The kids got out of James’ car, and were waiting for me.
James asked what was wrong.
I told him I was afraid to go back into the house.
Why he asked.
The memories it holds.
James said well let me go unlock and you come in when you’re ready.
I passed him the house keys. He got out and went in with the kids.
My car was sat on the drive next to Emilio’s.
Thoughts of the night I drove from here, to James’s, then off to Romania, came flooding back.
Seeing Emilio on his knees crying, in my wing mirror as I sped off, to what I thought was my new life.
Fucking fool I thought to myself.
If I had forgiven him, for something he didn’t really do? what would life be like now.
The Joseph brought me back to reality, but knocking on the car window.
Mum, are you coming in, he said, with his sweet face.
Taking a deep breath, I said yes, and got out of the car.
Walking in I knew I had to take us all away from here.
If I was going to be with Emilio, we all needed a fresh start.
And I was going to have the kids near to us not at boarding school, unless James wanted Joseph to stay there.
They had come off school, but if they knew I would look after Emilio they could go back.
But I knew with Emilio being how he was, he would not be going back to work, and we could not afford the life we had.
I had to think ahead now, and be real.
I had lived below the poverty line, and made it.
And maybe we would not be that not so bad off, but we could not afford the house, here and in Gozo.
I needed to speak to mine and Emilio solicitors, and also tell them I would not be divorcing him.
After getting my bearings in the house, I went to my room and changed into my clothes, I told James I would wash the clothes Ruby lent me, and give them back to her later.
James asked if wanted any help with anything.
I told him I would sort myself out then go in and see Emilio.
He asked if I was taking Sam, or he would watch her again for me.
I asked Sam if she wanted to come.
She said of course I am coming, who knows what you might say or do, on your own with dad.
What do you mean I said getting a bit angry?
Well you might see him again, get his hopes up, then, run off again.
Hang on young lady; I said defending myself against my own daughter.
I loved your father like you would not believe, he hurt me first remember, it took me a long time to get over it, you could say I had a nervous breakdown.
Sam put her head down.
I carried on, James and Joseph just stood and listened.
I ran off yes, I left you all, yes, I fucked up.
Now I am back, to show you all how sorry I am, and look after your father.
Samantha looked at me again.
I don’t know what will happen between me and your dad, but I will look after him.
Sam started crying and ran to me.
She gave me a hug and broke down.
I looked at James and Joseph.
James smiled and Joseph hugged his father.
I held on tight to Sam.
She cried for ages.
When she lifted her face, which was now red, puffy and wet, she said sorry mum for hurting you yesterday.
I smiled at her, it’s ok love, I deserved it, but don’t do it again I said.
James said he would leave us to it and if I wanted him he would come over.
Samantha let go of me, and I went over and hugged Joseph.
Good luck mum he said to me.
Then Sam came over to hug her twin.
You need to get back to school brother she said to him.
I will he replied, I am missing me mates.
James turned to Joseph, I can take you back today if you like son.
Can I dad? please.
Yeah let’s get home pack your stuff and you can be there in time for tea, James said patting his head.
Ahh cool, dad. Joseph replied.
Before they left James asked me if I wanted to help him plan something for the twins birthday, which was coming up .
Hugging Sam, I said yeah, of course, my twins will be 13, and we need to celebrate that.
Ok then I will find out what Joe wants and you let us know what you fancy young lady, James said to Sam, as he patted her shoulder.
And we waved them both off.
When I closed the door, I said to Sam let’s get ready to see your dad.
I hoped I was not getting her hopes up.
Trying to be all wifely, and motherly, I got a bag of things together to take into Emilio. I did ask Sam, when was the last time he had clean underwear on.
She looked at me funny.
Don’t know mum, she replied.
I did not want to bring her name up, but I asked Sam if Olivia had taken him any clean clothes in.
No she said.
I needed to know what went on with Olivia and Emilio when I went away, so I asked Sam.
Well she said, looking upset.
When dad rang to say you had left, I stayed on at school. He told me you would be back.
Then the holidays came and you did not come back.
Dad carried on best he could, then he went back to the opera.
She paused for a bit and then carried on.
He let me know he was dating Olivia.
I wasn’t happy about it but you never came back, so I just let him do what he had to do.
She stayed over a few times.
And she came for Christmas.
I was gutted.
Sam looked at me.
Is this upsetting you mum she asked.
A bit love, I replied, but do go on.
She was nice to me and Joseph. And dad was happy for a while.
