This is quite short at just 7 chapters.
It is about the BBC TV programme Single Father starring David Tennant in the title role as Dave.
Dave's partner Rita is killed suddenly in a road traffic accicent leaving him to bring up 4 children alone.
The TV programme jumped from the day Rita died to 10 weeks later and I got to wondering what happened in those 10 weeks.
I've written it in diary form, as if Dave is recounting his days, as a record for him and the children as to how they survived.
Diary of a Broken Heart
It's the day after my love died.
I wrote that in her diary, her diary that has become my diary, my refuge if you like. Do men even write diaries? I don't care I'm writing one. Yesterday's entry was short, *Today at two minutes past two my love died.*
I didn't chronicle what happened yesterday beyond those nine words and maybe I should. Maybe the children will want to know how we survived. IF we survive. So I'll begin by writing down what happened after I arrived at school.
The teachers words hit me like a sledgehammer all I can remember now is falling on to a chair and it was too small, too low, but it was there.
When I realised I wasn't going to immediately pass out I remembered I had children and I told them that Lucy wasn't really mine but she called me Dad. That wasn't the time for secrets. Lucy knew of course, Rita had never lied to her about that but she had also never told anyone who Lucy's father was, and until now it hadn't mattered. Now of course it did. Would those in authority let me keep her? Would she want to stay with us? I hoped she would as I loved her as if she was my own but she wasn't and I'd never even thought to adopt her, in my heart she was my daughter so why did I need a piece of paper to prove it?
Sarah drove us home that day. She was as much in shock as I was and I asked her to stay with the children while I went to collect Lucy from band practise. As soon as she saw me she knew. She always walked home after the practise session so why was I there? And I imagine I didn't look my best when I arrived. We didn't speak. I think she wanted me to hold her but I didn't. I regret that now but I regret a lot of things now so one more won't matter.
I regret going to football the day before she died. A ninety minute game. Ninety minutes that I could have spent with her. Plus of course the travelling, changing, showering, drying, dressing… So much time that I could have had with her.
Now stop it Dave, this is not helping and you are supposed to be chronicling what happened for the children.
Once we were all home the police arrived. Oh they were so very apologetic but basically kids they murdered your Mother. Oh they didn't mean to… It had been an accident. An accident that they had struck her, despite the fact she was wearing her fluorescent body band, and it was broad daylight, and they'd gone through a red light. It was an accident that her body had struck their windscreen so hard as to shatter it and catapult her in to the air and deposit her dead and broken on the ground. No one had meant to kill her… But she was still dead. And now they wanted me to identify her body…
For Christ's sake WHY?
They had already identified her from her belongings. But no Sir, suddenly I'm a Sir, no it's a formality, a legal requirement, and we have to take you to witness at first hand what we did to her. So I got in the back of their car and they drove me, sedately I noticed, to the hospital and I was taken in a lift to the basement and the morgue.
There was no ceremony. I was taken to a locked drawer, it was opened and I was asked is this your partner? It was and I whispered an affirmative. I was offered a chair, I don't remember replying but I felt one pressing the back of my knees and I sank in to it. She looked like she was asleep, there was barely a mark on her but she had a gown on and I'm guessing her body beneath that will have been bruised but I don't know; I had been told she had died instantly so was there time for blood to be pumped to pool under her skin?
I remember wanting to touch her and I asked if I could which strikes me only now as bizarre; I actually asked permission to touch my own life partner. I took one of her hands in both of mine. She was so cold and I held it until my body heat had warmed her. Later I turned her hand and kissed her palm… all the while I was aware of being watched and when I finally rose to leave her I pressed my lips to hers for one last time.
When we left the room I was handed a carrier bag with your Mum's helmet and clothing in. A plastic bag that contained everything she had been that day. A Teaching Assisitant who hoped to be a trainee teacher on her way to a maths exam. She'd have passed it you know? I can't say she'd have aced it but she would have passed...
I don't remember the journey home I just remember Sarah opening the door to me. The house was full by now… some of Rita's family had arrived, Anna was there and my first wife Michelle. I could hear Anna questioning why Michelle was there but I wasn't interested. You children had all peeled off to your rooms and I wanted the solitude of mine it was then that I wrote for the first time in her diary.
I tried to sleep and couldn't, the house was quiet but there were still adults downstairs and it was then that I left to ride the bike.
I still hadn't shed a tear and I was afraid that maybe I never would so I rode… fast. Very fast… Until I got noticed. The police pulled me up and all but ordered me off the bike. I didn't get off and I was hauled off… Roughly but I didn't feel it. I was numb. I hadn't *felt* anything for hours. Then I heard them say my name David Michael Tiler and then a hush fell over the officers. They whispered amongst themselves and left me.
They just left me by the roadside; and then I wept.