It took one afternoon for Frank’s mum to fall in love.
Frank knew himself that this was entirely possible. He had himself once experienced that phenomena of love at first sight.
When people asked him what this felt like, he said there were no great ways to describe it, maybe in books there were, but he hadn’t read the right books to quote these passages, and so all he could think of was that being in love was like having a really expressive face, like being Michael Keaton and all of a sudden having these dancing eyebrows that awake to convey the kind of emotions that the more well used parts of the body find hard to communicate.
‘He’s sleeping in my bed’ Irene said.
‘I almost found him on my doorstep, like the postman sent him to me, but it wasn’t quite that convenient, but not far from it. I met him on my way to buy some hand-cream. My hands are still dry - I think I like the reminder of it’
‘When will we meet him?’ Frank asked.
‘When he wakes up’ His mum replied.
‘I like letting him sleep in, when he can, sleep is a brilliant treat when you’ve sought to earn it. I like it better than I did. It helps to have someone with me. It’s nice to reach out in the night and feel the warm flesh of someone good next to me’
When Frank was younger, and when his mum was really struggling with ME, he would climb into bed next to her and hold her. She would never ask him to do this, but she always hoped that he would, and Frank understood this because he knew the importance of the things unsaid. The things unsaid are the ones that take hold of you without direction; they merge into the very fabric of our impulses, and find us doing things without a second thought.
‘I remember when you’d climb into bed and hold me’ Irene said to Frank.
‘Your nose would find a place on my neck like a nest it had made, and your warm breath would ever so slightly tickle me. Sometimes you held my hand and I would thank you for it, but you didn’t hear me because I said it so quietly, or maybe I didn’t even say it at all. My eyes would be wet and yours would be too, and I liked how we never got used to our tears; they always meant something, that something should change’
Frank’s mum had tears in her eyes as she looked at her son, who was what a vision in white could look like, there stood in white gym gear. Frank was her greatest achievement in life, and there was no sorrow in that accolade; her tears were all of pride.