England winning the Ashes is above Northern Ireland in the news. Good news finally prevailing? Wonder where it would have been placed if Oz had won. I hope they don't go on about it like 1966. The captain has a look that reminds me of green eyes. Dark hair, no chin. Just my type.
I want them to stop reporting it with photos of him.
My mum is in Prague for the weekend with my sister, so it's my dad who picks me up from the Monday morning red eye back from Bristol. I'm so tearful I've been crying on the plane. As I drove up the motorway to Bristol, I saw a sign for London, 167 miles. The same sign green eyes must have passed the Friday he drove from St Ives to London to the course where I met him. Even road signs upset me now. Crying on the plane. Stopping myself crying in the car. I don't know what the hell it was, perhaps all part of the plan, because what happened was a huge, teary hugging resolution. With my dad.
Why do these things always happen in the kitchen?
I got back, logging on to get work emails out of the way.
'Would you like some breakfast?'
I looked at him, really looked at him, the awkwardness between us. Since the adoption really. Never speaking, none of it released. He looked so eager to please, to say no would be another rejection.
'Do you forgive me?' behind every question he's asked me for years.
"Would you like some breakfast? He's old and his blue eyes look white, sad. Pleading.
I hear myself saying, "Yes please.
He sits with me and has tea and I tell him I'm thinking of asking my sister to come and stay with me for the first week I'm out of hospital.
"Your mother said she was coming.
It's the final straw. The over-ridden fucking steely she-does-what-she-wants of it and I tell the truth. That I can't stand her going on and on that I'm going to be tired and cranky and need rest, not stress. That I can't stand the questions and not listening to the answers until she gets her way and what she wants coz everybody gives in eventually. I want to rest and recuperate.
I'm in a rage just talking about it.
He says he knows. And goes on about the ulcers he has because of the stress of the central heating saga. Well more the stress of her going on and on.
Then tears come and I'm inconsolable. I say it's just being with people all weekend can make it more lonely going home, but that's not it, I'm looking forward to going home. The truth is I don't know why I'm so upset. I'm so tired.
So he footers about the hall as I leave and I know he's chopped salad from his garden and defrosted enough soup for both of us. He's disappointed when I say I'll just leave now. I see his loneliness as he says "I like my own company, I'm fine.
I'm in the hall, seeing my father's loneliness and our lack of connection and still I'm going to walk out and drive home. Like I can't take an hour to have lunch with him and if I can't do that for him, how can I really be with any man. Really speak to any man. Really SEE any man.
Tears come again as he footers and hovers around me not looking at me and I grab hold of him and hug him. Really tight. Like we've never hugged. Ever. Coz my heart is full of love for him. Recognition of where I get this isolating behaviour from. This lie of self sufficiency. This bullshit.
Both of us holding on and crying as I tell him how scared I am of going into hospital how I just got on my feet and this has broadsided me how I don't want to die I'm just getting started living and I don't want to be ill and how sorry I am that I've been so into myself since my daughter got in touch, how long it's taken me to get to forgiveness.
In his tears he kisses my cheek, he's crying and he says "It's not the kind of thing you'll get over in two or three years, you're doing great." He sobs when he says, "I can't do anything to help you.
He understands the cave where I've been and now I have my daughter, I understand how he feels.
So I tell him.
"This is what I need to help me. This hug. This is what I don't have in Aberdeen, you're doing this for me. What I need
I don't know how long we stood there. Healing each other. It was beautiful.
It strikes me now that my father has been as scared to hug me as gardener was.
It's not men.
But that's all changed now.
I didn't stay for lunch and that was fine. I cried until Stirling but it was a different kind of crying.
Release and forgiveness.
Cleansing and purification.
My dad and I are fine. Better than fine.
Love is a funny business and the Universe has some sense of humour.
Bringing me a man who loves me.
Just to hold me.