“Not now, Mum” James replied, all too abruptly.
He should know better. The pause signaled the coming deluge of uncontrollable sobs. Within milliseconds, they were charging tumultuously down the line like an unstoppable flood. He gave several short coughs to muffle the unwelcome sounds whilst clearing away the discomfort. It was a pointless effort, trying to escape the agony, but still he attempted to avoid it by turning on his heel towards Alina. She took hold of his hand and gently squeezed. Her beautiful smile radiated and loving touch helped to slowly disperse the pangs in his stomach. Her presence always helped. He breathed, slowly outwards with increased relief, then inhaling deeply, came the courage that allowed him to take hold of his thoughts.
“Mum… Mum… stop.” He spoke affectionately. He kept quiet, listening to her tears gradually receding, amongst the odd sniffle and cough. “Mum, it’s OK. I’ll be OK,” he said, once her emotions were under control.
But he knew it wouldn’t be, not for her, at least. She suspected something. He could tell. She knew him just as well as he knew her. There was nothing she missed, spoken or otherwise. For her, giving in and accepting his decision, whatever she thought it might be, was all she could do.
“I’ve gotta go. I need a good breakfast before they open the gate.” He laughed lightheartedly, trying to break the awkwardness. “We’re just in the queue, waiting to order something now.” He paused for a moment and listened attentively to his mother’s farewell. “OK… bye Mum. I love you too. Yes… I’ll give Alina a kiss from you. Yeah… yeah… OK, thanks. We’ll give you a call when we land… OK… bye.”
The line went dead. The tension eased. He pulled the mobile away from his ear and reluctantly watched as the cherished image of him and his Mum, faded from the screen. The hardest part was over. For the time being, at least, he knew he could relax.
Just a little something I’ve been working on – a work in progress