A light flickered in Ben’s bedroom.
I watched as the brightness swallowed the dark strip of black, lasting only a few seconds before the darkness overcame the light again. The battle of light versus shadow went on for minutes while I stood, transfixed.
‘Ben?’ I asked, knocking gently. ‘I’m coming in.’
‘Mum!’ he said, shoving some sort of gadget under his bed covers. ‘Jeezus. Can’t you give bloke some peace?’
‘What’s going on?’
‘Nothing!’ his voice was strained.
‘What have you got there?’
‘Nothing!’ he repeated.
I went to pull back the covers, desperate to find the answers to the blinking light.
‘It’s nearly midnight. Whatever that is you’re hiding, turn it off and put it away for the night.’
‘I’m 18 now, Mum.’
‘I know. But you still live with me.’ I glared at him. It always used to be so effective. Not anymore.
‘Doesn’t work on me anymore, Mum,’ he said, confirming my thoughts. All my power laid off, lost years ago, when he became a young man.
‘Can you tell me what you’ve got? The blinking light has been freaking me out.’
He groaned. ‘Mum, just go to bed!’ He threw a shoe in my direction, purposely missing me by a mile. He grinned, reminding me of the boy he used to be.
‘Night then,’ I said. ‘Don’t be on that flickering thing for too long.’ I blew him a kiss goodnight.