how much my mum actually loved me. There were only four words that I could say to her.

“Mum, I love you,” I said bursting into tears.

“I love you to,”

I never asked her how she got it. It didn’t matter. I was just glad that I had it. After our emotional display we both went to the living-room and watched Neighbours together. It truly was a heart stopping episode and it was the perfect gift. Before I knew it was six o’clock. I only had one hour to get ready before Fred arrived to pick me up.

After Neighbours had finished, I went up stairs and started to get ready for my special date. If all went to plan I would be able to go to the cinema with Fred. Fred would have to look perfect to impress my dad.

“Ding, dong” went the doorbell, as I was putting my final bit of make-up on.

I tried running out of the room, but failed miserably with my high-heels on.

“Dad, my dates here,” I said going past his bedroom door.

“Let’s hope that he looks slightly better than your last date,” replied my Dad.

I took my shoes off and ran downstairs, getting there before my Dad. I opened the door quickly.

“Your name is Chris Denby. Be friendly and polite,” I said to Fred hurriedly.

“Evening Mr.Atlas,” Fred said putting on a slight Welsh accent.

“What’s your name boy,” said my dad anxiously.

“Chris Denby.”

“What’s your date of birth?”

“The fourteenth of October, nineteen eighty five,” Fred replied, confidently.

“Just a bit older than my daughter then; what is so special about today?”

“It’s your daughter’s birthday Mr.Atlas.”

I was amazed that Fred knew that it was my birthday. I didn’t even tell him.

“Why are you here?” my Dad asked.

“I was wishing to take your daughter to the cinema,” Fred replied.

“Your wish has been granted. Have a lovely evening” said my Dad with a small grin on his face.

“Thanks Dad,” I said giving him a tight squeeze.

“Look after her, Fred,” replied my Dad.

Fred carried on walking to the gate while I stayed with my Dad for a minute.

“How’d you know?” I asked, as he was closing the front door

“Fred still has a bit of black make-up on the back of his neck,” replied my Dad.

“Why did you change your mind?” I asked.

“Well, last night when I lay on my bed I realised that you’re big enough to look after yourself. However, you’ll always be Daddy’s girl. You just won’t be Daddy’s little girl anymore.”

“Thanks Dad,” I said giving him another hug.

“When you bring her home Fred, I will give you the list of rules for dating my daughter,” shouted my Dad, while we were exiting the premises.

“O.K Mr.Atlas.”

“You know something, I feel quite good in these clothes,” said Fred as we sauntered away from my house.

It just goes to show how days change from being terrible to memorable.


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