Slut Detox – Free Chapter 12 to 18. #tangygiggles

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Chapter Twelve.kindle

Nearly three weeks of rampant lovemaking consumed our afternoons. I was unrecognisable.

When the phone rang and I heard Jerrod’s voice, my skin would curdle. Each day brought on more dread. My whole life had become a frenzy of desire and happily rushing back and forth to school, to groups and home again. I felt feminine, powerful and free. I was intoxicated on passion. April’s house looked like a flower shop with the daily bouquets of flowers I’d bought her to cover up my lateness.  Jerrod came back and David went south.

On his return he was more annoying than ever before.  He said he had missed the girls and me terribly, but for me he could have stayed away forever! In the bedroom surrendering to him became unbearable. I could have been a hole in bunker for all he cared.

Cough – Spit.  Game – over!

The smell of his closeness made me wretch. Everything he said and did, grated. Emotionally I regressed. Scrubbing at my privates started again. But nothing, could scour him out.  I wanted to have moist sheets with David – not this porous mammal.  One night I refused, it worked.  Then another and another.  Eventually his abstinence got to six nights.  Oh my word, the frustration in the house was unbearable!  He swore that I would never turn my back on him. In his defence, I understood; because before he went to Scotland, we were getting on ok. Really, I had no right to do what I was doing but I couldn’t explain what was really going on. Lying in bed one night I looked up to him as he stood in the doorway.  I asked him to sleep downstairs. Naked, his hands went to his hips and his gob exploded.

‘How dare you shun me?  You’re paid for – Remember, this is what you do? Don’t you of all people try this grandiose shit on me! You Owe Me.  Kids, teeth, tits.’ Like a rapist his cock grew harder, the more he raged.  He took hold of his penis and it pointed in my direction. Rigid, he yanked my hair back before he slapped me across the face. I yelled that he was just a disgusting fat John.  I carried on fuelled with bravado.

‘No one in their right mind would ever want you.  LOOK AT YOU.’ He grabbed hold of my wrists, shook me like a ragdoll and slapped me again jarring my new teeth.

‘Shut your spunk filling gob.’  He yelled.  ‘Don’t say one more fucking word! If you wake the kids, I am going to kill you.’

I’d seen that look before, it was the evil that came before rape. Roughly he pulled my face into his, then he span me and planted my face into the mattress.  My back was next to his beer keg as he rammed himself deep inside my dry cavern.  It sliced like a knife.  Even if I’d wanted to scream there was no one to hear me. He yanked my hair as if I was the enemy

**

In the safety of the hotel at Playa, soft spices from the restaurant filtered up my nose.

Inside the dining area, I saw a delicious array of mouth-watering salads.  Below, sumptuous meats lay inches away. I felt human static on my forearm and crimsoned as I felt the grey eyed man’s, arm-hair electrifying my own. Instantly, my pelvic floor woke up. I looked up into his piercing eyes and pondered whether I should let him hook me into his net. My mental maths began churning.

Looking at the lean steaks, a hot flush began at the back of my neck and spread right through my cheeks and navel.  I couldn’t look up at him. Again I was a furnace in the wrong time and place. I turned around and I was even closer to him.  Further up the buffet counter was an assortment of ripe fruits and soft ices. I took a step back and pulled my shoulders upright. I needed to get away, to stop myself, but as he moved around to find a table I fumbled just in case he wanted to invite me over.  That was when I noticed an envelope poking out from his back pocket.

He chose a table and sat with his back towards me, I watched him remove the envelope and forget his food.  Sitting three tables behind him, it slipped off his table.  He didn’t seem to notice. A cold frost seemed to come over me and panic fluttered in my soul.

For the last time I’d left envelopes unattended, my whole world had turned upside down.  For Jerrod, the only guy on this planet who never opened up mail took it upon himself to open my stack of parking fines from Aldi, I’d forgotten to burn.

How the heck was I supposed to know there was a time limit camera, clocking me when I had my mind on other things?

When Jerrod had returned from Scotland and was rummaging for Hope’s school shoes in the hallway he came across the first letter.  It revealed he had a fine of £75.

‘It says, it is the second reminder.’ He hollered. As I hid behind the other side of the door. ‘Come here, take a look?’ The look on my face must have said it all. ‘Out with it!’  He demanded.  I tried to cry, but no tears came. He shook me as I lied through my veneers.

‘When you were away, I couldn’t cope with the girls and I just got a bit lost, that’s the only way I can explain it. I went shopping there.’

‘You overstayed.  You parked for hours on end.  The blasted fines and the car is registered in my name.’

‘No Jerrod.  I didn’t.  It took me hours to get the shopping.  They make you take a trolley and you know they are filthy. I won’t touch them.’

‘You’ve fucking lost it woman.  What’s that got to do with parking tickets?’

‘People leave you alone in Asda and Tesco. But there you have to queue for ages.  You know I do ten runs on the conveyor belt.’ I sobbed pathetically. ‘Anyhow, I’d just sit in their car park and wait for school home-time.  Then I would go off and get Tia and Hope from school. I didn’t see any parking signs. Honest Jerrod. I didn’t see any signs!’

‘So these parking tickets are because you are frightened of shopping trollies? ‘

I curled my arms tight across my chest and said nothing, whilst I debated telling him the truth.

‘I think there are about 10 of them. I was too frightened to tell you.’ I fell to my knees. ‘Please, Jerrod, I will pay for them. It was a genuine mistake.’ His fat feet stomped past my crumpled body.  He pushed me to one side. I didn’t have time to stop myself. I keeled over and landed face down on the floor. The following day, after work, he came home all bristly and boastful.

‘You all right?’ I asked.

‘Never better!’

He had done some research on parking legislation and because the car was registered in his name, they had to prove he was using the car at the time. He thumped his chest.

The following evening, he wasn’t so bright eyed.

‘They say they have photographs of you in their cameras and they are going to send me copies.’

‘That’s good Jerrod.  You were in Sco.t…land? You can get out of it.’  I was stammering.

The next day we had no post. The next day we did. When the photos arrived, it was clear – as night and day; that the man with the gentle white hands caressing my face, were not – black Nigerian Jerrod and  I wanted to run, to use, to die. I took them outside and burnt them.  I found a bottle of wine and glugged the lot. The next day, I bought another and the next. Every time another letter came I burnt it and drank the nightmares.  I think he thought the parking agency had given up after his numerous rants down the phone.  Christmas was approaching and he was more excited about his impending trip to see his Ma in Nigeria.  He didn’t even notice that I’d picked up the drink again. Subserviently, I did everything around the house to get them packed up and ready to go. David’s number droned black each time I tried, so I had no choice but to spend the time alone.  It would have been our fifth Christmas together, and the last thing I wanted to do was fly off on a plane for eight hours, with Jerrod and no drink.

