Laura drove her car onto my drive one morning. I was not expecting her.
She rushed into my house, blurted out that a telephone confrontation with Mr Big I Am had led her to his office.
His building was permanently locked, not a welcome practice to take your accounts to. An intercom would buzz, then an expected visitor would be welcomed in.
Laura was not a welcomed visitor that day. New Girl was now employed at the practice, by the man she shacked up with, the wonderful Mr Big I Am.
Laura grabbed a sufficient stone, to do the job the intercom would not, she smashed it through the window. The door opened.
A blazing row began.
Raging with injustice Laura made her way to me, driving through a set of traffic lights on red.
She told me what had happened because she felt sure I would find out.
‘Seriously?’ I asked
‘Seriously,’ she said.
Her behaviour was out of hand. Her state of mind was not good. Why was she under the spell of this horrible, destructive man?
I marched Laura to the doctor’s surgery. The waiting room was full. I demanded an appointment. ‘I need help with my daughter,’ I said. The receptionist led us to an office, to sit and wait. I remember staring at an empty mug, wondering what would become of my girl. I felt as empty as the mug.
We sat by side by side, facing our GP, Laura told him what had happened. She told him honestly.
‘It’s not just that,’ I jumped in, ‘her behaviour’s spiralling out of control, because she drinks too much alcohol.’
I had said it, the taboo phrase out in the open, the phrase we had avoided.
The term we had not shared.