A condition of mental disturbance, typically with lack of energy and difficulty in maintaining concentration or interest in life.
People talk about the 7 wonders of the world. The ancient world. The modern would what they are and how beautiful.
But they over look the one true wonder of the world. The human mind.
Why? You may ask.
These things may be wonderful but yet the human mind; now that is a true wonder.
It is beautiful and powerful. It can create the most incredible breath taking things.
Art and music.The world is built upon the ideas and the imagination of these amazing, precious things.
Creating the wonders of the human physical world that you see before you.
It is with in each of these ideas that the creation of the most powerful and beautiful thing comes to be.
With each idea, and dream the birth of each individual person comes in to being… Their sole.
But with the beauty and creation comes the destruction, darkness and pain.
It feasts on the good the hope.
Destroying the mind and sole. Leaving nothing but emptiness.
Creating a would of pointlessness and fear.
One human mind can push its self to the far corner of the would. Creating its own with in this world created by millions.
To such a point that the sole does not now which one is the reality and the one is the creation of their own imagination.
Saturday 28th of April 2012.
I’m sitting on the large window ledge in my bedroom of my first floor studio flat -above a lovely 24 hour “convince store” which is known not just for it fresh tulips from Amsterdam if you know what I mean. - With a pint glass with coke and two maybe three shots of vodka in it, and a take -away pizza sitting on the chair beside me.
Out side just for a change in Britain it is raining and on the corner in the road there has formed a very large puddle. So for the past hour (in between watching bad TV) I have been looking out hoping that a bus or a large car or van will go throw it just as someone is walking past!
I can’t find the TV remote so I’m stuck with watching big brother series god no’s what. It’s so shockingly bad a part of wants to turn it off but the other part wants to watch more to see if it CAN get any worse.
So here you have it this is my sad little life today.
I work nights at the local Debenhams bringing in the delivery, un boxing and putting out. Normally I would be just getting up around now, but I’ve had the last week off. Splendid you might think but no. most of it I have spent at my parents. With them dotting over my baby sister. I say baby she’s 25 and she is getting married in four weeks time. So for the past six days I’ve subject to dress fittings cake tasting and family fun! -If that’s what you can call it.
So let me introduce you to my family. Let’s start with my baby sister Alice, she has mum and dad wrapped around her little fingers. Dad (John) a retired barrister and mum (Helen) she’s a frustrated houses wife, she hasn’t worked since after she had me.
Then there’s James. The 32 year old, good little boy. Well he is in mum and dads eyes.
James went to Eaton and Cambridge and is now working at some law firm. He’s always been the one to keep his head down and say ‘yes sir no sir, three bags full sir’. In a way so did Alice.
All three of us have had good educations, Alice studied art and I studied journalism. She met some nice rich banker’s son and is now to be married to him. Me on the other hand, a lot of boyfriends, and a disappointment. I’ve worked my way down to working class form upper middle class which my mother hates.
For the past week I have been at mum and dads in London preparing for the wedding in four weeks I believe. And how much fun has that been.
Sunday 22nd April 2012“Charlotte darling” mum said opening the front door of her 4 story London town house.
Helen is my 58 year old sexually frustrated houses wife, and mother. Considering she had us three kids she looks pretty good, with her short 1920s bob which she like to have us believe is not died
“Hi mother” I replied stepping in to house and kissing her on the cheek.
“You’re late. We’ve been waiting for you” closing the door behind me. And it begins.
“I’m sorry there were problems on the tube. I call you to let you know” I placed my small suit case in front of the full length mirror in the hall, by the door to the dining room.
“Every one is in the lounge waiting… I’ve got to go and make sure lunch isn’t ruined” heading back down stairs to her kitchen.
“Is James here yet mum?”
“No not yet, he’s running late he’ll be here in half an hour. Now go and see your sister and cousin”
Maybe it was me just being paranoid… Insecure but I always felt as if she was picking on Alice and I. it was obverse to the three of us that he was the favourite. So I headed in to the lounge to see the rest of the family.
“Charlie!” called out Alice as she got up to great me with a hug.
“Hello baby sister” squeezing her back. Alice took my hand and pulled me out of the room across the hall in to the dining room. Where the table was set for all of us
“You staying in London this week?” she asked poring us both a glass of wine.
“I am indeed. Taking back my old room for the week.”
“You’re brave. Has mum put you on a guilt trip yet for being late?” handing me the wine.
“She tried then I found out that James is later then me”
“I’ve been told off for wearing trainers” smiling and doing a silly little dance to show them off.
“She’s only happy when she’s got you girls around, so she can tell you what to do” I looked to the door and saw dad walking in. He came over and kissed me on the cheek
“Hi dad. How’s the golf going?” I asked.
Since he retired he’s taken up golf and bowls, I think manly to stay out of the way of mum and her book clubs and cooking.
“Good good. Your brother here yet?” poring himself a glass of wine.
“No not yet he text me to let you no that he is running late” Alice said as she left the two of us and returned to the lounge.
“How are things with my little girl? job going ok?” dad pulled out two of the chairs for us, that meant he wanted to have one of his farther, daughter talks, at least with dad we both would talk and he would listen. With mum she would talk and you would listen.
But there are some things that a daughter can’t tell their dad that they might tell their mum. I wish that was something that I could do… Talk to her.
“It’s good, working nights so this week is going to be hell getting up in the morning.” playing with the glass sitting on the table.
“I’ve got a spear alarm clock, I’ll put it in to your room … Are you alright, are you managing to pay rent?” leaning forward to me with concern
“I’m ok same as always. Some days good others I want to stay in bed. And rents ok. Thank you dad”
“If you need any help let me no. And I don’t just mean with the rent.” he got up squeezed my shoulder hard, the strength of his grip made us both smile.
He left the room and me on my own sat looking at the well laid table with its napkins in silver rings, two glasses, one for wine and the other for water and two small flower displays all set out on a crisp white table cloth.
Looking at the crystal wine glass with the coloured spots that it was making, as the sun light shone through the two, floor to ceiling windows struck the glass. I turned the glass by its stem and watched as the colours move and changed. For a second I found myself mesmerised by the colours.
“Will you stop being so un-sociable and come and join us” my hypnotised state was broken by my mum standing in the door way. I normally didn’t mind spending time with my family, mainly with only two of them at a time. But today I didn’t want to be around any of them.
So I got up and headed in to the lounge, but not before filling my glass, this time up to the top. If I was going to make it throw this meal I was going to need every drop.
Back in the lounge every one had taken up all the seats and were talking wedding.
Sitting on the sofa was mum, Alice and her husband to be, Tim. 34 years old, 5ft 9 good looking with dark hair and dark eyes. Dad sat in his wing back chair by the fire, auntie Karen, (she is dads 56 year old sister, married and devoiced twice,) sitting on the floor beside her is Steph our cousin 22 years old red head, she’s a nurse at the Royal free hospital.
Due to there being no other seats I took my place on the window seat at the far end of the lounge, looking out of the front of the house listening to them going over wedding and honeymoon plains and Tim’s job and promotion, and Alice’s art gallery opening. Each minute that went past felt like five.
“Come on James where are you” I thought to my self looking out of the window at least with him here I’d have someone else to talk to other then dad.
And then it happened, finally the one thing that I hopped that would not get asked.
“So Charlotte will that lovely man of yours be joining you at the wedding… what is his name Robert?” Sitting looking at the honeymoon brochure. I downed the last bit of wine in my glass
“Yes and no he won’t be joining me. We split up three mouths ago”
Shit now I want more wine and James to get here quick so that they could all bask in the sun light, which they believed shines out of his arses.
“I’m so sorry to here that my darling. Do you remember…?” Oh god please no not this I have no wine left. Presides I’m not sorry his gone… well maybe a little
“Scott. He went to school with your brother, his dad and yours are good friends… well he’s just moved back to London. I believe he’s in marketing. He’s single now you no.” shit once again Karen was playing matchmaker.
“Hello people!” James stood in the door way tacking off his designer jacket, I don’t think I have ever been so pleased to see him. They could now enjoy the child that can do no wrong. I hadn’t seen him weeks.
He went around the room placing a kiss on each of ladies cheeks and one on Tim’s in jest. All the seats where taken so he came over to joined me on the window seat, as he sat down dad handed him a class of wine and began to fill up mine again.
“Omnes relinquite spes, o vos intrantes” (abandon hope, all who enters here) I whispered into James’s ear in Latin.
“I heard that young lady” dad said walking away.
Latin may be a dead language but in this house growing up it was quite alive between James Alice, dad and I, (well not so much Alice as the rest of us). It infuriated mum, a small secret language between the four of us.
Mum was standing in the door way, I smiled at her and raised my glass to her in politeness. But she frowned at me and walked off.
“So what have I missed” he asked me.
“Not a grate deal, Auntie Karen has been trying to set me with one of your old school friends, I’ve had my hand slapped for being late and unsociable and Alice for wearing trainers. And your late and wearing trainers.” James smiled and winked at me. Once again he had got away with it. It always seamed as if there was one rule for him and another for Alice and I. and Alice’s was different from mine.
By the time we sat down for lunch it was almost five in the evening. So much for us eating at three.
Roast duck and vegetables was on the menu followed by a cheese platter
“Are you .eating meet now?” asked mum before setting the plate down in front of me, I felt my self give her an empty evil look
“I’ve always eaten meat. It was Alice whom went throw the whole vegetarian thing” she didn’t comment she just put the plate down in front of me and carried on
The conversation stayed on one subject throw out the meal was the same, jobs and weddings. I just sat there and listened. By the time we reached the end of desert I’d had enough of the little digs of me being single and not being in a job that I’d gone to university.
“So has Rachael been invited to the wedding?” Knowing full well that she was I just had not heard her name mentioned
James sat opposite me at the table. He kicked me hard making me flinch. Dad sat at the top of the table, with the two of us either side, he downed the glass of wine. A still silence feel over all at the table.
“She a brides maid as well, I thought I told you that” answered Alice. She had at some point, I knew that but I could tell there was something else up with mum and knew the best way to get a reaction from her. If I just asked her, there was no way she would tell me. Or any one else
It sometimes feels as though I was left out of a lot of things in this family. If I ask what was wrong I would get told ‘it’s nothing to worry your self about’. Maybe it was because I now lived so far way. Distancing my self form them all. For what though.
“Why don’t we move back into the lounge …Charlotte help me clear the table.” my mother with the a sharp snap in her voice.
I hadn’t even made it to the sink with the plates before mum started telling me off started.
“What’s your problem Charlotte? Can’t we have one family meal without you acting like a child…and why did you have to bring her up?”
Her is Rachael. She is our half sister, the result of one of dad’s affairs. From we know of, there have been two maybe three over the years
I dropped the plates in to the sink, hoping that one of them would break- which none of them did.
“She’s still our sister as much as you don’t like it… Any way you’ve never had a problem with her in the past?” I picked up a glass from the side and filled it with tap water, as mum started to bang things around as she loaded the dishwasher.
“I didn’t mean it like that sorry… you should not be drinking with what you’re taking?”
Seeing me take a strip of pills from my pocket. I pulled a face like a child, mimicking her.
“Oh grow up Charlotte you’re nearly thirty… I’ll leave to finish up in here.” walking out of the kitchen leaving me not to finish up but to start and finish.
The kitchen window over looked the garden, where once there was a swing now was a wooden gazebo with a clematis growing up one side with pink flowers, on the other side of the garden was still the pond, which Alice one summer fell in and James and I got blamed for, for not watching her. We were
Not aloud ice cream for the rest of the summer because of that one.
Strange what silly things make you smile when old. And remember, I had almost forgotten that.
I took a mouth fall of water to wash down the little white pill. I put down the glass down hard on the stone butler sink, not realizing how hard I was being. The glass broke into four pieces.
My hand stung like a paper cut, just more intense. I looked at my palm of my hand, it was cut at the bottom of my little finger down about a centimetre. I cleared the plates out of the sink, and put my hand under the running cold water, which made it sting more, I watched the black red blood turn to crimson as it mixed in with the water and flowed down the drain as the stinging subsided… it was like a release of pain and tension being washed away… and anger.
I found the first aid box in the same place that it has been since we were children in the small curbed under the sink, as well as the box of bright coloured plasters and Mr Men plasters (some things never change.)
I plastered and bandaged my hand. Cleared the table. Loaded the dishwasher. Washed the glasses. going back in to the dinning room removed and folded the table cloth putting it away in the side bored with the mats, serviette rings and glasses.
“And once you’ve finished that it’s to bed with out supper!”
I hadn’t realized that James had come into the room and was standing behind me. He took the bottle scotch from me and put it back in the curbed. I just looked at him disapprovingly. - I can imagine that mum had sent him in to check up on me to make sure that I was not doing what he had just court me doing.
He held out his hand to me. -If he had kids he would be a horrible father.- I handed him what he want to see. The stripe of pills from my pocket. He read the label on the back and examined them and then handed them back.
“You shouldn’t be drinking with them”
“So, she has sent you in to check up on me?”
He didn’t reply, he was moving bottles around on the drinks cabinet, he came over to the table where I was with two shot glasses and a bottle of Sambuca.
“No. I just need to get a drink. Plus Auntie Janet is trying to set you up with Scot still. And Tim is on about someone he knows at the Guardian and seeing if he can get you an interview.” He handed me a fall short glass.
“I think you might need this.” I downed it quick. To right I was going to need it, if they were once again trying to organise my life for me. I held out my glass for another
“You should slow down Charlie.” poring me, and him a second then a third. Maybe I should but this week I needed it. Other wise I just might not be able to function humanly. If I am to survive this week.
After the third he put the bottle back in to the curbed, hiding it at the back and the shot glass behind the others. I some times have to think he is the worse out of us all. Hiding sticky short glasses at the back of the cabernet. Not even a child would do that.
We retuned to the lounge to enjoy the torture of the family.
That night I think I got… Maybe two hours sleep. I laid there in my old bed looking at what was once my dressing table/desk which is now looking a lot tidier from what I remember it. No book and loads of make up chucked on it. No posters on the wall, no photos. Just my full length mirror with my name in black lettering stickers at the top.
I laid there for seamed like hours, yet only one hour had pasted then I heard raised voice from the master bed room upstairs, a door slam. Heavy foot steps came down the stairs and the door for James old room opposite mine open and slam.
I put my head phones in and turned my music up load on my ipod. Pulling the pillow over my head. I felt 13 again, hiding and pretending I did not hear fights. Climbing out of my bedroom window on to the flat roof for a smoke pretending that it was all good, waiting for James to come home from boarding school- them Uni’.
I hated those days. A house constantly full of tears, angry voices and hurtful words.
Monday 23rd April 2012
“No they were black and theses are blue.” I swear that she is colour blind
“Oh… So they are…I don’t know why you don’t wear dresses more often Charlotte, you’ve got such a nice figure.”
“Thanks mum.” I put my arms around her and gave her a hug.-today felt good.
“So where are we off to today?” Poring a glass of water to take my morning fix.
“Finalising the menu and cake. Have you seen your father this morning?” she asked putting her breakfast things in the dish washer.
I shock my head holding a mouth full of water. - Dad has a habit of vanishing after they had a fight. It used to be to work now it was early morning golf or down to his drinking club.
Some days I feel fine(ish). But at the back of my mind, looming like an angry storm cloud blacker then night and deeper then all the ocean and hell combined, waiting to erupt into a full scale hurricane,
Once every one arrived at the caterers I think it was two, I lost track of time sitting in the back of the car in silence it was not pleasant at all. A complete coldness between the too of them…
Any way. We got to sample the food, starters, mains and dessert and to see and sample the cake. Well one tire of it anyway.
For starters we’re having fruit and mains we’re having salmon and vegetables, and desert we’ve got pink and purple ice cream with black flowers made from icing with some sought of cake.
I was to busy eating and enjoying it to listening to what the guy was telling us what it was
Now the cake that is going to be something it’s iced in pink white and purple, with a black lace effect around the edge. Sounds strange I know, even a little gothic, which is not Alice and Tim at all but it looked and tasted amazing…
Through out our time there we were served the champagne that was going to be served at the wedding. As the gentleman went around the room with the tray of glasses I politely turned it down and asked of some orange juice, yet throw the entire time I could feel the glare from across the room from mum, making me want to turn around and say to him,
“Oh actually I will have that glass. In fact make it two, one of each hand.”
For a moment I could feel that dark cloud moving from a distance. Trying to speed and consume. But it was suddenly stopped and pushed back, as if god him/her self had blown it back, with my hand being grabbed by the happy bubbly, school girl Alice, pulling me over to the corner away from every one else. Showing me a photo on her phone.
“Your going to look amazing sis” putting my arm around her, looking at the photo of her wedding dress that her seamstress had just sent her. This was the first time that I had seen it. I had only heard about it up until now. In the photo it was on a tailor form mannequin, it was a white long strapless dress, with a slit up one side of the dress, just above the knee with a pink lining and white petticoat.
She was like a school girl with a crush, so happy. But that was Alice she’s always been the happy bubble one. She’s always had enough energy for and life in her for the two of us.
As soon as she was old enough to go out clubbing, we would be out most nights-when we were not studying. And each time I would be the one being carried home by her. She would hardly drink she did not need too to have a good time. Where I would be buying 2 maybe 3 drinks at a time at the bar. My baby sister became my big sister keeping me safe, getting the cabs home or the last tube
Tuesday 24th April 2012
Tuesday I had most of the day to my self. Mum was out with friends and dad was playing golf.
I took my place on the sofa with my laptop and a book that I had been planning to start reading for months… (And strangely enough I haven’t started reading it yet.) I had no intention of doing anything apart of spending my day in my Pjs, and relax. It was my holiday and I was entitled to.
It hit 12.30 and I raided the drinks cabinet and found a bottle of white wine. I ordered a pizza and went back to the sofa
I ate one slice and left the rest, I was hungry but I didn’t want to eat. I down a glass of wine and another with out a single thought. I stared down in to the empty crystal glass as tears feel in to the bottom of it,
I looked at the wall beside the fire of all five of us together, the three of us on our graduations.
All of the photos looked out of focus through the tears. I could not tell you why I was crying. It felt like a weight pulling down, drowning me in my own hate and fear. The silence of the house was so loud it hurt my head. It’s a silent white noise that won’t go away like a newmatic drill going off in my head.
“Have you done anything today?” asked dad standing in the door way of the lounge taking off his jacket. By now I think it was almost six.
“No nothing, it’s my holiday” sitting up on the sofa. Dad hates anyone sitting on the sofa with there feet up on it. He’s a house proud man, as well as the whole thing that it is bad for your posture.
He came over to me and picked up the ¾ empty bottle, looking at it then put it down
“Ok young lady” he took both of my hands and pulled me up from the sofa, putting his hands on my shoulders and pushing me out of the room and to the stairs.
“Go and have a shower and get dressed and we’re go out. Your mum will be home soon and she will tell you off if she finds out that you have stayed in all day.
When ever mum ‘told me off’ it just feels like two adults having an argument, we have become like distant friends over the past few years, we used to be so close.
But with dad it feels like I’m being told off… the same feeling as if I was 9 I tried to cut Alice hair. 13 and being suspended from school for smoking and telling the principle to bite me. 14 for dying my hair. And out rigorous colour
When I came down, dad had tired up all evidence of me slobbing around for most of the day as well as the bottle of wine that I had demolished.
“Where are we going?” I asked as we left the house
“I need to pop into the club and then we’ll go out for diner, just you and me. How does that sound?”
He put his arm around me as we walked down the steps of the house.
“Sounds good.” it did but I no that I did not sound enthusiastic about it, so I put my arms around him and hugged him.
When we got to the gentlemen’s club, dad signed me in as a guest.
Back in the 1800s this place would have never have let women in. this was a place where men could escape their wife and there mistress… In away it still was, but times had change, on the reception was a woman 30 years old may be, in a designer suit to great its members. Wives and daughters were aloud in, but rarely did. I remember coming here as a child and as a teenager. The dark wood doors and parquet floors with dark wood bookcases around the walls.
The rooms that were once filled with smoke and different smells of tobacco and yellow stand wallpaper, were now bright and airy with white painted walls and a bad mixture of new and old art work.
One thing that had not changed.
