'What was it like before the wave?', she asks, as if it was an ordinary question, what's your favourite colour, how many people are in the world, what is Father Christmas bringing me for Christmas?
Startled, I do my best to satisfy her curiosity, 'It was different--people were different--er no, people were the same, it's just that...'.
'You didn't know about the wave did you?'.
Such candour concerning the wave seems incongruous, I'm embarrassed, it's as if she asked me to explain birds and bees to her while we were under public gaze. 'No--I didn't--but some others... well they didn't exactly know about it, they...'. She's pouting now, the pinkness of her lips turning pale under the pressure of frustration. 'It's hard to explain sweetheart, it's like when you first went to school, you'd never been inside one before had you?'.
'No Daddy, I hadn't'.
'No sweetheart, that's rhetorical, you're not supposed to answer those kind of questions'.
'It's not necessary to apologize sweetheart, not for those kind of mistakes'. As she falls silent for a few seconds, I allow myself to believe I've diverted her inquisition but the tension on her brow belies the motion of thought beneath.
'Sometimes... people make very big mistakes--ones they should apologise for--don't they daddy?'. As the light catches her eyes fixed upon mine, I see a hint of heterochromia amongst the the green I once thought as uniform as the deep of the sea. Fugitive splinters of light, the tell tales of horse mackerel evading predators.
'That's OK daddy--it was rhetorical'.