Chapter Seven

The weeks are slipping by and we seem to have fallen in to a routine we can all live with.

Lucy you come and go almost just as before and you seem to be happiest with your friends which I understand.

Paul you seem to want to spend time at the church now, again this is fine, it's not what I thought you'd do but if you find comfort there I won't stop you.

Ewan you just seem normal, we've had a few attention seeking episodes but nothing too dramatic and if that is how you choose to get an extra cuddle from me or your Aunt, Uncle or Granny then I don't have a problem with it.

Evie, my little girl, the baby of our family and so young to have your Mother cruelly snatched away from you; and yet of us all you seem the strongest. You smile, you laugh and yet I know you grieve. You watch out for me and say the simplest and strangest things in such an easy way; the way a young child does simply because you are uncomplicated. If you hurt you tell me and if you are feeling alright then that is evident as well.

For me I am lonely, and I know that I am relying too heavily on Sarah. She has become my anchor through all of this. Every time something goes wrong it is to her I turn. Her number has replaced Rita's as my most dialled and now when I try and think of what Rita's number was I can't recall it but instead my brain screams out Sarah's number, my fingers dance the pattern across my phones keypad that brings her voice to my ear.

-

I've asked Anna to stop coming around. Not that I don't want her here but in equal measure to wanting and indeed needing her here I don't want her here.

How can I hope to maintain a semblance of normality and order in this house if I am never left alone to simply get on with it? I'm sure Anna thinks I was too harsh and maybe I was but she was talking about my losing you Lucy.

You've been lying to me, you've not been going to school and I didn't even notice. When you come home from wherever you've been going to these last weeks I have to task you with it.

I'm now labelled the bad parent. The parent who didn't even notice his daughter wasn't going to school something which I'm sure won't have escaped your attention. But how was I supposed to know? I don't deliver you to school, you're 15 you take yourself and you leave at the right time every day, you have your school bag over your shoulder, you take money for dinner every day since we agreed school dinners were better than the haphazard lunches I was supplying you with. Hell I've even washed PE kit! You come home and complain about homework and you spend hours in your room doing homework; or at least that is what you said you were doing when I asked.

-

I'm in bed now and I don't even know where to begin or even who this diary is for any more. A lot of it is still for you kids but what happened tonight isn't for your ears or eyes yet and I've no idea if it ever will be. Is it too early to hope that one day you will be able to understand and forgive me for what happened tonight?

What happened?

Lucy you came home and I questioned you. Or rather I interrogated you. The education department were right, you haven't been attending school despite your protestation that you were going to lessons and only skipping registration. I'm not that stupid! I know a roll call is taken at the start of every lesson these days.

Anyway I confronted you, you told me I don't care, and that I'm not your Father, and that you want your real Dad and then a short while later you just left. I chased after you after leaving Paul in charge (!) And who did I call as I chased after you? That's right Sarah. I called her to come and be an adult in my house with my children while I who doesn't care about you chased after you. I missed you and for too long a time we didn't know where you were. We called friends until your Gran Beattie called, you'd gone to her.

Before we'd got that news I had taken myself upstairs to the bathroom. If ever a day had got too much since Rita's death today was that day. We don't have a lock and maybe if we had what happened next wouldn't have.

Paul you wanted me to watch a DVD with you, you knew I was losing it in the bathroom and you tried in your own way to help and for that I thank you. You Paul are a source of constant pride to me. You are caring, kind and empathic in the best sense of the word. I remember saying to start without me and I'd be down soon. I never did watch a moment of that DVD with you all.

Someone called up that Lucy was at Beattie's the relief I felt that she was safe was incredible but I was lost in my own moment of grief. And that is when Sarah opened the door to tell me Lucy was safe. She found me sat on the bathroom floor and about to lose control of my emotions. I cried and she held me, she cried and I held her. We both loved and still do love Rita, and we shared a connection in our grief.

As I calmed down I kissed her.

Just a quick kiss, a kiss you might give a friend.

A kiss to say thank you, you were here when I needed someone.

But then we kissed again and again, we weren't kissing as friends anymore but as something else. We aren't lovers but if the house had been empty except for us I think we would have become lovers there and then on the bathroom floor.

I remember we parted and we looked at each guiltily and then the door bell rang.

Saved by the bell.

I got up and left the bathroom to go and see who it was. Paul you had opened the door and it was Matt. Sarah's Matt.

I called up to Sarah that Matt was here, what must Matt think? I was coming downstairs and I called upstairs to Sarah. Then the bloody dog got out and Lucy came home with Anna and Robin.

What do I do about Sarah?

What do I feel about Sarah?

How does she feel about me?

What would Rita think?

What will you and the rest of the world think?

Too soon?

~fin~