Dad got me a glass of wine before he went off to fine whom ever it was he need to see. I went and sat down in one of the large wing back chairs with a finical papers that I picked up from the bar, I wasn’t really reading it I was watching the five other people in the room two of them sat by the window talking quietly, while the other three sat separately around the room two of them reading papers, while the other gentleman sat at the opposite end of the room from me, I watched him deeply for a few minutes wondering if he was still a live the paper laying on his chest, still as if laying on a table in a breezeless room. then suddenly he moved with loud sound of laughter coming from the next room. poor old sole fast asleep. was he here to escape? the wife, children, grandchildren? he must have been eighty, here for a quite afternoon nap.
The loud sound of laughter grew closer, then dad and two of his friends walked in to the quiet room laughing, the echoing happiness breaking the relaxed silence, and waking up the gentlemen in his chair.
Dad and one of his friends came over to where I was seated, while the other one went over to the bar and began flirting with the young girl there.
“I don’t know if you remember Steve? We used to work together” I fold the paper and stood up.
“Yes I remember Steve” I said as he kissed my cheek.
“Well I haven’t seen you in years.. you’ve turned into quite a woman, hasn’t she John?”
“No she’s still my baby girl” replied dad sitting down in the chair opposite me. The other gentlemen came over with a tray of drinks, placing them down on the table in the middle of our circle of chairs.
“Hello Charlotte, nice to see you again.”
“Hi sir” now this was Mr Bradshaw, he had been my English teacher at school. He was old then and still old now, the only thing hat had changed about him was his glasses.
The other gentlemen in the room looked over at us slightly disapproving over their loudness of the men that I was with.
“So what are doing with yourself these days?” ask Peter Bradshaw handing me a glass of wine.
“I’m working a graveyard shift at a department store, replin’, merchandising, unloading trucks.” tacking a sip of my drink.
“Haven’t gone in to writing then yet? At the end of the day as long as your happy and got your health who gives a shit right” he said smiling at me.
The whole as long as your happy and healthy was always my argument as a teenager.
Now a days I just was not sure, Happiness what was that… its been so long I cant remember what it feels like, looks like, or tastes.
“I remember when you were born, your dad was in court, he got passed a note saying that your mum had gone in to labour, he stood up and told the court is augured due to I’m having a baby, and walked out. If I remember it didn’t go down that well…”
Dad just smiled and raised his pint.
“you must have been about two weeks old and he brought you in here to show you off with James, it ended up with the three of you in here for most of the day and your dad made all of us go outside to smoke… In the rain may I add.” said Steve looking at my dad. Smiling at the story’s.
I sat there and listened and laughed at there story’s and of their children’s antics and denying any of Peter’s story’s that dad did not no about, and those he did, I told the full story… If I could remember it, of things that we/I had done. I was no angel at school. Sneaking guys on to campus, smoking, skipping classes, name calling the staff. There were so many letters sent home. Detention after detention, and isolation… which I didn’t mind as I got to listen to my music all day.
Any way, we didn’t leave there until gone ten. We had food there, well I had sandwich. I still didn’t want to eat. Just wasn’t in the mood, even with the joking and laughing. It wasn’t enough to pull me out of this darkness, but it was just enough to cast alight into the blackness like a light house beckoning a ship back to shore… to people.
Wednesday 25th April 2012
You know that feeling you get when you’ve spent all day working and the next day your whole body hurts, your limes feel heavy, that’s the only way I can explain how my head feels at times -and felt the next day.- it wasn’t just due to a hangover from the night before, I only had one glass of wine then I started drinking lemonade. It was my own heavy stress and hell that I carried around. Every problem every regret.
I could have quite easy have unplugged the alarm and pulled the covers over my head and stayed there, but I had to get up, if only for Alice.
I slammed the door the bath room door closed holding it closed.
“James… lock the fucking door will you!”
I heard the lock go “Sorry” came a voice from behind the white painted door.
I stood there leaning on it with my eyes closed trying to black the image of my naked brothers ass out of my head. After a few minuets he came out dressed. Smiling partly embarrassed and partly teasing me. But I wasn’t in the mood.
“What are you doing here?” I asked leaning on the wall out side.
“I haven’t got hot water at the moment, having a new boiler fitted.” straitening his shirt
“So did you stay here last night?”
“Yeah, dad wanted support, he didn’t want to be stuck with all you girls all day. so I thought I would be easier for all of us to go together from here.”
“Fair enough. I’ll see you down stairs in a bit.” I turn to go in to the bath room as Alice slipped past me and slammed the door in my face laughing.
“Alice…. Where did she come from” turning to James who was still smiling. Finding it very amusing.
“I don’t know” shrugging, turning and headed down stairs.
A five bedroom house, two bathrooms, one of which was mum and dads on suit. And three kids shearing the other one.
It felt like it did when we were kids.
Me standing out side the bath room bang on the door.
“Alice, hurry up you’ve been in there ages, I need to get ready.”
“I wont be much longer Charley” a raised voice from be hind the door.
I stand there on guard waiting for her to get out. The door would open and just as I would about to go in James would appear from no where and push me out of the way and get in there before me.
“HAY” I’d try and push the door open so I could try and get him out, but I would always fail. The door would slam loudly missing my fingers. Followed by;
“will you three stop slamming doors”
Being shouted by mum some where in the house.
I headed back I to my old room and fell on to my unmade bed, with my eyes closed and head hanging of one side. I laid there for a moment feeling the blood rushing to head, making it feel hot and heavy.
I opened my eyes and stared under the bed at the two card bored boxes. One of them was labelled ‘Charlotte’s Uni’ an the other was labelled ‘Charlotte’s’. I pushed myself off the bed and on to the floor and pulled the two boxes out from under the bed. I thought I had taken every thing with me when I moved out, but I had obviously been wrong.
The one labelled ‘Uni’ had in it some note pads and manuscripts and some re-writeable Cd’s. I pulled out one of the manuscripts and flicked through its pages. It was a some fictional short stores that I had been writing. I thought I had thrown them out. I put it back in the box and put the lid back on. Then opened the other and looked in at a random collection of things from my past. I picked up some photos held together with a paper clip. They were of me and an ex with some friends when we were at university. As I went throw the box I found a sketch pad with scraps form magazines and some of my drawings and black and white photo negatives, a compact mirror, some old jewellery in a make up bag. I tipped it out on to the bed it was manly cheep costume jewellery but amongst it was two blackened silver rings and a pen knife. I opened it up. It had two knifes and a bottle opener on it, I smiled at it, I think that this old thing had opened nearly every bottle of beer at uni.
I heard the bathroom door open and Alice go back in to her old room, I closed the pen knife dropping it on the bed and went to have a shower.
I stood in my room getting dressed, I clipped my wet hair up, picked up my jacket, making sure I had my cards and money still in it. I got to the door. Stopping. Thinking about nothing, just stopped like someone had asked me something. I went back to the bed and got the pocket knife and slipped it into my back pocket of my jeans.
We all met up in a small café just down the road from the dress makers, There was the five of us as well as Rachael. Karen, Stephanie, Katie and Tara Alice’s friends. The five of us girls Stephanie, Rachael, Katie, Tara and myself are being Alice’s bridesmaids.
we didn’t have to be there till 1pm (don’t know why I had to be up so early I could have an extra hour or so in bed) So, after have some lunch we headed down to the dressmakers. for fitting and viewings.
Katie, Tara and Rachel were in their bride maids dress they looked lovely.
The dress are full length, pink with the bottom fading into purple with small straps.
“What do you think?” asked Rachel.
Mum was always so good to her, but I know that Rachel never really feels comfortable around her, she’d always make an effort, by bring flowers for mum when she came round. Mum never hand anything bad to say about her. I respected them both so much for that
But I know that deep down mum would always see her be the mistresses daughter.
“You look very sexy” she took my glass of champagne and handed it to mum, then took both of my hands and pulled me out of the chair
“Your turn Charlie” I smiled at her and headed over to one of the three curtain made fitting rooms, to try on the dress.
The dresses fabric was cold and soft against my skin. I stood there for a moment and looked at my reflection in the mirror for a split second a part of me did not recognised its myself. To be honest I haven’t really recognised myself since my last year of university. I surprised that I survived that last year, but that’s another story for another time.
“How’s the fit?” asked Mary, the seamstress “its not to tight is it?”
“No its fine” I replied, looking in to the mirror that took up the majority of one wall with a pink and white water colour type paten around the edge, a bit like an oxidized effect.
“Why do you wear that thing on your wrist?”
Asked mum standing behind me. I looked at the reflection of my wrist with the wide black leather cuff with its large buckle
“Your not wearing it to the wedding. I wish you wouldn’t wear it generally.”
“fucking bitch you cant tell me what to do or ware”
It felt as though I was behind the mirror looking out at then, a girl in a tattered dress,
And smudged make up, crying ‘Please…. Please’ yet nothing comes out but a silent cry.
A hand stroking the glass, trying to reach out to someone.
The glass crakes then shattered into a million rice size grains and fall to the floor.
“Charlie come here I want to get a photo of all of you.” Karen said standing with her camera at the ready. After that I slipped away to change back in to my jeans.
When I came out Alice was going over the finale touches on her veil. She was still in her dress she looked incredible, and happy, and mum with her dress and her hat. seeing the two of them together and the way they were with each other, it made me feel left out and a little jealous of their relationship. Alice had always been close to mum, James was as close to mum as he was dad. And me. I suppose I am the black sheep of the family.
I went outside to have a smoke. Opposite the shop was a park with a cricket pitch, where a group of people were playing.
I lit my cigarette and watched them play their game.
“You got a light?” asked James coming out of the shop, I pulled out the contents of my back pocket. The door keys for mum and dads, some lose change, the pen knife and the lighter. He pushed the knife out the way and picked up the lighter.
“Mum wants to why your being a moody teenager?” lighting his cigarette and handing the lighting back.
I didn’t reply, I just starred at the ground listening to the applause of the crowd playing cricket... I wasn’t being moody,
“Charlotte… what’s up?”
I looked up at him, from the look on his face I could tell that maybe I was being a ‘moody teenager’ as mum put it.
“I’m fine, why does she always assume that I’m being moody or unsociable. I’m fine. Just because happy being single and with my job”
“that’s not what I asked but… are you?”
I’m not happy in either how every much I try to hide it from them
“You no that she dose not care what job you are in or if your single, as long as your happy that’s all that matters”
I just looked right past him and across the rood to the game of cricket. They knew I was unhappy otherwise they would not keep trying to set me up with people and job interviews, constantly asking if I was ok. Or is it me just being paranoid?
“Charlie what’s wrong? Talk to me please” James has always been there for me over the past few years. Brother and best friend. But there are some things he cant help me with. I don’t think any one can.
I smiled at him “I’m ok, just feeling drained”
He didn’t reply, he finished his cigarette, put it out and headed to the door of the shop. I didn’t want to go back in. it was the last place I wanted to be. I drop the cigarette on the floor and followed him back in.
“When are you heading home?” asked James holding the door open for me.
“Friday morning early Friday morning” smiling. I did not want to be at mum and dads any loner then I had to. The plan was to escape Friday morning with the excuse of wanting to ‘miss the Friday rush out of London’
“Meet me at two for lunch, I finish work then and I’ll drive you back.”
I could deal with that, a few hours at mum and dads, hopefully both of them would more then likely be out so I would have the place to my self.
Every one was getting their things together before leaving, while dad was talking to Mary.
“I’m going to the hair dress tomorrow to have my hair done and to sought out what I’m having done for the day” I over heard Alice say to mum….
‘And wait for it’
“maybe Charlotte will go with you, and you can get your hair re-coloured. My treat”
‘and… Bam… There it is’ (shouts the little devil on my shoulder)
“I was thinking of having it died pink and having one side shaved”
Alice and Rachel tried not to laugh, while mum gave me a disapproving look and them went over to dad.
“Stop it” whispered James in my ear.
Stop what? Oh yes being a moody teenager.
for fuck sack this is me.
This is my sense of humour.
Yes it my be slightly dark and twister.
But all of you have had some part in in creating
this twisted, messed up broken thing.
As we all walked out Rachel and Alice walked on either side of me each taking a hand. The three of us walked to the restaurant hand in hand. James was walking in front of us, suddenly he turned around and took a photo of the three of us on his phone. He was reluctant to show us in case one of us deleted it. Holding it above his head.
The restaurant that we went to was more of a posh pub, we must have been there for two- three hours before we all went our separate ways. Heading to different parts of London.
After being there half an hour or so, I started to feel more relaxed, - or was that just the alcohol.. I think it might have been that. Even though Karen was doing my head in with 221 question of my life.
Where do you work?
How long have you been there?
What’s your plans?
Any on special in your life?
You kind of find your way around them after the first ten or fifteen question and start replying with another question or twisting it slightly to make the answers drift of the what was asked.
By the time we got back it was around six. I made my self a large cup of tea and went to my old room. I sat up reading the stories that I had wrote in uni they made me laugh. But at the same time they inspired me. In the other box I pulled out the old diaries and flicked through the pages. Each paged filed with life before and during uni.
Reading back over some of the pages, I could see myself change, from a happy girl, to an angry and dark and darker. The girl from the early days of high school seamed like a stranger.
I looked at the time it was 12:30 I hadn‘t realised how late it had got so I went in to the bath room and turned on the shower, took off my jewelry and placed it on the small table along with the contents of my pockets be for getting undressed.
The steam of the hot water quickly filled the white and blue tiled room, the only sound, a million drops of water striking the procaine bath. I closed my eyes as I stepped under the hot waterfall, it drowning my hair and smothering my face and body. I stood there letting the hot water crease my body, pushing my wet hair back of my face. I opened my hand and looked at the pen knife sitting in a pool of water in my palm. There had been good reason for me leaving it here when I moved out. I had not forgot it was here, I just chose to not to no where it was.
Leaving it here I hoped that I might have left apart of me behind. But it had followed me like a stay mangy dog… It had not stopped me, razors, scissors, paper. Any thing that might quieten the pain
I sat at the dressing table, my arms and legs red from the hot shower. I ran my fingers over the raw fresh red cuts sitting amongst the faded white lines on the side of my wrist. By day I would hide them with the leather cuff bracelet, loads of bracelets, long sleeve tops or gloves.
Scared of being seeing and judging me for.
How messed up I must be to a thing like this. If I had put a little thought in to it I should have down it to my legs, at least it would have been easier to hide…
Its bad when have to bleed to remind your self that your alive. To feel. To forget the pain. To remind yourself that you can feel, that you and here and really not just a shadow in the world.
Thursday 26th April 2012
Alice came round at ten. Woke me up by pulling off the sheets and running down stairs with them. Leaving me no choice but to get up and take chase, around the empty house. A childish game that seamed more fun now then when we were younger.
Mum had left me her credit card and the pin, with a letter containing instructions to be sensible but have a good day with your sister. Treat your self
There is always the thing about little rich girls with daddy’s credit card, Alice and I were never aloud that privilege, not even at uni. We were brought up being told ‘If you want money you got to work of it’ so when all of us were at uni we all done voluntary work so that we would be given an allowance where a lot of our friends were just given it.
Its defiantly made me respect what I own and partly my job. Well not so much I hate it.
So I was good and had my hair cut and re-coloured brown, instead of my home attempts of blond. Alice had hers cut and the stylist curled her shoulder length hair and done it up how she is going to have it for the wedding. Now four weeks away.
After we went for food -on mum- and after we went shopping and I hand my nails done. Which is a first, and a first for them not being black.
The day was good, apart from feeling a little sick after having my pills after we had, had lunch. That is one of the reasons I tend to skip them sometimes, I know that I shouldn’t but on occasion I feel less drained not taking them.
Some days I’m happy and I can be out side and the sky seams bluer then its ever been and the clarity in colours make me feel good, with just this incredible love for life. Then something can happen something said or seen, then I fall in to the dark black cyclone of depression and misery.
Friday 27th April 2012
“Get out my fucking way!”
that is all that kept going throw my head while I was on the tube. I wanted to scream out. I could have taken the bus, but that would have just have been as bad. I hate central London with passion, to many people.
By the time I got there I had little over an hour to waist, so I went in to the V&A. out of all the museums the Victoria and Albert has to my favourite, mainly because it’s the quites and relaxing. But I will all ways find myself standing steering at the Shiva statue, I don’t know what it is about that piece. I’ve even got a picture of it on my flat wall. Well a drawing of it.
May be it is my own… religious confusion. What we were brought up to believe, our religious moral guidance, I’ve always questioned it, disapproved of it. Constantly looking for connections in story’s from one religious belief system to another.
I met James and we went to a small bar for lunch.
“Been shopping?” taking a peak in to the bag.
“yes with Alice, curtsy of mums little black credit card” smiling at him picking out the lemon from my coke with the straw.
“little rich girl let lose with mummy and daddy’s credit card aren’t we a lucky thing.”
“I wish.. I got my self some jeans and a small piece of jewelery, which Alice insisted I got”. pulling a slight face. I wasn’t quite sure if it even me. Reaching in to the bag I pulled out a white box from the bag and passed it too him. It was a Pandora bracelet with four charms on it. He took it out the box and undone it.
“Come here. There’s no point in having something nice and leaving in a box and not enjoying it.” he reached out for my left hand, I put my hands under the table quickly.
“I thought so.” putting the bracelet back in the box. “how long has it been going on this time?”
“night before last, it was the first time in weeks and it’ll be the last I promise.” the silence from him, I could tell he didn’t believe me. Why should he I’ve lied to him before about this… I took the cuff off under the table and laid my arm on the table for him to see. To make him believe me.
The place was filled with the talk and laughter of lunch time workers and students. Yet I felt like we were so distant form them.
“I thought we had an agreement?” I put my hand back under the table quick as the waitress placed our food on the table.
“we do... I’m sorry… it’s just sometimes everything is just so… So over whelming” He was disappointed I know. We had an agreement that if I was at that…. This point again that I would tell him, write to him something, just let him know that I needed help. An ear, but sometimes it was not an ear I need. But a slap back to reality.
“I don’t quite know why I did it really…”
“Lie” said that little voice in my head “All lies”
“Liar” screamed the voice ‘you should have gone in to acting rather then jonalisam’
“Your crap you know that” he said throwing his napkin at me. I think he knew that I lying to him, if he did know, he did not let up.
The two of us had become more closer theses six years then we had been before, like best friends. He tries so hard to help me but still . I find myself faced with this hatred for myself, and I find it spilling out, hating every one around me.
After we had eaten we headed back to the office to get his car for the long drive back to mine.
We argued over what music we were going to listen to like a couple of kids going holiday. And me wanting to have the window open fully when we were off the motor way. Me trying to climb over to the back seat to get my book.
“What the hell do you have in this case?” he asked climbing the stairs behind me to the flat.
“clothes, my lap top, Oh and some books and some old uni crap I found back at mum and dads.” I replayed opening the door to the flat.
He placed the case by the table and started looking around my messy studio apartment. Flat what every you want to call it.
“If its crap why not throw it away?” opening the fridge door. “You live like a student. What do you live on?”
“Stuff.” I replied pulling out the folder from the front of the case and put it on the table, James looked at it and smiled as he looked throw the pages. As I began pulling the rest of the contents out of the case.
“You should go throw these and see if you can get them published I remember them being quite good.”
I didn’t reply. I wrote them for something to do when I was in class not interested in the lecture, jotting them down in short hand then typing them up when I hand nothing else to do or no money to do any thing, why should I bother with them, I don’t know why I even kept them. Like James first said “If its crap why not throw it away?”
I suppose its because there are parts of me on those pages, a little of who I was and who I started to become. Almost a diary written throw a fictional story, with fictional people.
James stayed the night and slept on my sofa. Which is not the most comfortable thing, as he found out when he got up with a stiff neck and back.
We went out to get breakfast at the my local coffee shop just off of the high street. There was a small cue of three people in front of us.
“Usual Charlie?” asked Paul the owner behind the counter, a tall well built man of forty with greying brown long hair tied back.
“And a late and a second plat of toast please.”
“Sure thing sweetie. Take a set and I’ll bring it over.” He said carrying on servings the customer in front.
I like this coffee shop, its naked brick walls free of plaster, with local artist art work hang on the walls, with no matching chairs at the tables. Two sofas on one side with a 70s style coffee table, dark wood and green, brown, and red tiles on the top.
We sat down on the other side with two arm chairs with its own table in between with black and red tiles.
“I take it you come here a lot?” asked James. As Paul placed a tray with our drinks and toast on the table.
“Daily” tearing open the paper sashay of white sugar and tipping in to my tea. “So how hard did Alice have fight mum to have Rachel as a brides maid?”
