Kathryn and Aaron headed south after breakfast to visit Aaron’s parents and enjoy more Christmas fare. Before they left Kathryn expressed her concerns about Jon. She had noticed his difficulty in make decisions, and a tendency to do whatever he is told to do.
“To a certain extent he’s become institutionalised,” I said, with a pang of sadness. “But that effect is lessening every day. You can’t get over six years incarceration in a week; being told what to do all the time and not having to make decisions must take away your confidence."
"It'll take time, but he'll get there. He's a strong character."
"How do inmates who are released, or thrown out on to the streets, survive if they have no family support?"
"They'd be prey to anyone who comes along."
"No wonder a lot of them end up back inside," I said. "Jon travelling down to London for the New Year is worrying me, especially as he has to change trains twice and get a bus from one station as the line’s closed.”
“It might be just the thing he needs to do to get his confidence back. You are probably smothering him here, without realising it. It will be an adventure for him.”
“You’re probably right. I’ll lend him my mobile, so he can ring you if he gets stuck anywhere. He just seems so vulnerable right now.”
We were invited to a party at Dan’s sister’s house this evening. Walking in the cool crisp night air, Dan, Jon and I arrived at her door, dressed in our best Christmas clothes, bearing gifts. We rang the bell. The hall was dark with no signs of guests. Sarah greeted us in jeans and sweater telling us that she’d text Dan to say her husband was ill and the party was off.”
“You should have text me,” I said. Dan doesn’t look at his texts.”
"Come in for a drink," she said laughing, hugging Jon.
Risking the germs we toasted Jon’s release with pink champagne.
Copyright © 2007 Barbara Attwood