A few weeks in the past, I went to Cork for the day. I arrived residence feeling drained and a bit spaced out from the driving. Perhaps that’s why I reacted the way in which I did. That’s what I advised myself afterwards.
I opened a beer, had a little bit of chat with Herself and Daughter Number One and was nearly to go to mattress when a message popped up on my cellphone from Son Number One.
For almost a 12 months, he’s been residing in Colombia. He went there by himself and realizing nobody, but in that point he’s managed to be taught cheap Spanish and assemble a social community that features a girl. Not a girlfriend: there may be some opaque distinction right here that I don’t totally grasp. This is a lady he’s been seeing recurrently for some months now. But not a girlfriend.
His message learn: this isn’t good.
By the time I’d completed studying all this and absorbed what it meant, everybody else had gone to mattress. I obtained one other beer and tried to consider what assist, if any, I may give from the opposite facet of the world
There adopted a collection of screenshots of a textual content dialog between Son Number One and the lady who isn’t a girlfriend. In the primary, she was pleading with him to reply his cellphone. Why, he requested. What’s up?
She advised him that she was nervous as a result of her interval was late.
Son Number One replied with a not very reassuring platitude, which did little to calm her. Instead, she’d purchased a being pregnant take a look at package, and within the second screenshot, despatched him an image of the end result.
It was constructive.
“Why were we so stupid?” she wrote. “We are f***ed.”
Rather disappointingly, all Son Number One may assume to jot down was: “what are you going to do?”
The reply was contained within the third screenshot. Although abortion has been not too long ago legalised in Colombia, the services for it usually are not but in place. And she appeared to have extreme doubts about taking such a plan of action anyway. Her household have been very spiritual and he or she didn’t appear to really feel that she may maintain this information from them. She was going to go to a health care provider to have one other being pregnant take a look at.
By the time I’d completed studying all this and absorbed what it meant, everybody else had gone to mattress. I obtained one other beer and tried to consider what assist, if any, I may give from the opposite facet of the world. I advised him he ought to go along with her for the second take a look at, that it was essential that he be supportive; that he also needs to attempt to get his head round the concept that he is perhaps going to develop into a father.
My cellphone lastly buzzed simply after I obtained into mattress. A brief message that put all the things else into context: if I hadn’t been a bit spaced, I might need observed that the being pregnant take a look at appeared suspiciously like one for Covid
He didn’t reply: and so, I crammed within the silence with my very own fears. Was he feeling terrified and alone, however attempting to not admit to it? Was he tempted to run again to Ireland? He’d solely deliberate to remain in Colombia for a 12 months, so what now? Would her household stress them to get married? Should I get a aircraft within the morning?
I ought to have referred to as him, after all. But I wasn’t pondering straight. I used to be punchy from all of the driving. I messaged him to inform me as quickly as they obtained the second end result. No reply.
My cellphone lastly buzzed simply after I obtained into mattress. A brief message that put all the things else into context: if I hadn’t been a bit spaced, I might need observed that the being pregnant take a look at appeared suspiciously like one for Covid; I might need remembered that it was April 1st, and that is simply the type of factor Son Number One would do.
He and the non-girlfriend had labored out a script, then texted forwards and backwards so he may ship on the screenshots. I forgot to inform him how ingenious that was. I used to be too busy with my unprintable reply.
Yet as I used to be drifting off to sleep, I did do not forget that one in all my first reactions to the pretend information had been that Son Number One would make a extremely good father. He likes kids. Didn’t inform him that both. I’ll when he’s grown up himself.