Jacob's diary

How can I go on with my world when my boy is no longer here? I wake up everyday and the first thing I do is feel like I can't face the day ahead without my son. I had to keep him alive and the only way I could do that was to make sure he lived his life through my diary. What did he do when he grew up? who did he fall in love with? I was going to give him the life that was taken so he would still be with me.


5. revelations and leaving

I sat by the phone waiting for my mother to call and let me know that she was on her way. I had told Darren that my mother was coming to see us but he responded with a look that told me he was going to be going out. I guessed that he was ashamed of what he had become and didn't want her to see this person. He knew that she would have something to say and I for one would be pleased if she did say it. Maybe she would voice the things that I just didn't seem to be able to. I waited by the phone for what seemed like ages until my mother called to tell me that she was about an hour away. I hurried out into the kitchen to start on some lunch to see an open letter on the table.

As I read the letter the tears fell from eyes and I wiped them away, trying to my hardest to carry on reading. This letter was from the bank and It showed that the money we had both saved had been withdrawn by Darren and we had nothing left in that account. I couldn't believe that he had come this. How much did he spend on drink? what else had he spent our money on? I found myself working through a thousand different things. I rushed to my bedroom and started to look through all of Darren's things. I didn't even hear my mother ring the doorbell and she made me jump when she stood in the bedroom doorway and saw me on the floor with a pile of jackets and clothes and paper work spread all over the bed. She walked over and knelt down beside me.

"What is going on?"

"Mum, he has spent all our savings, lost his job and is drinking more than ever!"

"You can't go on like this. You need to tell him to get help or you are leaving."

"I can't leave this house, mum, I can't!"

"How are you going to pay for it? Come and live with me for a while. We can pack up some things now and leave."

"I can't just leave him what if he does something stupid?"

"He wouldn't, would he?"

"I'm not so sure anymore. I thought I knew him but I don't. He is in deep pain and I understand that but I can't deal with this and greave at the same time."

"Then come away with me."

After Mum helped me put away all of the things I had taken out of the closet she sat me down in the living room and asked me if I had found anything. The truth was I hadn't found a single receipt to show that he had spend the money on anything. I hadn't even found any of the money hidden away. Mum had gone down to the shed and looked around but all she found was empty bottles of beer all stacked up in a huge plant pot. I picked up Jacob's picture and ran my hand over it as mum looked on with tears in her eyes. I wondered if Jacob was looking down on us and trying to tell us that everything was ok and that we shouldn't be fighting like this. I wondered if he had walked away and had never looked back, was he living his life with some other parents on the other side, if the place was there to start with. I didn't want to think this now and mum had taken the picture off of me. She had walked out of the room only to return a short time later with a bag in her hand.

"You need to make up your mind." She handed me a pad and pen.

"What do I tell him?" was all I could ask.

"Tell me what?" Mother and I both jumped. We hadn't heard Darren walk in.

Mother told me that she would be outside in the car. If I wasn't out in half an hour she would drive to the local hotel and phone me from there. She shot Darren a look of disgust as she walked past him. I looked at him and as I stepped forward I caught the smell of a sweet perfume. I knew it wasn't my mother's as it was too cheap. I just looked at Darren and picked up my bag.

"I know about the money, You left the letter on the table." I said as I walked to the front door. Darren turned around and headed out. He pushed past me and blocked the front door.

"I will not let you leave!" He said as he started to cry.

"We need to be apart. You need to get help and then we can talk. All I ask of you is that you don't bring that woman, whoever she is, into our home, into our bed!"

"Please, don't go!" He was begging now and he slipped to the floor and started to sob.

"This isn't going to work. You are like this now and then when the drink calls you..." I stopped myself. "Maybe your OTHER woman will comfort you more than I can."

"I need your help!" Darren pleaded.

"I can not give you the help you need. I will come back in the morning and we will contact the Doctor about getting you into rehab. The other woman, well, I'm not sure if we have a way back from that or not!"

I sobbed like a baby as I walked down the drive to my mothers car. It had started to rain heavily and I could he Darren pleading with me as I opened the car door. Some of the curtains in the street were twitching with nosey people looking to see what was happening. I wanted to raise a finger to them but I just got into the car and we drove away. I didn't even know where we were heading. All the time I was thinking that I hoped mum had packed my diary like I asked her. I didn't tell what I was putting in it just that it was helping me to get through each day.

We drove for what seemed like miles. Mother didn't say much to me at first but as soon as we were settled into the hotel she brought me over a tea and we sat on the cheap bed, mother had said this was the only place she could find on this short notice. I didn't care because a part of me felt free, yet I also felt like I had abandoned our son. Everything that was him was at that house and now I had walked out on it, on him.

"I don't think I told you about the time when I was eighteen." my mother looked down into her tea as if she felt ashamed speaking to me.

"What about it?"

"I went to a party that my mother had forbade me to go. She told me that the boys were only after one thing and I told her that I was counting on it!"


