Although school was going much better in the later years as I threw myself body and soul into studying life at home was not so good; my parents were not getting on well together and the tension was palpable with both of them being extremely short tempered. I started to spend more and more time at the local library which became my second home for quite some time, I liked the peace and quiet and access to so much knowledge it provided, it was my “safe place”. I also started to venture out further afield at the weekends as the travel company in the area I lived in offered an all-day “Rover” ticket for a mere £2 which was valid on all buses and trains in the region and so I began to explore new worlds and new civilizations (ok not quite on the scale of Star Trek but it felt exciting to me).
It was after a long day spent exploring that I came home to find my Mum sitting in the middle of the living room sobbing. I had never seen her like this before and I asked where my Dad was, she said, “He’s gone, and he’s not coming back.” For a moment I couldn’t comprehend what she was saying and I asked her where he had gone, she replied, “He’s gone to her.” By now I was completely baffled and had no idea what she was talking about so I asked her to explain what was going on, she told me that my Dad had come home from work and told her that he couldn’t carry on anymore, that he had been seeing someone else for quite some time and wanted to be with her. I was shell shocked, I had not seen this coming, perhaps I should have done but I didn’t.
My Grandparents arrived and I was told to go out and walk the dog while they spoke to my Mum. I must have walked the poor dog for miles in the darkness that night, I carried on walking because I didn’t want to go home; I didn’t know how to cope with this. Eventually my Grandad came out to find me and told me that everything would be ok, that he would come and help us out and we would all take care of each other.
Things between my Mum and I became very strained after Dad left and we both relied more and more on my Grandad for support, in fact it was the one thing we had in common.