When Dad first went back to Afghanistan, we heard from him quite a bit. He would speak to us on Mums laptop like he did before. I really missed him when he was gone and couldn’t wait for him to come home. I just hoped he would be nicer to my Mum when he got back this time.
He would tell us all about what was going on but I think he left the bad bits out. I knew bad things were happening there because now I watched the news with my Mum. Chloe was only a baby and couldn’t talk so she didn’t understand, but I’m sure she still missed our Dad. When she went bed at night I would put Dad’s photo next to her in her cot and then when I went to bed I would take it back so I could sleep with it.
After a few weeks Dad didn’t call as much, I remembered that this was what it was like last time. He probably just ran out of things to say and he was really busy.
Mum was only working a bit now because of Chloe, but she didn’t seem as sad this time. Chloe was just starting to walk now so we would walk her round the room and she would laugh when she fell on her bum. It was great having my Mum and little sister to look after, I was the man of the house. When Mum was at work Nanny Lynn would look after Chloe and I would be at School. I still didn’t like School, nobody else in my class had a Dad in Afghanistan so I had nobody to talk to about what it felt like. My teacher sometimes used to ask how my Dad was and I would tell her he was looking after people and that he would be home soon. Sometimes Mum would pick me up from School or Nanny Lynn would and we would get sweets on the way home.
I wanted to go on Holiday in the Summer Holidays but Mum said we couldn’t till Dad got back and then we would all go, that’s what they said last time. The Holiday that Andy sent me and my Mum on to Devon is the first Holiday I’ve had in ages, it was brilliant.
It just didn’t feel the same when Dad was away this time. I was glad Mum didn’t seem upset like she was last time, but I wasn’t either. I don’t know why but it was different when we talked to Dad, he never said much and I wasn’t sure what to say, I didn’t like being on talking to Dad anymore. He was different to what he used to be like, he never made any jokes like he used to or ask what we were doing.
I would listen to him and Mum talk when I went out the room and they would be quiet for ages like they didn’t know what to say. It was like when I talked to girls at School sometimes, it’s really hard.
When I asked Mum why her and Dad didn’t talk much anymore, she said it was because he was so busy and that she was so busy with work and looking after Chloe. I said I could look after Chloe more so her and Dad could talk. She told me that was sweet and said thank you. I didn’t want her to say that I just wanted her to talk to my Dad more. He was in Afghanistan and it felt like she didn’t care anymore. That made me a bit angry but I knew Dad wasn’t saying much either so it was all a bit sad really.
The worst time Dad called, Mum had gone out with some friends and Nanny Lynn talked to Dad. Dad was really angry that Mum had gone out. I could hear them talking and Dad was swearing at Nanny Lynn and saying bad things about my Mum. Nanny Lynn was trying to tell him that she had only gone out for a little while and that he should be pleased she wasn’t just sitting in the house every night. I’m not allowed to say what Dad said but it wasn’t nice about my Mum and Nanny Lynn told him off. Nanny Lynn asked Dad if he was going to speak to me, but I heard him say he was too busy and would ring back when he could, then he was gone.
I remember going up to my room and that was the first time I had cried in ages, he hadn’t even asked how Chloe was and she was only a baby. I didn’t mind that he didn’t want to speak to me because I didn’t want to speak to him, not after what he had said to Nanny Lynn about Mum. I heard Mum come in and could hear Nanny Lynn telling Mum what had happened. I could hear Mum saying that Dad had changed and she was not looking forward to him coming home. What did she mean by that? If Dad didn’t come home then that would mean something horrible would happen, I didn’t get how Mum could say that.
I was always in trouble at School now, I didn’t care anymore it was rubbish and I just wanted my Dad to come home and make it all better. I never listened to any of the teachers, it was all just boring. Mum got called in to School and when we got home she said I had to try harder or I would be in trouble. I didn’t care, Mum and Dad weren’t trying so why should I?
When I got into another fight at School, Mum and me were told that if this happened again I could be getting expulsion, I didn’t know what that meant, but Mum explained that it would mean I couldn’t go back to School and nobody would ever give me a job.
Everybody seemed so angry with me all the time, but they were just angry because of Dad and I know that he would be coming back home in 2 weeks.