After exams finished Perran stayed in Bristol until the rent ran out.
We didn’t mind. Those last days as a student are so precious.
Then home for a short space. Then off to Spain with thirteen friends for a week. And then we were expecting him home sometime Tuesday.
The exact timing seemed vague.
I came home from one job and had a cup of tea. He wasn’t home. I went out to another job; came home and began preparing dinner. Should I make some for Perran? Perhaps if I cooked something with the tomato sauce from the fridge… In fact I couldn't find the sauce. On the shelf where I had expected it to be was a can of beans I didn't remember opening.
Nigel came in.
“Heard anything from Perran?”
“Nope. And I’m not sure if he’s even got his keys. Perhaps we should just install an enormous cat flap in the back door.”
“I’m sure he'll turn up. I'm just off to change out of my work clothes.”
Then from upstairs he called sotto voce "Clare, Clare. "
Mirroring his quietness, I tiptoed upstairs.
There asleep, face down on his bed and fully clothed was our son.