Extract: The Mum Who Had Enough by Fiona Gibson

Weekends are usually an opportunity to kick back, read the papers, walk Scout, maybe meet up with Eric and Sarah. Or Sinead and I would just go out for a drink ourselves: all the ordinary (but now, I realise, intensely pleasurable) stuff I’ve taken for granted all these years. Without Sinead here on Saturday morning – and with no work to go to – I simply don’t know what to do with myself.
Still, I can’t fall apart. I’m still Flynn’s dad and, if nothing else, I’m going to prove that I can run this home, this family, by myself.
Things start off pretty well, considering. Flynn emerges from his room a little before 10 a.m. There are no visible signs of tears or anger; on the contrary, he utters a gruff, ‘Morning’ as we pass on the stairs. I even dish up a proper breakfast – not that I’m expecting some kind of World’s Best Dad accolade for scrambling some eggs. However, we are coping, in that we are dressed, and nourished, and I have only checked my phone a handful of times to see if Sinead has been trying to contact me.
Of course she hasn’t. Idiot, I chastise myself.
Aware of behaving a little manically – in order to prove just how fucking fine I am – I suggest to Flynn that he fetches his guitar and we have a go at some new techniques. ‘Okay,’ he says warily. Minutes later, we’re sitting together in the living room while I show him a new take on the traditional twelve-bar blues he knows already.
He’s strumming away, albeit rather mechanically, as if he’s keen to get on with something else.
‘Hang on,’ I say, motioning him to stop. ‘It’d be good to change your emphasis, give it some whack on the second and fourth beat …’
‘What?’ he asks crossly, brow furrowing.
‘Let me show you.’ On my own guitar, I start to play a riff, aware of Flynn’s gradually flattening expression, his mouth setting in a firm line. I stop and look at him. ‘That was Chuck Berry. You can hear how he played about with the timing, the emphasis – that’s what gave him that unique sound—’
‘Dad,’ Flynn interrupts, placing his own guitar carefully on the sofa beside him.

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