Waking from my semi-coma, I hear my mom’s key turn in the lock. I get up quickly to meet her at the door.
When she opens the door, I say, “He sent me a text today and he says he is picking me up at seven on Friday. Please phone him and tell him no.”
“Hello to you too, Heather. Thank you for asking, but yes, my day was as awful as usual.”
“Just let me get in first.”
I move aside so she can squeeze past me. “So, are you going to phone him?”
She sighs exaggerated and frustrated. “No. You should see him.”
In a childish rage, I stamp my foot on the ground. I have no idea why I just did that. I have not had a temper tantrum since the age of four and she always ignored me when I did, so I do not know what possessed me to even think she would pay attention to me now.
She turns to me. There is a deep frown between her eyes and she smiles amused. “And now?”
I beg, “Please, I don’t want to see him. He left five days ago and all I get from him is a text message?”
“He phoned me and he has a nice weekend planned for you. He feels guilty because he left that night without saying goodbye to you. I suppose he feels guilty about a lot of things.”
I follow her to the kitchen and I say sulkily, “I am not a priest. If he feels guilty and he is in the mood for a confession and the exoneration of all his guilt, he should rather go and speak to one, not me.”
“Oh, Heather,” she sighs. “Just go. You never know, it might be fun.”
I ask sarcastically, “Is she going to be there?”
“I really don’t know. You’ll have to go and see for yourself.”
I storm out of the kitchen. “Ugh! Nobody ever listens to me.”
She calls after me, “Young lady, come here now. If you want to eat, you better come and help me; otherwise you can go to bed and sulk on an empty stomach.”
So, what choice do I have? I have to go back and help her with dinner because I am a growing child and I am hungry.
While we make fish and chips with a side salad, I decide resignedly I would have no choice in the matter and I will be spending an entire weekend at my dad’s new house. I am not looking forward to it. It would be equal to going away for the weekend to a hotel or guest house, for that matter. I am going to spend a weekend with strangers in a strange house.
My mom and I eat our dinner while watching TV as always and later, after I wash the dishes I go into the lounge to say goodnight to her, because I still want to download that CD and I still have to do my homework.
I lean down to her and kiss her lightly on the crown of her head. “Don’t fall asleep here again, Mrs.”
She smiles up at me. “I won’t. I’ll be up soon.”
I am halfway up the stairs, when she says, “By the way, I made an appointment with Dr. O’Malley for you tomorrow at four.”
The sooner I get rid of the shadows looming over me, the sooner I’ll be free of this feeling of foreboding. Despondently I wonder if he will be prescribing me with a set of spectacles. I suppose if they are stylish, I can make them look fashionable. Besides, wearing glasses is better than having a panic attack every time the shadows appear.