The day they left was cringe-worthy-awful. The girls were determined that they did not want to go so I had to sit inside the car until Jerrod reached the corner shop. Then I jumped out, and he drove away.  I couldn’t look back but I could hear their screams all the way home. Inside, the relief was amazing. I punched the air.  However an hour later my happiness bubble was burst.

Someone was banging on our front door. I slopped towards it in my joggers thinking they’d forgotten something, but when I opened the door a burly bailiff slid his foot over the threshold. There were two of them, dressed in black.  The other skinny one held out a repossession warrant for me to read.

‘You Mrs Ibori?’

‘I -I -I.’ He placed the envelope just above my hand and dropped it.  Instinctively I caught it.

‘This is an order to claim goods to the value of £1500.00. £1025 in fines, and the rest is costs. Or you pay it off in cash now?’ He purred.  I became really frightened. I told them that I had no money, that my partner had just gone away for two weeks and that they would have to come back then. They did not budge.  I fumbled with the envelope and asked, if he would kindly take his foot out of my doorway and excuse me whilst I absorbed this news. I had my back against the front door.  What the fuck was I to do? I read and re-read the red typed repossession notice and for the next two days, I was paralysed with fear.  On day three; they were back.  I kept the safety chain lock on, and slowly opened the door. Tattooed knuckles asked menacingly.

‘You got the money?’ I shook my head.

‘We need to come in and talk to you.’  The skinny man said behind him.

‘I’m not dressed. Talk to me through the door or give me a minute to get dressed.’

‘We’ll wait in the car.’  I hurdled up the stairs.

Swapping my joggers for a negligee, I found those stupid pink furry slippers, ruffled my hair, bronzed my cleavage and stepped downstairs. I opened the door and invited the men in.  In the classiest Cheshire accent, I apologised profusely for the inconvenience that I had caused and promised faithfully that I would speak to my partner and arrange for a payment ASAP. Somehow, they both appeared gentler. Slim, stood behind Tattoo’s muscular body.  I fluttered my eyelashes. The other guy twiddled his wedding ring then went back to his car.

Alone, Tattoo’s spoke gruffly and told me that I had eight days to pay up, or I was going to get a court summons for Jerrod to go to court in January. My innards gripped. I couldn’t tell Jerrod. He’d kill me if he had to come back from Nigeria to sort this mess out. Tattoo’s gave me his card and told me that I had to call him very soon.  That evening, after I’d talked to Jerrod and the girls on Skype. In a drunken stupor I spent the night searching every nook and cranny in our house for money or anything of value. It was too dangerous out there to even think, about working the streets for it.

Upstairs, I wasn’t very surprised to find lots of bookie slips in Jerrod’s suit pockets.  But inside his top drawer there was a collection of old lottery scratch cards. Some of which, I could see had unclaimed prizes on them. There were even a few that had not been scratched off. I came across an American Express credit card.  In another envelope, there was an unopened pin number. I found another envelope with Santander on it. Bingo!   It contained another credit card. Another blank envelope gave me its pin number as well.

**

The following day it took me some time to remember my movements from the night before. The house looked like I’d been burgled.  My head was pounding. I gasped for water. All around was scratch cards, then memories flooded back.

The postman had been, so I was guessing that maybe it was around lunchtime. I was wrong; it was 3.15pm. Picking up another brown envelope, I wrestled with my nails to unseal it.  Inside was a card with a picture of Christopher. I cuddled my stolen baby’s photograph to my breast and loss brought me to my knees.

This was the best Christmas present I could ever have had. He was so perfect, so happy and healthy in his t-shirt and summer shorts. There was no postmark or hint to his whereabouts, but I guessed, this could have been taken a few months ago on a foreign summer holiday. I stood it up on the cooker so I could watch him as I got water.  I promised myself I’d get it enlarged later. But first, I had to get to grips with this bailiff situation. I began at the cashpoint machine.

Shaking, I tried the debit cards. The first one I tried allowed me to withdraw £10.  On the print off ticket. It stated, another £290 was available. So did the other card. Jackpot!  I had £600.

I took the pile of scratch cards to the local shop and in total I received £187.00 in prize money. I was informed in broken Polish that two of the cards had to be paid out at the post office because they were over the shops ‘pay- out limit.’ In the post office I waited in the longest queue in the world. Eventually, I reached the window and was informed that there was £300 between the two tickets, to collect.

‘Would you like the cash or would you like a cheque, Miss?’  The postmaster asked.  I now had £1087. Like a rocket I darted towards my house.

I decided to phone Tattoo’s and make him an offer. After two rings he picked up.

‘Yeah!’

‘It’s Samira from Fleetwood.’

‘Yeah.’

‘You told me to ring you

‘Yeah.’

‘I can get you £1000. Cash. Will you say yes?’

‘Will talk to the boss!’

Then the phone burred and went dead. A few minutes later, he rang back and said he would be round at 9pm. It had to be cash and I had to be alone.  At 9pm his black Audi pulled up outside our front door. He tapped at the lounge window. Shaking inside, I opened the front door and without words ushered him in with my hand.

‘You have the cash?’

I nodded. He stood between me and the front closed door.

‘Show me.  ……………..Ok……………Count it out……………….?’

‘Where did you get it from?’  He asked.

I glared right through him.

‘You been working? Little bird told me you go by the name of Crystal?    Right!’

I had my headmasters head on. ‘£1000 cash – Finito’.’

‘Agreed.’ He leaned against the table in front of me and pointed at the receipt book.   ‘I’ll sign this in a minute!’  He undid his flies and moved gently towards me.  I studied the book as I closed my eyes and sank to my knees.  With the receipt book signed, he left. I stood with my back on the door, relieved and realised that it wasn’t that bad. He had appreciated it. As I heard the gate creak, I looked through the lounge window and stuck my middle finger up at him.  That was when I saw Collette watching me watching her, from across the road.

I celebrated with a bottle of red from the money I had left over. Jerrod was away for another few nights and I was a free agent. I could do anything. I’d never been nightclubbing ever and I was a free agent.  It was Christmas.  Living in Fleetwood in the middle of nowhere was the pits for partying, but in Blackpool!  The more I thought about it the more I wanted to go; it would be rocking. If I took the laptop, Jerrod would never know. I caught the bus at the end of the road and checked myself into a hotel by the North Pier for a couple of nights.

At 5pm on Skype, the girls looked sad, they were desperate to come home. They moaned that it was too hot and they were bored. They were fed up being around Grandma and the smelly dogs and cats all of the time. Daddy was always with Ade.

‘Who’s Ade?’ I asked at that time, not knowing.

‘He lives at the bottom of the garden.’

‘Oh, that’s nice.’

‘Mummy, I miss you!’

‘I miss you too girls but you’ll be home soon.  Three more sleeps to go. Then we can have a big hug.’  I tried to appease the conversation, but the girls were too miserable. I began to get annoyed even though my heart had reached out to them. Then I froze on the spot as I watched Tia grab Hope’s mouth and pull her face away from the camera.

