’Mum, I’m on my way. I have unbelievable news. Won’t be long,’ and she clicks off.
Lucy is coming over today so that my move back into our old house is not so traumatic.
I’m a bit puzzled at the urgency in her voice. She is never really that enthusiastic about anything.
‘Mum, I have something to tell you!’ She blurts out as soon as she opens the door.
‘You got promoted?’
‘No. That’s not it. Mum. You need to sit down.’
‘You are pregnant!’
‘What? No! Can you just sit down?!’
I do as I’m told, thinking that if she is not pregnant, then whatever other news she has can’t be that important.
‘I’ve seen Kyle.’
She sits back on the chair and looks at me, then leans forward and puts her hands over mine on the table. I can’t talk.
‘He contacted me last week out of the blue.’
‘How?’ Why can I only think of stupid questions?
‘On social media, Mum. We talked a bit, and then I met him briefly yesterday.’
I shake my head in disbelief. Oh my God! This is such a shock. I have a million and one questions to ask, but I can’t open my mouth.
‘He was worried about contacting you directly. He wanted to know how you were first. He knows things will be difficult to patch up, but he wants to try. Mum?’
She follows me with her eyes. I’m heading straight for the fridge. I’m sure there is still some wine left.
I join her at the table again, holding on to my glass for dear life.
‘So, where is he? Is he okay? What is he doing?...’ The questions come gushing out. I have no control.
‘He’s fine. He’s living in Reading, and he’s doing well. He’s working as a counsellor and teaches yoga. Can you believe it?!!! But he’ll tell you everything you want to know. You can ask him yourself. Here are his address and number.’
She puts a crumpled piece of paper in my hand. I recognise that hand-writing.
‘When does he want to see me?’
A rollercoaster of emotions zooms around my head. I want to see him, but I’m not ready yet.
‘I need some time.’
‘I know, and he knows too. That’s why he contacted me first. He doesn’t want to come here, as he knows it’ll be more difficult for you. I’ll take you to him when you’re ready.’
‘Has he contacted dad?’
Lucy’s downcast eyes tell me she is disappointed that that hasn’t happened.
‘He wants to sort things out with you first.’
I look at the pile of envelopes on my coffee table. They are all from Kiri. I haven’t opened them. I can’t open them. Lucy sees them and sees the post-mark.
‘I’ll shred these, mum. All right?’
I nod absent-mindedly. I have blocked him from everything, but I can’t stop him from sending me letters. I have never opened them. He is not going to come into my head again. I left him more than two months ago. I have closed that door. But I know I’m just kidding myself. He is always in my thoughts. He catches me off guard and sneaks into my head.
‘So, when can I take you to see Kyle?’ Lucy brings me back to now.
‘I have the next three days off, so I’m staying here with you.’
‘Erm. Yes. Thank you. That’s nice.’
‘So, do you think you want to? Meet up, I mean?’
‘Yes, of course, Lucy. Give me some time to think this through, will you?’
‘Sure. I’ll be here, anyway. When’s Aunty Cindy coming over?’
‘Erm, after work.’
Her exuberance makes me feel uneasy, and I’m glad when she decides to go and see some old friends. I need some time to myself.
I look into her face, and I can see my shock reflected in hers.
Cindy is sitting on my cream sofa next to me. Her mouth is hanging open.
‘You need to go and meet him. When are you going?’
I look down at the crumpled paper and put it back into my pocket.
‘I don’t know. Lucy’s here for the next three days, she said she’d take me.’
‘I’m coming too, Maddy! I’ll not leave you to face this alone. And I want to see him too,’ she adds coyly.
We decide to go Saturday. Lucy agrees with Kyle a time and a place. I can’t sleep at night.