'Words' by Stella Turner

“Okay so what?”
 
What indeed I thought. Don’t these kids have any shame anymore?
 
In my day I’d be too ashamed to tell my mum what I’d been up to. We kept quiet and prayed no one had seen us. My mum used to say if she’d been misbehaving by the time she got home the news had reached her father and his belt.
I could see Chloe’s embarrassment. She twisted her hair and sucked the end like it was best steak. She was never going to make eye contact unless her mum plucked out her eyes and put them on the dining table.
 
“So?”
 
I felt her mum suck in her breath. Felt the tension in her body. Felt her disappointment. I could feel her trying to find the right words, not the angry words that would hurt forever.
 
“Its miss-spelt” yelled my daughter. “What do you think mum?”
 
I looked at Chloe’s tattoo. “Could be worse, if you change the ‘b’ for a ‘u’ now that would be gross”
 
My daughter and grand-daughter looked at me horror stricken. I’d lived long enough to know a few choice words. 

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