Me: -I pick up the phone- Hello?
Emma: Ray? -she sobs-
Me: Em, what's wrong?
Emma: -she struggles to get her breathing back to normal- Ray, I know you told me not to call you but...Mam...I...she...I found her this morning. D-d-....dead.
Me: -I go silent for a minute or so while Emma sobs on the other end- How did she...?
Emma: She blocked up the kitchen doors with wet towels, cut her wrists with the edge of a piece of broken glass, wrote a bunch of shit over the walls and then turned on the gas oven and stuck her head inside.
Me: I thought she was in St. Luke's?
Emma: No, they released her early. You know yourself how shit the mental health services here are.
Me: What...what did she write? What do the words say?
Emma: Um...hang on, let me get it exactly. "The Hanging Man and the Man in Black dance in the night with my darling son. The night dances back at them."
Me: Shit, shit, shit, shit, shit, shit, shit, shit, shit.
Emma: Ray, what's wrong?
Me: Look, Em, you and Dad, you stay at home, don't leave for anything except the funeral, okay? If you don't have enough food, get people to bring you food, just say you're not up to leaving. You have to stay inside, Em, promise me!
Emma: Ray, you disappear for all these months, then you call once and talk a load of cryptic bullshit and now Mam killed herself and YOU HAD SOMETHING TO DO WITH IT, RAY! You can't just tell me nothing, you can't do that!
Me: I...I have to, Em. It's for your safety.
Emma: You'd better explain yourself when you get here, Ray. You had better fucking explain yourself.
Me: I will, Em. I promise.
Emma: Mam left something for you, Ray. It's a small box with a tag that has "A Birthday Present for Raymond" written on it, tied with the chain of the medallion you gave her for her fortieth birthday.
Me: Did you open the box?
Emma: No, it's for you, not me.
Me: Point taken. When's the funeral?
Emma: Sunday. Will you make it?
Me: Yeah, I...I will. I'll see you there, Em. Please stay at home.
Emma: I will. I love you, Ray.
Me: I love you too, Em.
I think I heard her start crying again as she hung up.