“You no mum. She didn’t really say much to Ali’. But had a small mone to dad and then him to me... What hasn’t helped is that mum has found out that dad has still been buying Rachel’s mum birthday presents” him sitting there all prim and proper.
Even in jeans and t-shirt he looks smart. Straight back, crossed legs, mug in hand. Me. Trainers, hoodie, ripped jeans. Fashionable aren’t I, straight back, one foot resting on third chair at the table.
“She is the mother of his child.” As soon as I said it James became uncomfortable and shifted in his seat.
He was a gentlemen, old principles in a new world, much like mum. Yet I’m pretty sure he loves her as much as Alice and me. A moment of silence and tension.
“You bring anyone to the wedding?” he asked reaching for the paper next to me. Changing the subject
“No unless you want to count the moody teenager” smiling in reply. He shock his head, looking throw the paper, unimpressed.- a small sample of my twisted sense of humour. Yet it made him smile
“He closed the paper, folded it in half, placed it down next to him.
“No” picking up his mug, taking a sip of his coffee.
“Give it time and Karen and mum will start try to set you with the lovely girl down the road… Your nearly 33 you cant keep using your carrier excuse.”
He smiled and looked over his shoulder out of the window. Looking for a distraction and a change of subject to hopefully jump out at him.
“Yes I can.. And they have already started playing matchmaker.”
I smiled back with a silent laugh
“Now you know how it feels.” Rising my glass up in a toast.
He just pulled a face and carried on with his coffee.
“I don’t see why you don’t write more… You could set up a blog, put those stories you wrote in uni’ on it.” As he spook all I could see was mum sitting in front of me with James voice fading in to hers. A white cup of tea in one hand and the saucer in the other.
“I think it might do you some good in a way. It could give you away to vent, and not just all your mones but your ideas and things you care about” he side smiling at me.
“Yes mum” I replied as I finished my toast
Maybe he was right. Maybe it would be good for me. But all I could hear was mums voice.
“why write things and then put them on the internet so people can read them for free. All that money spent on your education and degree and you end up be coming a shop girl”
The whole time that we were there it felt surreal… I hated it.
Every one has a place they escape to, weather it be park, a room in your own home, or a rote that you walk in which you can be lost in your own thoughts and imagination. Away from the world and your problems and your misery.
This coffee shop was mine. My place… apart of me was wish that I had not come here with him. And this feeling of surrealism was over shadowed by darkness… and anger, anger for what I don’t know but it was there with a hatred.
Once we had left the café, we wondered around the shops on the high street. I felt more relaxed being out of there, and in the fresh air.
James dragged me in to the supermarket. I wish he had not done this but he went and brought me a load of food.- yet here I sit with my take out pizza.
Cooking is my biggest hate at the moment. If I wanted too I could cook a five course meal perfectly. But cooking just for me seams a waste of time.
Its not just that. Its just seams like a waist of time and effort, I don’t enjoy it. Sometimes it feels like I’m eating grey matter. Its flavourless and nothing. Its like all my senses just turn off. No matter how much pepper and spices I put on it. I may as well be eating mash potato. Don’t get me wrong I like mash but when every thing seams to… feeling like it in my mouth. You have to agree its not appealing,
I don’t like it when he dose things like this, I feel like the poor sister, taking hand outs.
He helped me back with the bags and to unpack them. He left around 5pm leaving me to myself and my cluttered messy studio flat.
I pulled out the bitts that I had brought myself early. Two books and two note pads, I sat them down on the table with the flowers that James had also brought me.
I sat steering at them thinking about what James had said about writing a blog. Maybe he was right, maybe something like that would be good, I could write about what ever I wanted, and know one could judge me because I would not put my own name. I would be my own ghost writer.
So this is the part where the note books come in to play, one for the blog, notes and other things. The other is a diary… My diary. Maybe I can use this to try and explain to mum, dad and James what’s going around in my head… I wish I did.
Now here I sit with now a cold pizza, bad tv, my lap top, which is now on screen saver, and my note pads. Steering out of the window at a street light lit puddle of black and orange.
I could just type this up straight on to my computer and press the publish button. But there is something cold about that. The whole thing of pen on paper flows so much better, your imagination runs more freely and the feel of pen on paper feels more real, alive, and what you are writing is coming from your heart. Like water flowing in a river. Its an art calligraphy and it seams to be dieing in this technological world.
The same as kindles and e books. they feel cold. I like the whole idea and feeling of holding a book. The warm pages, crisp white paper like freshly fallen snow. My favourite are the ones with their faded, sun kissed tanned pages that can tell a story all of there own. Those with dog eared pages and on the odd occasion pencil lines under lines and stars in the margins, they make me think about its previous owner who they might have been and what they were like. The best, the best of all is a note from a loved one a birthday wish or a Christmas greeting. I think about why someone would give such a gift a memory away.
Tuesday 8th May 2012
(one week later)
I finished work at Five in the morning and went home. A twenty minute walk, which was quite nice as, by the time I got out of the building the sun was starting to rise. I walked down to the sea front and along the road beside the beach, I was so peaceful, I probably could have enjoyed it more if I was not so pissed off from work.
The pink, gold, silver sky. Blue, pink puddles over a silver carpet of mud sparkling like tin foil. A salty smell dancing in on the morning wind, a sharp chill like ice cubs in the hand.
I started reading through some of my old diary’s that I brought back with me last night. Some of the things I remember like yesterday, like reading a memory. Others seam like fiction, a faded washed out image on a piece of parchment, screwed up and tossed in to the bin before being flattened out once again
Friday September 29th 1995
Alice came out of her room and came and sat next to me on the top step of the stairs.
“Why aren’t you in bed?” I asked her. She cuddled up to me, so I put my arm around her and cuddled her.
We sat and listened to them down stairs, raised voice and cruel names echoed up the stairs for the third night in a row, as soon as dad had got home at 10:30, 11 pm. This was the first time that the noise and woken up Alice.
“What’s going on?”
“Nothing. Their fighting over paint colour for the living room”
It was not the reason.
Alice is only seven, to young to really understand. But their was a look on her face of worry and fear.
I think a part of her no’s it was more then just paint, just not knowing what it was.
I took her hand and took her to my room. She feel asleep with me telling her silly ghost stores under the covers, which always scared her in. I kinda’ find it funny.
I laid there listening to them still fighting, then silence, a door slam and mum coming up stairs.
Opening the door to check on me and finding Alice with me, I closed my eyes and pretended to be asleep. If she knew I was awake then she would just end up having a go at me.
I don’t know how long she stood there for. I could see the landing light even with my eyes closed, like a black grey light through my eye lids.
Sunday 1st October 1995
Dad went out Friday after the fight with mum and he didn’t come back all weekend.
Mum said that he was working. But I heard her on the phone to auntie Karen, saying that he is staying with her.
Mum spent most of Saturday night crying and Alice and I spent it in my room playing.
James is away on some school trip. He’ll be back next weekend.
I envy him right now… being at boarding school, not having to listen to this.
I hate them so much.
All I know is that has been seeing someone. I don’t want them to split up. Because if they do I don’t think that we would see dad.
I hate school. PE. I don’t see how understanding the rules of tennis are going to help me in life.
I didn’t like it last year and I don’t like it this.
Thursday 10th May 2012
Started work yesterday at 6:30 pm and was dragged in to a meeting regarding this re-fit. Their completely revamping all four floors of the place, so every night there is a group of workmen in, as well as during the day, pretty much trashing the place. That whole thing of ‘it has to get worse before it gets better‘ should be on the sign at the front of the store, rather then the sign that reads. ‘We are having a make over sorry for the inconvenience.’
So far they’ve put down new floors on all four floors and the main walls on two of the floors and the ceilings on the other two, at present there has not been much logic with how they have been putting this… jigsaw puzzle together. Its as though no one has the box lid with the pitcher on…oh that’s why I forgot, a man is running the show.
With all these people around I’m hating the human race, their just here to get in my way. I just want to be left to do my job in peace.
At the moment we don’t have a visual merchandising manager, he walked out two weeks ago just after the work started. So as a result, for some strange reason, I seem to have been left with all the shit, just because I’m classed as a “Supervisor” - of sought, just with out the pay - and I work with the VM team when it comes to putting out deliveries and any major moves.
So theirs me stuck in this shit meeting with the three VM assistants the manager the slimly regional VM and the workmen, not really listening to what they are saying. And not really caring as there was a three truck delivery and van of new fixtures that have arrived, all of which that need to be soughed and the stock room team who are more then likely have a long tea break because they don’t really want to be there.
“Charlotte babe I need you and your team to finish clearing of the stock of the walls on the top floor for Dave’s team to put up the new walls.”
“don’t call me babe you pervert”
The slimly regional VM in a way he is a good looking man and he knows it and with it he is a creep
A slimly creepy flirt, whom we warn all the new girls about.
Out of the corner of my eye all I could see was the personal shopper girls, standing not even six feet away from us.
Now there is a new species. Tall slim and all leg, dress size zero. They spend their days walking around…Trying to walk around should I say in stupid high heels and skirts that just cover what they need to. And the make-up wow the make-up there is more on the five of them then in the entire cosmetics department… They survive on cocktails, cock and water they are the upper class of Essex girls. Or more like the upper class Essex slapers
The moment I that they saw me looking over at them they headed over, for once their I was kind of glade to see them. Even if they did make me want to go and stick my fingers down my throat and never eat every again.
“We have some items that need soughing off of the delivery when it arrives” said one of them handing me a list from her black book
“Also we have some orders that will be coming in on the next delivery”
I took the lists from her the five of them turned and walked away with out a thank you,
“Enjoy your cocktails ladies” I called out to them.
“Shale do Charlotte” called out one of then with a tone that I hated. A sarky condescending tone.
And me, I done one of my melodramatic little dance impressions of them that I did. Making them all but the manager laugh,
“Charlie!” he said with a sharp tone in his voice. Then smiled. “Leave them alone”
“I’ve only got four members of staff in tonight a three truck delivery and shopping list, and the stock room is still full from the devilry on Tuesday.” I said to Tom, the manager and Chris, the creepy VM.
Chris smiled at me an winked, it sent a shiver down my spine. “Charlie you are amazing and I know that you will fine away to do it all”
“give me a brome to stick up me ass and a mop to stick up fanny
and I’ll do the fucking floors for you at the same time…Wanker”
Friday 11th May 2012
My doctor has up the dosage of “Happy pills” I think that this is the third time that he has done this in a year, year and half.
Its crossed my mind to come off of them completely. It would be better for my body after four years of being on them, maybe my head on its own could straighten its self out on its own? And not having all this artifice crap put in to it.
I’ve just been reading the delightful leaflet in side the box. If you were not depressed before taking them or even before reading the leaflet you certainly would be after. Don’t do this while on them and don’t do that, and don’t take this and don’t take that, may course sickness and mood swings… what the fuck!! I thought that they were meant to help reduce that not make it worse.
I get told by my doctor “Every one is different. We just need to find the right amount and combination for you”
He talks like one of them stuck up stylists I try to avoided at work with their little lists in their little black book. Who before they leave work, looking immaculate in their designer dresses,
(as though they have not done a single bit of work since they got up) ready to go out on the town in the local cocktail bar and clubs, come up to me and hand me a list of items, colour and size that they want pulled out from the delivery and put aside for their customers.
“Mrs Jones you are looking rather homicidal to day. Lets see what we have to suit your mood…. Here we go perfect for the summer beach killings you’ve been planning. Sexy little bikini top, and a short little pleated skirt, accessorized with this lovely army knife and sheaf and this lovely black handled axe with blue enamelled blade”
Every ones different. I get that. But what’s not to say that normal people don’t get angry when asked a questions they don’t start crying for no reason, walk around angry and miserable throwing things around, not wanting to get up some mornings. Who is to say that this isn’t normal…
Saturday 7th October 1995Dad picked up James from school today after the coaches dropped them off. Mum has spent the time fafing around cooking food for when they got back.
Dad hasn’t been here all week. He picked me up from school the other day and dropped me off. He didn’t even come in …. He seams so sad. So does mum, I hear her crying down stairs in the evenings. If I go down to see her she snaps at me and tells me to “go and do my home work”. or “Go and play with your sister.”
I stood in James room steering at his book case partly looking for the books I needed for school, but mainly I was just wondering around upstairs looking for something else to do other then school work.
Just finding it so hard to concentrate. Its not to bad when I’m at school. I just forget.
I heard dad and James come in and talking to mum.
Before I knew it James was walking in to his room.
“What have I told you about my room?” throwing his bags on to his bed.
“I just want to borrow some books for home work” crossed armed and on the defence.
“I was only joking, what was it you wanted?”
Alice came running in a hugged him.
“Hamlet, Midsummer nights dream and Richard II”
He picked Alice up and came over to the book case and pulled them out from under other books and handed them to me.
Suddenly there was angry voices coming from down stairs Alice buried her head in his shoulder.
I looked at the ground pretending not to hear.
“What’s going on?”
“I don’t know but dad hasn’t been here for over a week. Your never here so why are you worrying” I turned and walked across the hall to my room shutting the door.
I knew what was going on. He’s hardly ever here. like it effects him. He’s like a stranger sometimes. I hardly recognise him when he comes home…
Saturday 19th may 2012
I started keeping a diary after I started secondary school. It was mainly used for school work and silly notes passed between me and friends in class and jokes. But by the time it got to the end of the first year I’d stopped using it and the entrees stopped all together. Then I started again over the summer holiday of ‘95. Things were changing… I was changing.
Mum was always on the defence that summer finding anything to complain about. We didn’t really realise what was happening between mum and dad not until we had all gone back to school that September.
I’ve been trying to think when I started feeling like this. Feeling as though the world is agents me. And angry… But I cant remember… It just feels like it always has been. So reading throw these old diary’s. its reminding me of the anger I felt then and still do now. But there is the small part of my life amongst the pages where I was happy.
Any way, last night my self and the some of the part time staff. All of them are at least six, seven years younger then myself, but its easier getting on with them then the older lot or those around my same age. There is only so much baby talk and family life that I can take.
We all get on so well. And last night is what I need, drinks food and a good laugh. Despite feeling very distant from them all when first meet up, but as the night went on I felt more and more relaxed. Dancing in the bar. Flirting with the bar staff. We are a regular crowd in there. We go to the bar, and the staff know our drink and food orders. Its like a little bit of a security blanket… Its comforting, reassuring.
Or is a bad thing they know us so well, and our names.
As the night went on the more out of focus it became. Heightened senses, slowed down.
All the others had left, getting the last train home to sleep. I sat and finished my drinks that I seamed to still have lined up, before they asked me to leave before they closed.
“So are you going to take these to a publisher or are they going to become the lining of the cat tray?”
I walked round the curtain that divided the bedroom area from the rest of the studio,
“If I had a cat then yes they would be in the bottom of the tray by now” I said smiling at the at Adam sitting up in my bed, naked, with the sheet covering his modesty.
I climbed on to the bed and walked on my knees up to him and looked over the top of the papers.
“I very much doubt that they will make me millions” taking them from him.
“Who said any thing about millions” he lent forward and kissed me wrapping his arms around my waist, pulling me close, slipping his hands up under my t-shirt. He laid me on the bed laying down on top of me as he kissed my neck I turned my head, letting the touch of his hands fill my head. I saw laying on the bedside table his watch with its brown hemp strap, and his ring. I closed my eyes a pretended to myself that it was not there, that I had not really seen it.
Sunday 29th October 1995
Today was the worst day I can think of. The three of us were all brought in to the living room, sitting in the hall were two suit cases, Dad sat in the arm chair by the window leaning forward rubbing his four head. Looking more upset then I have seen him while mum stood on the other side of the room. Sad and angry. We were told to sit down and listen.
Dad was leaving. Moving out. Alice started to get up set and went to dad begging him to stay, while mum pulled her off. And I pulled her away from mum picking her up.
James helped dad out to the car with the bags.
“Charlotte its for the best.” mum said as Alice forced herself from my arms and run up the stairs. I didn’t reply just gave her an evil look and went off up to my room.
Really for the best… that woman’s and lying bitch. I blame her for dad leaving.
The Darkness Within.
There is a darkness with in each of us.
It slowly consumes and destroys.
Like a black hole, it sucks in all light, life and hope.
It’s a disease that’s is patent, it waits and kills slowly. Dissolving all that is good
Within each and every mind it is different. Creating sadness, anger and evil.
Some are strong and can hold back. In a box or behind a door in the back of their mind, where it stay.
Others it envelopes them, controls them. Death, murder, and rape are its whores.
It drains all hope and will, leaving you num from all emotion.
Paranoia (adjective: Paranoid):
A thought process believed to be heavily influenced by anxiety or fear,
often to the point of irrationality and delusion.
Paranoid thinking typically includes persecutory beliefs, or beliefs of conspiracy concerning a perceived threat towards oneself (e.g. ‘every ones out to get me’)
Wednesday 23rd May 2012
I’m sitting upstairs by the window of my café, before work. Its 4:30 and I’m on my third cup of tea, second slice of chocolate cake. From where I am, I can see people heading in to the pub and others standing out side with a cigarette, girls in bright dresses, shouldn’t they be at work and wearing a depressing uniform, looking like you should be going to a funeral. Black trousers and white skirt.
How much do I wish I was going to the pub right now.
A warm smooth brandy would not go a miss right now.
Relax my head. Let it swim. In the euphoria of four, five drinks
As I walked in to the locker room and past two of the girls form I think women’s fashions the moment that they saw me they went silent, I didn’t say any thing I just went to my locker and put my bag away. Eyes down feeling very anti social. I stood there steering in to my locker for a second feeling insecure and paranoid. I fate feeling like this it kind hurts, it makes me feel more on edge then normal.
I headed down to the stock room which was full of old and new fixtures. I still had fifteen minuets till I was due to start, and I didn’t want to sit in the staff room, and the restaurant was now closed and being gutted.
Standing in front of a row of new fixtures, and steered at them, still wrapped in the shrink wrap. I could see the two days worth of delivery sitting behind them. May be if I looked at theses piece of crap long enough they might move themselves down to the shop floor on there own.
“Sorry sweetie, you got another delivery tonight too.” I looked at Dave un-wrapping one of the new table unites, he was one of the installation team, one of the nicer ones on the team.
“That sucks.” I opened my water and took a sip of the warm fluid inside.
There was to many things happening in this stock room, and we were running out of space.
Rails of clothes and boxes of home wear stock waiting to go to the shop floor or to be put away in to the stock room. And my small team of 5 was now struggling.
“Charlie my love, just the lady” I heard Chris’s voice echo thro the stock room sending a shiver down my spine.
“Evening Chris, I was just on my way to avoid you” I said with a cheeky sarcastic grin. He respond only with a smile, but I could see he wasn’t impressed.
“what can I do for you?”
He smiled a creepy smile, I tried to ignore it
“go on give him a slap and tell him where to go, you now you want to…
Knowing him it would properly turn him on”
The little voice in my ear whispered
“We’ve got the transfer team starting to night they will be arriving in the next hour or so. So when they arrive can you start getting them to work on the shop floor split them between men’s and women’s that would be great darling”
I stood there expressionless, angry, and speechless.
“We also need to start getting this delivery out.” looking at the new fixtures and them back at me
“go on slap him slap him it will make you fell better”
Now this is what finally pushed me. And what has resulted me sitting at home drunk writing this.
The voice of Tina, one of the upper class Essex sluts.
“Where are those items we asks for the other day. They should be here by now and I have customers waiting. I cant make excuses to them, their important people, don’t you know how they are?.” she stood there arms folded waiting for a reply, two of the other girls standing behind her. Like creepy triplets with their peroxide blond hair and fake tans.
I had ten minuets before I started and this was not a good start to my shift. I went to walk away.
I needed to get away from the situation, I could feel my self growing angry heart racing and skin growing warm. As I did Tina grabbed my arm
“Don’t you walk away from me” talking down to me.
I turned and pushed her, she stumbled back in too the two girls.
“Your stuff is some where amongst that pile of shit, it wouldn’t hurt you to do some work for a change and find it yourself” pointing at the delivery, raised angry voice. “and no I don’t know who they are and I don’t care how they are.”
“You’ve got a problem girl” she said as she walked away from me. “She’s seriously fucked up.”
“go on say something else, tell them some home truths it will make you feel better”
“Charlotte calm down.” Chris said in vane.
