Ron looked somewhat disgruntled as she sat down to dinner. I thought for a moment that it might have been the food, since we had persuaded her to eat at an Italian restaurant with us. But I was pretty sure that wasn't it. She was almost never sullen in that way.
"People always fuck things up," she said as we looked at the menus. "They have it good, and then they fuck it up."
Jan put her menu down and smiled. "Can you give us an example?"
"I told you about my friend who messed around with that guy and got pregnant?" We nodded. "Well, now this other girl from the room is fooling around with a guy, too. Bad stuff will happen."
"She's around your age?"
"Yeah, I guess."
"Are you worried for her, or are you worried about losing a friend?" I asked.
She frowned and shrugged. Her elbow was on the table, and her cheek was resting on her fist. She didn't reply right away. "The room" was, I assumed, where she slept. We thought it was in the hotel, but we weren't sure.
"That happened to me," Jan said. "In high school, I knew this girl, and she and I got to be good friends. We hung out every day for a few months. But then she got a boyfriend and I pretty much never saw her again. I guess she thought that girls are okay as friends as long as you can't find a boy. But she didn't tell me in advance that this was her thinking."
Ron nodded. "Yeah, I guess that's part of it."
"Speaking as a father," I said, keeping my tone light, "I do think she's too young for a serious boyfriend."
That got a small grin out of her. "Serious," she said. "You mean with fooling around."
I laughed. "Yes, that's it."