March 4th, 1990

March 4th, 1990

At home

I seriously need to start looking for a place of my own. I know mum and dad mean well but I feel like they (especially mum) know more than they need to about my actions and whereabouts.

Like today, for instance. I woke up early with the phone ringing and dashed downstairs to answer it, thinking (and hoping) it might be David, calling after a few too many drinks on a Saturday night. It was eight am our time, so midnight in LA, thereby making my scenario entirely possible, not that (to my knowledge) David has ever done that but there’s a first time for everything. Just for the record, I have to mention what a wonderful chat we had yesterday, after which I was sorely tempted to drive straight to Heathrow and board the first flight to LAX.

Instead, it was Ben on the phone.

“What are you up to on this sunny Sunday,” he asked, sounding chirpy.

“Why are you ringing so early?”

“I wanted to see if you fancied going to London for the day.”

I was about to ask where Mandy was, when out of the corner of my eye, I spotted mum making her way down the stairs. “Who’s that?” she mouthed.

“It’s ehm, it’s Ben.”

She shook her head and I waited until she was in the kitchen before I whispered, “I have to go.”

“Come pick me up at ten?”


“I can’t wait to see you,” he said, making me smile.

When I went into the kitchen, mum was at the sink, with her back to me. The mere fact she didn’t speak told me all I needed to know. In an effort to engage her in some way, I made a racket taking the box of cornflakes out of the cupboard and an even bigger racket retrieving some bowls from the top shelf of the cabinet.

“Do you want some cereal, mum?” I asked, trying to sound as casual as possible.

“You know I don’t eat cereal,” she snapped.

“I know but eh, I just thought maybe, well…”

With her back still to me, she said. “Are you going out anytime soon?”

“Probably,” I replied, my voice sounding shaky.

“When will you ever bloody learn,” she muttered, under her breath.

“Mum, if you have something to say to me, you should say it,” I declared, sounding much bolder than I actually felt.

She turned slowly and stared at me with a look of such utter disappointment that I rang Ben and told him I wouldn’t be seeing him after all.


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