Paranoid, I’m wired wrong. Brittany is overseas for a month with her nearest and dearest fiancé, Lucas. Contact hasn’t been great and with the worlds terror threats I am as any parent is at this time anxious.
I have friends who have travelled down this path before me, and smirk at me and my paranoia. I smirk back and state, I know you are wearing your badge of honour
smugly proudly; I don’t want to join your club it sucks and you can stick your badge where the sun don’t shine.
A week went by
A week went by, I phoned the travel number, as I hadn’t heard; she was on a train, sounding weary.
‘Mum, I’m on a train travelling from Paris back to England I’ll call you when we get to the hotel’.
‘No need to honey, I just needed to hear your voice and check your okay’. I promptly fell asleep and missed her call. I had my handful of words to repeat in my head, clutching to my heart for days.
I texted, had a few texts back from her fiancé, not from her. I panicked, why were they not from her, is she ill and he’s not told me, has she been in an accident and he’s not told me, has she been kidnapped and he’s not allowed to tell me?
Anxiety rising like an angry volcano, told anyone who stopped to listen to me, or mistakenly, asked how I was, all they did was pull forward their badge of honour, Pfffft….
Our other daughter Samantha and her fiancé Matt, arrived to stay overnight to celebrate, oh and the puppies. Samantha and Matt did a fantastic job of calming me and looking after us, quelling my anxiety. Yes have you cottoned on to two weddings coming up?
Christmas, we four plus puppies made our way to Matt’s parents, who were gathered in to seeing that our Christmas was a great one and to stop me from wallowing. We have never been separated at Christmas before, us four. It wasn’t going to be easy. I am blessed to have such fabulous outlaws, so welcoming.
Around 4pm the panic set in as we were rural, realising that we didn’t have phone coverage.
‘Sam, Sam, what am I going to do, I can’t phone Brittany’.
‘Mum, that’s your panic voice, stop it!’.
I sat back down, feeling my heart sink, my chest heavy like I had been punched with a dumb bell. Jen, patted my arm, it’s okay her body was telling me.
Jen and Sam went inside, I am drowning in my wine, and at my stupidity, not realising we wouldn’t have coverage. Sam and Jen sat back down, Sam’s surface in her lap. She turned to me and said look at this. I did a Christmas photo of Brittany and Lucas.
NO IT WAS A SKYPE
I’m crying now, writing this, how blessed I am to have people who care, I didn’t really know what to say. I could see them sitting up in bed in their best PJ’s, in a London hotel. Eating breakfast, looking tired. All I kept asking for, seeking assurance, that all was well. Yes they kept telling me. I can’t thank Jen and Sam enough for that moment.
A week and a bit later
I have then sent messages for a week or so, that have gone unanswered, so of course my mind is going crazy. Maybe my messages are lame.
- Welcome to Paris
- Is it cold?
- What’s the shopping like?
- What are you eating?
- Good by to Paris
- Hello to Strasbourg
- Is it snowing?
Nothing, zip, silence
Why wasn’t she returning my calls? I messaged the other outlaws, asking if they had heard anything. Yes they had just the day before and had photos. Why hadn’t I?
What’s he done with her?
I phoned her four times, always engaged, see they have been kidnapped.
Calm down, deep breath, think Rae think. Fretting, feeling sick, it came to me.
I phoned the accommodation in Strasbourg. A lovely perky French girl answered in French. I spoke English, well, that’s probably because I can’t speak French, she placed me on hold. Apologised and spoke in perfect English.
I said, ‘You have my daughter and I can’t contact her can you help me’.
‘What is her name please?’
‘Brittany, she’s with her fiancé Lucas’.
I hear the rustle of paper
‘No we have nobody by that name’.
I let out a sob, all my fears rising to the surface.
‘But they must be there, they arrived yesterday’.
More rustling, my suspicions rising, do they still use paper diaries?
‘Ah, yes, we do have them but they are out and will be out for most of the day not back till late I’m afraid’.
‘Can I leave a message?’ Relief setting in, I sit down on the edge of the bed, holding my head in my hands.
‘Of course, of course, and when I finish my shift, I will make sure your message is put in their room’, she said.
Breathing a sigh of relief, the anger sets in, selfish bastards having the time of their lives, internally I am saying stop it stop it let go. For fook’s sakes they are adults, nearing 30, truth be told.
The phone is by my bed, I see the screen light up, it’s 12.30pm a message, Brittany, promising to phone the next day.
The message left in their room, call home, call Ram. Bless that perky receptionist.
We chatted for a while, that SIM’s not working, and they didn’t even know.
So now I’m thinking, what if they have to make an emergency call in a foreign land, the phone doesn’t work, they are snatched from the roadside, and they can’t make an emergency call while trapped in the back of the van.
And so it goes on, another week before I get any sleep and then they will be home. I will fret all over again when they take their honeymoons to. Someone save me please.