“Don’t tell me to calm down… I’ve had enough of them and this place. It doesn’t seam to mater what I do all you lot seam to do is come up with more jobs for me to do. Not only do I baby sit these tramps I got baby sit a lot of exchange students ”
“Hay Charlotte darling I know how your feeling, early starts and late finishes its been a long few weeks” He reached out and put his slimy hand on my shoulder. I pushed him off of me.
“Back off Chris”
I could feel myself get more and more full of rage and darkness. Then suddenly the voice of god… Or more like the boss.
“Charlotte my office”
Great this Is all I wanted. I head out of the stock room following him towards his office.
“What’s going on?”
“She’s being a paranoid, psycho freak” Tina said standing there like she owns the place. And with a smile that made me even more angry.
“Oh shut up Tina.” why was she here.
“Your out control… Snappy, slut.” mumberling under her breathe but loud enough for me to hear.
“Slap her she deserves it interfering cow”
“What the hell do you mean by that, you interfering cow”
“Oh come on we all know that your sleeping with Gemma’s husband… Also we’ve all seen you popping pills… More then likely E… Or something else to help keep you high.”
“You need to back off right now.” The rage was growing inside. The black fog growing thicker and darker.
“Ok ladies that’s enough. Tina go” Pointing to the door. As she went she smiled. It made me want to pull he back by her hair and hit her.
Tom sat on his table with a look of hatred, fear and concern.
“Well?” Arms crossed
I pulled out of my pocket my anti depressants and handed then to him
“There’s the pills that I’ve been taking completely legal…like there doing anything any way” he looked at them and handed them back. In silence.
“What’s going on with you?”
“Nothing I’m fine” Snapping.
“stop interfering and asking if I’m ok.” a shouting echo in my own head
“I don’t think you are. You’ve been on edge of the past few weeks. And distant….you’ve become self destructive. I am not the only one that has noticed and at times it dose seam that you are on a come down” I blocked out what he was saying I was there but not. Distracted by my mind and the crazy abstract painting on the wall. I think that it is meant to be a building.
“Charlotte!” My name braking my day dream.
“I think you need some time out. Take two weeks off. I think you need it, may be you should consider talking to some one”
“A shrink... Look thanks for the offer for the time off but I don’t need it” I turned to go to the door.
“That wasn’t an offer. Your superseded until you’ve seen a doctor. I’ll arrange for you to see one through the company. I want too know if your fit to work, and clean.”
I looked at him angry more then upset. A confusing mixture of emotions.
I stormed out of there slamming the door. I went to the locker room and empted mine completely, leaving the key hanging in the door, and went.
On leaving I pushed over a rack of clothes by the door, I needed to release some of this rage.
I was so full of anger and disappointment it hurt. It was like it was not me someone having control over my body and mind.
I just want to sink deep into myself and not come ou, just to stay in this dark cold place and never return.
Friday 25th May 2012
“The reason that I’m recording this on my laptop web cam is.. Well I lost my rag with my tap recorder earlier and err, well this happened” I hold up the broken remains of the small silver tape recorder.
“I thought that this might be a good way for me to try and explain things, so I can put them on paper. Going back to my journalism here, maybe it was worth it…Because right now its hard. It’s like my head is full of every and nothing. A storm cloud, and fog so thick and full off rage and emotion, but at the same time nothing a black emptiness. I don’t no where I and heading right know”
I go silent looking over to the window blue flashing lights dace around the room from outside. Its strange watching my self like this.
“So I’ve been suspended from work… Tom drop round some paper work and the numbers of two doctors. I cant go back until I spoken to one of these shrinks… As well as I have to go for a drugs test. Things just keep getting better.
To be honest, I don’t want to go back. Its painful. The moment I walk though that door, its like the cloud grows thinker and darker… a little voice saying, “don’t bother skip it. Go to the pub.”
I feel like its ground hog day. The same thing again and again.
Some days I’m happy and I can be out side and the sky seams bluer then its ever been and the clarity in colours make me feel good, then something can happen then I fall in to the dark black cyclone of depression and misery. Chaos and fear. A fear of losing everything or nothing.
The paranoia is the worse…I feel like I cant trust myself or others. I’ll sit in the staff room with a book, if people start whispering or giggling apart of me starts to think its about me, I know that its not but still.
They say about you having an angel on the right shoulder and a devil on your left.
The Angel giving you confidence, telling you your good, that what you have just done was a good thing… just making you hold your head a little higher. And the Devil. Edging you on to do mischievous things or to say something that you are thinking, and regret it later.
Well I think my angel fell a long time ago she’s now a paranoid, alcoholic little fuck, sitting smoking a spliff and drinking from a bottle of Jack Daniels with a straw. And the Devil, well she has given up trying to be a bad influence.
“That person over there is talking about you. Their staring at you.” Says the angel surrounded in a cloud of smoke
“What person?” Asks the devil poking him with his pitchfork.
“Him over there… By that shop… And her two standing by him” Pointing with the half empty bottle of JD.
“Their mannequins in the shop window you fucking plum” Says the devil angrily. He sits down and takes a puff on the spliff.
“On second thought… I think they are talking about you!” says the devil leaning on Angel
“Them standing out side the shop… They keep looking over at you… See them? Handing back the spliff.
Its enough to make you go crazy. It drags you down, you don’t know who to talk too or to trust. You become num to all emotion… You forget how to love to feel. And to believe that anything is impossible.
I don’t know how else to describe it. Some days you forget who you are you don’t recognise the face in the mirror and you think how did I get in to this dark place but you cant remember.
Dad picked me up from school, we travelled to his office in silence, not a word. I followed him into his office building and to his office closing the door behind me.
I did as was told and sat down at the small conference table. Dad stood in front of his desk arms crossed. I sat there looking at the floor. The silence seamed to last ages.
“For the next four weeks I will pick you up from home. You will come here and you will do your work. If you run out I will find you more. I’ll take you home when I’ve finished. If that means you’re here from seven in the morning to nine at night, so be it.
And as for weekends… For you they no longer excise until you can be trusted. Do you understand me?”
“Yes sir” he didn’t shout or raise his voice… is this what he was like in court?
“So what is going on with you Charlotte. Skipping classes, swearing at your teachers and smoking.?”
“I complete my work and get good grades, so why do you care that I skip PE and religious studies?”
“I suggest that you start doing some work…. And start having more respect for me and your mother”
He left me in his office, a room full of law books and filing cabernets.
Respect, really after the way him and mum have been treating each other…
I’ve never seen him like that before, when ever he has told us off he’s always shouted, this was different.. It was disappointment in his voice, but there was something else and it was scary.
Sunday 27th May 2012
The buzzer went for the door of the building. The voice at the other end was James. I went down and let him in.
“This is a surprise. What you doing back down here?” I said as we walked up the uncarpeted stairs to my flat. I hadn’t put on any shoes and the rough wood was uncomfortable and cold on my feet.
He didn’t say anything until we got in to the flat. closing the door behind us
“Rachel called me yesterday. She said that she had popped in to your work in the evening before they closed. Thinking that you might be working as your phone is off…. Instead she found that you have been suspended for hitting a colleague.”
Oh grate so the whole world knows what happened.
“It was a misunderstanding. And I didn’t hit her.”
He walked over to the table “Really?” Picking up the remains of the tape player and my phone.
Opps, yes I also may have taken out my frustration on the phone… well it was its own fault for keep ringing and beeping.
I leaned on the sink, rubbing my arms I wished that he was not here right now. I was starting to get anxious. And for good reason.
The lock on the bathroom door went and Adam walked out… Lucky he was dressed
I just wanted them to both go away. James turning up had sent my reasonable good mood plummeting. It was like I could not breath, like some one pushing down on my head. Pulling me down, fast and uncontrollably.
I stood in silence as Adam introduced him self to James, the two of them spook as he put his shoes on then picked up his watch and ring and put them on. My whole body had this hot shiver with each heart beat, pounding so hard it hurt my head.
From the look on James’s face I could tell he was so enraged, He was about to explode.
“I’ll see you latter” Adam kissed my check before I closed the door behind him.
“He seams like a nice MARRIED man?” the raised voice of James’s temper.
I stood there with my head on the door, eyes closed wanting to cry. Or explode with rage. I was not sure which. But nothing happened.
The hush tone of James’s voice cutting in to me.
“How long has it been going on?”
“Eight. Nine mouths”
“I cant believe your doing this… Does he have kids?”
I nodded. Still facing the door. I could feel his temper raising. Cutting in to me. Tensing up the atmosphere, pushing down on me.
“Why the HELL are you doing this?”
“He was the one that made all the moves”
“That’s no excuse Charlotte. I thought that you would know better after seeing what this sought of thing done to mum and dad.” For someone how was so reserved and reasonable quite. It surprised me he wanted to go in to law, after seeing dad in court, I did not think James would cut it, but seeing him now, I was wrong.
“and how would you know you were never there what do you know” I wanted to shout at him.
“you weren’t there through all the fighting, things being thrown. Mum crying and dad sleeping on the sofa when he was home”
“what’s it got to do with you who I sleep with or who I see. Stop interfering”
“I’m just trying to help Charlie”
“Well stop… there are some things that are broken that just can‘t be fixed.”
“I didn’t say that you were… But what your doing Charlie. Its not fair on him or his family. More so you”
He went over to the window, picked up my suit case and through it on to the bed.
“What are you doing” snapping at him. In protection of my space and things.
“this is my flat get out…”
“Your coming back with me. You need to get away here for a bit… And him.”
Opening the case and putting any clothes that were laying around
“You cant tell me what to do James I’m not a child”
“Well stop acting like one!” shouting at me. He stood there in silence, look of anger and something. Something I hadn’t seen before in him, (it was the look of dad.)
I walked a way into my bathroom, slamming the door behind me. I leaned on to the door looking at myself in the mirror opposite, above the sink.
“Who the fuck are you?.. I don’t know you… Or recognise you…”
There was this intense energy of anger running throw me. Wanting to lash out, throw things, hit something.
The next thing I knew I had hit the mirror. It shattered with some small fragments falling in to the sink. I looked down at the small cuts on my knuckles and fingers. Looking up at the broken mirror, each piece reflecting a face of a woman I didn’t quite know or understand.
There was a small knock at the door. I stood in silence and watched as a hundred James’s walked in to the room in the mosaic mirror I dropped a small piece of mirror in to the sink. No tears, no smile.
I remember the first time I cut myself… it was a complete accident… I was in year ten at school and I had been doing some art work using a scalpel, cutting card.
I slipped, cutting my index finger down the side. It was a strange rush… like excitement and fear mixed in.
I remember standing at one of the sinks in the toilet with cold water running over my hand, a slight sting as a red line washed a crossed the white porcelain in a circle and down its dark round mouth.
The rush that only lasted for a few minutes made every thing for a split second seam pointless. Mum and dads fights, boys, granddad dying. But at the same time it brought things in to prospective, bring me back to the real world, instead of seeing through tainted glass.
James help me pack up some clothes, before he drove us back to his in London. For the first half hour we travelled in an uncomfortable silence. My legs pulled up close to me cuddling them whilst looking at the changing scenery of the main roads and side streets, from the passengers seat.
It wasn’t until he put some music on that we started talking, well more of a petty fight over what music to listening to.
February 1996I sat at the conference table with school work that dad had picked up for me. Maths and history. Could be better. its the start of my second week suspension from school. Dad had picked me up most days at around 7:30 and I had spent every day in the office working.
It sucks it really does. And the food that he gets in is . And I’m sick of the smell of coffee. I haven’t spoken to any of my friends form school. Only my stupid English teacher who I saw at dads drinking place. Fucking stupid man.
I might sneak out on Saturday, its Emma’s birthday she’s having a sleep over. It sucks I was meant to be going.
We sit in silence at either end of the table not talking or looking each other.
Mum and dad, they seamed to be getting on better. To a point where it seams as if they are getting back together… But there was some thing I need to ask. I need to know.
“Dad, is Rachel my sister?” he looked up at me. Shocked and worried
She was my friend, dad worked with her mum. She was the woman dad had been seeing behind mum back. Even though she never called him dad there was just some thing….
He got up and came down to my end of the table and sat next to me. His whole behaviour had changed it was as if the anger had been pulled out.
“yes, she is” he just steered at me not sure what to say next.
“Rachel doesn’t know. Dose she?”
“No. her mum thought it would be better if she didn’t” he learned forward on the table… “I haven’t told your mum about her yet… I trust you Charlie. I know that you will do the right thing… Its your call… if you want to tell her. Then tell her”
“do you have any intention of telling her?”
“then tell her. don’t leave it any longer other wise there is know hope for the two of you”
He smiled at me “when did you become so grown up?”
“when you and mum stopped”
I was disappointed and angry with them both. It wasn’t just dad that had his mistress mum had her man too.
I don’t do why I’m keeping these secrets for them. It shouldn’t be the children playing referee for there games with. It hurts, its not fair.
Thursday May 31st 2012.I’ve been at James’s for four days, and so for I haven’t left the flat. I’ve spent most of the days watching tv and on the internet. Doing nothing. Not sleeping me own bed has meant that I have hardly sleept. Its like being in a strangers house, not sure if I should do something or move something.
I have been good though to a certain degree, I’ve cooked diner each night for us. Well mainly James, I’ve been snaking on crap.
“So you haven’t left the flat yet?” asked James picking up the plates from the table and putting them on the side by the sink.
“You need to go out. You look like shit”
“Thanks” finishing of my drink. James went back to his chair going throw the pockets on his jacket.
“I’ve called in a favour with a friend” He pulled out a business card from his inside pocket. “Please will you go and see him” He handed me the card. It was a business card for a psychiatrist. With a time and date on the back. I wasn’t in the mood the fight him over this, I just wanted to be left alone.
“Isn’t this round the corner to Alice’s studio?”
“Yeah it is… Pop in and see her after you’ve seen him.” James went off in to the bathroom leaving me sitting at the table in the kitchen diner, holding the soft white piece of card. Trying to be positive over this. That there is no harm in going.
His place was immaculate it must be three, four times bigger then my place. A breakfast bar separated the living room from the kitchen, large glass doors opened up on to a balcony. A corridor lead off of the kitchen leading to the bathroom and two bedrooms
I suppose that’s what you get for becoming a lawyer. Rather then a grave yard shift shop worker.
Friday 1st June 2012Watching the scenery change slow as this metal snake slides along it ancient path laid down centres ago by lives now long gone. stopping, picking up and letting go of willing victims, that it carries in to the dark smoggy city.
I had to go to this clinic today that I’ve been referred to from work. Filled with drug addicts and single mums and… well the only why I can describe them is as scummy people, track suits and crop tops. Over sized gold earrings and tacky gold necklaces and rings. Chewing gum, swearing. And bad make up
Is it wrong to say that I felt above them? Better then them?
They took blood and a hair sample to find out if I had been taking something else other them my anti depressants.
It just seams so over the top, what their doing. It makes me wonder if I want to go back.
I watch the city builds grow bigger in the window as we approaches the station, making me feel nostalgic and home sick.
Monday 4th June 2012Magnolia walls, white paint work. Rich red curtains hanging at the high windows. An dark work furniture and the smell of furniture polish lingering in the room.
I sat in one of the wing back chairs in front of the book case. A small table in between us with two bottles of water and glasses. This place seamed more like a living room then a psychiatrist. The whole idea was to make you feel at ease but it just made me feel more uncountable. Like beinging in a posh horse. Sitting here talking to the home own about my life, and what’s going on in my head when.
Well I thought the best why to deal with this is just for him to ask the questions and I try to avoid answering them.
“So are we going to sit here in silence for the next hour and ten minuets .”
I looked at him sitting in the other wing back chair, mid 40s dark hair turning grey at the sides. His note pad and pen waiting.
“What do you want me to say. That my child sucked. My dad hit my mum my sister and I were abused our brother.”
Silence. Just looking at each other.
“My child hood was fine. Normal if there is such a thing.”
“Your parents still together?”
“Thirty-five years of happy martial bliss. And three and a half kids”
“Three and a half?”
“I have a half sister from my dad.”
“Older or younger?” writing on his pad.
“Younger. Both my sisters are… brothers older.” I looked out of the first floor window at the tress surrounding the grass square out side. Try to escape the room.
“How do you get on with them?”
“We all get on well.”
I looked at the book case with books on psychology, and medical journals, trying to make out the title through the blurriness of my vision, reminding me to get my eyes tested. Random sculptures of humans heads, people and random native faces acting as book ends in between the book.
He lent forward in the chair. Placing the note pad on the table
“Charlotte… Why are you here?”
Was it that obverse that I did not want to be there. I reached for the water and took a sip.
“I’m here because by brother pulled some strings and made the appointment.”
“Why did he do that?”
I sat back in the chair my arms resting on the arms of the chair. Confident. Well as confident as I can be.
“May because I’m a hopeless case, he doesn’t no how to work out my head. And I’m apparently a stroppy teenager at the age of thirty... I cant even work out my head.”
“How long have you been suffering form depression?”
Leaning forward in the chair. I rubbed my hands through my hair hanging lose. It felt grubby. I hadn’t washed it in days. Pulling the hair band off my wrist I quickly tied it up in a pony tall.
“five. Six years.” Again with the note pad .We sat in silence as I steered at the beige carpet. Playing with the leather cuff on my wrist…Was six years or was it longer? I can not remember.
Its just been one dark year after the other, looking back or even forward there dose not seam to be much light at either end of the tunnel.
I left there feeling darned. And down. And frustrated. The quite and stillness of the room had unsettled me. Making every thing out in the real world seam unreal and distant from me, almost like a dream.
I headed to Alice’s studio and shop, twenty minuets away, after a five, ten minutes of walking the warmth of the sun and the small breeze on my skin I found was refreshingly calming. The feeling of the British arriving
Alice’s art studio was on Upper street she also had an a joining shop, selling prints cards and statuary, the studio, displayed original piece of work from photographers and artists. With her over looking office on the mezzanine upstairs. With a small kitchen space and bathroom
The door to the art studio was closed so I went in to the shop and throw the door way. There was man in work clothes painting the walls, his clothes splattered in white, red and black paint. His sleves rolled up showing his tattooed arms.
“You alright there, can I help?” he asked
“I’m looking for Alice”
“She’s upstairs” knelling on the floor opening a new tin of paint. I smiled and headed up to the office. I could hear her talking to a man. It wasn’t until I got to the top I saw how it was.
He smiled at me as he walked past me to go down the stairs. He was the last person I thought I would see here, considering their past.
Steven Harrison. A slimy, creep. two faced arrogant, hipster prick. And that’s putting it nicely. I hate him. Brown greying hair, dressed in suit shoes, jeans and shirt.
2008Alice was in her second year of uni at St. martins college. I new she was seeing someone and due to the fact she would never bring him out when we went out or never showed me a photo I decided that it was because he was older then her, or he was married. I could care as long as she was ok.
I dragged my self out of bed the small amount of light that came through the gap in the curtains made y head throb harder. My eyes feeling as though they were burning.
A Thursday night out with friends had ended up with me and some random group of people playing some kind of drinking game with shoots. Which with the morning after I could not quit remember what the it was we had drunk, how many let alone the rules.
A dry mouth with a stale mixture of what ever drink I had had made me first pore a glass of water before heading to the to the front door out in the hall of building. The buzzing noise went again, the bell felt like a bass drum echoing around my head. Causing a slight tinnitus pain in my ears and through my skull and body.
Opening the door and was greeted by Alice with her overnight bag red eyes and tears falling down her face. Her checks red where she had been wiping them away.
“Alice what’s wrong?”
She didn’t reply she just stood there shaking with tears, holding tightly on to the strap of her bag. I took her hand and pulled her in side.
She went into the living room, dropping her bag by the sofa and laid down.
“Darling what’s happened?” she just closed her eyes, cuddling the cushion, shaking. All I could do was sit on the floor beside her and hold her hand, clammy from the tears, until she feel a sleep.
She slept for three hours, I had a shower and tip toed around. I was glade she was sleeping it meant I could keep the curtains closed so my head could recover. But I just wanted to know what was wrong. I found myself stand in door way with my phone in hand wondering weather I should mum or James.
By the time she woke it was nearly two pm
“Charlie, do you still go to church?” Sitting on my sofa wrapped in a blanket with a cup of tea, it was a strange question for her to ask me.
“No. only if I’m at mum and dad’s at Christmas or Easter. Why?” it was a strang thing for her to ask. Considering how much we all disliked going as children.
