Mother’s day, and this was Bella’s gift to me:
She came to see me in the morning. A familiar, distant look on her face. ‘I need to talk to you,’ she said, ‘I’ve run up a bit of debt.’
‘How much?’ Husband asked.
‘Why, what have you been doing? You’re on a good salary.’ I said.
‘How much?’ Husband asked, again.
‘Couple of grand,’ she muttered.
‘A couple of grand, exactly, or more than that?’ I knew she was feeling her way.
‘Well, maybe three.’
‘A couple, maybe three? How much do you bloody owe?’ Husband’s fuse had been lit.
I jumped in, tried to defuse the smouldering wick. ‘If you want our help, I need your bank statement to see what you owe, and where your money is going.’
Bella shot out of the house to get the bank statement, to get away from her dad.
She had run a debt of nine thousand pounds.
I had to take a seat on the stairs, steady my shaking legs. Husband ranted and raved. But he calmed down, he always did. She knew that.
Husband and I paid the debt with conditions attached: She lost the right to part ownership of her property, her rent would increase to account for that, she trade the fancy car, for a modest one, to reduce monthly payments.
Bella and I visit the bank manager to put a stop to this ludicrous overdraft.
She accepted all terms–she had no choice.