‘You always lie to me.’
‘I do not. Why do you say that?’
‘Yes you do. You don’t tell me the truth when something is wrong.’
‘What do you mean?’
‘You don’t tell me everything.’
‘Do you mean I don’t tell you how bad it really is?’
The boy stared at something around his feet and kicked a t-shirt into the air from the clothing-strewn floor. He watched the boy’s face.
‘I see. I understand. And, you think that I’m not telling you everything now?’
‘Yes. I think you know it’s bad, and you aren’t telling me everything. It’s going to be on both sides. That’s what I think, and you will see that I’m right.’
‘We don’t know that yet.’
‘I know it.’
He stood up from his son’s bed. The length of his hand dropped over the boy’s shoulder, and his fingers bridged the gaps on both sides of the boy’s collar bone. He noted how fragile the structures seemed under his hand.
‘We will see. Now get some sleep.’
‘OK. Goodnight dad.’
‘Goodnight. I’m proud of you. We will make it. You will see.’