Lost in Foreboding by Kate Twitchin

“What aren’t you telling me?”

“Nothing.”

“Tell me!” I’m beyond annoyed, well on my way to angry. “I can’t, Dad.”

“If you’re in some kind of trouble...” I shout after him as he slams out of the kitchen.

“That went well,” my wife says from where she’s reading a magazine in the conservatory.

“He’s impossible,” I mutter as I prowl between her chair and the door and back.

“Sit down, for heaven’s sake.”

“How can you be so relaxed about it?” She’s so annoying when she’s serene. “About what?”

“That’s just it, I don’t know.”

“What d’you think he’s not telling you?”

“If I knew that, I wouldn’t need to ask, would I?” She’s at it now, making me angry.

“Guess.”

“What?”

“List the possibilities.”

I stare at her. List all the things that could be going wrong in my son’s life? I read the papers, Social Media, the world is at its meanest, scariest ever.

“Go on,” she prompts.

“Well, there’s gambling, drinking, thieving, getting tattooed, taking drugs, gang wars...”

“This is Jack we’re talking about.”

“Yes, I know, but kids today, they grow up so fast.” She’s smiling now. Annoying.

“If you stopped staring at your little screens all the time, devouring news, fake or alarmingly real, you might see that all Jack is doing is hugging a secret.”

“That’s what I mean! What is he not telling me?” “Calm down.”

I hate it when she tells me to calm down.

“You need help.”

That too, hate it.

“But what if..?”

“He’s nine years old and really excited about a surprise he’s making for your birthday. There, satisfied now?” she sighs and reopens her magazine.

OK, so now I hate myself. “I’ll apologise.”

“Just leave it,” she says, “he knows what you’re like.” I need help.


Published in Issue #25

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