‘Stop it you two!’ I shouted at the screen, but at the same time their big burly Grandma stood behind and framed the back of their heads.

‘Daddy says we are going to school in Nigeria.’ Hope stated angrily. My innards began to feel as if they were being vacuumed out.

‘That’s not right!’   The Grandma slapped her across the back of her head. The girls began wrestling and pushing at each other. I could believe what I’d seen. I stared blankly at the screen.

‘That’s not true – they need to go to bed now!’ The woman said crossly. The screen went blank. I tried to reconnect the call, but Jerrod’s status said he was ‘away.’

**

Something strange was going on over there in Nigeria?  Delirious, I glared at the laptop for what seemed like hours. My mind began a paranoid game of Ping-Pong.

What had he been doing? Had he been planning to take the girls and not come back?  He had got the girls passports in his surname and I had given him permission for it. He wasn’t coming back! His mother knew this; she didn’t want the girls telling me. Had he cleared out the bank account too? Does his work know?

Pete, Pete James the landlord, he would know something. Oh my God, what if he doesn’t bring the girls back! He’d paid for my implants without a fuss, now I knew why – because he wanted me to sign the passport forms.

He had had this planned for a very long time. He knew how much I loved the girls.  Even if he wanted to, he couldn’t cope alone with them.  Could he?  Surely his mother would make him do the right thing and keep our family together.  Was he that heartless? Am I making this up? She did say that it wasn’t true. I needed to speak to him. Why wouldn’t he pick up? Maybe I was right. What was I going to do? What rights did I have?  I had no rights.  My daughters and I had different names!

I kept coming back to the same answer. I’d signed for their passports. Everyone, was ‘Ibori’ in my house, bar me!  I had no rights; I’d given them up. The more I drank the more my mind wouldn’t still. Perilous thoughts stabbed my drunken state – millions of them. Thoughts, reasons, questions, arguments, revenge, a cyclone whirred. As the night wore on, I drained the hotels mini-bar. Crying and screaming, my mind came to its final conclusion.

It was all my own fault – because on the morning they had left, I had tricked them to go into their abductors car. At least with Christopher and Leon, Social Services had taken them away because of my prostitution and drug use.  Images of waving off all four of my children replayed over and over again. By morning, my tortured fingers had phoned his mobile at least a thousand times, but no avail.  I had an ounce of battery left on my phone. I needed to speak to the landlord. After all they were work colleagues!  At 7.30am a groggy cockney female voice, answered Pete James’s mobile.

‘Hello, it’s Jerrod’s partner – Samira. Uh, the tenant in Pete’s house. Please can I speak to him urgently?’

‘He’s in the shower Love. Can I get him to call you?’ I muttered thanks, and I thought I recognised that voice. ‘You alright Love?’  She asked.

‘Yeah……..The house is fine, there’s no problems there – here. Just need to ask Pete a favour?’

‘It’s not urgent?’ She asked carrying on the interrogation.

‘Just wanted to catch him before work.’

‘No worries.  I will get him to call you after he comes out of the shower.  In a minute Love. All right Dwain – I’m coming, I have to go, sorry Samira.’ She hung up.

I watched my phone for signs of life. Five minutes passed, then six, at nearly seven minutes, the phone began to vibrate in my hand. Convinced I sounded calm, I asked Pete if he’d seen Jerrod at work.

‘We’re not due back until tomorrow Samira. What can I do for you? Is the house all right?’

‘Yes, fine Pete. We’ve just had a bit of a tiff, nothing to worry about. Sorry to bother you!’ I heard the woman muttering, she was asking him if he wanted her to pop over.

‘Anytime Love.’ He replied. ‘Try not to worry love, we all need a bit of space, from time to time.’

‘You’re right Pete. Sorry, again.’

‘Goodbye Samira.’

After that call I guessed if Jerrod had planned to steal the children, he would have had to quit his job, and get his rent deposit back.  But then again, Microsoft had offices in Kano and he could soon re-coop the money he’d lost on me, over the years.  Maybe I was making a mountain out of a mole hill. Maybe it was just the drink talking. I decided to leave the hotel and go back to Fleetwood and wait for news before they gave me the minibar bill.

I debated phoning Grace but that wasn’t a good idea. The hours dragged and dragged. Minutes seemed like hours. The clock seemed to follow me everywhere. Its ticks turned into barks but after another bottle of wine, the ticks softened.  Stirred from my little nap, the Skype app started to ring at 6pm. I belted out of my seat and answered the incoming call. Tia and Hope were there, fighting as usual for the webcam,

‘Hello Mummy.  Can’t see you Mummy.  Where are you Mummy? ‘

They were so beautiful, both had a plait dangling over their right shoulder.

‘Hello baby girls.’ I hugged them with words.

‘Mummy, we want to come home!’

‘You are coming home tomorrow darlings. Where’s Daddy?’ His big fat crotch appeared at the rear of the girl’s heads.

‘I’m here Samira.  How are you?’

‘I’m good Jerrod. Are you coming, sorry, getting ready to come home? I’m wittering, sorry.’

‘Girls go to Grandma and let me talk to Mummy alone.’  He ordered.

He said he was loving the sunshine and making peace with his past. I wondered what he was going on about but didn’t press him. I was more concerned with other thoughts. He said that his Ma and the girls doted on each other, and she wanted them to live with her and go to school there.

‘They’re English Jerrod. They belong here?’

‘There are some great English schools here. I’m joking Sam!’

‘That’s not funny’ I stared hard.

He said he’d seen our relationship a lot clearer from over there and that he was really worried about my drinking and the bad example that I was setting to the girls. He said, he had asked me on many occasions to look at my drinking. Ok, I had heard him, but I didn’t think I had a problem.

‘Did I agree with him?’ He’d asked. I’d agreed with anything, everything he said, especially as one word could cost me my girls. He had me by the short and curlies, what was I to do?  Disagree with him! Whatever he asked, I’d beg forgiveness.

He told me I had to stop drinking and to go to Alcoholics Anonymous meetings. He made me admit on Skype, with his mother behind him that I was an alcoholic.

‘When I get back,’ he was deathly serious ‘we need to talk about OUR relationship Sam.’ I nodded.

He said, he was sorry for avoiding me but that was because he had had some stuff to sort out. I acted like I cared. As always, it was all about him. Eventually, he let me get away from his lecture and allowed the screaming girls to be released from their elderly captor.  They came back into view on the webcam.

‘Mummy, has Daddy made you cry, again?’

‘No Darlings, I am crying happy tears. I am just so happy to see you all and can’t wait until tomorrow. Be good girls for Daddy on the plane?’

‘Yes Mummy.’

‘I love you Tia, I love you Hope, and Christopher, your brother, loves you too.  Look he’s here, in this photo.’

‘He looks well.’ Jerrod soothed. ‘See you tomorrow Sam.’

I hung up. He was such a Tosser!

