The Twilight Zone

De-de de de De-de de de De-de de de ….

Yes, I fear it is true. Divorce Towers has entered the Twilight Zone.

It all started when my lovely sister-in-law gave my eldest treasure a stack of books by some American person called Stephenie Meyer. Apart from a passing wonderment that the author spelt her first name in such an unusual way, I felt nothing but gratitude. Reading is one of the few things that absorb Child One enough to dam the tidal wave of hormones which otherwise rage around the house. It’s not just her, I hasten to add – her younger sister and I are just as likely to take offence at the way a cup is put down on the table or burst into tears while watching Andrex ads. Is this what happens when women live together? If so, how do nuns stand it? Mme Bovary, the cat, has been spending a lot of time with her paws over her ears, when she is not escaping next door to take refuge with her boyfriend, Archie the tabby, while poor old Jumbo the rabbit, feeling outnumbered, has taken to hiding behind a copy of the FT in his hutch, twitching slightly while waiting for it all to blow over.

So, when Child One stomped off to her room with the books and slammed the door, all I felt was relief, once I’d hoovered up the fallen plaster and shards of doorframe. Several weeks later, I realised I hadn’t seen the dear treasure in a bit, apart from brief appearances at feeding time. I was just starting to worry – nearly – when the child appeared, ashen of face and bird’s nesty of hair. This, from a child who had just discovered grooming in a big way, and had recently taken to manicuring her manicure while waiting for her manicure to dry.

‘Darling, are you all right?’ I asked, feeling her forehead. It was cold and clammy. There were violet circles under her eyes. Something was clearly very, very wrong. Damn this teenage vampire saga, I thought, giving my precious one nightmares. ‘Have you been up all night, darling?’ I said, thinking how fiendishly cunning it was of Ms Meyer to have reinvented Mr Darcy for today’s teenagers. Who could be more emotionally inaccessible, more aloof, more impossibly unobtainable than her vampire hero? And what could be more irresistible than such a challenge?

‘Yes, I couldn’t sleep all night long …’ said Child One, in the weariest tones imaginable.

‘Don’t worry, darling, you know, it’s all a story …it isn’t real ..’ I said, wringing my hands.

‘Oh don’t be silly, Mummy, I wasn’t talking about the book. I spent all night worrying about the film ….you know, it’s really, really, scary …’

‘What is, my lamb?’ I said, as I pondered which of my many lawyers to use to sue the filmakers for scarring my child for life.

‘Well, I just can’t choose who’s the better looking, Edward Cullern or Jacob Black,’ she said.


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