Hammy planned a reunion for Jon with some of his old friends and schoolmates last Friday night at a local pub. I was pleased that he was going to get out of the house and away from the computer. I trusted Hammy, a loyal friend, to take care of him. But I was apprehensive about him drinking while he was on meds and making himself ill. I was also worried about the reception he would get, and whether he’d be treated like a circus act. He has a vulnerability that wasn’t present six years ago. I told him to ring me and I’d pick him up at any time if he wanted to come home. As he left I joked about him ending up drunk in a gutter. Hammy assured me he wouldn’t.
I wrapped Christmas presents and watched TV with Dan, but my thoughts kept straying to Jon. It was like the pull on the umbilical cord you get when your teenage son goes out alone for the very first time.
I’d imagined that he would want picking up, but as it got nearer to twelve o’clock I panicked. I didn’t mind him staying out late. I just wanted to know that he was OK. I rang Hammy's mobile. He was at his flat. I asked how Jon was and he told me he was fine, that loads of people had turned up to see him and that he’d had a great time.
“People were offering me drinks all night,” Jon said. “but I only had two pints of Guinness. I feel buzzed off that. Hammy keeps saying he’ll ring me a taxi, but it’s not happening. It’s only round the corner; I’m going to jog home. You go to bed.”
Hearing his key in the door, knowing he was safe, I closed my eyes and fell asleep.
Copyright © 2007 Barbara Attwood