I watched her steering into the mug, if she could I think she would have dived into it and become lost.
I sat on the floor by my book case, opposite the sofa with my mug of tea and the ash try. A dead silence between us.
“I was pregnant” breaking the silence. I was not sure what to say.
“Up until yesterday… I had an abortion”
I crawled over to her on my hands and knees and sat on the floor in front of her, placing my hands on her legs.
“Please. Don’t tell mum and dad” I wiped the tears from her face with the sleeve of my top. Pained brown eyes surrounded by watery redness looking back at me. Begging me
“Steven said it was for the best… That it would be hard for me to finish uni.” I took her mug and placed it on the floor and sat beside her on the sofa holding her hands.
“Did I do the right thing Charlie?” She lent towards me, put her head on my shoulder. I didn’t know what to say to her, I did not thing any thing I could say world comfort my baby sister. Apart from holding her.
“I think it was better for him that I got rid of the baby.” It was the first thing that was said between us in twenty minuets.
“Why do you say that?”
“Stevens my art professor” She griped my hand tightly.
I cant explain it was like a cold, hot chill came over me a nervous anger. I moved away from her slightly so that I could look at her, still holding on to her hand.
“Did you get the bus here?” she sat up pushing her hair of her face shaking her head.
“Charlie please don’t tell mum and dad. Or James.”
I put my hand on her cheek and stroked it, smiling at her.
“she didn’t say any thing about him which means I kill him. Fair game.”
“I don’t have much food in the flat, so what ever take out you want I’ll order it in.”
I got up and went back to the book case where I had a collection of take out menus. I picked them up, turning back to her.
“pepperoni pizza… with sides and ice cream lots of ice cream. And noodles. And garlic bread.” Now that sounded like my baby sister. I smiled and laughed. It was the teenage strange mixture of food that we would order in on the school holidays when mum and dad went away and left James in charge.
“Ok them” I went of in to the kitchen I stood leaning on the fridge freezer. The past few days I’d been felling good for days relaxed and happy, but now… like the life had been knocked out of me. I felt so sad. I should have pushed Alice in to letting me who this boyfriend was. At least then I could have threatened to kill the barstard if he laid a finger on her. May be then this would not have happened.
I left Alice at mine when I went to work on Saturday and Sunday. I swapped days of with one of the girls at work so that I had Monday off. I left her in bed, sleeping even though it was 10 am she deserved it. I headed to St. Martins. I’d gone through Alice’s phone and found a photo of a Steven along with his number. I was not sure what I was going to do or what I was going to say to him.
When I got there I gave them a load of crap that I was there to interview him for a magazine a complete load of BS and they believed it. they directed me up stairs. No id asked for not even a call to him to see if I was legitimate.
“Excuse me, I’m looking for Mr Steven Harrison.”
“He’s the man at the end with the blue shirt” replied the girl, pointing down the hall way a very unique young woman, with one side of her head shaved the other black with purple strips. I smiled and walked down the corridor towards him. 6ft, brown hair, clean shaven. He was talking to a group of students, laughing.
As I walked towards him he turned around and looked straight at me. Straight in the eye. Maybe I he knew who I was. I don’t know.
“Steven Harrison?” I asked as I got closer.
I walked straight up to him and punched him in the face. My heart was racing, my hand hurt I moved my fingers to try and stop the pain. It was like something took over my body.
“WHAT THE FUCK!” he held his bloody nose. The corridor had been brought to silence. All eyes were on us.
“Hi I don’t believe we’ve meet. I’m Charlotte Williams… Alice Williams sister.”
He just looked at me.
“So you’re the sister” he smiled at me, it made me mad. I pushed him up against the wall, holding him there.
“You stay away from her, or you’ll have more then a bloody nose.”
Two of the male students pulled me off of him, both of them holding my arms. I pushed them off, he walked up to me.
“It was all completely consensual. And to get rid of it was a mutual agreement from both of us”
‘It‘… Maybe its my up bring be dragged to church. But I’ve come to hate it when a new life is refused to as…As nothing.
The next thing I knew I had hit him again. All that was going through my head was Alice’s words
“Did I do the right thing Charlie?”
Seeing him put the thought “Yes, you did. Another one of him would be wrong”
The door to the police cell opened, I was laying on the bed. If you can call that. Just a raised bit of floor with a foam pillow. I turned my head and looked at the officer standing there holding the door open, with James standing beside him, glaring at me with an angry, evil look.
“Get up!” He ordered. I got up and headed to the door. Full of a confident rage… with the refuseal of letting him brake me.
“What the hell were doing Charlie? Do you want to tell me what is going on?” The hash tone of his voice reminded me of dad.
“Not really” Putting my things back in to my pockets. He grabbed my arm, turning me around to face him.
“I think you do Charlotte, I don’t appreciate being called to come down here to get you. What were you thinking?…. And what persuaded you to go and hit Alice’s teacher?” I pushed him off, I’d made a promise and I was not going to break it.
“It has nothing to do with you. I’m sorry James” I went to walk away. I just wanted to go home. I need to make sure Alice was alright.
“Don’t you dare walk away from me.” I stopped “What’s going on with you Charlie? I haven’t heard from you in weeks and then this.”
“I’ll call you later” I walked off I couldn’t deal with him right know I just wanted a drink and a good cry, to lock myself in my flat in the dark and die.
The shock of what I had just done was starting to sink in, like my head was just catching up with the actions of my body. Like a badly dubbed movie. And I was shaking uncontrollable It did not matter how much I tried it would not stop. Slow deep breathing I even tried running, yet nothing would stop the shaking and stray tear falling from my eyes.
Its strange how I remember that day. So clearly but also a blur, like looking through frosted glass trying to make out what was going on. It just happened so fast, faster then my head could process.
Seeing him on stairs that rage reappeared for a moment. I wanted to push him. Just a little push like patting a friend on the back, just a little harder. See if he would fall.
I got to the top of the stairs, I was trying to be happy, normal and not snap at Alice. Seeing him brought my mood down even further. Like a lead weight tied to a balloon..
“Hi ya. What you doing here?” Asked Alice, all happy but a little nervous.
“On my why back to James’s. thought I would pop in a see my baby sister”
“I heard that you were suspended from work” she couldn’t make eye contact, I tried not to care. I looked at her desk covered in prints as well as a blue gift box with a card on it, I could not help but see who it was from,
“Good news does travel fast. And what the hell dose he want?” pointing at the box. She stopped moving things around on the desk and looked at me.
“Nothing he was just wishing me well for the wedding” She stared at the box, then moved it closer to her. Opened it and steered into it. Then pulled out the contents.
“A rock.!” she stood there holding it in her hand. “Well he does no how to treat a lady.”
“Its amethyst. Its my birthstone.” she dropped it into the box and put the lid back on, smiling at me.
I could see that she hurt… But at the same time stronger. Shed become so much stronger more then I could. I envy her.
“So your not having a hen party then?”
“No. But I’ve got an opening next week so I was thinking after we could have some drinks.”
“And a striper!” I said with a grin on my face, the one good thing about hen nights if you’re the single sister and brides maid I recon.
“No sorry sis’. ” With a small laugh.
The two of us chatted for a bit before I left her to carry on with work. We spoke about nothing in particular, just what a nice place she had, I haven’t been here since she opened it over a year ago. And the weather. Its like default conversation settings for the British. Weather and the location in which you are in.
On the way back to James’s I picked my self up fish and chips I didn’t want to cook, which was a good thing because James had left a note that he was going out. Which means I had the place to myself.
So here I sit, on the sofa with my fish and chips, and a curry sauce cant forget that. With my lap top. Trying to stop my past re-running through my head like repeats on the BBC, by hitting the refresh button on twitter and face book.
I remember when I got back to mine after James had got me out of Holbon police station. Alice had left me a note, saying that she had gone back to mum and dads. I hadn’t realised how quite my flat was until I got back that day. Even though Jake, my fiancée stayed at mine five days a week, waiting for the lease to run out on his so that he could then move in, I was used to coming home to an empty flat. but this time it seamed different.
I went in to my bathroom, sat on the toilet and stared at my mobile sitting on the side of the bath.
Eyes closed looking in to the blackness of my eye lids, towards the floor, my hands in my hair rubbing my scalp. Elbows on knees. The cold air on the low part of my back.
The phone rang then stopped, then rang and stopped, again and again. Like an alarm bell.
Ten missed calls. All from the same person along with 3 voice mail.
“Charlie stop being childish and answer your phone. Call me back”
“Charlie please… for gods sake girl. Look I’m sorry, but I need to talk to you.”
“ok I’ve just spent two hours trying to clear up your mess. Mr Harrison has a broken nose thanks to handy work. He was first talking about Having Alice sent off her course. But I’ve changed his mind. He isn’t going to press charges, but you got to give him a written apology. And me an explanation… what the hell were you doing Charlotte. Call me please.”
I didn’t want to talk him. I know I should but I just want to be left alone in my hell that today I had created for myself.
I put down the phone and picked up the pen knife and opened it, steering at it I closed my eyes and placed the cold sharp serrated edge on the side of wrist. A little pressure and a small movement. A deep stinging and a slight pain a release of energy with a drop of blood. A release of anger fear and hate. Anxiety.
June Saturday 9th 2012Crisp white ceiling, with a single light hanging down. A white shade suspended like a ball in flight. Bright day light shinning throw the light blue and white damask curtains that matched the bedding, white walls and natural wood.
I looked around the room, looking for something different to look at, but there was nothing. I’d spent the last 3 hours awake and I was bored laying in bed. I turned over picking up my watch. Six thirty in the morning. I sat up on the side of the bed and moved my toes throw the soft cream carpet.
A part of me just wanted to stay in bed and mope. It may me early but already knew what mood I was in and it was… is not going to change.
So I got up, went to the kitchen and made myself a mug of tea and sat down on the sofa. Once again staring at my computer, I’m not even sure why I’ve got it on. I’m just jumping between twitter and face book looking for something to amuse me. For some one else’s misery to make me smile.
I got up to make myself another mug of tea. I sat on the work top waiting for the kettle to boil staring at the wooden floor. I heard the bathroom door open and close and foot steps heading down the corridor towards the living area.
“Oh. Sorry” I looked up it wasn’t James, it was a man dressed in a shirt and suit trousers.
“That’s ok. Do you want a coffee?”
“No thank you. You must be Charlotte. I’m Simon” holding out his hand, I reached out and shock it.
Well dress, handsome and polite, screaming out gay.
“Charlie get down” James commanded as he walk in to the kitchen heading straight to the fridge getting out a carton of orange. I jumped down, standing there leaning on the work top looking at the floor.
“I’ll see you Monday?” Simon said taking the glass form James
“I’ll meet you after work” a gentle touch on the arm and smile.
The two of them walked to the front door. I turned around and watched the vapor leaving from the boiling kettle, flying fast out of the top like smoke clouds….
Vanishing in to the air like I wish I could.
2000I quietly put the key in the front door and tuned it, pushing open the door just enough to slip though and closing it softly behind me. Mum and dad had gone away and left James in charge. All well and good but he’d locked my bedroom window after I had gone out yesterday afternoon. I’d always leave the window closed but unlocked so that I could get back in without mum and dad knowing that I had gone out or if I had stayed out all night.
So after climbing up the neighbours tree and walking across the roof to my bedroom window I found it locked. May be I should have just gone throw the front door in the first place.
I creped up the stairs to room and went straight to the window and unlocked it. My reflection looked ruff. Smudged faded make up, red eyes and a bad hair, bed head style. I looked at the time as I took my watch off and placed it on the dressing table. Five thirty am. Which means that James and Alice were still going to be in bed. I stood out side of my room and looked at their closed bedroom doors, before heading to the bathroom. I open the door and suddenly slam it shut. Holding onto the handle.
“Charlie!” called out James from inside. I let go of the handle and headed down stairs.
“Charlie!” I looked up the stairs at James coming down in a bath robe. I headed in to the kitchen.
Turned around and looked at him standing in front of me.
“I’m sorry I didn’t think…”
“No you didn’t think. For fuck sake James how hard is it to lock the door. What if had been Alice walking in and seeing you with him?.”
“Alice is at a friends. And I thought you would be back later.”
“Is that why you locked my window.?” he just stood there looking guilty ashamed.
“I need you not tell mum and dad. Please.” He stepped towards me, I backed off. I didn’t now what to think or how to react.
“Why shouldn’t I?” snapping at him.
“Because I wont tell mum and dad that you’ve been out turning tricks! How old is he any way?” I raised my hand and slapped him. I slapped his face so hard it made my hand sting so much with pain.
I’d been seeing a guy ten years older then me. But according to my id I was twenty-one, only five years younger them him.
He just stood there silent, I think he didn’t now how to respond. That was probably the last thing he thought I would do… Hit him.
“So is this you?” I asked, I did not know how else to put it.
“Gay?… Yes” looking at the floor. Not a lot I could say to that.
Our up bring should say to me that be gay is wrong. But someone has yet to show me the page in that fucking book where it says
“The love between two men or two women is a sin”
We stood looking at each other not speaking. Just judging each other. I walked to the back door, I needed some air I was suffocating in my own temper. And shock of finding James on his knees, worshipping some guy.
“I will tell them Charlotte, I promise. don’t tell them please” standing in the door way I looked back at him, I didn’t reply I just closed the door leaving him standing there. I’d been told something like that before.
I sat on the cold concrete survived at the bottom of the garden next to the pond. I looked at my shaking hands, they were not shaking because of the cold it was more shock and anger. My right palm was still stinging and bright red from slapping him. I recognised the pain, it was not far off the pain and relief I got from each cut.
I made my tea, wrapping both hands around the mug cradling it as if it was the most preachers thing. James came back in to the flat and stood next to me with his half empty glass of orange.
“I remembered to look the door.” with a smile, but I was not in the mood for reminiscing jokes today.
Hot water burning, hot steam warming, making the room airless.
Skin reddening with each inch deeper in to the water I fall.
Eyes closed blocking out the world.
Mind of matter, that is all it is. Mind over matter.
But still a easing relief slowly covers me.
Broken glass. Broken mirrors
Nails and screws, gripping them tightly.
Carpet burns and stony ground.
Razor blades and pocket knifes
Cutting lightly cutting deeply.
Having no fear, only shame once the crime has been committed.
Ice cubes and lighter burns.
Paper cuts and splinters.
Needles and pins.
Feel fear a second..
Take away the hate, this darkness that surrounds me.
To feel something other then this num coldness.
Just for moment take me away from myself.
Thursday 14th June 2012Crowds of people, chattering and chiming of glasses. Alice’s studio was full of people clients and friends. She had a new collection of work on display. Two completely different styles on show at once, both artist were friends with her, so are a good ninety percent of the people there she knew one way or the other.
I had been made too promise, by James that I would not drink, which was all well and good but I felt a little up tight, apart from family I didn’t really know any one there, I felt a little distant from every one I didn’t want to seam as though I was being anti social even though I wasn’t and didn’t mean to be. The last thing I wanted to do was to ruin the night for her.
So artist number one. Jonathan Lambert. He’s a art teacher at Haverstock high school. He’s work I would say is a little old school. oil on canvas paintings‘, mainly of places in black and white rather then colour, beautiful brought to life by strong noticeable brush strokes.
While artist number two. A gentleman none as T, a tattoo artist from Soho has a completely different style, as you may imagine.
A collection of photos and sketches. The photos are of fine detailed deigns of tattooed skin. All black and white photos, lending them selves to the viewers imagination to add colour. While some sketches of tattoo flashes are fall of colour and almost pop art like with there flat style, the others lend them selves to detailed shading and more life.
I stood. Looking at one of the black and white photos, of a girl with her back tattooed in a paisley design.
It looked so grace full and delicate. Calming even. Out of all of them this was my favourite piece, and it was not just because it was at the back away from where they were serving the drink.
Steph left around eleven as she had to be in work early. By one am people began to leave, wishing Alice well and that they would see her next week. I’d spent some time talking to T, short for Toby. About his work, his studio, considering the piecing and the tattoos he is a gentlemen, well seams to be (I only seam to attract the rejects).
Every one had gone leaving only Alice, Rachael, James and myself.
Rachel and I were amusing our self’s dancing together to some 90s dance turn
“Here we go” called James coming down the stairs from the office stopping half way to pull out the cork from the champagne bottle. With a loud deep echoing pop.
“Now that’s more like it” Rachael left me and grabbed four glasses from the table under the open treed stairs case, taking them to him to fill.
A tap at the door. Alice went and opened it, bringing in two pizzas. Placing them on the floor in front of her, Rachael sat beside her. Handing her, her glass. James just smiled at me as he handed me mine.
I laid on the hard white floor. Looking at the ceiling. With the glass in my hand sitting it on my stomach.
“So we have pizza and champagne, when’s James leaving and the striper arriving?” asked Rachael.
“Oh thanks. Its nice being wanted. I’ll just go and take the bottle with me.” turning laughing
“No no that’s fine. Stay we cant have you keeping all the good stuff to your self.” Alice laughing taking the bottle from him. I rolled over and reached for a slice of pizza.
“You are a wear that it illegal to smoke in a public buildings now James?” smirking at him.
He smiled and finished rolling, holding out his hand, palm in my face “Bit me”.
Rachael and Alice starting laughing. The standing joke, for them it never grows old. sitting up to eat I rummaged through my pocket and handed him my lighter.
The joint got passed round each of us with a small glass ash tray. The four of us together chilling. It had been a long time since we had had this. The last time must me over a year may be ever two.
I laid on the floor the ash tray resting on my stomach with my eyes closed. I listened to James going off on one of his self improvement, career improvement lectures to Rachel, who was kind of finding it funny. The happy tone in her voice made me smile. James started to get lost in his own speech.
“Where are you going with this one” asked Rachel laughing at him.
“Not sure…What was I saying”
“You ok there?” I opened my eyes Alice was leaning over me smiling. She took the ash tray and joint from me.
I rolled over and slowly got up. The combination of the champagne and the joint made my head feel light, tied, off balance dizzy.
“I think you’ve had enough for the night” Rachel said looking up at me with redden eyes.
I rubbed her head messing up her head.
“I’m fine…” I pointed randomly, waving my hands at the stairs. “I’m going to… take a piss”
“Nice. Such a lady” patting me on the leg as I walked, well stumbled pass her, heading for stairs.
I stood by Alice’s desk and looking at the lump of rock sitting there, purple and black, ruff edges. Why did she keep it? After every thing that had happened. I suppose its sentiment. I cant think of any thing that I’ve kept from relationships or from my past apart from the few things that were at mum and dads. I through away so much, throw rage at myself, at others. Trying to get rid of anything that had a bad memory connected to it.
Standing at the top of the stairs I could hear them talking.
“How is she?”
“She’s Charlie… She is seeing a psycyotrist.”
“Are you sure she’s not just saying that? You know what she’s like”
“No she is seeing someone he’s a friend of a friend, I’ve told him to tell me if she doesn’t turn up.”
I knelt down on the top step, and listened.
“Do dad and Helen know about her being suspended?”
“No… She isn’t suspended, she’s resigned.”
“When did she do that?”
“A couple of nights ago…. I read her e mail, it was time stamped for two in the morning”
“You read her email”
“She left it opened on her computer. What, its not like she tells us any thing. I don’t want another repeat of uni or of four years ago. I cant believe she was seeing you teacher.”
My little lie. My lie to protect my babe sister.
“What happened at uni?”
“I cant work her out sometimes, well most of the time, she’s not the same girl that we growing up with. She’s so… So angry but like today its like she is herself.”
“Or is it that those are the days she’s taken her pills?”
I looked at the bottle sitting beside me, I picked it up, got up and started down the stairs.
“So what’s happening with this lonely bottle here?”
Stopping there conversation.
The second bottle got empted and another joint smoked. By the time we left the studio it must have been nearly five a.m. James and I sat in silence in the cab back to his. I stared at my reflection in the glass. Dark circles under my red dilated eyes.
Considering how close the four of us are, I feel so distant from them as well. Only now and then, especially now. Maybe its just me being a paranoid fool. After hearing them talk.
Friday June 15th 2012I’ve had all of my mail redirected to James’s. even though I don’t intend to stay here that long, but it is easier then going and picking it up form my flat, an hour and a half train trip, and that is on a good day.
Amongst the junk mail and the bills was a letter from the clinic that where I had the tests done and on one from work..
The results of the test confirmed exactly what I had told Tom.