"Well I learnt a lot about life that night. I had drink after drink and I danced and flashed a little flesh. I thought I was the best one at the party. I went into the bedroom with a boy and we made out but he wanted to go further. I tried to push him away but he called his mates into the room..."

"My God! Why did you never tell me this?"

"I like men, you know I do but that night I found out just how much they can be bastards."

"Did you go to the police?"

"MY mother told me I had been leading them on and that the police and courts would be all over me. I didn't say a word to anyone and later I had to have an abortion. I had to take away a life that I had no right to take away. I could bare the thought of that baby being in this world, born of rape, how could I love the child? I knew that I could give it away but I didn't understand back then."

"oh mum, I'm so sorry" I hugged her and we wept together.

"What I am trying to say is that if you lose a child, you never, ever get over it. This will be with you for the rest of your life but you will learnt to live with it in time. Darren was a rock for you but now he has become sand, he needs to find himself again before he finds his way back to you."

I didn't sleep much in that uncomfortable bed and I noticed my mum was turning over and over in the bed opposite me. I just hoped that she wasn't reliving the events that she had told me about. It was strange because we never think about our parents as young children. I had never asked my mother much about her teen years, like most children you tend to think they were never young and don't understand things. As I grew up and had Jacob I had started to see why mum had been the way she was. My mother was continually looking for a man who didn't exist. I knew she liked the money men, that's what I call them. I just think she was looking for something she felt that all men  owed her now. I wished I could help make her see that Mr perfect was only alive in romance novels and television and film, in others words Mr right only existed in fiction.

I couldn't help but wonder what Darren was doing and If he was drinking himself silly while I wasn't there. I didn't want to return to find him in a heap on the floor. Why was I feeling this guilt and letting it rob me of my sleep? I knew that Darren needed to see his world for what it had become, nothing more than a barren land. I looked over at my mother again who I was sure was awake as well with her own thoughts running through her mind. I got up and made my way over to where the small standard kettle sat and went to fill it up. I looked over at mum and I knew that she would be angry with me but I picked up my phone and called Darren's number. I waited and waited, nothing! I was about to put the phone down when I heard a sleepy voice at the other end.


"I just wanted to make sure you were ok!"

"I feel like shit!" Darren sounded so tired.

"We will go to the Doctors and see what we can do. Are you willing to tell me that you have a problem?"

Darren paused for a moment. "I miss my boy. I miss him so much every day and I feel like someone has ripped my fucking heart out!" Darren broke down and I started to cry.

"I know. I feel that too and you need to understand you can cry, you can scream and you be angry at God but you can't drink away the pain, it comes back and it grabs you even more!"

"I don't want to lose you as well. I loved you from the moment we saw each other."

"I know but we need to take this a step at a time. I will be here with you every step of the way."

"You get some sleep, call me in the morning. We have the bank to speak with."

After I put the phone down I turned around to see my mother with a smile on her face. She simply patted me on the shoulder as she headed into the bathroom. I got back into my bed but sleep didn't find me for a while because I was now worried what the bank was going to say to us. I knew that I had to do something. I could return to work. I had no reason not to now. I still needed my time to grieve but life still moved on bringing with it the need to have money coming in. I decided to call my old work place to see if they had anything going, hell I'd clean the toilets if they wanted, it was just as good a job as any in my mind, honest days work for no matter how much or less I would earn.

Darren and I sat in a small cold room with a woman who looked like she belonged in a headmistresses office. She had her hair tied back in tight bun and her big glasses sat at the end of her nose she was looking at the two of us and I thought that at any moment she would be issuing us with detention. She had a softness in her voice though and she seemed to genuinely care about our current situation. She was trying all that she could to advice us the best she could. Darren had suggested we go and speak to the Citizens advice bureau before we went to the bank and so with a quick call here we were. I was just pleased that he seemed to have laid off of the drink this morning. I sat back in the chair and waited for what help the woman could give to us.

"Because you are both not working you must take action quickly to prevent falling into debt. If your lender thinks you are not dealing with the situation they could take action through the courts. As you know this could lead to you losing your home."

"We want to prevent that at all costs." It was all I could say.

"Well if you have lost your job your circumstances have changed and your lender should take this into account. If you have already been receiving letter from them threatening court action you should seek advice from an experienced debt adviser."

"It hasn't reached that point yet." Darren sat forward in his chair.

"I have these leaflets that tell you what benefits you must be on to get help with your mortgage costs and how much of your mortgage costs can be paid."

"What DO we need to be receiving?" I asked worried as we were not receiving anything yet.

"It is al in the leaflets but I can tell you one is income support, income -based job seekers allowance, pension credit and ESA, that is for those who are too sick to work."

Darren and I left the office even more worried than when we went in. We needed to sort out what kind of benefits, if any, that we were entitled to. I could see the stress on Darren's face.

"We should make an appointment and see where we stand." I told him.

"I need the toilet." was all he could say and he walked off. I stood for a moment and wondered if he had even heard what I had just said to him.

