He didn’t know how long it would take Peter to get back in touch with him and he realised that he wasn’t really being effective in the garden. He couldn’t do anything else, so he went inside to do some work in readiness for school the following day. Perhaps that would take his mind off his concerns.
Steve’s house that evening
Steve’s smartphone vibrated and played a ringtone, rousing him as he dozed. The television was on, but he’d fallen asleep during the early evening news programme. He looked at the phone screen, saw that it was Peter calling, and clicked the Answer option.
“Hi, Peter, thanks for getting back to me,” he said, “How did your trip go. Did you all get up Scafell Pike safely?”
“Hi, Dad. We had a great day,” he answered, “but we decided that we’d head North and do Blencathra instead. The weather was glorious and some of the scrambling was brilliant. Sharp-Edge was a fantastic challenge. But that isn’t why I called. I got your text. I do have Mum’s number – and the number that you have on your phone is almost certainly out of date. She’s changed her phone a couple of times since but never bothered keeping her old numbers. But why do you want to know? Are you sure that Mum is going to want to talk to you? Don’t get me wrong. More than anyone, I don’t want you two to be at daggers-drawn. I know that’s an exaggeration, but you know what I mean.”
“I do understand what you mean, Peter – and I don’t want to stir up trouble – quite the reverse. I need to talk to you both – together if necessary, but I’m not sure that your Mum would be up for a face-to-face meeting. Can I add that I’m quite happy for Julian to referee?”
“Let me explain…..” he continued.
Steve took some time – answering questions as he went along – laying out the thoughts that he’d been mulling over for some days.
He explained his changed views about Christianity and how his mind had been opened to a realisation of how bad a husband and father he had been. He made clear that he wasn’t asking for forgiveness to salve his own conscience, but rather how he wished, by a proper apology, to bring some closure to Peter and his Mum or, at least, to help to heal any bitterness that might otherwise blight their future lives. He stated categorically that he was in no way trying to scrub out the past, to seek a clean slate or to win his Mum back from Julian.
Peter had been difficult to persuade, but a compromise was settled on – that Peter would speak to his Mum and see how she wanted to play it: whether she would allow Steve to ‘phone her and under what conditions, if at all.
The photo that introduces today’s post is intended to represent the house of Peter, Steve’s son. The featured photo is to show a view from his house to the park opposite. Okay, those who notice such things may say, “but this image shows an autumn scene, whereas the story is set in early April.” True, so sue me. I wanted to show that Peter would have had a pleasant view.
These shots are from my archives. I took the photos using my Pentax KP 24 MP cropped sensor camera and a Pentax 16-85 mm f/2.8 lens.
EXIF data were: 1/100 secs @ f/8 and 68 mm. ISO was 100.