December 7th, 1989
I’m sitting on the opposite end of the couch to Ben, with our legs entwined underneath the blanket, but as usual, I’m getting ahead of myself.
Mum is home and not surprisingly, she looks ghastly, poor thing. I was surprised to find her in such a talkative mood this morning and ended up staying up much longer than I expected to. We talked a lot about Nana and mum said as shocking as Nana’s passing is, she feels a sense of peace knowing her Mother passed quickly and didn’t suffer.
By the afternoon, I was falling of my feet so I lay on the couch with Tini (love that) in the hopes mum would leave me to it. I eventually dozed off and woke up with the phone ringing. I had no intention of getting up to answer it but no sooner did it stop, then it started again.
“Ugh!” I exclaimed, moving Tini, who made a sound of disapproval. I stumbled into the hall and picked up the phone.
“Hey, what are you doing back?”
“I got home this morning.”
“I thought you weren’t due back for another couple of days?”
Shit, I thought. “Yeah, the eh, the trip had an unscheduled change. Why are you ringing?”
He laughed. “Do I need a reason?”
“Sorry, that came out all wrong. The phone woke me up and I’m a bit groggy.”
“Too groggy to go out for a drink later?”
I heard a key in the front door and saw dad’s silhouette through the glass. “Sorry, I have to go,” I whispered. “I’ll come and pick you up at six.”
“Hullo hen, how was your trip?” Dad asked, removing his jacket, hanging it on one of the hooks under the stairs.
“It was, uhm, interesting.”
“Who was that?” he asked, gesturing to the phone.
“Just a friend.”
“Are you going out?”
“I think, so, yes,” I muttered, feeling hugely uncomfortable but knowing there was no way I could tell dad (or mum) I was going to meet Ben. Things are already bad enough at home, without me adding to it.
“Is mum in bed?”
I nodded my head, yes.
Dad went upstairs and I could hear him moving around the bedroom, talking to mum. I grabbed my coat and tapped the pocket to make sure my car key was inside. From the bottom of the stairs, I shouted, “I’m off out.”
“That was quick,” dad said from the top landing. “Is that you away?”
“Yeah and I’ll probably be late.”
“Ok, hen, just be careful on the roads, it’s awful icy.”
“I will. Bye dad, see you later.”
I felt horrible leaving and as much as I wanted to see Ben, I also felt guilty. Telling dad the truth of what I was doing might not have been so bad but if mum knew, she’d have a fit and I don’t want to add to her stress.
However, those thoughts disappeared the second Ben opened the door to me.
“Are you coming in or are we going straight out?” he asked.
“Out. Somewhere far from here,” I said, meeting him halfway for a kiss.
“You smell divine.”
“As do you,” I smiled.
I drove with no destination in mind and we laughed and talked with great ease. We eventually ended up in St. Albans at an old pub, where we had dinner and talked nonstop about all sorts.
Now we’re here on the couch, enjoying the kind of moments I wish I could freeze.