Those few frantic days made me realise that his potential for harm, was limitless.  I had made a terrible mistake by putting the girls’ passports in his name. He had so much power over me. I needed some help.

For the rest of the day, I racked my brains.  As I finished off my wine I came up with the idea of changing my name by deed-poll.  He couldn’t do fuck all, about that.

So after what I thought would have been a long drawn-out process, my friend Google, got me a £5.50 deal. I legally renounced my surname ‘Baxter,’ and became Samira Ibori instantly. Like the wigs, my certificate was promised within three days.  I couldn’t wait to tell the girls.  How Jerrod responded was un-important, because there was nothing in the world he could do about it!

Chapter Thirteen

I remembered the girl’s smiles shining in the darkened car then Collette running towards me screaming that I had turned this beautiful street into,

‘Fucking Union Street.’ Jerrod came out of the house and saw the scene playing out in front of him.

He pulled her away from our car. I slapped her across the mouth. She carried on shouting it out, over and over.  Jerrod looked really confused.  She turned on her heel and bolted back to her side of the street, yelling that I’d had men coming and going at all times of the day and night. The girls were still in the back of the car squealing for men.  Then Collette spat but it dropped on her foot. Pushing her squeaking gate hard with her butt, she backed up towards her front door.

‘I did it for your own good.’ She shouted back. ‘You can’t live here, like that.  I’m helping you Samira?’ I threw her daggers with my eyes.

Inside, our house was immaculate, but still my mind was buzzing with Collette’s words.  As I looked at Jerrod he dragged me over the threshold. I remembered my 7am panicked phone call, to Pete. I couldn’t lie, everything was going to come out in the end.

First he accused me of trying to kill them all with bleach fumes, then he got close and called me a dirty old wino. He slapped me round the face and bellowed at me before accusing me of having punters in the house.  I had to get him to calm down.  I had to explain the debt collectors.  He was frothing at the mouth, disbelieving every word that I said as I recited the debt collector story. His eyes blew when I told him how I’d paid them off.  He ranted that I’d stolen from him and for the first time, he threatened to kick me out onto the streets.

Over the next few days and weeks, he started coming home from work smelling of sex, again. I didn’t care, I was just glad of the break.  Our nightly game of ‘pull me nightie down when you’re finished’ came to a halt. At the beginning of April last year, I was in the Polish shop and I saw Jerrod whispering with Collette. It took me a moment to realise but they were flirting with each other. They hadn’t seen me, but the store keeper had, and anxiety was carved into his face.

I watched them quietly in the security mirror above the milk fridges. When he was about to leave, she pecked him on his cheek and squeezed his fat arse. I should have lunged at them but I had other things on my mind.

Steve, my personal trainer and my work-out sessions!!!

*

Back in the air conditioned hotel, Mr Slick looked down and picked up his envelope. For a brief second our eyes met but his face looked drawn. I debated going over and offering a listening ear, but the waiter appeared with a bottle of red.  A thought occurred to me.  I was a lot stronger than what I thought I was.  I’d quit drugs and I’d been wise enough to sort out that parking ticket problem. If I wanted, I could sort out this drinking problem too.  My hand went over the glasses rim as the sun was setting over Playa de Ingles. I played a game in my head, of guessing who the handsome stranger in front of me was.  I measured him up with my tongue.

I reckoned he was English, maybe Swedish? Early fifties, definitely married, a solicitor or an accountant working abroad. He liked sailing or maybe racing cars. His kids had probably all grown up.  Free and available right now! I guessed the contents of his letter were serious, he’d hardly touched his main course.

As I went back to the buffet counter for a dessert and who should rub arms?  I cupped the long curve of the ice cream scoop and licked it along the sides of the ice cream. Then helped myself to a medium sized slice of Tiramisu. I smelt his musk aftershave from the side.  He was busy measuring up my tanned February cleavage. I ambled over to the fridge and picked up a can of squirty cream. With graceful movements I drew a loop and we passed shoulder to shoulder.  He whispered,

‘Excuse me.’

By the smirk on his face he thought he’d pulled.

‘Think Again Buster,’ I projected forth.  Then took my bowl, lifted it high and walked swiftly towards the lift attendant.

‘What’s it with all these men?’ I asked him.  He smiled not understanding.

Safely in my room I blended the ice cream and tiramisu into a squelchy ball.  I mouthed over it, like I was doing oral and a thought came to me. Why had I always let men dictate my life?

I’d begged them to take me, to love me, to give me money, to use me; for sex – for children, for slavery, anything, as long as I wasn’t alone. But now with two flipping lumps of silicone on my chest, the whole world fell at its feet – for me, ‘Samira firm tits Ibori.’ All I had to do now, was breath. I sat on my balcony savouring the gagging sensations in my throat and replayed my rotten solo hen party. I hadn’t even ‘dreamed’ about our future together, once.

When I’d arrived I’d thought having my hair ripped out was the worst thing that had ever happened to me. But now I was beginning to realise that, it wasn’t. I’d never taken time for me, to see my old life from a different viewpoint.  I had raced on and on until I had couldn’t take anymore. I had always ignored all my pain and the people who had caused it. I had arrived without a clue of who I was.  I was unbreakable, nothing could ever hurt me.  No wonder I never understood the words ‘self-esteem!’

This week I’d learnt that I’d never go back to drugs. I’d learnt drink was my current enemy and I had to get to grips with that. No, I wanted to get control over that. I’d done it before so I could do it again.

I’d had fun on this island. I’d made friends and managed the undesirables. I’d take this island’s song home with me, alongside my freaky looking wind chime. With that thought, I went back into the bedroom to search through the bags that Dube’ had rescued. It wasn’t there!  He must have left it in the apartment. I had time to buy another.

Collette’s face sprang to mind. My belly constricted with hate. I needed to do something to calm myself down.  Images of ripping her hair out when I got back began filling me with glee.  My eyes began to itch.  My vision became blurred. A forceful rage erupted inside.  I needed a drink.

I began to pace and slam clothes back into the carrier bag. I couldn’t find my right platform shoe. I couldn’t find my handbag.  Bald, I jumped on my bed and howled like a kettle. I heard a heavy knock on my bedroom door. On answering it, the lift attendant asked me, if everything was ok.

‘Thank you. I am fine.’ I slammed the door, my bandy knees were knocking.  Hot, I squirmed. I needed a drink and that was that!  Dressed in flip-flops and smelling of Chanel, I stomped out of the hotel and quickly found a table of free liqueurs outside an opened bar. I gulped back the first, then another. A black shirted waiter walked towards me. I thought he was going to tell me off, but he didn’t. I asked him if I could sit in the corner, face the street and have a bottle of red. That was all I remembered.

I woke up the following afternoon next to him, feeling as rough as sandpaper. My clothes were intact, his too.  I dived off the bed and ran towards the bathroom to be sick. On my return he was laid on his side, resting his head on his hand.  He asked, how I felt.

