‘Rrriiinnggg!’ Vera looked up in astonishment. She didn’t normally get visitors on a Sunday afternoon.
‘Are you expecting anyone?’ she asked Bianca, who was sprawled on the sofa. Bianca shook her head and stood up to open the door. When she came back into the living room she gave Vera an anxious look. Suddenly Vera’s mum and dad appeared behind her. Startled, Vera dropped the book she was reading.
‘Hello darling,’ exclaimed her mother enthusiastically, giving her daughter a big hug. ‘We were in the area and we thought… Oh!’ She grimaced as she took in the table, which displayed the evidence of a fun night. Half a meal, beer bottles that had been used as ashtrays, and a dried wine stain.
‘We’ve just finished breakfast,’ Vera lied quickly. ‘Would you like some coffee?’ Her parents nodded.
‘I’ll make it,’ called out Bianca, fleeing to the kitchen while Vera tried to kick a bra under the sofa. Where on earth did that appear from?
Her mother started some small talk but Vera could see her glancing at the cigarette stubs and crumbled crisps on the coffee table.
‘How are your courses going, dear?’ she continued. Vera told her proudly about her results, hoping that would help her forget the pervasive smell of beer. Hadn’t her parents heard of the unwritten rule that you didn’t turn up on the doorstep unannounced? At last Bianca came in with the coffee. Vera’s mum gratefully accepted a mug, only to comment that it was extremely sticky. ‘And how is your room, which we furnished together so nicely?’ she asked. ‘I am very curious to see it, actually!’ And before Vera could protest her mother was making a beeline for her bedroom.
‘Mum, I really don’t think that’s a good idea!’ Vera tried. But her mother had already opened the door. A waft of the mixed smell of beer and sleep hit them. In the middle of a heap of bedding lay Bobby stretched out on Vera’s bed. Her parents gazed speechless at the half-naked boy with dreads. Vera hid her face in her hands. At that moment Willem-Jan emerged in his pyjamas and stood between Vera’s parents. Shaking his head he put his arms around them.
‘I understand: we are not that keen on Droevies either.’