After what seemed like ages we were back in the car and heading off to speak with the bank, although until we had sorted out the benefits it didn't seem like we had a lot to tell them and It all went by so quickly. I noticed also the smell of the alcohol on Darren after he had come back from the toilet and I was sure now that he had a flask on the inside of he jacket pocket. I didn't ask him as I didn't want to stir anything up when we had all of these things to sort out. I felt so tired when he dropped me back at the hotel. He begged me again to come home but I told him that I was going to be staying with my mother for a short while but I would be here for every step of the doctors help and any kind of treatment that he was going to get. He left and I just hoped that he wasn't heading for the pub. It had been a stressful day, maybe I should have gone with him? I just didn't know what the right thing to do was anymore.

AS we sat in the hotel room on our final night stay my mother told me that she was going out for a short time. While she was here she was going to drop in on her old friend, Silvia. It seemed like she had just brought herself a new home and she wanted to give mother a tour of the place. I was sure that meant a bottle of wine as well. It was funny, if that was the right word. My mother having a bottle of wine or two always seemed laughable but deep down she too could have a problem. Her life style meant socialising a lot and that came with plenty of drinking, that was how easy it was for it too creep up on someone. That is why I felt so sorry for the youth of today, so many pressures and not one of them thinking of the long term costs!

I took out the diary from my bag and sat back on the bed. The only light I had was dim glow from the bedside lamp. It seemed so quiet in the room as I opened the pages and I began to write. The pen just seemed to flow across the pages and I was back with my boy. I was writing this for myself but in so many ways this diary belonged to him, this was after all his life.


"When is dad back?" Jacob asked me as I walked into the kitchen with a hand full of groceries.

"Next week, love. He said he would phone you tonight. You know what these business trips are like."

"It isn't the same when we are not all together."

"That's so sweet of you." I smiled and ruffled his hair and he shook my hand away.

"Can we have a movie tonight?"

"Yeh, why not. DO you want to invite anyone?"

"NO, I thought it could be just you and me and a big bowl of popcorn."

"Well that sounds good to me."

Jacob went back to the programme that was on the television. He seemed to like all the crime programmes and had a fascination with the forensics and how crimes were solved. I could do without all the gory details of those programmes and I wasn't sure I should let him watch them but I guessed there was an educational element and if it sparked a interest he might want to pursue in the future than I was all for that. I put away the groceries, put the kettle on and started to make myself a coffee. I looked in at Jacob wondering if I had been fair to him. Should Darren and I have had another child by now? Was Jacob ever lonely? He had never told us he would like a brother or sister. Jacob was always contented with his lot in life. I just wanted the best for him. Darren had asked me once if I had wanted any more children. The thing is I had never even thought much about it. When Darren was born my entire focus was on him and Darren and building the family unit that we now had. It was everything that mattered to me. Maybe I could have another child before it was too late but it wasn't high on my priority list right now.

Jacob had chosen a typical boy film and I had to watch several scenes of car chases and guns being fired, I never liked that but boys would be boys! I told him that it was impossible for a building to be blown up in that way and he just laughed and told me it was (creative license) and that I should just watch the film. I told him we should put a chick flick on after and he told me that he would probably be tired by then and would go to bed. I laughed to myself as we carried on watching the film. I would cherish these moments forever. I knew the time would come when he wouldn't want to do this anymore and mum would just be a pain in the backside, in fact that was happening now to a point. I couldn't help but hope that he felt the same way. when I was no longer here he could look back and say to his children that he could remember these moments.


When I woke up the next morning my mother was already packing up her bag. I sat up in bed and picked up my phone to find that I had a missed call and a txt message from Darren. I opened the txt and it read that he had been trying to call me. I rang my answerphone and heard his voice on the other end. He sounded drunk. I let it play out and just before it went of I heard a woman in the background tell him to put the phone down and come back to bed. I sat stunned! I didn't know how to react to this. I replayed it and then played it for my mother.

"The bastard!" She grabbed her car keys.

"What you doing?" I asked her in a panic as I stumbled out of the bed.

"I'm going to go tell that no good son of Bitch what I think of him!"

"NO! PLEASE!" I begged her. "I will speak to him. Let's just get the car packed and get back to your house."

"You can't let him just leave you a massage like that!"

"I told you I will deal with it." I headed for the shower. "Give me ten and we will leave."

"You had better not go running back to him, missy!" My mother called out to me as I turned in the shower. She carried on talking but the water drowned her voice out.

I didn't know what I was going to do now. I knew for sure that I wasn't going to go back to the house at the moment. Was I going to stick to my promise and help him with the Doctor appointments? I wasn't sure if I should just let his woman deal with the whole situation. Why did these still pull on my heartstrings in the way that it was? I couldn't think straight and this wasn't the right time for me to be making any kind of decisions. I needed to let this sink in. I needed to get back to my mothers  house and think. It seemed the last piece of glass in the family photo was slipping out of its frame and did I want to cut myself catching it?







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