No trace of any illegal substances and only traces of medicated drugs.
So fuck you.
The letter from work, well they where just repeating what the other said along with a referral to see a company doctor to determine my fitness to work. Along with a copy of the mental health act policy shit. Long hard reading but hay got nothing else better to be doing right now so I may as well read it, see how far down in angry it can make me.
While doing my usual social networking storking last night I found Jake on face book. Turns out that he is married and a kid on the way. It made me think where the two of us would be now if I had not called it off and walked away from everything
Every guy that I have dated have been… Well… Not quite all there they have always been a little broken, in some way or had baggage, lots of baggage. Jake has properly been the only desent on out of all of the them.
It makes me wonder if I will ever end up finding someone, or am I destined to grow old living with my gay brother and thirty cats.
Sunday June 17th 2012“Get up!” the harsh tone of a male voice. My mouth dry and saw. I pulled to pillow over my head. The cold underneath, cooled my throbbing head, spinning.
I closed my eyes. Last night… oh shit. An alcohol induced blur, now just a bad memory watched through frosted coloured glass.
Saturday 16th 2012
“Were you going?” James asked as I put my shoe on.
“I’m meeting up with some old uni friends. Doing a bit networking, and job searching.” With a hint of bitterness, I don’t think he has realised yet that I heard their conversation the other night.
“Meeting up with dad, need some advice from him, so I’ve got to play a round of golf to get it.” smiling at me. I smiled back.
I just wanted to get out. I’m surprised that I am still in touch with these friends. I chat with them on face book and through e mail, but living out side London I just haven’t been able to meat up with them as much as I could. A lot of them moved here after getting their degrees. The light of the big city and work drawing them in. for me it was just returning home to a place were things had not changed, fights and slamming doors, I was glad to move out.
Sat on the floor leaning on the wall of the pub beer garden. Even with my eyes closed I could feel the world spinning. Or was that just my own head?
“Hi James… sorry to have to disturber you Saturday night” I heard the office say.
“Shit who don’t you know?” the two of them looked at me sitting on the ground.
“What’s she’s done?” asked James turning away from me. I stretched my legs out in front of me. I don’t know how long I’d sating there, all I knew was that my backside was starting to go num. I stared at their feet as the two pairs became three,
“shit dads here too” I thought. Recognising the black loafs
“One or two, too many drinks I think is the main problem… Her and a man were arguing, they were asked to leave the bar. As they left he pushed her or tripped her up, know one seams too know which, then she lashed out and hit him”
Dad looked at me, with that look I’d seen before when I had been at school. While James looked over at the bench outside the pub at the man being looked at by a paramedic. The Man was Steve Harrison. This looked great, me hitting a man of what forty-five, fifty. This time black eye and split lip
Every thing seamed unreal, hazy. The friends that I had meet up had left before all this, I was glad they had.
“Sure she didn’t hit him first?” James asked looking at me.
“I’m sure… Take her home and I’ll call you and let you know what’s going on.”
“Thank you” I heard dad say. Looking up he was shaking his hand
“Come on get up” Rob said linking his arm with mine helping me up.
I lent against the wall resting my head on the ruff surface while he took off the hand cuffs. Head swimming in anger and a blur of what had just happened.
“Get in the car Charlotte” Dad whispered slowly and quietly in my ear. It sent a cold chill down my spine and the hairs on the back of my neck stand up.
I watched James, he had had noticed Adam standing in by the bench with a drink, whatching but not helping. He went over to him and spoke to him.
I headed towards the taxi trying to walk in a straight. James grabbed my arm stopping me before I could get to the cab.
“Charlie what’s going on? You cant go around hitting your ex’s what ever the past between you might be. And what is he doing here?”
I pushed him off and started to laugh. He frowned at me, unimpressed.
“You have no idea. Really. Not a clue. And what’s it to you who I see?”
“Really. What ever is going on in that messed up head of yours. Get over both of them and move on. You have no right being with a married man.”
“Get over him. Really.”
“It wasn’t me sleeping with him. And the married guy is a good lay.” I whispered to him, smiling trying to intimidate a fight.
“Charlotte that’s enough, you’ve had too much to drink” Dad put his hand on my shoulder. I pushed him off. Suddenly his court room look appeared on his face. A look that said I will destroy you, spit out the pieces and walk over them. A look that I had come to see too many times as a teenager, a look that scared me. But at that moment it done the opposite. Or may be it was just the drink pushing this faules confidence on me, making me fell invisible.
“Do you know what. I’ve had it with this family and the way it hides its problems under the carpet in closets and any where else it can.”
“Shh” James putting his finger to his lips trying to quieten me down… People were looking but I was not paying any attention.
“No I wont. I’ve had it with the lies and secrets. The fact that we don’t talk to each other because we’re all scared of knowing the truth and that we will get the “do as I say not as I do” speech from you.” standing looking towards dad.
“CHARLIE that’s enough, get in the car.”
“Don’t James. Don’t you deer.” I don’t know were it all came from. It was like a dame had broken, spilling every emotion out at them.
“Messed up head. It doesn’t help being made to see a shrink. My family tip toeing around me and treating me as if I can not look after myself… I can manage just fine thank you.”
“Really you think so. Going around hitting people, starting arguments over nothing, not going out for days at a time. Getting suspended from work and then oh yes. resigning. What do you intend to do now? Spend your time sitting on my sofa?” James shouted back at me. I could feel my heart racing my body getting warmer with anger. Shaking.
“Oh yes reading some one else email. Isn’t that a violation of privatise?” sarcastically. I didn’t care now I was in a mood to fight.
“Oh yes and you’re the good little boy aren’t we James.”
I could see his temper starting to rise. I look of hate and anger that I remember seeing as a child when we fought.
“Shut up Charlie. Your treading on thin ice.”
“That dose it. You two get in the car. Now... Grow up both of you” Shouted dad. Bring the two of us too silence. We stood steering at each other.
“Get in the car” he repeated. James shook his head at me, walked to the car, opened the door and got in. I stood there looking at dad. I didn’t want to go with them. At this moment I wanted nothing to do with them. Ever.
Instead I walked away leaving them with their cab out side of a north London pub on a sunny summers evening. With no expernation to my behaviour.
I’m not a hundred percent sure how I got back to James’s or what time. I do vagerly remember trying to get a black cab and failing. And staggering through regents park. All I do know that what sleep I did get was not enough.
It was just a restless dreamless state
I know that there was more said between us but I cant remember what it was. All I have now is a bad after taste of shots, beer and brandy.
James pulled the pillow off of my head.
“Get up now… Dads here.”
I rolled over and sat up slowly. At least I had managed in my screwed up state to changed out of clothes and in to my pyjamas even if the top was inside out and back to front… James dropped the pillow back at the top of the bed, then drop my leather bracelet on to the bed in front of me, before heading to the door. I looked at my wrist five, six small red cuts, surrounded by smeared brown red dry conjured blood.
“That’s the last thing he needs to see.” Before opening the door leaving it open behind him.
Dad sat on the sofa. James was in the kitchen, facing the sink not doing anything but resting on it. I waked softy to the arm chair opposite dad and stood next to it in silence.
“Sit down then.” He said calmly. I done as I was told I just kept my eyes on the floor. At age thirty I felt fourteen again.
It doesn’t not mater how old you are the thought of being told off by a parent scars the hell out of you, well it dose me especially of its from my dad.
“So then. Last night?”
The little voice in my tired head trying to work hard.
“what did he want hear?”
“Not good enough”
I heard James walk up the corridor and close the door to his room.
A painful silence. Who was going to speak first.
“I would like to know what you were thinking of last night…. But that is the thing you weren’t thinking were you? that’s always been your problem you act before you think.”
A moment to think, a deep breath I could feel myself shiver all over.
“Well I’m thinking right now. and that’s, I would like an explanation. And what is going on in that messed up head of yours? Why your behaving irresponsibly and childish?”
I sat holding my own hot clammy hands trying to stop them from shaking. From the hang over the dehydration and fear of what dad was going to say. I did not know how to respond. All I knew was that I had to keep control and not brake down. Which is party what he wanted.
I looked up he sat there crossed legged, arms stretched out resting on the back of sofa, confidently relaxed in the emotional torcher of his own child.
“were to start. I don’t know where too”
I looked back down at the coffee table. At his full coffee mug.
“Tell me about these so called lies and secrets that the family has then?” picking up the mug, forcing me to look back up at him.
“Its not my place say sir.” I looked back down at the floor… May be, deep down all the things that I have been told in confidents by them all has been eating always at me… Killing me. No. I can remember feeling like this before the promises and secrets. A deep dark silence, like being lost in a empty shopping centre at night, just the echo of your own foot steps ad breathing.
“Charlotte” Placing the mug back down. “Your not helping your self here.”
“A promise is promise.” He sat back in the chair. Looking at me. Trying to work it all out.
“I take it that these ‘secrets and lies’ are not just to do with me and your mother?”
I didn’t reply a sat in silence.
“This gentleman last night, I heard your comment to James. Which one of your sisters are you protecting? Also James. What’s that about.”
Silence. I did realise how quite and peaceful James place was. But right now it felt like an integration room for MI6
“So is this how it is going to be? I want to help you, but if your not going to talk to me Charlotte…There’s not much I can do for you… You cleared off, broke up with your fiancée, moved away. We didn’t gear form you for months.”
“That was four years ago dad”
“Thats not the point. Since then you have been distant with all of us. You avoid any family event. And then you decide to quite your job after you’ve been suspended. Your not thirteen Charlie you have responsibilities.”
“It doesn’t mater now dad” looking at the floor
“Doesn’t mater. Well if that the way its going to be, so be it… What ever trouble you get your self in to from now on, do not expect James or myself to help… you will move out of James spare room and back in with me and your mother, you will carry on seeing a psycrotrist. If you so much as breath wrong.”
“And you think that will help” I interrupted, the moment I said I regretted it.
“Charlotte I don’t know what else to do. Unless you want me to cut you off completely that I don’t want to see you ever again… That would destroy your mother ”
We sat in silence, It hurt what he just said. It was as though I had been hit so hard. For a moment I could not breath.
“I suggest that you go and Have a shower, get dressed. Your mother and sisters will be here in less the an hour. You will come to church, as a family. Them back home… I will pick up your stuff later. And we will finish this conversation Charlotte”
“Yes sir.” I got up and left quietly heading to bathroom
I cant tell him. If I do they will never talk to me again. I may as well take the second option.
Its me that’s eating away at my self, hiding everything. I can only be me, and I’m messed up.
I cry till I cant cry any more. Until I don’t know why I am crying.
We sat in church as if we were the perfect middle class family. I had dad sitting on my right and James on the left. It felt as if they were boxing me in, refusing to let me escape.
Listening to the sermons and hymns. Standing to sing songs I had not heard since I was a child. They meant nothing, they had no meaning to them no body. They were just words strung together on a fine length of cotton. Blowing in the wind.
I remember them having so much meaning and joy when I was younger.
I looked around at the families with there children, old couples and young.
Sitting in the next isle to us was a family with two children, a girl and a boy. The girl must have been , fifteen, sixteen. The peak of teenage rebellion. Died black hair. Thick black eye make up finished with white foundation. And gothic clothes. Her having a silent fight with her dad as he took her ipod from her, pulling the head phones from her ears.
I watched her sit there in a strop, crossed arms. with a look that Satan would be jealous of.
I sat learning forward looking past James, watching her. I did not know her, or her parents. There was something that reminded me of myself at that age.
She looked over at me watching her, she pulled a face and gave me the finger. I looked away smiling to myself. I noticed James looking at her then to me, out of the corner of my eye, as I stared forward like the rest of the brain washed flock.
Sitting on the curb out side of the church waiting for mum and dad to finish talking to people. Alice, James and Rachel stood talking. Judging me. All wondering what I’d told dad
“They hate you. They think you told him every thing that you promised not tell them.”
Maybe mum and dad knew already. You hear that parents know about things when it comes to their children, like a sixth sense. Nothing slips past them.
James and Alice sat down ether side of me and Rachel stood in front of me.
“Got a spear one” I asked James looking at his cigarette. He pulled out the pack from his pocket, handing it to me reluctantly.
“Hear you hand a rough night last night” I looked up at Rachel. She didn’t seam mad just confused.
I sat playing with the cigarette, I couldn’t be bothered to put it to my lips and light it.
“Come on you four lets go home.” Called out mum. James got up and took the cigarette off of me, squeezing my hand as he did. Him and Rachel headed over to them waiting by the cab.
“I haven’t told them” I said to Alice as she stood up.
“I know… If dad knows then its because mum told him” I stopped in my tracks. Felt like someone had hit my head against a wall. Alice turned and faced me.
“I told mum the other day. She came in to the gallery and he had came back in.” I just steered at her I didn’t want to get in to this, but here it was staring me in the face.
“You told me you had nothing to do with him.” she didn’t respond at first. “I called it off after Tim purposed.” she said turning and walking away. I stood there. There was nothing I could say. I had kept her secret for her, I’d kept my promise. So why did I feel as though I had betrayed her. I wanted to thow up, maybe then I would feel better. In more ways then one.
By the time I got to the car I my eyes were filled with tears. I opened the front passengers door before I could get in dad stopped me. “Do not start this here.” I looked at him, got in the car and closed the door and waited. Rubbing my tired sad eyes with the palms of my hands.
I just want to cry. To lock my self away… I want to feel. To feel that cut the cold metal on my skin.
I was not going to start anything, I wished she told me early that she had told mum.
We all got out the cab the others headed in. James grabbed my arm pulling me back from the gate, holding out his hand.
“Hand it over.” In a snappy angry tone
“I don’t have it on me”
“You better not.”
“Or what” his grip tighten, trying to scare me in to handing something that I was not prepared to surrender for nothing.
“You two get in side” dad called out from the front door, James let go of my arm, I steped away from him and walked into the horse.
All of us were in the living room Alice and Rachel sat on the sofa the rest off just there waiting. I just looked at the floor.
“Is the same carpet from when we were kids, I cant remember.”
Complete silence, waiting for someone to speak.
“I know this family isn’t perfect, but believe me it’s problems are nothing compared to some. Your all grown adults, so why do I feel like I’m talking to four rebelling teenagers.”
“Rachel isn’t involved in this” I said quietly to dad, afraid of his reaction, But it was true.
“Charlotte. Shut up!” I felt like I had been kick so hard in the chest that for a moment I could not breath. It hurt me.
“You two upstairs.” dad said looking and pointing at James and Alice.
“Rachel dear, would you mind making me a cup of tea” Mum asked, she smiled at me as she walked past.
“And you.” I followed them upstairs with dad leading us and mum behind, like prisoners to death row.
I stood there in dads office, with empty thoughts. James and Alice sat on the small sofa and mum and dads desks with him perched on the edge. Me standing as close to the door as I could, ready for a quick escape if needed.
You know that feeling you get when you stand still in one place for a while and legs feel wobberly and you start to feel that you falling back or to one side. Well that’s how they felt and I was trying os hard not to fidget. I wanted to be invisible to this crowd.
“In a way I am kind pleased that the three of you are sticking together, but right now I want to know what is going on… So who wants to go first?” Dad said looking at the three of us in turn and mum looking at him… Waiting.
“The man that Charlie hit yesterday was my old art tutor. We were seeing each other…I…I ended up pregnant… Dad I’m sorry. She was just protecting me.” Mum reached for dads hand squeezing it tight her fingers turning white.
A light knock on the door, opening slowly. Rachel walked in with a cup of tea for mum. She smiled taking it from her.
“Charlotte, why don’t you and Rachel go and sit outside and enjoy the sun.” mum said sturring her tea, wiping the spoon on the side of the cup. I looked at dad for his blessing to do so. There was no response so I turned to follow Rachel out.
“We’ll speak latter Charlotte.” he said before I closed the door.
“She was arrested because of you” James voice from behind the closed door, Rachel took hold of my hand pulling me quickly away down the stairs.
I went in to the kitchen and watched Rachel making tea. I seamed some how strange that mum was so good to her, she treated her as though she was one of our cusions. She had all the reasons in the world to hate, dislike her. But it was not her she despised. I was dad.
It may sound like a strange thing to say, but it was true… they just didn’t seam happy.
Or is it that I’m just not happy, so I don’t see theirs?
It took dad three years to tell mum about Rachel. Well to be honesty he didn’t really tell her.
Dad’s name is on Rachel’s birth certificate, it always had been, so when she found it and her mum explained to her, it only gave her mum thirty minutes to get hold of dad to let him know that she had ran out and was on the way to ours. Dad was at the club, so his first point of call was me. “keep her calm and away from mum I am on my way.” So there I was sat on the sofa at home feeling a little hung over, as I had tried out my fake ID for the first time the night before. As far as every one was concerned I had a migraine. Waiting for dad to hopefully arrive home before Rachel did
I opened the door to a red eyed and just a slightly pissed off Rachel.
“Rachel what’s wrong?”
“Did you know?”
“Know what?” how do you say to your best friend “yes I knew that you are my half sister. I’ve known for three years”
I took her by the hand into the living room. I just hoped that mum stayed down stairs in the kitchen until dad got home so he could explain his fuck up.
As dad came in and walked in to the room Rachel got up walked over to him and slapped him around the face. Just as mum walked in through the other door. I don’t think that this family could get any more dramatic if we tried. I just wanted to laugh. It was like a scene off of Eastenders.
“What the hell is going on?” I sat there looking at mum but this was not a fight that I want to get involved in.
“Helen this is Rachel… She’s… She’s my daughter.” complete silence. Not a thing. She was being so calm over this, it was unsettling and unnerving.
“Girls would you excuse me and YOUR father.” calmly and politely spoken. Scary as hell. Even more frighten as dad could be
The two of us left the room. Closing the door behind us. Standing in the hall for a moment as Rachel began to cry. I didn’t know what to do. I’d comforted her when she need it before. But this was so different. This time I hurt. If I’d told her the truth that I knew, she’d hate me, I didn’t want her to, I did want to lose a friend. Was it selfish that I never told her when I found out? Who was I protecting? Mum? Dad? Or just my self and a friendship that I did not want to lose?
“What I miss?” James asked as he came through the front door. Just as the sound of smashing glass against a wall and the shouting of mum suddenly echoed from the living room.
“Lets go down stairs” I suggested. Taking Rachel’s hand and leading us down to the kitchen. To escape the angry shouting.
The three of us sat at the table each with a drink. Not much had been said between the three of us. James seamed unsure what to say.
“So how old are you?”
“Fifteen… thirteen months younger Charlie”
“And dad never mentioned this too you at all?”
“No James he didn’t. It doesn’t mater how you rephrase it I didn’t know” he must have asked me three or for times the same thing just in a different way.
“Maybe he knows I’m lying? He’s trying to catch me out. Trying to make me slip up. Or am I just being paranoid?” that’s all that kept going throw my head.
Dad used pick us up after school and take us to the park, and at week ends he’d take us out, never once did he suggest that we were family. a lot of the time it was just Rachel dad and me, sometimes Alice.
We sat there for two hours while they fought. It would be all quite then suddenly there would be a raised voice form one of them could be heard. They were the longest two hours I can think of. Pretending that I was shocked over the news. Wasn’t that hard with James sitting there. I was lying to protect myself. So I didn’t have to explain myself to them.
Now here I stood in this kitchen again protect secrets that were not mine, for what, an eternal hangover. Was all this, that was making me this… twisted, cold, person?
Rachel came over to me and put her arms around me. that’s were we stood till the kettle boiled again. Not even sure why we put it on again.
“I wonder what they are talking about? What they are saying about me? Their talking about how screwed up I am.”
I didn’t want to know but at the same time I did.
“Rachel. I need to tell you something…” A deep breath. “I knew that you were my sister before you found out.” she squeezed me so tight. Was that how dads hand felt when mum squeezed it.
“I don’t want to know because you are my best friend before my sister. Which made us sisters before you knew” I did not no how to respond.
We sat in the garden in the summer house. They had been up there for what had seamed like hours but it had only been forty-five minuets. It was a warm day and I wish I had brought a dress or at least a skirt.
Alice walked down the garden and sat with me in the summer house.
“What was said?”
“Dad asked if there was any thing that he should know, or we just wanted to tell him.” she sat looking at the ground. She moved over and closer to me leaning her head on my shoulder rapping her arm around mine and holding my hand…
It made me feel a little uneasy… The whole human contact freaked me out at times when I felt this num. It was as though I was dead. Emotionally and physical. The only thing that made me think that I might still be a live was the beating of this thing called a heart in side of me which I could feel bang hard with in my chest.
