Eli & Aeryn: Thirteen

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E: "Hey, Aeryn."

A: "Hi - oh Eli, you look terrible!"

E: "Oh, thanks."

A: "No, I didn't mean that! You look good, er-"

E: "Huh?"

A: "I just mean you look...not very happy. What's happened?"

E: "I have to see my dad on Saturday."

A: "I thought you lived with your mum?"

E: "I do, but sometimes my dad phones and announces he's coming over to see me."

A: "Do you not want to see him then?"

E: "No. He left when I was a kid, but before that he would hit and yell at my mum. I hate him."

A: "Oh, I'm really sorry, Eli."

E: "I have no excuse as to why I can't go and see him either."

A: "He can't make you see him, can't you just say no?"

E: "I don't think he will take no for an answer."

A: "Come over to my house instead."

E: "I don't know if he'd accept that."

A: "Tell him...say that it's really important and that...I'm your, um, girlfriend and you're meeting my family."

E: "My girlfriend?"

A: "You don't have to! It was just a, er, an idea. A bad idea."

E: "No, I think that would work, he's always going on about me 'getting' a girlfriend."

A: "Why the emphasis on 'getting'?"

E: "My dad treats girls like they're objects, like they're a possession that'll just make your life easier."

A: "Your dad is an asshole."

E: "Aeryn!"

A: "Oh, was that too offensive?"

E: "No! I've just never heard you say something bad before. I assumed you were one of those types who would never dare say anything like that. But asshole is a fine description, a bit weak, but we can come up with some more colourful words together."

A: "Knowing you, it'll be very colourful. But why is your dad so desperate for you to find a girlfriend?"

E: "It's 'cause I've...I've never been in a relationship before. My dad sees that as me being not manly enough to get a girlfriend."

A: "You've never been in a relationship?"

E: "...no."

A: "Why not? I bet any girl would love to go out with you!"

E: "But I wouldn't love to go out with just any girl."

A: "I respect you for that. And if it makes you feel any better, I've never been in a relationship either, so, snap!"

E: "I've never heard someone be so happy about that fact."

A: "That's because, as you like to say, I'm strange."

E: "That you are."

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