"Absolution" is a love story. I don't just mean romantic love though - I mean the love that we have for family and friends, too.
Case in point: Tom. Jack's father - Callum's surrogate father - is a hard-working, church-going, law-abiding man who lost his wife, Jack's mother, several years earlier. Jack is his world, and anyone who is important to Jack is also important to Tom. If you're from a close-knit family, you'll understand what I mean by this. You know who your kids are hanging out with and you know their families. You gather them into your own family as a result - relationship by osmosis, particularly so in small towns, I think.
Tom doesn't know why Jack left so suddenly, only that it was guilt that drove him away. He makes some assumptions and Callum doesn't correct him, believing it's not his place to do so. So Tom is stuck in the middle - using the infrequent phone calls from Jack (whereabouts unknown) to try and convince him to come home while also staying strong for Ally, because she needs him, too.
Callum is also leaning on him. Between the two of them, they are getting involved in decisions they never thought they would have to make. Tom puts on a brave face during the daytime whilst lying awake in bed at night, staring at the ceiling and wondering how his "family" got to be this fractured, this broken.
Tom is classic of his generation. He's just trying to keep his family together, the best way he knows how. He's hanging out for the next phone call from his son, hoping that wherever he is, he's okay. He just wants him home and safe, where he can keep an eye on him. That hope keeps him going, even as the weeks and months eventually turn into years. Jack has cut himself off from everyone and everything - except his father. Tom can tell that whatever Jack is going through is changing his son, and it breaks his heart. He is conscious of not pushing too hard, afraid that the heavy burden of guilt Jack insists on carrying might push him away from him forever. Everything seems so much more fragile now.
As frustrating as the whole situation is, Tom can't afford the luxury of dwelling on it. Ally needs him and so does Callum, with the weight of the responsibility he has taken on threatening to drown him at times, too. The only thing he can do is keep going because sooner or later, Jack is going to have to come home, and when he does he's going to need him more than ever.
Love is a powerful force, there's no denying that. It's up to you whether you let it pull you towards someone or push you away from them.
As always, I'm keen to hear your thoughts (either by leaving a comment below or by heading over to my Facebook page and chatting to me there).
Thanks for popping in!