“I don’t blame you. You were only doing what I had made you promise to do” You might have thought that those words might have made me feel better some how… I just squeezed her hand tight.
“What about James?”
“He asked to speak to them alone”
My heart started to race with paranoia and anxiety, wanting t know what was being said.
The three of us waited patently in the garden. It had been half an hour half since Alice had reappeared from the dads office. James came out into the garden and sheepishly walked over to us sitting on the grass. Looking pale and uneasy. Where we had moved too. Alice had told Rachel about Steve. Me I could not quite bring myself to tell them.. I was not ready yet.
“I thought you didn’t have any.” Looking at the pack of cigarettes and lighter laying on the grass in front of me.
“I don’t… Second shelf of the drinks cabernet.” Holding the pack up to him, he took it and sat down with us.
“At the back behind the scotch.” That was one of dads hiding spots from mum. “Have you seen dad in court?” lighting his cigarette.
Dad had took me into court during the time when I was suspended. In a way it was that which made me want to write. I came out and wrote about the case as if it was a report for a paper. After that dad took me in to court on odd days during the holidays, and on the odd occasion he pulled me out school. I suppose it was his way of trying to keep me interested in something I was good at and enjoyed, unlike the dance lessons and piano lessons, and hockey.
“What’s he like?” playing with the lighter.
“He’s like what you just saw.” Just from the way he was I could tell that that was how dad had been towards him.
“So what happened?” Rachael asked what the question that we all wanted to know the answer to.
I looked at him steering at me. So it may had taken 13 years but he had finally told them.
“I told them”
“ told them what?”
James looked to ground as if it had been the grass asked him the question and not Alice.
“That I’m gay”
“What was his reaction?” taking the lighter from him.
“Not what I expected. I thought… I don’t know what I thought his reaction would be non mums.”
I’m proud that he had finally told them, all us. Weather it is a weight off his shoulders. Or may its just made him feel, shit.
I would not wish any one to have to visits his dark place where I exist, let alone live here.
I reached for his hand but he pulled away. That I was prepared for. He hated me. He had covered for for me so much and this was the finial thing… The bridge was on fire, could it be saved?
We sat there, nothing said between us.
“I wondered were they were. I thought your mum had found them.” Dad said standing behind Alice and Rachael with his back to the house. Alice took the pack from me and handed them to him.
“Who every it was that said that smoking is the main cause of heart attracts never had kids.” Looking at the cigarette with relief in which the fixed gave him.
“No. They just never had kids like us” I said. He throw the pack back at me. Not responding to the comment. I wouldn’t have, if I were him..
An uncomfortable silence feel upon us. I’m good at that. Killing the mood. Making a bad moment shift in to that moment when it feels like the tension of an elastic band when its stretched to a point where it is trying to pulling its self back to its normal size. Tight pulling on your fingers.
“So does every one feel better getting everything off chests?” Looking at all of us looking up at him. Apart from James who sat pulling blades of grass out of the ground. Executing them for just being there. It seamed as though dad was blanking him.
James looked scared and upset. I don’t think anything that I could say would convince him that I was sorry… That I was on his side.
Now this was my fault. If last night had not had happened, then James’s secret would still be that.
If I had not hit Alice’s tutor years ago then last night would not have happened.
If I had not snuck back in to the house that morning after finding that my window was locked and just went and got myself breakfast then I would have never found James on his knees, then his secret would have been his and his alone.
There is a difference between self harm and wanting to commit suicide.
Even if my family think it’s the same thing.
Self harm is a way of coping a release of energy and hate. To feel something when your whole life feels numb. Unreal like a moving pitcher on a projectors screen.
While suicide is the way out. The ending to the movie on the screen.
Tuesday 19th June 2012Dad hired a van and the two us went to my flat and picked up all of my things. Looking at them in the back of the van, there did not seam to be a lot.
5 boxes of clothes
½ box of toiletries and make up.
1 box of kitchen stuff
My bed frame and matrices
A bed side cabernet
7 boxes of books
It looked lonely and lost in the black void of the van.
I’ve lost my deposit on the place because I’ve just up and left. I have not dad that, he’d probably find some lope hole and just make waves, I cant be bothered with the grief.
“Have you spoken to James?”
“Not since Sunday before he spoke to you and mum…You?”
“No… I’m assuming that you knew about him”
“Yeah… I’ve known for a while. He wanted to tell you when he was ready… I screwed that up. Know I think he hates me.” I looked out of the window at the fields laid out like a chess bored in green and yellow.
“Give him time”
How much time do you give someone when they have had no option but to tell their family about their chose in sexuality, when they were not ready?
“And what about you. Anything else you want to me?” A paranoid silence. The clicking of the indicator as h changed lanes. “When you need to talk, we’re here.”
Writing fiction is easier then writing a diary or even trying to work out my own crossed wired head.
I’ve always founded it easier it write a character, creating their life, love and passions. I could… Can tell you the colour they see when smile, listen to a singing bird. Fall in love.
I cant describe myself it’s the hardest thing. To say how I feel. I’m never sure how to put it in to words.
Friday 22th June 2012Sat in the kitchen with my cup of tea watching mum clearing the plates from breakfast. I think a part of her was liking having me here but mostly I was in the way of here newly found routine that she had created since we had all left home.
I’m surprised that they have never moved to a smaller place. Not just because they are raterling around this four bedroom, four story house, but also because they are not getting any younger. I noticed it more being here this week, dad needing a hand with a box from the van. Mums sudden rubbing of her back and hip.
I need to get out of here otherwise I’m going to be the child stuck at home looking after my inverlid parents while Rachel builds a career for herself, Alice makes her family and home and James carries on refusing to talk to any of us.
Anyway I watched mum and dads silent routine, her washing and him drying them putting away the items. Like a silent dance, a perfect choreographed. Dad kissed her cheek and left the room.
“Have you finished with your tea” asked mum pointing at the mug.
“Not yet… Mum”
How do you ask what I’m about to ask with out it ending up in a fight.
“Are you and dad happy… I mean with every thing that you have been through..”
She sat down at the table.
“I still love him… And I hate him. But we have you three lovely children together… You know I’ve never blamed Rachel for your dads stupidity… I suppose in our own strange way we are happy… why do you ask?” I shrugged steering in to my half empty mug of tea… I suppose that’s what’s I wanted to hear. She reached for my hand squeezing it. Her soft warm hands. Comforting. She got up and left the room, passing dad in the door way.
“Do you want a lift to the doctors?” he asked sitting down at the table.
“Doctors. Why don’t you just say it, shrink. Your daughters fucked up.”
“No that’s ok dad”
“I need to ask you a favour.”
“Shit if this is to do with James”
“Would you go to James’s office”
“What makes you think he will talk to me?”
“Charlie please. No one ones spoken to him since Sunday. We’ve tried to phone him but he either puts us through to answer phone , it rings or its off.”
“And again, what makes you think he will talk to me?”
“Please your mums worried, we all are… you too have always been close” He reached out at took my hand. We used to be close but this week didn’t feel like it. All the messages left with no response.
Felt a like the response I was getting from all the jobs I had applied for. Cold and non excitant.
I did find out one thing today at the doctors today is that the favour that James cashed in was with his boyfriends busyness partner. As I left my shirks room I was greeted by Simon seeing out one of his patients. He smiled and nodded at me, and me in gesture back the same so this is where the favour came from.
I cant tell you the last time or even if I have ever been inside of James’s office, it was in offices above a shop opposite South Kensington station. I must have looked very out of place, ripped jeans, flip flops and a ripped up t-shirt. I hadn’t washed my hair all week so I know I looked a complete mess Almost the poor sister. Looking for a score for my next fix.
The receptionist with her tallied suit and manqué nails sat at her computer, looked me up and down with discussed.
“Can I help you?”
“I’m here to see James.”
“Do you have an appointment?”
“I don’t . I’m his sister. I was hoping to have quick word him.”
“One moment.” she got up from her throne giving me the once over again. Making me paranoid and little uneasy. I watched her go down the corridor, knock on the door and went in. Then I saw James’s head appear from his office. He came out followed by her. There was no smile or even a hello. He took me by the arm and pulled me in to the store room opposite her desk.
“What are you doing here?”
“I just wondered if you are free for lunch? I would have called but I think there is problem with your phone. It keeps going to voice mail.”
“No. I’ve just been busy.”
“To busy to return every ones call?”
“I cant go to lunch I’ve work to do” he went to turn and go.
“Dad asked me to come here. Mum wants to know if you’re going to staying over tonight. So she knows how many are going to be at home for diner… And she’s she worried.”
“Charlie this isn’t a good time. Please.”
“Its never going to be a good time.”
He just stood there and glared at me.
“You want to talk about ‘not the right time.’ How about you dragging me all the way up to Teesside, bailing you out of jail. Your little tantrums” A look of pure anger, every thing seen in shades of red. Is that what he was seeing right now? I could imagine it was.
I didn’t responded at first just looked at him standing there holding a file
“I didn’t make go all the way to Teesside, Phil called you and you came. You didn’t have to.”
“What else was I meant to do? I think you should go… I‘ll see you later.”
He opened the door waiting for me to go.
“You could just have told dad… Will we see tonight?”
“Maybe… I don’t know… Tell mum… Tell her I’ll call.” I walked passed and out, getting a judging smug look from the receptionist… maybe I should go and talk to her knock over her coffee. Tell her to go stick it.
It feels as if I hadn’t achieved anything talking to him apart from reassuring the fact that I was the last person on earth right now that he wanted to speak to.
So here I am now sitting in the wing back arm chair, with my legs over the arm, writing this and watching my twitter timeline filling up with nothing interesting. I do have to say that I am little uncomfortable sitting like this but it beats sitting normally. That hurts my neck as my laptop is to low.
Alice, Rachel and Steph are sat on the floor playing snakes and ladders… I’m not ever sure where they found it. I thought mum got rid of all the toys… I remember going to the children’s hospice with her, with I was seventeen. Taking all of the dust collecting toys with us. They were so pleased with them all.
“I’m shocked to see my big sister sitting there with a cup of tea, and it’s a cup and saucer, not even a mug. Instead of joining us with a glass of champagne, on the last night of me being innocent.”
At that moment we all bust out laughing
“I think that day past years ago.” Laughed Steph.
“Hay! So what is it you are writing?” walking over to me on her knees.
“Nothing” closing the top. Smiling at her.
“Good then you can come and join us” picking up the laptop and placing it on the floor. I got up and joined them on the floor to play the game
Steph handed me a full glass of champagne. As Alice, reset the game with a drunken swaying hand.
We all went silent as we heard the front door close. The others looked towards the door I turned my head to see James there with his suit bag, over night bag and a Waitrose bag.
“James come join in. Do you want to be the Monopoly dog or the Cluedo candle stick?” Alice holding up the odd playing pieces. All the original piece had been lost and we had replaced them all with random bits of other games. For us it just the it that little bit more random.
“I think I’ll go for the dog…Where’s mum and dad?” He asked looking at me.
“I think their down stairs” He smiled. Leaving the room. going to find them.
It felt like that morning after feeling when you wake up and find you slept with pestie intern, you don’t know quite what to say or how to react.
Steph pulled her self up of the floor using my shoulder then standing there with her hand on my head.
“That stuffs strong”
“Light weight” she started do a strange dance staggering backwards and falling on to the sofa.
“What’s your problem, other then you’re a little drunk?”
“I got fizzy feet” holding one foot in the air wagering her toes around.
“Is that the technical term” Asked Rachel
“It is if you’ve spent two days on the children’s ward”. Rubbing her legs and moving her feet round trying to bring them back to life.
I sat there looking at the three of them. It seamed strange with all of us together, I could not think of the last time that the five of us were under the same roof together. It seamed unreal. A playfull atmosphere surrounded us. I haven’t felt that in a while. It felt safe and good.
James came back in to the room and sat on Steph.
“Get off you fat git.” Pushing him of laughing.
He got off and sat on the floor next to me. The 5 of us started a new game. Nothing was said between us about what had happened, I didn’t want to and I’m sure that he did not want to either.
Mum and dad had gone to bed by the time the rest of us decided to call it night. Steph was slightly drunk and need a helping hand up the stairs, swaying side to side a complete lose of hand, eye, and leg co-ordination, we all laughed as Alice and Rachel helped her up the stairs. Falling ageist the wall and ‘Shhing’ herself with a giggle
I collected the glass’s, empty bottles and took them down to the kitchen, when I got back up stairs James had gone to bed. Leaving me alone to finish. I didn’t mind. I had lonely had the one glass of champagne unlike the rest, they had managed to destroyed two bottles of champagne and some other drinks. I picked up the game and the mixture of random playing pieces. As I closed the board I had to turn it around to see some writing on the back.
The rules are as we all agree are.
1 short for going up a ladder
2 shorts for going down a snake.
1 short For every odd number rolled.
1 short for every one when some one reaches the end.
James, Alice, Charlie, Steph , Rachel
It made me smile. I’d forgotten about that. I’m surprised we didn’t play it… Mind you it was a recipe of one killer hang over, and tomorrow was not the day for that. For baby sister, for a girl I admire for her strength, putting up with such a screw up sister for looking after me on those nights out together. I owed her one day, one day her wedding day, her day. Where it was not me with the hang over.
I just need this breeze block that is tired to around my neck, to let me to the surface from this dark bottomless lake. Please for one day, don’t let me drown tomorrow in dark.
I say tomorrow, but its today.
Its 2:30 am. I’m sitting on my own in the living room. Complete silence, alone with my thoughts. The occasional sparkle of car head lights peak thought the gap in the certain, bouncing around the room.
1998Sitting on a wooden chair against the wall opposite dads receptionists, young, pretty, a part of me was looking at her hating her, wondering if she was sleeping with him.
I looked up as dad came out of his office and come over. His court room face on. He stood in front of me holding his hand out. I took my head phones out and handed him my CD player. In return he handed me the large red leather bound law book, then holding his hand out again. I went in to my pocket and took out my pack of 10 cigarettes, surrendering them to him.
“A weeks suspension… I hope the smoking, skipping class and the pink hair was worth it. Your on your last warning lady. I mean it… I suggest you start reading.” he walked away back to his office. I didn’t see him for the rest of the day. Food was delivered from the café around the corner. And cold water form the despiser in the kitchen area. If you can call it that.
Last warning. What was he going to do send me to boarding school for the last year. It was close to me exams so it would not even be a year.
I’d skipped double science with one of my girl friends and went to one of the guys houses form the boys school, with some of his friends, around the corner form school, to colour my hair, smoke and to hang out.
David the guy whose house we went back to. His parents are away. He’s hot, black hair, green eyes. We all started out in the living room listening to music, me and David ended up going up to his room to see his vintage film poster collection. That wasn’t all.
Laying there with him on top of me. It wasn’t quite what I expected. I didn’t know what to expect really
Seamed like a good idea kind of, I new that it would not go down well but I still did it.
Looking back on it any one might think I was attention seeking, maybe apart of me was. Middle child syndrome. Acting up at any opportunity, maybe I still am but at the time the things I done seamed fun and they were. Yet may be my taste in boy not so good
Saturday 23rd June 2012
The WeddingSat on the flat roof of what was the back of the living room, out side my room.
Looking down at the garden, there was a cool breeze that my the hairs on my arms stand up, holding a mug of tea. I was just enjoying the moment. The world. Every thing seamed bright, but it all seamed so far away form me like it dose so often. Like a dream.
“I wounded where you went off too”
Climbing through the window. He came and sat down beside me on the edge of the roof.
“Had a second attempt of trying to have a shower, but failed. Decided to wait out here.”
He held out his pack of cigarettes, offering one to me, which I took, even though I didn’t want it. Its just become a habit to take one when offered. I’ll smoke it or I’ll put in my pocket, smoke it later or forget about and put it though the wash.
“About last week”
“Lets not talk about it, please… I’m sorry for being me. And for everything. I…”
I wasn’t sure what to say I didn’t want to ruin this good mood that I was in at that moment I wanted to feel this content all the time.
“I think between the two of us we made it an interesting weekend… I was only trying to help.” playing with his lighter.
We sat there looking down at the garden, the perfect green grass, and bright coloured flowers.
A squirrel appeared on the fence at the far end. I watched it sitting there studding the retain. Working out its plain of attack. To get to its point. It suddenly moved, scurrying down the fence stopping it the middle of the lawn.
“Don’t do it. Its not worth in.” Steph’s voice behind us. I looked round to see her and Rachel climbing out of the window. Rachel sat next to James and Steph next to me.
“What we looking at?”
“The squirrel.” I watched it sit there, suddenly the neighbours cat took chase across garden over the fence and out of sight.
Alice appeared in the garden with T who was the photograph for her day with Tara and Kate. As soon as she saw us she started waving then ran in to the house Leaving him on his own with the girls.
“What’s occurring?” As she climb out on to the roof. She pushed her way in-between James and I.
“So, are we all good? You two talking again?”
“We’re good” replied James
“Peter Pan and the lost girls, get in side before your mother sees and has a heart failer”
Dad stood at the window looking waiting for us to get back inside.
“Charlie do you want to go and use the shower upstairs?” the others left room and James went in to the bath room. Nothing was said between dad and I. we just smiled at each other and he left the room.
I had a shower and put on the dress, us girls and mum had our hair done.
I went back up to my room to get my shoes. I stood in there looking at myself in the full length mirror, I haven’t dressed up for anything in years, it felt strange, a little uncomfortable having my hair done and make up. It isn’t really me.
I sat on the bed to put on my ivory shoes. Fiddling with the stupidly small Buckle. I looked up to see James standing in the hall outside putting on his cufflinks.
“Two of the cars are here, I’m going to get Alice. Could you tell mum and dad?”
“Sure” I stood up, feeling unbalanced in the shoes rubbing my hands down the soft fabric of the dress, straighten it out.
James smiled at me “You cant wear that bracelet sis” he said softly I could not tell the last time that he called me sis, it was a word that he used to comfort me. Like when Nan and granddad died. Yet it did not do much when mum and dad split.
I looked at the bracelet. It had become part of me a safety net, a comfort blanket. A had grown to hide behind it. I rubbed my hand over the brown soft leather. With a sudden deep breath I undone the buckle taking it off and dropping it on the bed. The skin was red and not completely healed, leaving a pink red line of new skin. I picked up the counsellor and put some on my wrist to try and hide the marks, it sought of worked, it made it look less angry but it could still be made out.
The first room you come to on the top floor is dads office. It was a room that we rarely saw as children unless we had done something wrong. For me it was were I spent many an evening and weekend studding thinking about my actions. There was no Tv or radio, and password protected computer, and lots of law books, and half a dozen photos of us all.
The door stood wide open. Something else that had changed now he had retired and us children had flown the nest.
He stood there in front of the dark wood desk looking serious and stressed at he’s speech cards.
“The cars are here.” he looked up at me a with a slight look of confusion.
“You cant tell me your worried about a little speech.” laughing.
“Do you know I haven’t been this nervous since your mother and I got married.” putting the cards in to his inside jacket pocket.
“I’ll go tell mum”
“Ok sweet heart” looking worried checking the cards were still in his pocket. The next door along was their bed room. I knocked on the partly closed door. Before entering.
Mum sat at her dressing table with her back to me putting on her earrings. Where I was standing I could see her refection.
“The cars have arrived.”
“Ok… How’s your father?”
She smiled at me form her mirror.
“Give him a full court room and he’s fine. Giving him a wedding speech and becomes a bumblerling buffoon.” she said as I walked over to her.
“Your tags showing.” tucking it in the back of her long dress.
She stood up and turned to look at me.
“You look lovely.” tacking my hands in hers.
“Thank you. So do you Alice looks better though.”
She turned my hands palms up in hers, her right hand siding up to my wrist, I watched as her thumb stroking the scars, try to hide under the make up. I wanted to pull away with fear of what she was going to say.
“Don’t go having a go James. He didn’t really stand a chance against your farther, he kind of… well sung like a cannery.” I looked back at her smiling. Feeling a little sad.
“Its not his fault, he’s just never meet your father in court mood, like we have.” she turned back to her dressing table opening a pink gift bag and pulling out folded white tissue paper. She turned back opening it. Then placing the collection of white, pink and ivory pearl bead bracelets on my wrist, just covered my personal battle scars.
