Chapter 4Mature

     “Thank God! Where in under God have you been?” Ma tried to shout, but all that came out was a timid whisper. Ma’s face was bone-white; Da’s was an angry red. The contrast almost made me laugh.

     “I went out with Tadhg.” Losing my usual cocky airs, I barely managed to speak.

     “To get yourself bloody killed?” Da really yelled, right in my face. “And you!” he pointed to Tadhg, “You took her with you! Couldn’t do it by yourself, so you brought a fucking teenage girl with you?! Jesus Christ Almighty, Tadhg, I thought you had a bit more fucking sense.”

     Tadhg stood, dumbfounded at my father’s out-of-character outburst. “Calm dow-“

     “Don’t tell me to calm down! You’re damn lucky you’re in one piece. For fuck’s sake, why did you do it?” He turned to me, the bite in his tone replaced with a watery relief. “Why did you go? Did you not think your ma and me would be worried? And imagine Pauline when she realised you were gone. And her after losing her husband and all; now seeing her goddaughter away off to kill.”

     “Da.” Tadhg jumped in, forever the hero. “She shot a man about to kill me. I’d be dead if it weren’t for her. Leave her be.”

     Da took a double took from me to Tadhg, and back again. “You did that?”

     “Aye. I’m sorry. But he was a policeman. With the biggest gun I have ever seen.” I could see Da was fighting the urge to smile. I smiled to make him lose the fight. He burst out laughing, me next, then Tadhg and Ma. *Phew,* I thought, *dodged a bullet there.* I groaned to myself about the cheesy pun. 

The End

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