On Monday evening, Jayden comes to pick me up. I do not want to invite him in because I am unsure what impression I will create when I introduce another boy to my dad and Shirley in such a short period of time.
So when I hear Jayden’s car stop outside, I tell my dad and Shirley, “I won’t be home late.” When I call his house, home. I can see the relief in his eyes that I have accepted his home as my home as well.
Jayden is busy getting out of his car when I rush out of the door. I pull the door closed behind me and then I hurry to his car.
He stares at me in confusion when I get into his car and he gets back inside. “And now? What’s your hurry?” He asks.
“I thought the quicker we get this over and done with, the better.”
As we leave Slane, I ask curiously, “Where is Kieran, I thought you would bring him with?”
Dismissively, Jayden says brusquely, “He has gone to Newgrange to see how the security is and how we will be able to get close to it in the middle of the night. We’ll have to stay there till dawn.”
Thereafter, we drive in silence and I can feel his brooding radiate from him. I notice him glancing at me every now and again uncertainly. I try to figure out how I am supposed to say goodbye to my mom. One way or another I have accepted my fate. I am going to die anyway, at least now I can say goodbye.
When we get to my home, I am not sure if I want Jayden to go in with me, but he opens his door before I can protest.
Walking into the house, I can hear the sounds from the TV in the lounge.
My mom looks up shocked when she sees me walking into the room. “And now? What’s wrong?”
I shrug my shoulders. “I just wanted to come and see you.” I smile as I lean down and hug her to me.
Jayden remains unsure in the doorway.
She looks past me with an amused smile on her lips. “You are the young man from the other day?”
He smiles and says friendly, “Good evening, Mrs. O’Halloran.”
“Sit.” She waves her hand to point out the chairs.
Jayden sits down in the chair closest to the door, and as I walk past him to the chair I always sit in, I feel his fingers brush across mine.
Impulsively, I decide to sit down next to him because I suddenly need moral support.
We talk for hours and in between, I get up and make us each a cup of tea.
Much, much later, I sigh and stand up from the couch, where I have gradually settled into Jayden. “We better go, I told Dad I won’t be home late.”
My mom and Jayden stand up as well and then my mom walks us to the door. She says, “It was nice to meet you properly, Jayden.”
Jayden laughs self-consciously and he squeezes my hand gently. I did not even realize he is holding my hand.
I rush to my mom and Jayden lets my hand go. I throw my arms around her shoulders and I say, “I love you so very much, Mommy.”
She pulls away from me and takes my face between her hands. There is a deep frown between her eyes as she searches my face. “What’s wrong, Heather?”
I chuckle, trying to dismiss my sudden hysterical display of emotions. “I think it is because I am not used to being away from you for so long.”
“Oh, Heather, I love you too, and the week will go so fast. Before you know it you will be back at home.”
I smile sadly. “Don’t miss me too much and make sure David is the one before you commit yourself to him.”
My mom glances at Jayden embarrassed. She says to him, rather than to me, “Always so concerned about others, rather than herself.”
I cling to her for a moment and then after taking the deepest breath I have ever had to take in my entire life, I say, “See you soon, Mom.”
She laughs. “Enjoy yourself, Heather and stop fretting about me.”