“I don’t know what to do with that girl,” the director sighed, meaning Elsa, meaning her sadness. “She stands around and – if you look her in the eyes she smiles at me but you know she’s putting her hands in her pockets a lot, just staring into space. Do you think she’s unhappy with school? I’ve tried to talk to her, but I don’t want to be nosy either. It’s hard to be young.”
My arched eyebrow went unnoticed. “I talked to her about love, marriage, that stuff. Her parents are talking to her about ‘keep your bases covered, cover all your bases’ something like that. She says it all the time. What makes a compatible marriage and all.” She shook her head. “I told her when it comes to that sort of thing just find someone that loves you for who you are and supports you. You don’t need a man nowadays to have a baby, if you want to have a baby, and if you don’t want to have a baby you can still have a man. But you don’t need a man, Elsa, I said. You get you whatever makes you happy – a baby or a man or a wife. You can have a wife too – ” she elbowed me. I nearly fell off my chair (of course mono affects balance).
“I wanted to let her know that I’m okay with whatever she wants to do.” There was a long pause, then her voice became serious. “Why does – you tell me, Lola, why does no one tell their children ‘Just be happy’? It seems like the most important thing.”
And maybe it is.