From my job in the conservatoire I was able to find out, over the course of the next couple of weeks, that his father was really ill and that he wasn’t going to be coming back to the school. For that year, at least.
This was quite a blow. In my mind, we’d gotten married, bought a fancy penthouse apartment and were busy driving around in our 4x4 with a black labrador on the back seat. Well, maybe not, but I had hoped for more than we’d had on that one drunken occasion.
Don’t ask me why, but one evening, as I was passing his house on the way to the train station, I decided to call in and see if his housemates had heard from him. I didn’t know anything about his housemates, except for the fact that they weren’t music students.
I rang the bell, and it was someone I recognised that answered the door.
It was a guy from my year at the business school - not on my course, and not someone I’d ever spoken to, but someone I’d nod at and acknowledge if we passed each other on campus. The little I knew about him was that he was ex-armed forces, a mature(ish) student and that he was dating one of the most stunningly gorgeous and incredibly intelligent girls at the University.
“How you doing mate?”, he said. "What can I do for you?"
I explained that I was after news of the singing boy, that we were friends of a sort and that I was just wanting to be sure he was ok.
“Come in” said the housemate. “I’ll tell you what I know about him. You want a beer?”
I went in. I drank a beer.
How was I to know that this would be the meeting that would throw my life off balance for so many years?
It would bring me love and heartbreak, indifference and hatred in equal measures.
It would give me a not so short, but very sharp lesson in handling mental illness, drug abuse and betrayal.
It would lead to hiding from family, cutting ties with friends, betraying those closest to us.
And all this, with a little light S and M thrown in for good measure.
The doors had been opened.