February 20th, 1990

February 20th, 1990

At home

Mum is pretty upset with me, which in itself feels bad enough but if she decides to tell dad then I’ll really be in trouble.

“Who was that on the phone?” mum asked, as she came downstairs this morning.

“Ben.”

She rolled her eyes and made a tutting sound. “What did he want?”

“He has the day off work.”

“Of course he does. Too bad for him you’re off to the city of love.”

“Light.”

“What?”

“Paris is the city of light.”

“Speak for yourself,” she laughed. “Whatever it’s called, you’ll be there later!”

“Actually,” I uttered, tentatively. “I’m not going.”

“Why not?”

“Jean Jacques was supposed to ring and arrange a time to meet me and he didn’t.”

“And you couldnae have phoned him?”

“Absolutely not!”

“Oh, bejesus, I cannae keep track of all this nonsense.”

“It’s not nonsense. He said he would ring and he didn’t so I’m not prepared to go all the way to Paris for someone who can’t be bothered to let me know what the plan is.”

“Fair enough but…”

Just then the phone rang.

“Are you going to answer that, young lady?”

“No.”

“Well then I will and if it’s you know who, God help him.”

 

“Please don’t let it be Ben,” I muttereed as mum made her way into the hall. Through the glass wall, I watched her pick-up and listened.

“Oh hello there, this is Liz, Karen’s mum.” She was all smiles. “Yes, she is, let me just get her for you.”

Mum knocked on the glass wall and gestured to the phone.

“No,” I mouthed, shaking my head like a petulant child.

“Just a wee minute please,” she said into the receiver before covering it with her hand. The way she banged on the glass told me I had better get up and take the call.

 

When I told Jean Jacques I wasn’t feeling well and wouldn’t be able to make it, he sounded extremely disappointed.

“Per apps you come tomorrow?”

“I’ll see how I feel.”

“Ok, Ecossaise, I am hoping for tomorrow. And I am sorry for not telephoning.”

I didn’t respond.

“The flight I take from Berlin,” he continued, “It was en retard many hours. And we are sitting on the l’avion for a long time.”

“No problem,” I said in much too cheerful of a tone for a sick person.

“So, I call demain and hope you are coming then?”

“Oui,” I said, quickly hanging up.

 

I grabbed my coat off the hook under the stairs and patted my pocket to make sure my car key was still there.
“I’m going out, mum,” I shouted, sounding much bolder than I felt. “I won’t be home ‘til much later tonight.”

Before mum had a chance to catch up with me, I bolted out the door and let my heart lead me to the one guy I truly love.

 

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