After supper, I went right to my room to wait for Daddy. While I waited, I looked around with a slight feeling of dissatisfaction.
When I was little, I liked to come to my room for peace and quiet. Now, the enforcement of being here when I wasn't in school or detention all day long was wearing on me. I wanted to be with Johnny again, to -
Daddy opened the door and walked in. He came right to the bed, picked up my hand, and chafed it in one hand while he looked into my eyes.
"First of all," he began softly, "I want you to forget about this idea of marrying Johnny, now or ever." I opened my mouth. "No, don't tell me you 'love' him. I don't want to hear that from you. You are under age - almost sixteen and - "
"Bu-But Johnny's eighteen - or almost - an' he - "
Daddy put his free hand to my lips. "No. That's what I was talking about in the car. He's a LIAR, Merrilee. I don't know where he got the idea, but he's barely seventeen - if he's a day. He drinks more often than what is good for anyone. He doesn't have a job-or if he does, he never keeps one for very long. He won't be able to support you, let alone himself -"
My face tightened stubbornly. I could get a job - and a GOOD one, too.
Daddy could see I wasn't listening - at least, not attentively. He put my hand down and stood up, sighing. He walked to the door, then turned with his hand on the knob. "Think about it, Merrilee. You will NOT be permitted to marry that boy."
He left the room.I threw a book angrily at the closing door.