Feeling a bit low, I texted Pete “Hey Pete – do you have a few moments for a chat? Can I call you?”
I put my phone in my pocket, got distracted by a gust of wind that mussed up my hair and hinted a cold kiss on my cheeks…and thought nothing more of it.
…Until about an hour later, when my phone rang and Pete’s beloved name flashed up on the screen.
Smiling, I swiped across to ‘answer’ and held the phone to my ear.
Pete’s warm voice down the line made me instantly feel comforted.
“How do you manage to you get yourself into such a tangle?” Pete scolded, lovingly.
“Who, me?” I asked, settling back into the sofa and making myself comfortable
“No no – not you, Janet – the dogs. I thought I’d call you while I take the 2 dogs for a walk. They’re so little – but they’re a handful. They run around in circles – No! Don’t eat that grass! Wait! Yuck – let’s get that all out of your mouth. Why do you always eat this? Why? I’ve told you before about this. Great. Now you’re licking me. Yuck”
I smiled again, imagining Pete leaning down to wipe stray bits of grass from a small, excited dog’s mouth and pretending to tell it off while his blue eyes twinkled in gentle humour.
“Pete – I’m not happy about this” I pretended to be quite stern, myself
Pete chuckled “You’re not the one walking two excited dogs!”
“I wanted your undivided attention” I admitted, I couldn’t help but smile again “but now I have to share you with two dogs”
“Haha its okay, kiddo” Pete laughed “You have my attention…No! Leave that stick alone, it’s not yours!”
I rolled my eyes affectionately “Yeah, I can tell you’re fully focused on me”
Pete laughed again. Warm and gentle – the laugh of someone who’s lived a lifetime of adventures and enjoys walking small dogs around the park. I loved the sound of it.
“So” Pete invited “how’s everything going?”
And slowly – with pauses so Pete could unwind the dogs from around several trees and untangle them from bushes – I told Pete what’s been on my heart. I told Pete how I worry about the Thomases, how I worry about Alun taking on so many hours when he’s not fully recovered, how I worry I’m falling behind at Uni with only 3 weeks left and how I miss being in his and Lyn’s company.
“First of all…” began Pete. “Anyone who doesn’t absolutely love and adore you when they get to know you – has something seriously wrong with them. So you don’t need to worry about the Thomases – if they don’t know great quality when it’s right in front of them, it’s their great loss. Also, Al is a tough nut, he can handle a lot more than even you think he can. He’ll be fine – just give him space and be his support when he needs it. You’re lucky to have each other”
“Secondly – your boss is a nutcase. She knows you’re quiet and very sweet so she’s targeting you to see how much bullsh*t you’ll take. Make your stand – but do it your gentle way – and then leave things be. They’ll sort themselves out”
“Lastly…I’ve known you for the last 20 odd years and you’ve always wanted to graduate Uni. You are doing wonderfully at it and you’ve stuck it through some very hard things – so hang in there because soon you’ll be all done. I want to come to your Graduation, by the way. I need to be there and see your beaming face”
I wouldn’t have it otherwise.
“I don’t know how many tickets I’ll get – how many people I can invite to come with me” I said, hesitantly.
“However many you get, I’ll be there. I’m so proud of you, Janet“
Pete’s words were like a healing balm on my broken heart.
“You are like a daughter to me and whenever you come to visit us, you’re like a breath of fresh air. You’re loved, you know that?”
“I love you too, Pete” I said, my heart feeling so full.
“Right, well I’m home now and have two curious faces looking up at me – wondering why we’re still outside instead of going straight in. Do you want me to listen a little longer – or should I go?”
“No no – you go in. Lyn will be wondering where you are” I smiled.
I felt so much better.
“Okay. Well – we love you. We’re here for you always. Call me anytime you need me, right?” Pete was still checking – making sure I really was okay to go. I love that he always does that.
“I’m going to be fine. I feel so much better just from talking to you” I said.
We hung up and I slept really well for the first night in a long time.