‘Like shit.  Oh my God, I am so sorry for off-loading all those excuses onto you.’ I was so embarrassed.

‘So, how do you feel today?’  I shrugged my shoulders.

‘Lighter, I feel like the sun has finally shone, and my heart is red and clean. I can’t believe how foolish I’ve been all my life, denying myself.’

‘It only takes a good listener for a talker to find their own answers.  I’m glad I have been of service.’  He twirled an arm.

I replayed him questioning me with bloody ‘why’ questions.  He had interrogated my soul. On Why, Why, I did everything; thought the way I did and what I was lying to myself about, and why I kept on doing the things that drove me out of my mind.

‘Thank you for staying with me.  Again, I’m so sorry, what is your name?’

‘Hassus.’

I began to rub my warm hands over his shirt to iron it a little.  He laughed and said, he needed to go home.’

‘Will you be alright?’ He asked.

‘I’m a tough cookie.’

‘I know.  And you are unique, that is why, you are, what you are.  There is only one of you – in this whole wide world.  Remember always – You are worth so much!’  I blushed as his words rumbled.  ‘Kiss my cheek and take your truths into your new life, in England.’

‘Thank you Hassus.  I will never forget you.’

‘Why?’ He jested.

‘For once.  I don’t know, why!’

I pulled him into my arms and nestled my bald head into his chest. His hand stroked my yellow bruised scalp.  Finally he kissed my right cheek. I took a step back and took my last glimpse of this honest, caring, compassionate beautiful man who had said, never run away from your problems again, sit down and talk.  From him I found out I was a worthy human being.

Chapter Fourteen.

Sitting on the pavement, I smoked my last cigarette down to its stub. The bar inside the airport kept calling my name but I would not answer. The only belongings I had in my carrier bag were my pink platforms and a second wind chime. My face had colour, my head felt higher and my back was certainly straighter. The overflow of aggression that I’d arrived with, had expelled last night with Hassus’ questioning.  Ok, it had left me weak, yet my thinking, was clear.  I was ready to face my old world with new eyes.

Hassus was right, I was a fighter.  I was strong enough to take on the likes of Collette.  In fact, I was so glad I had no girl friends around me because they would have talked me into marrying Jerrod and sitting immediately onto a conveyor belt of wedding plans and dreams; pretending to live happily ever after without facing up to the truth of myself and my relationships.

I’d changed over the last week; I’d even got the flight time right. Ok, I’d arrived five hours too early, but the old Samira would have arrived five hours too late.

My first plan of attack was to go to an A.A meeting. By bedtime, I would have earned a ‘one-day clean’ token. The qualms that I had a week ago, where a thing of the past now. I was heading home with a different kind of crazy. This hen party for one was just the beginning of my new life.  I was a worthy human being and deserved a respectful future with a man that I truly loved and was devoted to me.

As my taxi drove along Fleetwood’s frozen promenade, the seagulls squawked from the hotel roof tops. A darkness weighted me to the taxi’s seat. I asked the driver to stop whilst I took a little stroll. I had to stick to my own words.  I was worth more than a moment of revenge.  I rehearsed my exit from the taxi, through my gate and into the house. Jerrod’s mantra came back.

‘Keep moving forwards.’

Inside the house there was another pile of envelopes which blocked the doors swing.  Kicking them out of the way, I slammed the door tight. I rested my back onto the door. The house was still.  It looked as messy I’d left it, yet there was a strange musty feel inside every room. It was cold. I could see my breath. I scraped and kicked toys, making a path. I ransacked through clothes and wires looking for my phone charger. It was nowhere to be seen.

Desperate for a pee, I squatted over our brown-caked toilet. The toothpaste had been left undone, kid’s knickers lay gusset up, on the floor.  From somewhere I could smell Jerrod’s socks lurking. The bath had a famous tyre of shame but luckily my pink razor was where I’d left it. The bright February sunshine of the Canaries morning, seemed a million miles away as I remembered walking in and catching Hope trying to shave her leg last year!

‘It’s a new beginning. Keep moving forwards.’ I shivered. I needed to get some heat into this house. I was going to be like those dancing hotel mothers. I’d do like them, give my time to my girls and teach them all about the dangers of life. Paint with them, do colouring and even try to bake with them. I could teach them to Macarena. I didn’t want them growing up with anxiety and separation issues because I was a coward and too scared to attach myself to them.  I stood up, warming myself with stale towels, my bones jangled with the cold. I jumped on the spot to keep warm then darted down the stairs and looked at our boiler’s flame. Jerrod had turned it off.  I was going to have to phone Pete and ask for help. I wasn’t his favourite person.

Looking for his number my clueless frozen fingers searched on Jerrod’s desk. I switched on his PC then I saw a note by the side.

Dear Samira.

I don’t know what the hell’s got into you?  I’ve taken the girls to Tenerife for a week. It was meant for all four of us – but you spoiled that. I’ve seen April who told me that you are in Gran Canarias. Can’t believe they let you in??? Lol

You will need to phone Pete to relight the boiler. Be nice to him for God’s sake!

Tia’s eyes are better.

Deano booted the poisoned dwarf out.  There’s a whisper that she’s back working on the streets.  Stop laughing………………………..!!

The police have been round and no charges are going to be pressed against you. Keep moving forwards.

See you Wednesday, you crazy headstrong bitch. (But that’s what I love about you).

Pete 07986598379

X

I had nearly three days to myself.

I opened the girl’s bedroom door.  Yet again, the clutter inside stopped its turn.  I kicked the dolls and clothes to one side and pulled Hope’s princess duvet, off her bed.  I wrapped myself in it. I switched the emergency water emersion switch on and made my way into the kitchen.  My phone charger was nowhere to be seen. I prized a stale cup off the sink drainer.  I re- read the note.

Opening the fridge door I gagged as a stale cloud of Stilton hit me. There was no milk, only two half used tins of beans and macaroni cheese. Pulling the heavy swing bin towards the fridge, I emptied the fridges contents.  Removed the sticky shelves and piled them on top of the cleaner dishes. I looked in the bread bin.  There was a mould covered loaf. I tried to open the windows but he’d locked them. There was no bleach under the sink to start cleaning so I knew I had to go shopping as well. With only euros in my bag, it meant a trip to the post office as well.

The burden of being home began to weigh me down. I sat on the cold bar stool and debated going to the off license. Making my way into the utility room. I kicked the debris of the kid’s lives to one side and looked under the sink in the hope of finding some cleaning products.  There was a bottle of cream cleaner and a bottle of lime scale remover. That was good enough to get started with, but as I reached in, my hand hit a glass bottle. I pulled it out from behind the U bend.  It was red wine. Still wrapped in Hope’s duvet, I unlocked the back door and threw it into the recycling bin. Locked the door and bolted it out.

