After what seemed like an age, he pulled up to his shabby London home.The usual dinginess of their cheap accommodation was its unwelcoming self. Oscar gingerly knocked upon the door,hoping that someone would answer. As the lock clicked, it was Rosemary who greeted him much to Oscar’s relief .
“Hello Oscar! Good to see you. Your Mum is upstairs in her room. Do you need a hand bringing anything in?”
“Thanks. Nope this small bag is all I brought. I’ll go up and see her now.”
“Okay. How was your journey?”
“Not too bad thanks.”
Rosemary nodded. He crept up the staircase and tapped gently upon her door which was in dire need of re-painting before entering. Oscar stood quietly in the doorway. “Oscar?” Oscar sighed with great relief as his Mum acknowledged him instantly and for the first time in a while showed some concern. “What happened to your face?”
Oscar swallowed, having completely forgotten that there were still traces of the bruising upon his skin. “Oh that it’s nothing. It was just me being clumsy on a night out. It’s nearly gone now.” Janet did not seem convinced, yet said nothing. The pair sat in silence for 10 minutes listening to the awkward ticking of the cheap bedside alarm clock.
“How’s your ankle Mum?”
Oscar nodded politely How he hated those vacant two-worded meaningless answers. It is the kind of behaviour one would expect from a teenager! He cursed. As a few days passed Oscar did all he could to help around the house, while keeping a close eye on his Mum. He couldn’t help but constantly fret about Ava being left alone with Sebastian. Oscar stood in the kitchen and gazed out of the steamed up window as the jet of steam from the kettle filled the chilly room with a mist. He carried the cup of tea carefully into the living room. His Mum had made a quick recovery and was able to hobble around the house, but preferred to rest upon the sofa. She sat there and stared at him with those vacant reddened eyes. There was one positive outcome from her fall, it seemed to have completely diverted her mind from any thoughts and cravings of alcohol. Oscar jumped as his phone vibrated loudly upon the scratched coffee table. It was Ava.
“Oscar are you there? Please pick up!!” she begged frantically.
“Ava what’s wrong I’m here. Calm down!”
The desperation in her voice was very apparent. “It’s Sebastian; I really can’t cope anymore!”
“Oh god what’s he done?”
“He’s behaving like a psychopath! I think he’s taken something, like drugs I mean. He’s completely trashed the kitchen. It’s like he’s looking for something.”
“Shit! When did this happen?”
“About 10 minutes ago, I literally arrived back from Tesco. I tried speaking to him but he almost completely blanked me. All the draws have been upturned on the kitchen floor, it looks like a dumping ground. Everything’s smashed I’m far to afraid to go near him. He keeps saying something over and over …. black book, black book like that.”
“Oh god! Okay Ava. Get yourself out of the house. You should have left straight away. Go to the library or something, somewhere safe. I’ll drive back to Chester, Mum is okay now she’s able to hobble about a bit. Rosemary is going to keep an eye on her while I’m away again. Don’t speak to him whatever you do. I’ll be with you shortly, stay safe.”
“I love you.”
Oscar packed his bag once more and paced into the living room. “Mum I need to go back to Chester. I have a lecture tomorrow and Ava’s having a bit of trouble with Sebastian our other friend.”
“Okay.” Her face was blank and expressionless. That was it? Oscar thought. No ‘safe journey back’ or ‘thank you for travelling all the way home to see me’ Oscar wanted to cry, no sob and shout out at the top of his lungs, he wanted more than anything for him Mum to care about him, but alas she did not. He felt it was high time that he returned to the one person who did. Ava needed him now more than ever.
To be continued….