My daughter turned 16 yesterday. All four of her friends interdependently bought her sketchbooks and art supplies. They were dismayed, so I laughed and said that it's good that her friends know her and what she likes, and praised them for being practical. Then they went outside to "hunt some orc", aka beat the orc pinata she made.
I bought her sparkly headbands and clothes. The girl likes bling.
My eldest son said later, "I'm just so happy all those girls are gone." The boys mostly hid in their room with the Xbox.
My oldest will be 18 this summer, and the youngest can get his driving permit this summer. I raised them, yet this still surprises me.
“I can stay,” Grigori offered.
“Let Mia stay,” Kjetil countered. “She’s a woman and you know her. She won’t mind at all, and I’ll stop bothering you.”
She flung an arm over her face. So much for privacy. “Fine! Whatever. But nobody else.” It was her property, and apparently horticulture was frowned on. What next? Was the city going to charge her with building code violations? Her head pounded in protest when she tried to ponder the implications, so she gave up.
Grigori waited until Kjetil left to make arrangements. “So, you want me to come back tomorrow?” He sounded miffed. He probably thought she should have let him stay, but really, how well did she know him?
Of course, she barely knew Mia, but she had to pick her battles. “Fine, but I don’t know what you’ll do yet.”
He shrugged. “I can get another car, maybe.” His eyes narrowed in calculation. “Or maybe I can find a way to sell your acorn oil. How much do you want for it?”
She sighed. Somebody save her from teenagers with work ethic. “Check the stores, see what cooking oil is going for.”
He left, already deep in thought; probably going over marketing strategies.
“Hello, Juniper! I hear we’re having a girl’s night. I hope you don’t mind, but I ordered takeout. It’s Korean, but we can get pizza if you prefer.” Mia shut the door behind her and put her jump bag on the kitchen floor and her big gun on the counter.
Juniper opened one eye. “Korean is fine. Are we going into a gunfight?”
Mia grinned. “I’d rather have one and not need it, than need it and not have it. Nice digs. The guys are green that I get to see your tree and they don’t. There are reporters outside, by the way.”
“I heard. Maybe the squirrels will get them.”
“We can only hope. Mind if I look around?”
It wasn’t like she could get into the greenhouse; the floor was still sealed, and there were no valuable plants yet. Even if she did, she probably wouldn’t know saffron from safflower, and she wouldn’t see anything important on this floor. “Fine.” Juniper rolled over and drifted, not quite napping. She was too exhausted for sleep, but she still jumped when Mia announced she had dinner. Blurry, she sat up as Mia put a takeout container in her lap.
“They had bottled juice; I remembered you like apple, and I think you could use the electrolytes.”
“Thanks.” Juniper wolfed down the daikon salad and shredded potatoes, then tucked into the pot stickers and fried lotus root.
“If I’d known you liked the sides, I would have ordered more,” Mia commented. She ate a bite of bulgogi and chased it with kimchee.
“Sorry. I should have left you some,” Juniper said guiltily. “Thanks for getting it.”
“No worries. I bought plenty, and I don’t see a fridge here.”
“There isn’t one yet. I planned on getting a cooler for now.” She blinked. “I suppose I can make an old-school ice box and buy enchanted dry ice, too. I haven’t had time to think about the cooking gear yet.” The elves said magic was another kind of science, but that hadn’t impressed most humans. Magic was a good word for things people didn’t understand. All most people knew was the elvish dry ice lasted for weeks and kept steak cold. Unfortunately, both meat and ice cost money. She’d have to be careful to ration what she had, and steak was out of the question.
“No wonder. You do realize this is incredible, right? You even have running water.”
Juniper shrugged. “Thanks. If I’d known it would invite hordes of gawkers, I might have done something smaller.”
“Really.” Mia looked skeptical.Juniper grinned. “Okay, maybe not.”