The kettle had boiled so I poured myself a cup of boiling water. I found a green scouring pad and went to work on the kitchen, but as I moved around the wine kept calling me back. I made numerous trips to the grey bin, but the blue bin, begged me to open it. By the time I had de-scaled the kitchen and scoured it as best as I could and loaded the washing machine; I was gasping. Fortunately the emergency water heating had worked so I ran myself a bath. Whilst it was running I looked through the abandoned cluster of unopened mail.  Just bank statements for Jerrod, leaflets and advertising.

I collected them into a bundle and put them on top of the hallway table. To my left, I saw that the heating thermostat was pointing at eighteen degrees, I turned it up to thirty.  Then I saw a small brown envelope which had fallen down the back of the cupboard.  It seemed to wink at me. It was addressed to Samira Ibori. I knew it was medical straight away because the only people that knew about my name change were my G.P and social worker.

It was from Blackpool’s hospital, asking me to contact them as soon as possible.  I picked up the landline and dialled the number. It was the G.U.M clinic nurse who answered the phone. I gave her the reference number on the top of the letter and she asked me if I had ever used any other names.  She advised me that it was my old name that had come up on the sexual contacts referral form and I was not to worry too much, but the N.H.S had a public screening programme for sexual transmitted diseases.  I was required to come in for a routine screening.

She booked me an appointment for the following day but wouldn’t tell me who had reported me or even when the allegations were made. My mind began to form a list of past lovers. She told me again, not to worry too much, that it was for my protection rather than an incrimination.

My mental maths told me that it was that slime bag Steve from the gym. I hadn’t been with anyone else. Or maybe it was David? No it wouldn’t have been David!  Maybe it was Jerrod? I had been with him too long! Or maybe I was a carrier of something that I didn’t know I was passing on. Like Janice had hinted

Maybe I had been infecting everyone. What if it was Hepatitis C from the needles? Or God forbid, Hep B? My multi-tasking sober mind went on overdrive.

The house seemed warmer, I stripped myself naked and found a small hand mirror and inspected down below. There was no strange smell, no rashes nor spots. I turned off the bathroom taps and went onto Jerrod’s computer. I typed in Sexual Diseases and did a Google search. I chose the N.H.S Choices website, but it didn’t have pictures. I went on Google images and found the ugliest art gallery I’d ever seen. I double-checked with my mirror then screamed at the blue bin outside to ‘fuck off and leave me alone, too.’ I had to find a way out of this mess without the drink.  The Macarena Mothers would have had candles. I’d got some of them hidden away from the girls, on the top of my wardrobe.

I reached up and pulled two down. A photograph fluttered onto the carpet. It was a picture of two young boys. With a littered sock, I dusted off the boys faces and realised that the two little boys in the picture, must have been Jerrod and Ade. Why hadn’t he shown me this when he’d told me about him?

I bathed, re-salved and applied fresh eye drops before resting in the bath. There, a feast of questions flickered as I stared into the candle flames. I had lived with Jerrod for nearly seven years and I didn’t have a clue who he was, or what our life together was all about. Could he have infected me with a disease? A darkness sat on my throat.

Had I infected him? Why hadn’t they tested me when I was pregnant? Where was my phone charger? Why does he hide everything?

‘Keep moving forwards.’ The only thing I needed to do was go outside and smash that fucking bottle of wine. I got a fag. Sucking hard, I felt lightheaded and went to lie on the sofa. As my back lay on the cold leather, I soon began to cool. My hand drifted between the cushions and I felt my phone chargers wire beneath my fingers. I ran to my bag and emptied its contents onto the floor. When the electricity hit the battery a white light flickered and my phone began to ping. For once I felt something welcome me home.

Ping, ping, ping, ping, ping………………142 times it pinged. Then a message notified me that I had two missed calls and there were two messages in my inbox. It didn’t take a magician to work out that they were from Jerrod. So after listening to his ranting gob from afar, I deleted his voice and clicked onto the mysterious text messages.

‘How do you fancy a party for two tonight? Xxx’

‘Come on, you know you want to? Xxx’

I didn’t have a clue as to who had sent them. I didn’t recognise the number. I decided to dress, then delete them.  It was probably Deano or Collette, taking the piss out of me. I wrote the number down, just in case. Layering on extra clothes, I went back and rechecked the texts delivery time. They’d come the day before. It could have been another attempt by that sicko Steve to trap me again. The thought of him made me squirm.

I looked at my healthy tanned complexion in the mirror. Then I remembered David. He always used to sign off his texts with ‘Xxx.’

I dialled the 141 call-bar from our landline then put in the strange phone number. On the third ring, David’s professional voice greeted my call. I slammed the phone down and sat paralysed until a text arrived on my phone and pulled me back into reality.

‘You back?’

It was Jerrod.

‘Yeah. Sorry about that I had to get away.  How are you and the girls? xxx

‘Did you cash my winning scratch card?’  I was shaking.

‘Yeah and I took MY photo too  WHY Jerrod WHY? You had no right to steal Christopher’s picture.  He’s got nothing to do with you!’

‘You’ve stolen my £1000. You’re a stupid cow. I’d bought us all a holiday on the credit card and was going to use the scratch card money to pay off its bill. You owe me.’

‘You said that money, was to get married with?’

‘You didn’t say yes. Anyhow, why did they put Samira Ibori on that envelope?’

‘I don’t know, do I?’ I lied. David’s phone number kept distracting me, I held it to my chest.

‘So Gran Canarias let you in?’  Jerrod text.

‘Oh FUCK OFF Jerrod. If you haven’t got anything good to say??’ I pressed ‘send.’  Then re-texted as fear gripped me. He could choose not to come back!

‘How’s Tenerife? ’ I texted.

‘Baking, the girls love it.’

‘Oh that’s good. It’s minus five degrees here.’

‘Don’t go over 21 degrees with the heating, you hear me’

‘Yeah. ’ Venom was rising and reminding me of our acid love. ‘What’s happened across the road Jerrod?’

‘Nothing for you to worry about. She’s gone and that’s that.’

‘Working???’

‘I think so. It could have been you?’

‘Oh thanks.  Have you been down Union Street then?’

‘Give me some credit Samira. You know I’ve changed.’

‘Me too. I even managed to walk from the taxi to the house, without getting arrested ’

‘Lol’ he replied.

‘How’s the girls?’

‘Diva’s.  Tia’s eyes are all better now’

‘I’ve got her sore eyes now.’ I told him.

‘Have you been to the doctor?’

‘What for?’  I snapped digging for a response.

‘For your eyes – Dimlo???’ (It could be my fanny for all you know.)

I decided to ask a safer question.

‘When are you back?’

‘3 days.’

‘KISS THE GIRLS FROM ME, tell them I’ve brought them a present. X’

He didn’t reply.  He thinks he’s clever, well I’ll show him?

There was a small bar of charge showing on my phone. I pressed ‘call 07965989757’ and within a second David spoke,

‘Hi, it’s Samira.  How are you?’ A pressurized cloud seemed to expel from my mouth, eyes and lungs as I waited.

