February 18th, 1990
Thanks to my friend Jet Lag, I was wide awake just before five am and went downstairs to find mum in the kitchen.
“Up with birds,” she chirped. “Tea and toast?”
“Yes please,” I groaned.
“You came in late last night.”
“Sorry, hope I didn’t wake you up.”
In a tone of voice I knew better than to mess with, she said, “Where were you?”
“I was out with Ben.”
She spun around so fast I expected her to lose her footing.
“What did you say?”
“I’m not going to lie to you mum, I was out with Ben.”
She came and sat across the table from me. “Do you understand why I, and dad for that matter, don’t want you to see him?”
I nodded my head and felt tears spring to my eyes.
“Don’t greet,” she said, getting up. “He’s no bloody worth it.”
“Thank you,” I sniffled when mum placed the plate of buttery toast in front of me.
“David phoned you again last night,” she said, sitting down.
“He did? What did he say?”
“Lots of nice things. He’s no giving up you know.”
“He lives so far away.”
“Is that the only problem?” she asked.
“Probably,” I said, picking the bread apart.
“I’m just going to say it once and I won’t bring it up again.”
“Go on,” I urged.
“I think you should keep in touch with him and make plans to see him again. You never know where it might lead, besides, he sounds lovely on the phone and…”
“Yeah mum, I know you enjoy talking to him but when I’m sitting at home alone on a Saturday night none of that is relevant.”
“Aye, I see what you mean but some things are worth the sacrifice.”
“And how am I supposed to know if he’s worth it?”
“There’s no way to know for sure.”
“Exactly, so why bother!”
“Uff, that’s a terrible attitude.”
“I can’t ring and tell him I’m going to Paris. I wouldn’t feel right doing that.”
“Who said you have to say anything about Paris?”
“I don’t think you need to mention it.”
“Oh, so when he asks what I’m doing I should just say nothing much?”
“No of course not but did you tell Ben you went to Paris?”
“I don’t know, it just wouldn’t feel right sharing that with him.”
“So why can’t you do the same with David?” she asked.
“It’s different with him.”
“It’s no different. The sooner you learn that the better.”
I let out a deep sigh. “Everything feels complicated.”
“That’s because you’re making it complicated. Just keep your heid doon and your arse up.”
I laughed. “It’s alright for you to tell me just to get on with it but…”
“Oh here we go again wi the drama.”
“Oh aye, you’ve more drama than ten episodes of Eastenders.”
I couldn’t help but laugh. “Sorry, I didn’t realize I was being so dramatic.”
“You’re a long time deid, just enjoy yourself,” she said, getting up.
“Is that your advice?”
“That’s a wee bit of it. Och, I forgot the tea, it’s probably cold by now.”
“I’ll still drink it. What else do you have in the advice department?”
“Och, I’m no going doon that road,” she said, passing the mug of tea to me.
“Please, I pleaded. “I’m listening.”
“Phone David. Go to Paris. And forget about Ben.”