Seaglass collecting can be tough!

Just when she thought it was safe to breathe and that all that needed to be done had been done, so began another chapter in an already hard life.


2. chapter 2

He drove them back  and as always she knew that she would have to adjust the seat, the mirrors, the radio setting. But she didn't mind it had been awhile since they had spent any time alone and deep down she was just really pleased that he had stayed behind when the others had gone back to London.

The place was warm and the smell of the dinner bubbling away in the crock-pot was very welcoming. He went straight off to the dark room to develope his photo's. He liked the old fashioned way of doing it. Loved the smell of fixer and toner, watching the image appear right before his very eyes. Like some old time magic trick. It had been good of her to have kept all his Fathers photography equipment. Some of it was worth a small fourtune now, having passed into the releam of retro or vintage. He was lost in thought when she called him down for dinner. it wasn't going to be easy to approch the subject, but since finding and developing the old films and coming accross her old diaries he knew it was time.

For too long the secret had been held within his Mother and he wondered how she had managed to keep it all to herself. All those years of holding it in. Of raising the three of them alone. What must it have been like for her. He'd only read part of her diaries. It had felt wrong somehow reading them, as if he was being disloyal to her. He'd always known there was more to the story, he'd seen the looks, felt the hushed silences when they, the kids were around. Oh well he thought to himself, it was time for her to let go of it all. He just hoped it wouldn't cause her too much heartache.

He bounced into the room smiling and holding the photo's of the Kestrel.

"Hey! Sunbeam, how'd you do with that old stuff. Get some good shots" She smiled up at him. At 6ft 4in he towered above her, not that at 5ft 8in she was short. As he looked down at her, she had a flash back of his Father. Of  the two sons he was the most like his Father and for a moment she wondered how he was, where he was and if he was ok.

"You ok Mum?" He enquired Looking away quickly she mumbled something about the dinner. They eat dinner and chatted about how well the photo's had come out and the merits of digital cameras and how things were at University.

After dinner, they sat by the log fire and played backgammon. He with the cat on his lap. Her with a joint on the go, as normal.

"You know it's about time you gave that shit up Mum" he looked at her laughing.

"You know that's never happening son"

"One day Mum, one day I'll get you to give it up" he laughed back at her with a twinkle in his eye.

"Somehow I don't think you came here to discuss my horrid cannibis habit . So come on what's really on your mind? She looked at him for  along time and he held her gaze. Eventually he looked away and said " I need to know Mum, it's time to tell me what happened. I know more than you think and I'm not taking no for an answer this time." There was a steelyness to his voice that she knew very well.

"I guess I always knew this day would come, to be honest , I thought you would have brought it up before now" she knew from the look he had given her that this was it, this was the day.

The day she had half dreaded and half looked forward to.  It wasn't that she had deliberatly kept it from him. it was that he needed to be mature enough to understand the motivations of everyone involved in it all.

Apart from his brother and sister, who had been too young at the time to know what had really been going on. But now did know, She, his Mother and only parent for most of his life was the only one left standing. The only one left alive, who was there, who had agreed with the others that he didn't need to know the truth until he was older and mature enough to understand the movites and actions of the people who loved him. For years, it had in many ways been a burden upon her shoulders. When Barabra, her mother-in-law had died it had become a dead weight hanging around her.

"Are you totally sure you want to do this. I don't have any problems with telling you. It's your story after all." she didn't take her eyes off him. If there was the slightest flicker of doubt she wanted to pick up on it. This was going to hurt and confuse. As well as help him to finally make sense of it all.

"Mum, I don't have a problem with knowing. I have a problem with NOT knowing" he was his usual calm, self contained self.

"None of us come out of this very good you know. Not even me" she was beginning to feel anxious now, and took a long pull on her joint, while not taking her eyes off of him. There was no flicker of doubt, she knew him well enough to know he had thought long and hard about approaching the subject.

"Mum, I know this is hard on you. And, really I don't want to hurt you. But, well! I'm the only one who doesn't know and if my career goes the way people keep telling me it will. Then.., then well I seriously need to be ready. You've said it yourself, I look like him, walk like him, talk like him. People will make comparisions. Then there's who you are or rather who you were. You know what the tabliods are like mum. All it'll take is for someone to make the comparisions, between me and him, link me to you and doesn't bear thinking about. It'll be nasty. I want to know so I can be ready. So you can be protected and so the others won't have thier lives destroyed by it all." He reached out and took her hand. he'd never known a time in his life when she hadn't been there 100% behind him, his brother or his sister. She'd worked hard to raise them and protect them, but now it was time for him and his siblings to take care of her.

She could feel the tears welling up, sniffed, took a deep breath and said "Where do you want me to start. I know you know something, because the others did before I told them"

 He squeezed her hand, smiled that dazzling smile of his and replied "How about at the very beginning"




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