Wolfgang lay in his bed, staring at the ceiling. The lights were off throughout the house but he could hear muffled noises coming from the bedroom of his sister, Angela. Clearly Angela's latest in a long line of boyfriends was staying the night. Luckily (or unluckily), their mother's room was at the other end of the corridor and the amorous couple were unlikely to be overheard.
Normally, he would block out the noises and go to sleep but tonight was different. He could still hear his mother's angry words rolling around his head.
"Neither of you tell me anything!"
More than an hour later and Wolfgang was still caught between guilt and resignation. A widowed mother almost single-handedly running a laundry didn't have much time to spend with her grown-up children. Even though they lived in the same house, they were strangers at times. He felt guilty about that.
But did she really needto know about their lives? Did she really want to know that her daughter changed men like fashions or that she'd been modelling semi-naked again? Did she want to know that her daughter had been attacked by at least two of her boyfriends and that, as a police officer, Wolfgang had dealt with them both?
Did she want to know that her beloved son had been dating for almost two months without telling her? An innocuous omission, more characteristic of her wild child daughter than the darling son she'd come to rely on. For his part, Wolfgang knew that sometime soon he'd have to tell his mother that he'd been dating Lene. Lene was the sort of girl his mother would like, but Wolfgang couldn't make introductions until he was sure of the relationship. He tried not to get his mother's hopes up without reason. He'd certainly never tell her he was having wet dreams about a certain commissioner's son. Nothing would come of that particular fantasy, so there was no point in mentioning it – not even to the commissioner's son involved.
Wolfgang rolled over in his bed to stare at the wall instead of the ceiling. His mother was better off not knowing the full extent of her children's lives. He just had to keep reminding himself of that until his sister's room fell silent and his dreams came to claim him.