“I Want to Go Home!”

  • “I Want to Go Home!” – Bunty: #1689 (26 May 1990) -#1696 (14 July 1990)
  • Art: Edmond Ripoll

Plot

When Kate and Kim Parker’s parents divorced, Kate decided to stay with their Mom, while Kim chose to stay with their Dad.  For the first time in 6 months, Kim was to come stay with her mom and sister for the holidays. It is quite a change for her, as since their Dad got a promotion Kim has been used to living in style in a large country house. While she does seem to be happy to see Mom and Kate she quickly complains about the smaller terraced house, bikes instead of cars and even wonders how Kate can be happy with no new clothes and so little money. Even though mom and Kate make an effort to make things nice and fun, she  wants to go home.

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Kim gets her wish when their mom falls sick and they have to go to their fathers while she recovers. Now its Kate’s who is feeling uncomfortable, while Kim shows her around pointing out all the nice things they have, Kate feels she would prefer her dad to be home to greet them like their mom would. When he does come home, she also isn’t happy that the first thing he suggests is giving her money to buy new clothes before going out again. She tries to make an effort by convincing Kim to cook dinner together, so they can have a nice family meal. She isn’t happy when dad rings to cancel 2 hours later as he ran into a friend, even though Kim still defends him.

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The next day Dad gives them the money he promised them so they can go on a shopping spree. Kate is not used to spending so much money feels uncomfortable but that then turns to anger when they run into Kim’s friends and she finds out Kim’s been telling lies about them. She has been saying their mother is a personal secretary for a TV producer and that they live in a bigger house. Kate soon puts the record straight saying she’s not ashamed of their mom. Kim apologizes and they make up. They then go to meet their Dad at restaurant, he also brings his friend Alicia. Kate is nervous at being at fancy restaurant and messes up which cutlery to use and knocks over some water. Her Dad reprimands her and the cracks began to show as even Kim thinks her dad shouldn’t have told her off.

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The next day Mrs Harvey the maid is sick and while the others are out Kate decides to do some housework as she likes to be busy and is not used to having everything done for her. Again Dad criticizes her for this. Later Kate talks to Kim how she doesn’t feel like she fits in and would prefer to be back home with mom and their bikes. Dad overhears and obviously feels bad. The next day bikes arrive for the girls with an apology note from him. When he arrives home things are looking up and they all arrange to go on cycle trip. So Kate feels let down when once again he cancels on them for business.

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Again he does something nice by taking them out for show, but then acts thoughtless when he says he’ll be home by 10 and the girls worry when he doesn’t arrive.  It turns out he has gone to a club with Alicia and he berates the girls for contacting police.

Kate is delighted that mom is better and happy to have her back and Kim if she’s willing to for the rest of the summer. Dad meantime is feeling bad about the club incident and decides to make it up to them by going on a cruise for a month with Alicia. Kate is unsure but when she tells her mom, her mom understands that it’s a good opportunity. The girls go riding their bikes but Kim has an accident and breaks her leg.  Her father says he’ll hire a nurse for her while the rest go on the cruise. Kate is not having any of it and says she’s not leaving Kim on her own and will stay too. Dad is not happy is still going with Alicia as he’s already paid (funny he didn’t mind throwing money around earlier!). This is a big blow for Kim and as the seeds of doubts were already there she has come around to Kate’s way of thinking money isn’t everything. She decides she wants to live with her mom and Kate and just visit dad during the holidays.

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Thoughts

This is a short story only 8 episodes, there is a nice twist at start. The set up makes the reader think the whole story will be about Kim wanting to go home, it actually turns things around by switching locations. It is good in that establishes both homes and its differences.

While there is affection between Kate and her Dad, it’s clear that Kim feels very close her to dad. This is highlighted in their greetings when they first return to their father’s house.

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That’s why it must sting Kim so much when he chooses to go on cruise, and leave her with a nurse. She has spent much time defending his thoughtlessness but with Kate pointing things out and comparing him to her mom it becomes harder not to notice and the broken leg was the icing on the cake. We don’t see the dad’s reaction to Kim’s decision. I might have thought it would have shocked him into looking at his behaviour but going from his previous actions, it probably wouldn’t have made a difference.

It appears that Dad is moving on with his life, his promotion having changed him. Kate mentions that he and mom used to have fun decorating their old house but now he thinks such things are beneath him and his family.  He cares for his children but when he messes up he thinks buying them things will make it all better. Another change in his life is Alicia, who clearly becoming an important part of it. Strangely she is never addressed as his girlfriend just a “friend”. It seems more serious than a casual thing, he’s close enough to bring her to dinner with his family and on a cruise. We don’t get much input from Alicia though so we don’t know how she feels, maybe she does want it to be casual and has no interest in being a parent.

While the story is mostly told from Kate’s point of view, it’s Kim that grows and changes over the course of the story. While she had picked up some of her father’s snobbery, she learns she shouldn’t be ashamed of her mom’s job and that a parent that will spend time looking after you is more important than one that buys you things.

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