Please, leave the light on. ( The reply)
As always, there are two sides to every story. Here's the reply...
Your letter was forwarded onto me by the new tenants of Jenny’s old flat.
I have read it and notice that you say “sorry” eleven times. Thank you for that.
Jenny’s father and I are also sorry.
Sorry that we had to watch her fall apart after you left, just six weeks before the baby was due.
Sorry that we had to console her night after night because of her panic attacks and the relentless paranoia that she suffered from. You were right about the crying. She never stopped.
Sorry that we had to call for an ambulance when she tried to take her own life by overdosing on the stuff you left behind.
Sorry that our beautiful grandson was called a “crack baby” and only survived three days after the birth. We called him Steven. The name Robert was never even up for discussion.
Sorry that you had such a hard time living on the streets. Jenny also had a bit of a rough time. After Steven died she became withdrawn and had to receive professional help. She spent a year in a Psychiatric Hospital and was forever dependant on medication. We visited her every day.
We’re also sorry that you couldn’t find the time to write or call her just to let her know that you were okay. She would have loved that. In the end she was convinced that you were dead and when that happened she just couldn’t bear to carry on.
Jenny passed away eleven months ago. We thought she was over it, but she hid her illness well. The Police contacted us just after eleven o’clock on a Sunday morning. I won’t go into detail, but the Thames can be very cold in February.
You mention us in your letter and you are right. We always thought she could do better than you. But you were her choice and we would have done what we could to see you both through your addiction. In fact on the day you left we were coming over to try to convince you to get help. We would have paid for any treatment you needed, but I suppose you had better options.
On the plus side, the letter you sent has answered one question that always troubled us. For ten years her electricity bill at the flat was enormous. Now we know why she kept every light on in the house twenty four hours a day.