“You can’t bring that on board”
These were her mother’s words. Caged in Laura’s mind. Squeezing anxiety through her veins.
Laura sat up in bed. Her toes circled between the duvet and the mattress, as if they were searching for a solution too.
How would she hide it? Why couldn’t she tell Declan? He’d find out anyway if he ever saw her take her medication. She recalled the conversation she had that morning in her parent’s kitchen.
“Mother, you’re over-reacting. Times are changing”, Laura said.
“Get on with it”.
“Live normally like everyone else and for God’s sake, do it before you marry Declan so he never finds out”.
Her mother. The eternal talker. All sound muted as Laura stared at her mother’s ever moving lips. For the first time, she noticed how tiny her mother’s ears were.
“Laura, are you listening? Laura!”
“Yes, Mother, of course! Of course I’m listening. You’re right. Absolutely. I mustn’t tell him I’m depressed”.
Wait for it. Relieved smile. Apron adjustment. Obligatory invite to supper tonight followed by apologetic refusal.
It was when she returned home that she got straight into bed. Her sanctuary. Her toes had now stopped circling. She reached into her bedside locker and pulled out a pen and some paper.
I love you.
I’m depressed. But I’m still me. I’m still here, somewhere. I know you well enough to know that this won’t change anything.
I need to say something that you might not fully understand. Please don’t think less of me. It’s about my mother. We should move abroad. Move away. When it comes to our future happiness, we just can’t bring her on board…”