When friends ask “Has Perran been in touch at all?”
We say “Not much,” then, defensively, “But that’s a good sign – he’d only be ringing us if he was miserable.”
There’s been the odd text, skype, phone call, enough so we know he’s still alive.
Yet we are content. The reason?
On Perran’s second day at uni, we were in the kitchen at home each wondering silently how he was getting on. Then Nigel’s phone rang: it was a call from Perran’s mobile. Nigel listened for a while, then turned the sound up and beckoned me to come over. We could hear several voices, amongst them, Perran’s - a group of girls and boys, laughter.
The conversation was indistinct, but it sounded friendly and happy. We imagined them in the kitchen of their shared flat. Clearly Perran’s phone had called us by accident from his pocket. We smiled at each other and quietly switched the call off.
No deliberate call could have been quite as reassuring as that bum dial. However much somebody declares “I’m alright!” over-anxious parents can never be sure.
But hearing that, we could be sure.