But then Olivia told me all he ever went about was you.
That was some comfort I suppose, but still she had been in bed with him, so feelings of betrayal came back into my head.
Dad rang me in school to say they had broken up.
I was sad, for him, but for her as well, she said looking away.
Then the next day James rang to tell me of his accident, and he came to collect me.
I rang Olivia and told her and she came to see me and stayed with me and dad in hospital.
I did not know what to say.
Sam needed a mother, and I just up and left, I can’t blame her for wanting Olivia near her.
Trying to put on a front, but my heart was aching, I told her to let’s get a move on to see her dad.
When we got to the hospital I could see a lot of reporters there.
I did hope it wasn’t for me, in the state I was in, no hair and cut face they would have a field day. We would have to get past them somehow.
When I went to Romania, I never took my phone, but had it back now, and someone began to ring me.
I reached into my bag to answer it.
It was James, he said my solicitor had been on the phone and told me keep away from the hospital, as Olivia had gone to the press about me, and Emilio’s accident, and in her words the love triangle.
Too late I was there, and one reporter clocked me and Sam.
There she is he shouted.
I grabbed Sam, and pushed past them. I could see the security guards trying to make way for us.
Did you become a nun because he cheated on you, one reporter shouted out.
They say he looks worse than the phantom, another said.
Were you in the same accident, someone else called out.
Fucking assholes I thought.
And wait till I saw Olivia again.
The security guards ushered us to Emilio.
He had been moved to another ward, as he was out of danger now.
Before I went in, a doctor approached us.
Mrs Mauzon, I hear the press is outside, is this you’re doing.
No it is not doctor I said angrily, his bloody floozy, went to them
Very well, he said.
Now you must know he has seen himself, and he’s been upset ever since.
We are keeping an eye on him, and I don’t want him to get too stressed.
Oh god I thought.
The doctor opened the door to his new room, and we walked in.
Two nurses were trying to change his bandages but he was fighting against them. Telling them to just leave it.
Samantha grabbed me and put her hand to her mouth in shock.
It’s ok love, i said.
Putting my hand to my own face, my bandages could do with changing.
Nurse, I shouted out.
Couldn’t do me a favour and clean my face up instead.
The nurse’s stopped what they were doing.
I winked at them.
Emilio’s full injuries were on show.
He looked bad.
One came over to me, and said he needs his bandages to put back on, or the wounds will not heal.
I know that nurse I can do that, just do my face, give him time then I will do it.
She looked at the other nurse, and made a gesture for her to come over.
Mrs Mauzon will do his bandages, Sharon ,she said, to the other nurse.
This is Mrs Mauzon she said looking shocked.
But what about the other woman?
I gave her a dirty look.
She shut up.
Mrs Mauzon had asked if we will change her bandages, the first nurse said.
But we need to do Mr Mauzon’s , this stupid nurse, Sharon said.
I pulled her to the side.
Look dopey it’s obvious he is upset, I said to her quietly.
Do my face, then I will do his.
The nurse looked confused.
The other nurse stepped forward.
Look Sharon go help Maureen change Mrs Haggert’s catheter, she told her.
The nurse went out of the room.
The first, intelligent nurse cleaned up my face, while Samantha watched, but kept an eye on her dad.
Then the nurse left me the bandages and explained where they had to go.
I told her I would put them on him.
She smiled and said she would pop back later, then left the room.
I looked at Sam, as if to say go speak with your dad.
He was crying but the tears were hurting him.
Hey dad, what’s up she said.
Emilio turned to her.
Sam’s face looked scared.
She hadn’t seen the full damage.
Nor had I, but she was a child and it frightened her.
Emilio could see she was scared and looked away.
She got up and said she was off to get a drink, then ran out of the room.
I called her name she turned around with tears in her eyes and shook her head.
Then, she disappeared.
I went after her.
Sam, wait up.
She fell to the ground and screamed.
Emilio must of heard her.
Sam it’s ok I said trying to comfort her .
I said I will see if Nicole could come get her.
I got my mobile phone out and rang Nicole.
She said she would be down straight away.
Sam said she would wait in the car park, for her, but away from the reporters.
I told her I would wait with her, but she said no mum dad needs his bandages on.
I told her to tell Nicole to ring me when you got in the car.
Wiping her face she said ok.
I hugged her and said things will get better.
Not for dad they won’t she said pulling away.
I kissed her head.
I will come get you later, I said to her.
She smiled and ran off to meet Nicole.
I walked back into the room.
Emilio was hysterical.