‘I’m fine. Fine. How are you?’ A great urgency fired up my spine. ‘Surprised to he… hear from you. Nicely surprised.’

‘Me too.’

‘Oh, it’s lovely to hear your voice again Sammy. It’s been too long?  I’m up here for the week. Do you fancy meeting up?’

‘I will have to check my diary, Sir?’

‘Please be free? Please.’ He playfully begged.

‘I can fit you in tomorrow, maybe around lunchtime?’

‘How about sneaking out to play, tonight?’

‘At this late hour, Sir? Why you tempt me with your games?’

‘I’m tempting you?  That’s good.’

‘You are so tempting. But just for a drink David. I turned my voice serious. ‘My life’s different now.’

‘Gotcha. I’m staying at the Sunrise again.’

‘Do they have a car park around the back?’ I asked with in-trepidation.

‘Yeah, as far as I know, it hasn’t moved.’

‘Give me an hour?’

‘Can’t wait to see you Sammy!’

I leapt into the air like a ballerina and a second later I remembered my hair.  Staring in the mirror, the bruising had almost gone.  There were just two tiny yellow shadows left. My head had grown a fine coating of hazel down.  It reminded me of baby’s hair. I chose to wear the blonde, it fitted me best.

I disrobed of my winter layers and slipped into a black lacy under-slip. Took a pair of black stay up stockings from the drawer and slid my toes into them. Dampening my fingers with saliva I traced the nylon up my thighs and checked the back seams were standing straight. Bridget Jones would have worn big knickers for contraception tonight, should I?  In a fervent state of excitement and fear, I counted two and a half days, exactly fifty hours to myself. I daren’t sleep with him!

I could whoop this house back into shape too; no worries!

As my car pulled into the car park, an awful cloud of fear engulfed me and stopped me getting out of the car. With my head on the steering wheel, I decided I would text him and say I wasn’t coming.  But just as I reached into my bag, I saw his long legs approaching.  I had to take that startled look off my face. I tried to give him a huge smile. He peeked in through the car window then opened the door for me. I undid my seat belt and pointed my black stiletto onto the pavement, then the other. He put out his hand for me to take.

‘Let me see you?’ He said.

Shaking in my bobbed hair, I raised myself up and out of the driver’s seat.

‘Wow.  Samira you look amazing. New hair. Oh Wow! I love it.’ (Still Dramatic, David?) My knees turned to jelly as part of me wanted to fall into his arms and part of me needed to flee like a diseased moth.  My phone beeped inside my handbag. I stood clueless yet rigid as again, he surveyed me from head to toe.

‘You look good David.’ I reported, distracting myself from Jerrod’s ringtone. He pulled me into his arms and I felt his breathe over the top of my hair. Again the phone rang.

‘Answer it?’ David instructed.

‘No, he’ll go away.’ I rejected his call.

‘Come on in, let’s have a drink?’ He fed me into his ribcage and all my bloody feelings came back like thunder.  The last thing I needed was a drink!

‘Uh David,’ I muttered. ‘I can’t stay very long. I’m not feeling very well. Anti-biotics!’ I fibbed.

‘What’s the matter?’ He looked concerned.

‘Ugh. I’ve been to Gran Canarias this week and the doctor told me I’d got this funny named foreign virus. I was in bed when I read your texts.’ He pulled me into him again.

‘One drink won’t kill you Samira. Come on, for old time’s sake.  We are celebrating.’

‘Celebrating?  Celebrating What?’

‘Being together again.  Is that not what you want?’

‘Ye.e. ah. I’m just a bit stunned. I’m not feeling too well.’

‘You do want me Sammy?’

‘More than air David.’

He lit up like a Christmas tree.

‘I bring you great news Samira Baxter?’ I stared back at him as he announced. ‘I left her. I left her and came back for you?’

A squeal came into my head. ‘Me? Honest?’ I sounded pathetic.

‘I’m in love with you Sammy. Have been. Ever since I first saw you with Old Walrus.’ I couldn’t believe what I was hearing.

‘Let’s get inside,’ I stammered, ‘before I rip my clothes off and run around this car park.’

His eyes sparkled under the streetlight.  He took hold of my waist.

I looked up to his face. ‘You just said that you love me? Am I making this up David?’

‘No, Sam. I do. Do you?’

‘Of course.’

Inside David had pre-ordered a bottle of champagne and the waiter brought it over.  He popped the cork and poured a little of its fizz into our glasses. We clinked glasses as he toasted.

‘To us Samira.  Let’s go upstairs?’

‘To us.’ I sipped without taking any into my mouth.

I played for time.  I told him what I’d seen in Gran Canarias. Luckily, he had been there too. He topped up my glass as we compared notes about our holidays. I told him that Jerrod and I were in a bit of a ‘sticky patch’ and that I’d gone to the Canaries without him. He said he’d spent a lot of time on his own, last year. When I asked him why he hadn’t called me, he said it was the hardest thing in the world to do.

‘Why?’ I asked.

‘I had your phone number in my pocket all day and night. But I had to make sure my feelings for you were sincere. You have a lot to risk, leaving your family?’  I nearly swallowed my tongue.

‘I knew Sammy, as soon as I saw you drive into the car park that I had made the right decision. I want to be with you forever.’

‘Just like that!’ I replied.  He looked stunned. ‘Anyhow, forever’s a long time David.’ I fumbled as I realised that he’d had this all worked out and he was expected me to slot into his thinking. (I could have the clap, for all he knew)

‘I love you Sam’

‘It doesn’t make everything right though, does it?’

‘Why are you being so cold? I’ve put my heart on the line for you and you’re pushing me away?’

‘I’m not David. I’m sorry. Believe me, I’m not! Inside I’m excited but this virus is making me really snappy.’ He put his hand out and stroked my shoulder. ‘I need to go home – to sleep.’

‘Aw Love, I’m being selfish.’ His voice sounded sullen. ‘This is a shock for you. I can see that. I realise I’ve been planning this for a long time and it’s come out of the blue for you?’ He appeased.

‘You can say that again and it couldn’t have been a worst time David. Let me go and I promise I will call you in the morning?’ I put a three fingered Girl Guide salute up to him clutched my handbag to my tummy and started to walk away.

‘Samira. Have I upset you?’  He asked.

‘No David.  This is the best news I have ever had.’ I headed towards the thick mahogany doors. I didn’t dare turn around to see the confused look on his face.  Yanking the steering wheel I skidded out of the car park, howling at the dark windscreen.

‘Why the fuck was this happening? I’ve got a clap clinic appointment tomorrow and I’d promised myself, that I would give Jerrod another go.  Why? Why? Why!

From nowhere I heard

‘But you didn’t drink, girl!’