She wrapped her hands around mine. This was the closest moment we have shared in years.
“Promise me you’ll be ok?”
“Promise me you’ll be ok?” I was not expecting that I was more expecting, “promise me you will stop.” or “please talk to me.”
“I’ll promise I’ll do my best.” what else could I say. I did not no my self if I would be ok. Letting go of my hands, picking up her purse and leading me down stairs by the hand, followed by a nervous dad.
Standing against the wall out side the music hall where Alice and Tim’s reception was being held. With a champagne glass of orange in one hand and a cigarette in the other. I was being good. Even with the toasts I stuck to orange.
“You should come round to my studio I could should some of my designs, and if you want I could sketch out some ideas for you.” T said standing in front of me playing with his camera.
“I better go back in and see if I cant get some more shorts of the happy couple.”
“I’ll see you in a bit.”
I watched him walk off in to the hall, and Rachel walk over to me.
“I think you have an admirer” leaning on the wall next to me.
“He’s kidda cute.” Having the last sip of drink and standing the glass on the floor by my feet. Rachel put her right arm around my shoulders with her head on my shoulder, watching everyone outside in the ally way talking and smoking.
“Arr, drunk sleepy Rachel.” patting her on the head. She took hold of hand and started playing with the bracelets. James came over and joined us bring me another drink.
All he did was keep handing me glasses of orange, I think it was his way of making sure that I didn’t end up with any alcohol so that I would be less able to fuck up and up set Alice and Tim. As well as mum and dad. I think more so them.
“What about me?” he held out his glass of wine, offering it to her, she pulled a face and shock her head. She was not much of a wine drinker, she like me preferred spirits.
She stood there looking at the bracelets, spinning them around my wrist.
“What time are you leaving?”
“When ever you leave. I’ve left my keys at mum and dads. So I’ll properly stay over tonight.”
I looked at Rachel parting the bracelets, looking at my wrist. She then just through her arms around me.
“You will always be my best friend before being my sister. I love you.” but my arms around her and hugged her.
“I love you too.” smiling at her drunkenness. She steeped back turned to James and pushed him lightly in the arm and waged her finger at him, not sure why, weather he had told her I don’t know, a part of me didn’t really care.
“I’m going to get a drink” turning round and heading off to the bar.
“Are you mad at me?” He asked looking in to the glass of wine.
“For telling mum and dad… No. In a way I’m kind of glad that they know.”
“Dad went mad saying that I had no right to keep something like that from him.”
“Was this before or after you told them your gay?”
“Before. Once mum had calm dad down… After you lot went to bed last night the two of us sat in his office, he was trying to finish his speech.” He stopped and smiled to his self. “he turned round and said that he didn’t care who we chose to spend our lives with as long as we lived by the rules he gave us.”
I started laughing. Dads rules, well I haven’t heard them in a while.
Don’t raise your hand in anger to anyone. Unless they strike first then unleash hell.- that bit only came about after we were all sixteen otherwise there would have been three kids constantly beating the hell out of each other.
Look after each other.
And do as I say.
We didn’t talk about any of it for the rest of the night.
The whole day had been wonderful. Alice looked incredible. I don’t think I’ve seen her so happy.
For once I felt like me.
Saturday June 30th 2012
Sitting watching myself on my lap top talking… hell I look so shit. It was the Friday before the wedding. It was after I had got back after trying to talk to James. Typing up my thoughts and endless babble.
“It hurts… not the cutting. The anxiety. The paranoia. I hate it some days I get freaked out by my own shadow, my own imagination freaking me out.
There’s someone at the window… no it’s just the fridge.
Not wanting to go in to a room at night because the curtain is not drawn and I think some one or thing is looking in.
Constantly checking the cubed where the boiler is is locked in case some one is in it.
It’s like living in a bad 1980s horror movie, being in my head.
It feels like your using wire wool to clean the inside of your head. Rubbing it in circles on the inside of your temples.”
Wednesday 4th July 2012Sat in T’s studio, Hampstead, it’s crossed between a tattoo studio and a crowded art gallery, with paintings drawings and photos over the walls. Two large sofas each with patches covering damage. A book case full of tattoo magazines and books. It had a lingering smell of a hospital. And a buzzing nose like a swarm off bees came form the back room from the tattooist needles.
T sat next to me on the sofa, head down eyes full of passion as he sketched, engrossed in each line and curve of the image on the paper. He stopped and held up the pad in front of his face with only his eyes showing over the top of the crisp white paper, showing me finished piece. It was a vine design with simple flowers in bud and in full flower.
“That I like” Smiling at him, handing me the pad.
“If there is any thing that you want me to change or don’t like I can always change it.” picking up his mug of coffee from the floor beside his feet.
“No it’s cool I like it.” handing the pad back.
“So… Do you want me to do it now?”
I smiled unsure and nervously. I’d had never had a tattoo done. I’d only had my ears pieced… How bad could it be.
“Why not, let’s do it.”
We went in to one of the rooms in the back. I took a seat at his desk while he prepared the design… His desk was covered with drawings photos and negatives. I couldn’t help but notice there were some photos from the wedding and one of all of us sitting on the roof that morning.
I sat there in the chair with my shirt on backwards and my bra un done, looking out of the window while he sprayed the top of my back and put the design on. The warm calmness of the gloves against my skin felt strange and un natural.
I heard the buzzing of the gun.
“Ok, just relax. If you want me stop just say.”
“Ok” I said with a smile. What was I doing having this done? This was just a spear of the moment thing, like shopping for shoes in the sale. At lest with shoes I could take them back.
The sudden foreign touch of needle touching my skin felt incredible. The vibration of the needle cutting in to my skin scraping along the surface, making my skin feel warm. It is hard to describe the sensation. Apart form it felt good. I can understand why people get addicted to having tattoos done. It feels amazing.
It feels like every thing has melted way… like I feel when I cut myself, but this different 100 times deeper and intense. Even more refreshing.
Thursday 9th August 2012
Covent Garden. Tourist hot spot and pick pocket paradise.
It’s been a while since I’ve been here after moving out of London I think I might have been here once, twice. At lot has changed but at the same time a lot has not.
The buskers dressed up in their painted gold, silver and bronze suits and dresses. Market stools selling the same London tourist toot, over prised photos and postcards. And to top it all off the Olympic 2012 merchandise and knock off merch’ those stupid mascot toys and key rings, bracelets and magnets.
I hate it, the people more so the tourists.
With their maps and their stopping here for a photo and there,
Its easy to forget that London is a residential city, a lot of the shops around Covent Garden have flats up top as well as in Soho there is a whole forgotten community that’s forgotten about here. A community of people that have lived here all their lives and now have their family in the centre of a tourist reliant city
Friday 10th August 2012
Standing in front of the mirror in the bathroom this was the second time I had been sick and the third time that I had cleaned my teeth. Yet it didn’t seam to matter how many times I used mint fresh tooth paste the warm stagnate taste would not leave my mouth. Nor the smell in nose. Like warm vinegar.
I opened the door and was greeted by mum, an instant feeling of guilt came over me. A cold hot chill and goose bumps across my neck and back.
“So. How far gone are you?”
My stomach turned again I stood in silence, feeling like I’d just been caught sneaking back into the house
“Charlie, I’m your mother, I’ve had three children, and I know what your like with hang over’s. And this is not one.”
“Eight, nine weeks” I didn’t know what to say. I this whole thing was over whelming.
“Have you been to the doctors?”
“Yes, I got a hospital appointment in two weeks.”
“How are my two favourite girls?” Dad asked coming up the stairs, kissing mum on the cheek. I turned and ran back in to the bathroom to be sick again. I sat on the floor wanting to cry. Mum handed me a glass of water. I was just waiting for dad’s judgement. And disappointing words.
“So have you told the farther?” dad standing in the door way waiting. I pulled myself up.
“I’ve left messages, but he’s away… I never meant for this to happen.” I knew what he must be thinking, the mentally messed up eldest daughter has finally fucked up big time. It may have taken a fue more years then expected but the messing about has finally short her in the foot.
“It’s your decision what you do… We’ll be here to support you.”
There was unease in his voice, an un-sureness of what or how he should be with the news. A part of him was restraining the other to not hit the roof and kill me. If I asked him truthfully I know that he would say he was now disappointed with me then he had ever been.
The last time that I had seen Adam was the day that dad and James had turned up to the pub after James friend called him. We had be fooling around in a pub and were asked to leave, we had moved on the to pub where we had run in to Steve Harrison.
Thinking about it this is more then likely when I conceived.
Sunday 12th August 2012It has been seven weeks since the wedding, Alice and Tim went on their three week honeymoon, haven’t seen much of them since they got back.
Been seeing the shirk still, every Friday. Dad drops me off and picks me up or he has even got us a cap and waited, it makes me feel like I cant do any thing, like I’m not trusted…
The whole idea of having to move back in with mum and dad seamed like it was the worse thing that I could have done. That being around them would just make me feel even worse. But it has in fact been ok. They’ve kind of left me to my own device. I’ve done my bit of cooking meals, and cleaning.
All of us were in the kitchen down stairs; Tim had his lap top out showing us his photos of the honeymoon and wedding,
I was feeling good, apart from being tired, even though I slept for a good eight, nine hours. Maybe it’s too much I’m used to only having four hours. I’ve been so used to functioning on less. Being wide awake after two, that eight hours leaves me warn out.
I stood behind Alice looking over her shoulder at the screen of the laptop looking at the photos of the honeymoon. I felt fine then all of a sudden I had to put down my tea and run off to the bathroom to be sick. I’m so pleased that there is a toilet on each floor other wise I don’t think that I would make it up two flights of stairs.
Bloody morning sickness, I feel fine then as of a sudden I feel like someone has smacked me in stomach and head. It doesn’t even feel like a hung over, I could deal with that but this I hate.
“You alright?” asked Tim as I walked back in to the kitchen
“I thought you were going to pass out, you went white.”
“No I’m good”
I went to the sink and got a glass of water. It tasted of mint form where I had cleaned my teeth and made the water feel colder then it was.
“Rough night?” James asked standing behind me holding his mug and handing mine back to me.
“Not exactly” I took the mug. It was as if in that split moment my heart had paused, stopping time. As the words came out of mouth but not sounding like my own.
“I’m pregnant” I thought that I had said quite enough so that only James heard, but my words had been heard. A strange silence followed, filling the room. Mum and dad carried on preparing diner. It felt like judgement day.
“I’m going to be an Auntie” called out Rachel all happy and lively, running over to me wrapping her arms around me and holding me tight.
“Congratulations. How many weeks are you?” asked Alice coming and joining the group hug.
“This is congratulations isn’t it, you are keeping the baby?” whispering quietly as she pulled away.
“I think so. I‘m only eight weeks so.” James stepped in between us and hugged me. This was not like him and it made me feel a little uncomfortable.
“Congratulations… have you told him?”
“No I haven’t been able to get hold of him… What did you say to him that night?” he turned his back to the rest of family.
“I told him he had any respect for you and his family he would stop seeing you, and if he didn’t it would not just be a restraining order that I would be issue him with .”
“I’m sorry” he walked to back door, pulling his cigarettes from his pocket. It seamed that he just wanted to escape, he seamed tense and uneasy with the news.
I was angry with him, he had no right to do that. And it was not like him to be dishing out threats. But then I had know right sleeping with a marred man with a kid. I don’t even know what it was that I saw in him. Sure he was good looking but he was boring to be around. Sport and figures about work was all he talked about we had nothing in common. It was a relationship if you can call it that, built on sex and drink.
He made me feel good, needed… loved. Even though there was nothing there between us, I knew this but I could not help myself.
Each morning I would wake up alone while he has his family. Even if I woke up and he was laid beside me, it would always be the same.
The conversation jumped between babies. Holidays, and work for the rest of the day. With comments to each other as auntie or aunt and Nan and granddad. Mum hates the idea of being called Nan, or grandma; she said she would rather be called Helen. She does not like the idea that she is getting old.
“Do you think Charlie will be ok?”
“What do mean?”
“Well. It’s just what you said about her self harming… May be a child is not the best thing to happen in her life right now”
I heard the slap of Alice’s hand, all I could imagine was it striking across his face. I was on the stairs heading up from the kitchen to the ground floor. I stood for a moment in the silence of the stair well
“How dare you.”
“I wasn’t suggesting she got rid it. Just that there are other options”
“I think you should shut up…”
I walked back down the stairs I don’t want to listen to them try work out what was best for me and this baby. Apart from the hang over with out the drink or the head ache I didn’t feel any different. The doctor has taken me off the medication which hasn’t made me feel any worse or better… may be just a little more numb.
Alice and Tim left, I didn’t ask them about what had happened, I didn’t want to. The thought that I had caused them to fight hurt.
James and I sat on the sofa in the living room in silence. I was think about what Tim had said. Maybe he was right, a babe was not the best thing for me right now and there were other options them abortion. Rachel came in with a cup of tea and dad with a tray with three cups of tea for us and him, after we took ours Rachel place hers on the floor and sat down on the seat between us and laid down with her head on my lap.
She took hold of my hand, after a few minutes playing again with my leather cuff bracelet on my wrist she undone it taking it off and throwing it at James. She rubbed her figures over the marks as if counting them.
“What happened at uni?”
This was something I didn’t quite want to think about, or replay in my head.
“I asked James but he’s not talking.” She griped my hand tight. Smiling up at me.
“Deep breathe Charlie just tell her”
James did not respond he just sat sipping on his tea.
“A group of us went out clubbing. I got a little drunk… I. I had my drink spiked. I don’t quite remember what happened. I remember coming round in the toilets with Phil trying to get me up.”
The dime lighting in the ladies seamed bright and a strange mixture of colour.
Fuzzy and blurd like a badly focused and develop photo.
And the dissented muffled sound of Phil’s voice calling to me.
“Charlotte! Charlotte! Shit girl what have you done”
“And her tying toilet roll around my wrist… She called an ambulance and them James I don’t remember anything until I woke up in the hospital”
2003I sat on the bed feeling so sick. My throat hurting.
My left wrist bandaged and a hospital name tags on the right.
“They want to keep you in for a couple of days and they want to have you assessed by a psychologist”
James standing by the bed, arms folded.
“I’m not staying here.” I got of the bed. My legs nearly giving way beneath me, James grabbed me. I leaned on the bed.
“Your not going any where… You’ve just had your stomach pumped. You’ve been drugged with GHB and…” he took hold of my arm lifting it slightly. I pulled it back. I felt like hell. I could feel the tear filling my eyes, but I refused to let them fall..
“How long have you been doing this? Why Charlie?”
I picked up my jeans and putting them on under my gown, James turned around facing the curtain as I took the gown off too put on my top and jacket. I slipped on my shoes and walked past him.
“Charlie!” I wasn’t going to stay here I walked out side. In to the bright sunlight, making me close my eyes.
“Charlie I want to help you. I promise I want tell mum and dad if that is what you want me to do. Please.” his voice full of concern and sincerity. The two of us walked round to his car he opened the door for me. Closing it pulling the parking ticket off the window.
We went and got fish and chips and we sat in a remote spot.
I was so tired, my stomach hurt like hell, my hand was saw and bruised where they had put me on a drip.
“Why do you it?”
“What do mean?”
I got out the car, and stood looking across the field. James came and stood next to me.
“To feel… Remind me I’m still here. Alive.”
All silence the spring breeze could be heard in the tree near us and in the long grass. So peaceful compared to the city in which we grow up.
“When did start to… To self harm… I don’t understand. You‘ve always been such a strong girl”
I smiled and laughter silently to myself.
“Strong girl. Really… Spending night, after night listening to fights, and tears. Reading stores to Alice so she would not hear… Do you know when I was at school I think I only had two, three friends.”
“You did spend most of your time grounded, in detention or suspended”
I walked away from the car.
“That had nothing to do with it. I Just feel emotional dead, numb. Angry over everything and nothing”
“We were all there Charlie. We all felt it… What dad put mum through”
“Really! You were away most of the time. You didn’t have to put up with all mums screaming down the phone and crying every night.”
“You can’t blame mum and dad for all your problems”
“I don’t… I think they managed to hurt each well enough before considering any of us.”
I watched as cars went passed us heading down the road and vanishing down a hill. The phantom noise of the engines fading in to the distance.
“You know dad was not the only unfaithful one?”
“I was home that weekend. I remember”
“Did you know that dad took me for a DNA test?”
“No I didn’t”
“I think that hurt him more then mum could ever do.”
James stood there waiting for me to tell him the results.
“Don’t worry you only have one half sister.”
I had promised him that day that I would tell him if I was in that place. If I needed help.
Rachel kissed my wrist. We all sat in silence until dad turn the TV on. Shattering it like a brick through a window.
Friday 26th October 2012“How did your family take the news?”
“Disappointed. Happy. Mad”
“Who did it make you feel?”
“Who did it make you feel?” stupid shrink I hate that question every fucking week. I’m as scared as hell to have this babe. I’m mental and emotional fucked up…
“You said awhile ago about being engaged… and you didn’t want to talk about it?”
“Yeah. It was about four and half years ago.”
“Why did the two of you split up?”
“A lot of reasons” I looked at the rain coming down outside. It had been like this for a week, it hasn’t stopped.
“Mainly me… I suppose… Over paranoid with every thing, he would sit texting someone in the evening and my head would be going, “he texting a nothing girl, he’s going to leave you“…. that’s my head, always thinking the worse”
He sat there not really looking at his note pad. Then finally he put it down on the small table beside him, moving the glass of water.
“I know that this might be little out of place, but I need to ask you something… Your brother is a friend of my colleague Simon, he has mentioned to me your brothers concern about a suicide attempted when you were in university” learning forward in his chair. For a moment I thought that he was going to ask about the two of them.
I was starting to feel like they were all out to interfere.
“I wasn’t completely my fault, I’d been drugged” I moved it the chair, my stomach was feeling uncomfortable.
“Are you sure?”
I sat their looking at him, waiting for some kind of reply.
“No…” He sat back in his chair. “I remember being in the club and the feeling so out of control of my body. My brain telling it to do one thing but it not responding…. I don’t remember how I got in to the toilets, I don’t know if I remember cutting my wrist or if… My mind is just filed in the blanks. I kind of remember my friend Phil’ trying to keep me awake… I don’t know how they can call it a suicide attempt. I never cut my wrist the right why” talking about seamed to make an imagery pain appear on the scars on my wrist, making me rub and hold them.
“When was the last time that you self harmed?”
I had never told him that had or even was self harming. Was this something that James had passed on?
The room was so quite and peaceful making ever moment that I was there feel like hell. I felt like someone was continually hitting me in the head and stomach…
“Just after I found out about the baby”
I went and saw the family lawyer and made out a will. I’ve put down James and Rachel as the babes gardeners if anything happened to me… If I slip, cut too deeply. Or if I come incapable of looking after it.
I thought I could do this but there is in the back of mind the doubt that I can. Before I didn’t really care but know there is another life connected to this sad messed up body.
I’ve resulted to seeing T and getting small tattoos on my back, safer then my normal fix. Being off these drugs is killing me, or maybe it’s just being pregnant.
Sunday 28th October 2012The most strangest thing happened today. This morning I went out for a walk to nowhere, I ended finding myself sitting at the back of the church I don’t even no why I went in. just for a moment it seamed like a good idea.
At home mum for some strange reason had got out a load of photos of us growing up and of her and dad before they got married. They were spread across the dining room like a collage of the past. I picked up a photo of mum and dad taken in the early 80s, between them having James and me. A young couple at the start of their family life dad with is career to give mum the life she and he wanted.
I headed up to my room in a silent empty house. Still looking a the photo. Rummaging in on of the draws of the dressing table I pulled out a partly used pack of blue tack. Pulling of a piece I used it stick the photo to the wall beside my mirror. I rummaged through the photos that I had of the wedding, pictures of the family, sticking them to the wall, the photo that James had taken on the day Alice had her final dress fitting, he had had printed went up. Post cards of art work from museums joined them with cut out form magazines that I had of articles and photos. Pitchers of days out with T. Along with post-it-notes each with un answered question or a comment that was flying around my head.
Will I be a mother?
What name shale I give baby?
I need a job? I need a place to live?
Will I end up with post natal depression?
I cant do this on my own?
I don't know what to do.
On the top left and side of the mirror I stuck the scan photo…
With an eternal pain and sadness I left the room, closing the door on my collage.
© 2013 sarah patel