I want over to him and told him to calm down.
It hurts he said, and I am a monster.
Don’t be daft I said trying to dab his tears that were stinging his wounds, but not making eye contact.
My own daughter is scared of me, Emilio said
She had not seen you without the bandages. So she was shocked, I said still trying to calm him.
She hates me, he replied.
She does not hate you, she stayed by your bed day and night when you were in the coma, I said trying to make him see sense.
Emilio calmed down.
She did, he asked
Yes, I replied, now bandaging up one of his wounds.
You’re still her father, face or no face, she loves you whatever.
Emilio tried to smile.
I finished bandaging his up.
There see what was all the fuss.
Why can’t you look me in the eye?
What I said,
While you put my bandages on, you kept trying to look away.
I did not, I replied, but he was right.
Do I look that bad, he said, nearly shouting at me.
I shouted back.
So you want the truth, I said.
Yeah you do look bad, really bad, your face and head are fucked, there is that what you want to hear.
What had I just said.
How cruel was I.
I looked away.
I didn’t mean to say it like that.
Emilio said nothing.
I turned back to him.
I took hold of his hands.
I am sorry I didn’t mean to say that.
Emilio looked down.
My phone rang, is was Nicole saying she had picked Samantha up from outside and would see me later.
I told her thanks and switched my phone off.
Look you were in a bad accident, and lucky to of survived it, your face will heal, your hair will come back, and you can have plastic surgery.
But it’s not about looks, it what’s inside that counts.
What was I saying?
Emilio looked me in the eye.
He gave a slight smile, and another tear fell.
I got up sat on the bed and hugged him.
But was careful not to catch his bandages and tubes.
I hugged him for ages.
Then I lay down on the bed next to him.
He put his arm around me.
I lay there next to him not saying anything, just us to, holding each other.
I drifted off.
We must of been a sleep for about an hour when the nurse, who was here earlier on, came in and asked if we wanted a cup of tea.
I sat up and Emilio’s hand rubbed my back.
For a moment I thought we were back at home in our bed, like old times.
Yes please I said
I looked at Emilio.
Do you want one?
Yes thanks he said, but you will have to help me drink it.
I smiled. I will hold your straw.
He smiled back.
I would be helping do a lot of things from now on.
Not long after, a physiotherapist came to see him, he had been lead down for a long time, and he had to get up to prevent bed sores and blood clots.
I sat and offered support.
Emilio struggled, but he made some progress.
The physio, said he would come in tomorrow, and then each day till he was happy with him.
By the end of it Emilio was knackered.
It was getting late and I told him I better go see how Sam was.
I had not mentioned that the reporters had been outside, they might still be there, for all I knew, but would face them.
I gave him a kiss on the top of his head.
He pulled me in and kissed my lips.
They were not broke.
But I still did not know my feeling for him.
In the end I pulled away, as I could feel my mouth where Sam had hit , start to rip, and I did not want it bleeding again.
Sorry did I hurt you he said, touching my bald head.
No, just I don’t want my cut mouth to reopen and bleed on you.
He stroked my face gently.
I put my hand on his hand.
And stroked that.
Then I got up and said I would see him tomorrow.
He tried to smile again.
Then I went out of the room.
I had to gather my thoughts together.
One for my feelings, and two for the reporters if they were still outside.
A few were still outside and they asked how he was.
I told them he was doing good, but had a long way to go.
Some were asking stupid hurtful questions, I ignored them.
One asked how I got my injuries, I said nothing
Another asked about Olivia.
I said she needs to get her own husband instead of trying to take others.
I walked away to my car.
Let them write what they want I thought.
I know the truth.
When I got to Nicole’s, Sam was adamant, she wanted to return to her boarding school the next day.
I asked her if she wanted to see her dad before she went back.
She said she could not face him at the moment.
I thanked Nicole, then me and Samantha went home.
She slept with me in my bed that night, not saying much.
The next day she was up before me, and all packed.
She wanted to go straight away.
I told her if she wanted to talk about anything with me, she could.
She said she was ok.
I told her not to bottle things up like me.
She looked at me and smiled.
On the drive to her school, she hardly spoke.
I told her, she would have to change schools at some point.
She just shrugged her shoulders.
And told her to take no notice if some of the girls were cruel to her.
I came in with her, and spoke to the head teacher.
I told her she needed watching and maybe some counselling.
The head was every understanding.
She would keep me updated and call me regularly.
I was very worried about Sam, I did not want her to turn out like me.