October 18th, 1989
I’ve gone from being on cloud nine, to shedding more tears than I know what to do with.
As soon as I got home this morning, I made a dash for the phone and felt really excited when I dialed the number I know will be forever etched in my memory. It rang four times; long enough for my stomach to somersault, with the knowledge he was only ten minutes away.
“Oh, hello Susan, it’s Karen.”
“Hello love, how are you?”
“Fine thanks, is Ben back?” I quickly asked.
“He is love, but he isn’t here.”
“Oh,” I said, feeling confused. “Where is he?”
“He’s ehm, he’s in Liverpool.”
“What’s he doing there?”
“I’m not sure love but I think he said he’s coming back tomorrow so maybe you can talk to him then.”
The way Susan said it told me something was off. I could feel the lump forming in my throat so I hurriedly said, “Ok, thanks” and hung up.
I sat in the phone chair for ages, trying to figure out what might be happening but my mind only drifted to bad scenarios so I went upstairs and knocked on mum and dad’s bedroom door.
“Mum? Mum? Are you awake?”
She was in bed, facing the other way. I climbed on the bed and sat behind her.
“I just wanted to let you know I’m back,” I said, rubbing her shoulder.
Mum didn’t answer but I could tell from her breathing that she was awake.
“Do you want anything mum? Do you want some tea?”
“Alright, I’ll let you get some rest but I’ll leave the door open, so just shout downstairs if you need anything.”
I changed out of my uniform and took Tini for a quick walk. It was one of those gray, dreary, October days where the sky feels like you could touch it.
By this afternoon, I could no longer stand not knowing what’s going on with Ben, so I rang his house again but nobody answered. I rang again tonight and had the most awkward chat with Susan I’ve ever had. In the six years I’ve known her, regardless of what was happening between her son and I, we remained friends but tonight, it seemed obvious there was something she wasn’t telling me.
The last time I talked to Ben, he made it quite clear that he couldn’t wait to get home. He said he wanted us to try one last time in the hopes we could make it work and be together. So, why the hell isn’t he here like he said he would be? More importantly, what is he doing in Liverpool?
He knew I would be home today and hasn’t even had the decency to ring and let me know what’s going on. Now I understand why mum says he makes me unhappy and is no good for me.
But I still want to see him.