buddha-1“How long’s he been sitting under that tree for now?”

“It’s been three weeks”

His mother stared out through the kitchen window whilst doing the washing up

“Three weeks since he turned up unannounced telling me he’d left Angela and the kids, resigned from his job and was going to sit under that tree until he’d found the answers to what causes suffering and how he could alleviate it”

She’d been washing the same plate for the past five minutes

“It’s never right Alice. I mean just walking out on your wife and job like that. He must be having some sort of midlife crisis or breakdown”

Her friend stood beside her looking out of the window

“Angela has said she’ll have to sell the flat because she can’t keep it going on just her wage unless he sorts himself out and goes back to work”

They both sat down at the kitchen table and tucked into the freshly baked Victoria Sponge

“I blame that corporate responsibility day for all of this when he went to that homeless shelter. He’d never encountered alcoholics and drug addicts before and it seemed to send him over the edge”

His mother dabbed at the corner of her mouth with her napkin to remove the jam

“He kept going on about money and materialism and how if he could only find a way to help human kind understand what caused their suffering how he’d be able to save them”

Her friend finished her cake and went back to look at him

“Well that’s all well and good Alice but he’s got a wife, children and responsibilities. Perhaps he could phone his boss and explain that it’s all been a mistake and get his old job back. Perhaps a stay somewhere with people who can help him and some medication would do the trick”

She went over to her friend, placing a hand upon her shoulder

“The sooner you can get him the help he needs Alice the better as putting it off any longer is only going to make matters worse”

His mother stood up and picked up the phone hanging on the wall

“I know you’re right but it doesn’t make it any easier” she said as she dialled the number

“Which emergency service do you require please?”

She wiped away her tears and took a deep breath

“Police and ambulance please. I need to get my son sectioned”


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