February 16th, 1989
Spent last night at Ben’s because there was no way I wanted to leave him after he told me he’s going back to Italy on Sunday. I spent the night (well, some of it) in the spare room and got virtually no sleep because I couldn’t stop crying.
Consequently, when the alarm went off at five am I felt really sick. Ben gave me a lift home and said he’d take me to the train station. He waited in the kitchen while I got ready. With each passing minute, I felt worse and my eyes were still red and puffy from crying through the night.
When we got to the end of the street, I told Ben to turn left.
“The train station is in the other direction.”
“I know, but I’m not going.”
“You have to go.”
“I don’t feel well,” I stated.
“You’re just tired. You’ll be ok once you get on the train.”
“I won’t. Let’s go back to yours.”
“You can’t miss a day of training. You’ll get in serious trouble.”
“I can’t help it if I don’t feel well.”
I rang British Airways from his house at nine am and asked the woman I spoke to if she could leave a message to say I was ill and couldn’t make it to class today. Half an hour later, mum rang me at Ben’s. To say she was furious is an understatement. Apparently Sandra (trainer) rang to see what was wrong with me. Mum had no idea I hadn’t gone to training, but she did know I spent the night at Ben’s (I rang her last night and told her about him going back to Italy. She sensed I was upset so didn’t put up much of a fuss.) I told her I didn’t feel well and burst into tears. She said if I was ill, I should be at home in bed but I said I needed to stay close to the bathroom and would be home later.
Fell asleep on the couch at Ben’s and when I woke up, he was on the phone in the dining room. I crept outside the door and heard him talking in hushed tones. I listened to him for a few minutes and was shocked when I heard him saying “Helena.”
I tiptoed back to the couch and as soon as I closed my eyes I started thinking about last year, the day we bumped into her in London and how she looked at Ben and had tears in her eyes. And I knew then there was so much more to the story than what he told me had happened with her. I didn’t know they were still in touch and the more I thought about him talking to her, the more upset I felt.
We’re supposed to be starting from scratch and not dragging stuff with us from the past. That’s what we agreed to do when he came home. But knowing he was talking to her filled me with sadness and it felt like last year all over again. After we met her in London that day, everything went quickly downhill for us, and it’s a huge part of the reason I went to Florida. I felt I needed to get away from the hold I felt he had on me.
When he’d been off the phone for a while, he came and sat on the couch and stroked my forehead. I opened my eyes and his smile was enough to melt my anger away.
“How you feeling babe?”
“Ok I suppose,” I croaked.
“I can walk you home if you want.”
As soon as I came home, dad started on me and gave me a lecture about missing class today. He kept repeating himself saying I should have gone. While he was going on and on the phone rang and I grabbed it, if only to get away from dad’s wrath.
“Hiya, it’s Lorna. I’m just checking up on you.”
“I’m ok now, thanks. I’ll fill you in when I see you.” Dad was within earshot so I couldn’t say too much.
“Tomorrow, right?” she asked, sounding serious.
“Yes, I’ll be back tomorrow.”
“I just wanted to let you know there was some talk today that you might be asked to leave the course.”
“I just wanted to prepare you.”
“Thanks. I appreciate that.”