So, after an hour of reconnecting with my son and hearing all his news, he finally got around to asking what I’ve been doing since he’s been gone. Oh my life people! he may be a grown man, but there is no way the truth is ever happening with that question! Some things are best left unsaid.
I skirted around the bulk of the 3 days with Tom, but did tell him Graham had introduced me to one of his friends and we seemed to be getting along really well. (Biggest understatement of my life!) I mentioned he was only here for 9 more days and left it at that.
I don’t know when it became that my adult son could read me better than I could, but he nipped right to the heart of the matter. ‘So where is this Tom then?’ He asked smiling at my awkwardness.
‘He’s over at Gray’s, why?’ See me people? This is me with super radar on high alert!
He grinned at me. ‘Am I going to get to meet him?’
‘Do you want to?’ I asked warily.
‘Yeah, if he’s caught your interest he must be one hell of a bloke! You usually run a mile from anyone who shows any interest in you!’ He was openly laughing at my discomfort now. Little shit that he is!
I feigned offence, ‘That’s not fair…’ I poked him gently in the shoulder and smiled, ‘I’m just careful is all.’
He was having none of it. ‘May not be fair, but it’s true! It’s not careful Mam it’s obsessive about your freedom! You never give anyone a chance!’ He smiled to soften his words, but they hit home all the same. He was right.
‘Ha! Maybe so, but it’s stood me in good stead so far son and I’m not planning on changing my strategy for the foreseeable future!’ I had missed our banter. He does like to try his arm to see if he can get me to soften my stance. His next words proved it!
‘I’m gonna text Gray and invite them both over.’ He whizzed a text off before I had chance to say no.
The truth of the matter is, my son would love for me to find a new man and settle down with someone I could be happy with. I on the other hand would run a thousand miles at warp speed in the opposite direction from that kind of commitment!
Jeez, I just want some great sex and someone to spank me and keep me in line! No commitment necessary!
The Boy held his phone up grinning at me, ‘Gray said they will be here in 5 minutes, get the coffee going!’
Coffee? Sod that I was heading for the wine rack!
1 hour and half a bottle of wine later, (just me, everyone else was happily drinking coffee) my son dropped a bombshell on me.
‘Okay Mam, now that I can see you have plenty of company for the next 9 days I can tell you about my plans for the next 10!’ The room fell silent on his words.
My head shot up and I pinned my son to his chair with a ‘spill it or else’ look!
He grinned at me completely unrepentant, ‘Josh and Kenny have asked me to join them on an outward bound course for the next 10 days and I’ve decided to go.’
I couldn’t speak. Tom and Gray immediately jumped in and said they thought it was a brilliant idea, and the conversation swirled around me like snowflakes. My son was abandoning me, again, and doing it with the biggest grin on his face I’ve ever seen. By the way, he was 23 anyway and didn’t need my permission to do jack shit much less feel like he was abandoning me!
I looked at him and realised all over again I was looking at a man, not a boy. He was living his best life on his own terms and I grinned at him. ‘It sounds fantastic, when do you go and how are you getting there?’
I’ll save my melt down for when he’s gone!
‘Train, in just over an hour, and then Kenny said he would pick me up from the station at the other end. It’s the Lakes, so I’m gonna need to text him and let him know what time I’ll be arriving.’
That soon? I was shocked. I had only just got him back! I shoved those feelings away and said instead, ‘I’m all good with it. You better go and get packed though if you’re gonna make that train!’
He wheeled over to me and pulled me into a huge hug, grinned at me and left the room to go pack.
Graham and Tom were watching me like I was a ticking time bomb and they didn’t know which wire to cut to stop the explosion. I laughed at their expressions and re-filled my wine glass.
‘What’s up with you two?’
Gray spoke first, ‘You okay Gem?’ Bless his heart, he looked so concerned for me.
‘I’m fine Gray,’ I smiled at him. ‘I guess I have to get used to being alone more now he’s older. He’s living his life, I’m not going to get in the way of that! It mean’s I’ve done my job right and he is independent and confident. I’m all good with those stats!’
Tom had remained quiet, (shocker) and observed the whole scene. I waited, I could see he wanted to say something. I wasn’t wrong.
‘Yeah, but you won’t be alone this time will you? I’m going to be here so at least you won’t have empty house syndrome to deal with. I promise I will keep you busy!’ He grinned widely at me. There was a wicked glint in his eyes and my tummy filled with butterflies. And then the reality hit me.
Oh my god! I was going to be alone with Tom for 9 days! O .M. G. !!!!
My Son came back in the room and nodded to Tom, ‘You gonna look after my Mam while I’m gone Tom?’
Tom gave him full eye contact and said, ‘I am.’ No other words necessary. The Boy nodded and nudged Graham, ‘Could you run me to the station please Gray?’
Gray grinned and stood up, ‘Delighted to. I’ll go get the car.’
I think I may have just been outnumbered 3 to 1.