I enjoyed my time with friends but somehow I knew it was time to go home. To check if mum did come back. And even though I had little expectations that it would really happen, I had hope. Madeline wanted to come with me but I needed to go alone. From the distance I could see that house looked different. Not so abandoned as it looked just couple of weeks ago. Windows opened. Doors unlocked. Did somebody break in? I wasn't sure. Carefully I stepped into the hall. There was no noise, no mess. It didn't looked robbed. Suddenly I heard foot steps. My heart rate started rising. I entered the living room, when I saw mom. I couldn't believe my eyes.
Still under the shock I tried to ask where she was but she interrupted me. ''Oh, it's you, Olivia. I thought somebody broke in'' she said relieved. There was so much I wanted to know that my mind got overwhelmed. I just couldn't talk. I hugged her so tight she couldn't breath properly. Finally I uttered: ''I missed you so much''. ''I know you did. I missed you too'' she replied while caressing me. ''Where were you?'' ''I had to go on the business trip. There was emergency situation. I would've told you sooner but I didn't knew what we're dealing with until I got there. I'm so sorry, honey''. ''You could've called me after you got there.'' ''I know. I should. But I had so much to do and I completely forgot. Anyway I knew you would be OK alone for a few days. You are very independent. I had no worries.'' ''Couple of days, mom?! It was almost two weeks! And what exactly did you do?'' I asked sceptically. ''You know, helping managers with fixing company status and such, nothing that would interest you.'' I felt like she tried to avoid further questions. I didn't believe her story. There's something behind it.
Why would she leave me without answers, any kind of arrangement with her friends or our neighbours. All alone. It just didn't seem right. After all she doesn't work for government organizations or anything like that. She works in business management. That much I knew. Although I don't know what exactly she does for a living, I know one thing. There's no job that would expect from employee to detain any information about destination and duration of work to its family. Especially when it's going away for quite some time. It just seems fishy. And no calls or messages in those two weeks. Every parent would worry about their child being alone. ''But I'm interested. Tell me all about it'' I tried to get more out of her. ''Olivia, I am very tired. I still need to clean the house . I will tell you later, OK'' she answered tiresome. I could see her mood changing. At that point I didn't know if I should push for the answers I so badly needed or let her be. I decided for latter so that I could watch her next couple of days and see if she is really fine. She seemed too calm. It was like silence before the storm.
To release some stress and to get my head around mom's disappearance and her excuses I went for a stroll. Walking through Hunter Park all the way to the Bondi to my special spot always calmed me down. I used to do that every time I got frustrated with my mom. This time though my enjoyment of peace and processing of informations I learned today got interrupted by a familiar voice. In the distance I could hear Logan talking with his co-workers after he just finished his shift. It seemed like he was heading in my direction. Few moments later and he was already next to me saying cheerfully: »What are you doing here all alone? Where are others?«. Half mumbling I managed to give him response: »It's just me, relaxing a little«. He noticed that something isn't right from my expression and way of talk but he didn't pushed me into talking about it. »So you come here often«, he asked. »Sometimes. When I need some time for myself. It's beautiful, don't you think?« »Yeah, it really is. That's why I work here«, he answered mischievously half joking half being serious. He tried to lighten up a conversation. I could sense awkwardness of the situation and knew that I should confess what was really going on.
Till then nobody knew what I was going through. »You know, that's not the only reason I come here. I come here to process my thoughts but also to get away from reality«. He became attentive and looked at me a little bit concerned. »It's nothing that major«, I tried to downplay the circumstances. »Well, these past weeks when I've been at Madeline's house…ahm, it wasn't because mom was on business trip. It was because she went away for some time without noticing me beforehand. I didn't know where she was or how long she would be gone. And today she came home.« I felt relieved to finally say it out loud but at the same time sadness overwhelmed me. Looking at Logan I could see he was changing his expressions from shock, astonishment to the puzzled and compassion. »Why didn't you tell anyone about this?« he said. »I don't know. I guess I didn't want to be pitied. I didn't know how you would react and I feared I would've been taken away from my mom.« »We would understand, you know. We are here for you. I am here for you anytime you need it«. If he would only knew what that meant to me. Trusting was something I never knew how to do. And his response, his willingness to help me but not pitying me, made me feel more at ease. I can trust him. Maybe I could trust others too. »Thank you, I know. I should've told you before. The thing is when it comes to family I rarely talk about it. Life taught me that way. And now I don't know what to do.« »About your mom coming home?«, he asked. »Yeah, she has bunch of excuses about working. That she simply didn't have time to call me. That she wanted to but forgot. I don't believe her. Why won't she tell me where she was? I don't know if I will be able to trust her now«, I answered almost in tears. I couldn't help myself. He leaned more closely, caressing my shoulders and arms while trying to console me. »It will all work out, trust me. Just give her some time. Eventually she will open up to you. She must have had a good reason«. She must have had, yeah, I thought to myself.
When I calmed down he wanted to cheer me up. So he asked me, if I am up for some fun. He and his mates were having annual lifeguard games this afternoon and he invited me to tag along. »You're basically almost like one of us doing all this rescues«, he was flattering me. And it worked. How could I say no to him. I needed some entertainment anyways. He knew exactly what I needed. A day that started grim, was now becoming brighter. All because of him.
Source: Justin McMurray@Flickr