November 18th, 1989
Girls’ flat, Hampton Hill
I tossed and turned for most of the night and by six am, I’d had enough, so I headed downstairs and was surprised to find dad in the kitchen.
“What are you doing up?” he asked.
“Thought I’d come and keep you company.” I smiled when I said it but when I saw the look of sadness pass over dad’s face, I looked away.
“I’ll make you a cup of tea.”
“Lovely, thanks dad.”
“And how about a wee bit of toast wi some of that bloody awful tar stuff you seem to like?”
I laughed. “I don’t know what you have against Marmite.”
“Oof,” he said, in a way only a Scotsman can.
I feel mum’s absence the most anytime I sit at the kitchen table. And when dad sat across from me this morning, I noticed him glance at mum’s empty chair.
“Dad, do you think we should try and talk to mum today about going into hospital?”
“Aye, probably,” he sighed. “It’s time isn’t it?”
“I believe it is, yes.”
He shook his head. “I just dread her reaction.”
“I know, but anything has to be better than the way mum is living, actually, existing, at the moment.”
“Aye, you’re right. What are you doing today?”
“I don’t have any plans so I’ll go grocery shopping then I can help you with stuff here.”
“Do you have somewhere you can go?” he asked.
“What do you mean?”
“It might be better if you’re no here when I talk to mum. And afterwards as well. I think it’d be better if you’re no here for any of it.”
“You really think mum’s reaction will be that bad?”
He sighed. “I would certainly react strongly to the suggestion of being admitted to a psychiatric unit.”
I felt my stomach lurch at the mention of it. “Eh, I could ring Lorna and see if any of the girls are there for the night. There’s usually at least one of them at the flat.”
“Would you mind doing that?”
“No, but I don’t want to leave if you need help here, with mum.”
“I’ll be fine, hen. Go and enjoy yourself. I’ll give you some money so you can treat the lassies to a good night out.”