Annie had been in the hospital for another two weeks and was due to be discharged. Simon had calmed down since and had even booked her a little holiday cottage in Brean in Devon. Laura had said she would pick her up from the hospital and take her home, Annie wasn’t looking forward to returning to her house at all, but it would only be a short time. Nurse Graham had been in to give her a final once over and they had sat and chatted for a while, she was going to miss the nurse who had made sure that Simon behaved himself and she was sure that Simon had had a stern talking to by the police officer when he had come back to have the statement signed. Getting dressed after so long felt alien and once ready sat like a refugee waiting to be taken away on the seat by her bed. Laura popped her head round the door with a big smile, ‘ready mum?’ grabbing her mum’s bag they both headed over to the reception to say goodbye to Nurse Graham.
The drive home seemed to go so fast and Annie could feel her heart racing with apprehension as she arrived home, her little car sat on the drive, her sons car was also parked up which pleased Annie more than anything. Opening the door she stepped in, Wayne stood unsure of himself, and then as if making a decision said ‘you okay mum?’ Annie could see the concern in her son’s eyes, there was no sign of Simon which was probably as well. ‘I’m okay son just get very tired at the moment’ she walked slowly into the kitchen, everything was clean and tidy. ‘Where’s your dad?’ Wayne looked at Laura who busied herself making them all a drink. ‘Laura, where’s your Dad’ both her children looked very uncomfortable. ‘He’s not been here for a week now; we don’t know where he is’ Annie looked at Laura then at Wayne, what was going on? ‘Has he been to work?’ both nodded their heads. Heading for the phone Annie rang the bank, the two kids watched as she spoke, and the tension in the room was thick until at last the phone was put down. ‘Apparently he is managing a branch in London for a month’ she told them with disbelief ‘and he never said anything, have you rang his mobile?’ the kids looked very uncomfortable until Wayne burst out ‘no we didn’t! It was nice not having him banging around, criticising everything we do, and after what he did to you good riddance’ his eyes filling with frustrated tears, he mopped angrily at his eyes like a small child. Annie headed to him to give him a hug but he turned away and ran out of the room ‘Wayne!’ she called after him, her heart heavy with all sorts of emotions, she felt saddened that they had to witness her assault, but she felt guilty if she hadn’t snapped at Simon he wouldn’t have flipped. She felt two arms come round her and Annie cried like a baby in her daughter’s arms.