Day 37: The day that Tom and LB get to meet in the local Burger King for tea.
Tom and I got there first, after a speedy dive into Tesco. Tom wanted to get LB a DVD or magazine because it was their first meeting since this all kicked off. He chose him some undercover cop comedy film I’d never heard of. And I grabbed a big box of cornflakes on special offer as we’d run out of cereal.
We sat at a table by the window, scanning the car park, half watching the families coming in and out. Chatting about the Suarez 10 match ban. It was odd. Waiting for LB to turn up. We had a bit of a chuckle thinking the staff would wonder what we were doing in a fast food restaurant, not ordering anything.
It was also weird wondering what it must look like to anyone there (who noticed) seeing a car pull up in the car park, LB get out and join us, and the driver going back to wait in the car. Like an inside out version of prisoner visiting hours. Or some court supervised visitation. Being in a familiar setting, but in a context in which the parameters are radically altered, is very strange. At one level we were hanging out like we’ve done a million times before. At another, this was like a state supervised meeting.
It was also fab.
Tom and LB went to sit down while I ordered a load of nosh. Lovely to see them sitting down together, hanging out. Unconfined. We ate, they had puds and chatted. About Hot Fuzz, Tom’s mate who said to say ‘hello’ to LB and local police activity in the neighbourhood on Friday evening. LB was delighted with the DVD. He’d also been to the bus museum again today, which he loves.
When everything was eaten and we’d chucked the rubbish away, I asked LB if he wanted to go back to the car or hang out a bit longer.
“Hang out a bit longer, Mum,” he said.
So we did. He carefully removed the cellophane cover from the DVD, peeled off the stickers advertising different things, passed the rubbish to Tom and read the back of the box.
Then we walked him back to his waiting car.
A good outing.