Stephen watched his father’s ritual from the breakfast table as his father kissed his mother goodbye as he left for work and said, “I love you.”
His father never left or entered the house without this mantra.
Stephen wondered what love really meant because he loved choc-chip ice cream and Adam Sandler films and his Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle action figures.
He had even considered giving Elizabeth Jenkins one of his coveted G.I. Joe figures because she smelled of strawberry lollies.
When he said, “I love you, Mum” it sounded different to his father’s repeated refrain.
Lying on the couch, her head bare from cancer’s indignity, she gave him one of her warm smiles and said, “I know you do, dear.”