'Not an Ending' by Amanda Robson

You are quite sure? And no, I don’t need anyone close to be close by. For you see you’re wrong. You really are. This is not an ending. It is not the end. Of that I am quite sure.
     You asked if I noticed any changes. When does a teenager ever stand still, stay the same? Of course he changed, all of the time. If he sat still long enough it was almost visible. His voice, the bone structure of his cheeks, his height, his smell. Always expanding, reaching. Each morning he came down for breakfast I was faced with a son of different shades. Sometimes tinged pink, sometimes a blinding brightness. Some days he didn’t rise at all. But that’s quite normal. Isn’t it? A thing that never changed was he liked to wind the clocks. He called it ‘winding’ the clocks; liked to give them a reassuring pat on the back, a light touch then set them down again breathing their tick tock, tick tock.
     There were of course other changes. He started leaving things around and I was irritated. Who wouldn’t be? At first he stopped carrying a coat and bag. He refused to carry keys and I often found him sitting on the step with that bright smile. He gave all of his pocket money away. He told me about it each time; the warmth of unexpected giving. Then he withdrew everything, from his savings account and went walking on Sunday morning; gave to the shoeless, the toothless and the senseless. I thought with no more money, there would be an end to it. Of course it was his and he could do as he pleased. I’d always said he was to make his own decisions and I’d stand by them no matter what. We did have words though, when he started wearing less and less and leaving his clothes everywhere. I said that this was too much. His paleness, his ribs, so thin; it was too much I said.
     You say you found his shorts and tee-shirt on the strand line. Well there you go, if I wait long enough he’ll return. I am quite sure of that. The strand is where you find things, not lose them. Look. Look at this dandelion head he gave me yesterday before he went out. A complete orb. I remember I said how perfect. Yes, it’s beautiful he’d said.


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