Look to The Moon

For a far-flung fam­ily in the loneli­est hours, there is one uni­ver­sal point of con­tact…

My Weekly - - Contents - By Della Gal­ton

Cof­fee Break Tale

Stella couldn’t sleep. She’d tried read­ing, but that had been a mis­take as her novel was more of a keep-you-awake than a send-you-to-sleep book. Then she’d tried count­ing sheep. Hope­less. She’d never been good at num­bers. Luke cer­tainly hadn’t in­her­ited his maths abil­i­ties from her.

Fi­nally she got up, grabbed her pink fluffy dress­ing gown and went down­stairs.

She put the ket­tle on, re­gret­ting the fact she hadn’t re­mem­bered her slip­pers as her feet touched the cool tiles. She wasn’t sure a cup of co­coa would solve any­thing at 1am but it was worth a try.

Lone­li­ness washed through her as she sat at the kitchen ta­ble and looked out at the moon that sailed high above the rooftops: such a pale, cold oval of a moon.

Of course this was hard. She bet she wasn’t the only mum in the coun­try who couldn’t sleep tonight.

Luke was on his way back from a fresher’s party. It had still been in full swing when he’d left, but he was ex­hausted. Teenagers weren’t sup­posed to get tired out, were they?

His mum of­ten teased him about that. “You’ll have a great time at uni,” she’d said. “There’s al­ways some­thing go­ing on. Re­mem­ber to play as well as work.”

That’s why he’d gone to the party, re­ally. He’d been feel­ing pretty lonely. There was no one he knew on his course. Ap­plied Math­e­mat­ics wasn’t one of the trendier sub­jects. His best mate, Paul, had gone to Cardiff to do a me­dia de­gree. The party had been OK, friendly enough, but it was funny how you could still be lonely in a crowded room.

A surge of home­sick­ness struck him as he headed back up the un­fa­mil­iar cin­der path to his ac­com­mo­da­tion block...

Stella took her co­coa back to bed. She’d just given her­self a stern talk­ing to. Chil­dren grew up and left home; it’s what you wanted them to do. She was so proud of Luke. As was his fa­ther.

She sighed at the thought of James. She would have given any­thing to feel his arms around her tonight. She cut off the thought. At this rate, she’d have to give her­self an­other stern talk­ing-to...

Safely back in his room, Luke glanced up at the moon. Mum had told him once that when she missed Dad, she’d stand at the win­dow, look up and be re­as­sured that Dad was never so far away – he was still un­der the same moon.

It helped a lot when he was younger. They’d put out his bed­side light, open the cur­tains and look out into the starry sky.

“A mil­lion stars, but only one moon. And I bet your dad’s look­ing up at it right now. What do you think?”

Far away, James Raw­sthorne was in his bar­racks. His thoughts were with his wife and son tonight. He won­dered how Luke was get­ting on.

Your first night at uni could be strange. His stu­dious, sen­si­tive son might be find­ing it dif­fi­cult or he might be hav­ing a whale of a time.

Stella would be find­ing it hard, too. They’d spo­ken briefly ear­lier.

He glanced at his phone. It would be just af­ter 1am in the UK. Too late to ring ei­ther of them.

He could send a mes­sage, though. Stella kept her phone on silent at night, and Luke might still be up.

He se­lected an im­age, added an x and pressed Send.

Know­ing Mum, she’ s prob­a­bly look­ing at the moon right now, Luke thought, as he climbed into bed.

He hadn’t fully closed the blinds. The sil­ver light slant­ing through made pat­terns on the wall. It was oddly com­fort­ing.

His phone buzzed and he re­alised he hadn’t put it on charge, or switched it to silent. It must still be in his jacket pocket. He got back out of bed again, cu­ri­ous.

Stella’s phone vi­brated on the bed­side ta­ble. She picked it up.

Her hus­band was a man of few words. There were no words on this mes­sage, but there didn’t need to be.

She smiled and texted back a swift re­ply. I love you, dar­ling. Luke was smil­ing too. He was still look­ing at his phone. His dad never said much, but he al­ways made it count. He had just sent through an emoji of a smi­ley yel­low moon.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.