Hey, I’m Barbra, and this is the tale of my parents caught me with my secret boyfriend. I was 15 at the time, too young for dating, but too old for not. It’s an awkward age, a transitory age, and one that I’m glad to say I survived. But I came close to not, when my parents found out I broke their big rule. No guys allowed. I met George in Grade 5, he moved to our neighbourhood from another city around that age, and I saw him a lot – as he lived nearby and attended the same school as I. Although he was in the Grade above mine. As the years went by, we became more and more friendly with each other, always mentioning how the other looked good that day and so on. It wouldn’t require a gift to see that me and ol’ George had crushes on eachother. But it never resulted in anything, until the Grade 9 and 10 dance. We spent all night awkwardly dancing, awkwardly chatting, getting fake drunk off the punch bowl. Yes, it was cringey in all the ways you’d expect, especially because we didn’t know it. We thought we were so smooth. And at the end of the night, he smooched me on the lips. It was awful, too much mouth, first kiss nightmare type kiss. We thought it was great. Then we made plans to “Netflix and Chill”. Which translates to, “Barely Netflix and Not Much Chilling”. It was the code young teens used for trading hormones. And so we set our date, Friday evening, when my parents would be out with their friends. The idea was clear, my parents leave the house at 6, he should come at 6:30, then leave before they get home at around 9. This way they’d never learn about my guest. Oh how naive I was. The night came, my parents left, he arrived, we made out, nothing more, and then he left. Done deal, right? Wrong. Turns out my parents had a security camera. The annoying part is, I knew they had one, but we got it like 7 years ago, we never talked about it, I forgot about the thing. At some point I figured we just weren’t using it. I was not correct in this department. My parents called for a family meeting the following day. And so, after dinner, we sat down in the living room, and began our discussion. “We know you had a boy over, Barbara” Mom said “What?! No I didn’t. Unless you mean my friend Tina, she’s a tomboy.” I said. I didn’t have a friend named Tina. “No, the security camera, in the daily skim, we saw you had a boy over last night” said Dad. “The daily skim?!” I slammed my face into my hands. “You gotta be kidding me!” “We wish we were, dear. You can’t bring people into our home without us knowing.” Dad said. “Especially not a boy” Mom added. “It’s even more disrespectful. You’re grounded, no more TV for the week.” I grew teary and ran to room, embarrassed. After crying into my pillow for what felt like hours, I heard a knock at my door. Dad spoke. “We’re not angry. Just disappointed” Mom asked if they could come in, I let them. They went on to explain that they wish I had felt more comfortable asking them about having a guy over in the first place, and that they would rather I come to them about these things than runaround hiding – in fear of them. I agreed. And this discussion shaped my following actions. I felt bad about what George and I had done, and told George we should remain just friends. George was dating my best friend the following week. I no longer snuck around. So, my advice to others is that many times you can trust your parents with things you didn’t think you could. If they’re good folks at least.