October 25th, 1989

October 25th, 1989

At home

For the second day in a row, I woke up crying from a horrible dream I had about Ben. In this one, we were in New York, on the observation deck of the Empire State building.

It was nighttime and the city lights twinkled below us, while the cabs created a stream of steady yellow, still evident from such height.

While I was taking pictures, I felt a hand on my back, pushing me. I lost my footing and started falling but my descent was in slow motion. In the dream my hair was really long and as I fell, strands of it covered my face. I pushed the hair off my face and looked up at Ben, still secure in his spot and I opened my mouth, but my scream was silent. Ben started laughing wildly and that’s the point where I woke up and heard the phone ringing.

Because I was crying, I made no attempt to get up and answer the phone, but after a minute or so, it rang again so I dashed downstairs.


“Hullo hen,” said the lovely, soft voice.

“Nana,” I said, sounding like a child. “I’m so glad it’s you.”

“I was just phoning to see how your mammy is.”

“I hate to say it but I think she’s getting worse.”

“Has she been getting out of bed?” Nana asked.

“No, not since I came back and dad said not while I was away either.”

“Och”, Nana sighed. “Maybe I should come down? If I catch the train in the morning I’ll be there tomorrow night.” She paused. “Do you think I should?”

“To be honest, Nana. I don’t know if it would make any difference. You know what my mum’s like when she gets like this.”

“Aye, sadly I do. As do you and your daddy.”

“It’s awful.”

“I know it is, hen. Do you think your mammy’s bad enough that she might have to eh, maybe have to go into hospital?”

“Oh Nana, I can’t bear to see my mum going through that again.”

“It’s no what I want to see happening either but if the treatment helps…”

I cut her off. “It doesn’t help,” I shouted. “And it’s barbaric.”

I listened to Nana sigh.

“I’m sorry for losing my temper, Nana, I just feel really upset about pretty much everything at the moment.”

“What else is upsetting you, hen?”

Something in the kind tone of Nana’s voice made me start to cry again. “Ugh! I wish I wasn’t such a baby,” I said, wiping my eyes.

“You’re no a baby, you’re a young lassie wi a big heart.”

“A big, broken heart,” I sobbed.

“Och, don’t tell me that Ben is playing up again? Is he?”

I sniffed. “How did you guess?”

“What does your daddy have to say about this?”

“Which part?” I asked.

“What’s your daddy saying about Ben upsetting you? I’m sure he must be absolutely raging.”

“To be honest Nana, I haven’t told my dad, or my mum for that matter, about anything that’s going on. Mum’s already in a bad way and my poor dad is up to high doh trying to take care of her.”

“Aye, well I can understand that. Listen, it’s lashing here and the weatherman just said it’s no going to let up until the morra, so that’ll keep me in for the day. Why don’t you go and make yerself a wee cup of tea and maybe a wee bit of buttery toast that you like and then phone me back?”

“You make it sound too nice for me not to,” I said, with a smile.

“Good. Phone me back and we’ll put our heads together and hopefully, between the two us,” I laughed in response to her chuckle, “We’ll come up with something that’ll make life a wee bit easier.”

Thank you, Nana xxx


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