I wanted to make sure Bella was eating.
I had cooked for four, now I cooked for two, and always made too much, in plastic containers for the freezer the spare portions went.
One Saturday morning, I packed a stack of these plastic containers, filled with frozen delights, and headed off down the street to deliver them to Bella.
I knocked on her door and waited, I knocked again, harder this time–nothing. I rang her mobile phone. ‘What?’ she asked, her tone was flat.
‘I’m stood outside your front door.’
The phone went dead; the door opened. I followed her up the stairs to the first floor landing. A haze of smoke lingered in her living room; the windows were firmly shut. A friend sat on the settee. ‘Hi,’ I said to her.
‘Bella, what’s happened?’ I asked.
She sat on the opposite settee to her mate, pulled her legs up for comfort. ‘Just a bit fed up, that’s all.’
A stack of furniture lent against the wall, storing, and cluttering her room for this friend I had not met before.
‘I don’t understand why you feel this way. Clean your house, go for a walk, come to us for dinner.’
‘She gets upset over The Big I Am,’ her friend enlightened me.
‘For goodness sake,’ I said, ‘get a grip. Why are you still bothering with him?’
Her friend sparked up again. ‘He comes here at night, takes what he came for, then leaves in the early hours.’
I looked at my daughter’s vacant, tired face. Such hope I had for her.
‘Oh Bella,’ is all I could say.