I am a satirical author and have written three novels which I am now releasing into the big wide world. Slut Detox is my first and it is free on this blog page.  Slap Dash Queen is coming soon, then Office Gossip.  I am now in the process of writing – Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf.  These are all powerful novels with an edge of Self Development lessons, running through their veins.

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Chapter Fifteen.

By 8am, I was washed, dressed and driving along the A583 with an echoing rasp in my throat.

Twenty four hours before, I’d been in the blazing sun and everything was hopeful, but twenty four hours later on icy roads with a petrol gauge flashing, I was back up Shit Street.  I pulled into a petrol station and filled the car with £20 worth of petrol. I moistened my lips and sauntered into the pay kiosk.  I handed over twenty-five euros and started to walk away.

‘We don’t take foreign money.’ The cashier hollered.  I turned and saw her butch supervisor back her up. I said, it was a fair exchange rate.

‘Pay in pounds, sterling.’ She demanded.

‘I haven’t got any.  Take forty euro’s then.’  She snarled.  ‘Well, what am I supposed to do?’  I showed her my nails, I couldn’t remove petrol.  By the reddening on her neck she was getting annoyed with me.

She tossed a black book across the counter at me.  It was titled ‘Non Payers’ and told me to complete the form with my name, address and car registration number.  She went over to the phone on the wall and I think, called the police. I chewed my lip as I waited.  Then a fluorescent vested workman leered inside my coats neckline and offered to pay for my petrol for me on his works credit card, in exchange for the euros.

‘Sure.’  I replied. ‘You can have them all, I don’t need them anymore.’  He counted up the stash, smiled, took another glimpse inside my coat and went back to his white van.  Inside he beamed as he carved out a silhouette of an hour glassed woman with his dusty hands, to his work mates.  I made my way back to the car and one whistled. I smiled but when I looked in the kiosk, the stunned sales assistant could not take her eyes off me.

Outside Thornton hospital; again I didn’t have any money. I weighed up leaving the car without buying a parking ticket, and then Tattoo’s face returned.  I drove around in circles for what seemed like hours.  There were no spaces to be had. Luckily outside I came across a post office and got cash back.  By the time I’d parked the car and found the G.U.M department, I was an hour late. I stood at reception and completed my sexual health questionnaire, from there I could see through to the male side and viewed an anxious bunch of men, sitting on the edge of their seats. Their side was identical to ours. I was given a barcode number then asked to take a seat with the other women. I ducked when I saw one man’s eyes raise and meet mine.

I sat alongside a beautiful blonde lady, aged about twenty-five.  When I made eye contact, she scowled. I heard a nurse call out a number and the girl lifted up her belongings and followed the nurse. Later I heard my number and I was shown into a private room. First they asked me if I had ever been to a G.U.M., clinic before. The nurse told me that they would take a blood sample and run tests on it for all STI’s.  She gave me a leaflet to read. Then she asked me if I would like a H.I.V test?

‘Give me the works.’ I told her.  She smiled.  That made me feel a bit cleaner.  She then told me to go back to reception and the doctor would call me in for an examination. I waited for nearly half an hour before I was called in to see him. He nodded when he went through my sexual history questionnaire, then he looked up and over his glasses.

‘Miss Ibori, you have been invited for screening because your name has appeared on our sexual contacts data. We are testing you for every STI. I believe!’ He returned to his notes. ‘I need you to go into the other room and I will give you a vaginal examination. Do I have your permission?’ I nodded and got up to get my legs into the stirrups. Ever so gently, he looked inside with his spotlight glowing and thankfully concluded that everything looked fine. He took some swabs from my cervix and told me that my results would be back in a week.

‘Am I allowed to have sex doctor?’

‘Only if you use protection.’

I spelt it out to him. ‘But, I can have safe sex?’  I had to be certain.

‘Yes, you can. Would you like my nurse to give you some condoms?’ I could have bit her hand off!

‘Yes please. Thank you.  Thank you Doctor.’ I was out and whistling down the A583 as quick as a flash. I took the short route and drove along the promenade today.  Even the seagulls seemed to be singing. I sent David a text.

‘What do you fancy off the buffet cart today, my love xxx?’

‘What’s on offer? I’ve been worried that you didn’t want me anymore.’

‘I will be waiting at the bar in half an hour.’

‘I won’t be late!’

I drove like a mad woman to my house and when I ran through the door it was like a hot sauna in there. I quickly ran the shower and shaved all the necessaries. Coated myself in a layer of perfume and brushed through the blonde wig before applying a light covering of make-up. I found my white silk camisole and matching G-string, slipped on my full-length fur coat, black stilettos, creamed my legs, crowned myself blonde and was ready to party.

David was waiting for me in the bar dressed in a black Armani suit, white shirt and crimson red flowery tie. As I neared him, his rectangular smile opened wide and his eyes brightened with every step I took. Dragging my pace, I flicked my hair softly behind my ear. He responded by licking his lips.

Keeping a serious demeanour, I nibbled his neck just at the back of his ear. His shoulders shivered with the electricity between us.

‘What will be your pleasure, Sir?’ I asked him.  He murmured in a contemplative moan, then I clung onto his thigh and stroked the bulge that was beginning to harden I asked him seductively to follow me and bring the bottle with him. He rose from the bar stool and I felt the thickness of his manhood nudge my hip.  I began to rasp outside of the barman’s ear shot. David tucked me under his arm and asked what was underneath my fur.

‘Animal desire, and delicacies of every persuasion?’ I answered.

‘I claim you as my own Samira Baxter.’  He sounded like Prince Galahad. ‘Goddess of my heart.’ I was going to say Ibori, but that would have ruined the moment.

‘I demand you take me to your room Sir. Clamp me, devour me, mouthful by mouthful.’

‘I will do anything if you give me just a little bit of your life?’ He asked.

‘Only if this deal is sealed with a kiss, right here, right now?’ Strong, he lifted me up off the floor and held me in his arms. Our lips brushed against each other for a brief second then opened wide, our tongues linked like chains. The lift door pinged behind us and the doors opened. He held my hand and we took two steps inside.

‘May I take your coat Miss Baxter,’ he asked ‘it is rather hot inside this lift?’

‘Once we are in your suite Sir. Bide your time.’ He dipped his fingers in between mine as the lift pumped its way up the shaft. Then the doors opened and we walked towards his room.  Half way along the corridor he asked me to come and see the view from the landing window.  Slightly off script he pinned me up against the cream flocked wallpaper and ground his potency into me.

‘Oh Samira, I’ve missed you.’

Half devouring him, I replied, ‘me too.’

‘I want you’ His voice, was but a whimper.

‘Me too, but let’s get inside first?’

‘Undo your coat?’ A rush of heat pulsed under my fur, my heart trembled and my hungry bud dilated. With my hips spread wide I jumped up and straddled him with my thighs.  I pressed myself into him as our lips enthralled each other. I tugged at his tie and loosened his beautiful crimson knot with my fingernails, then grasped his collar with my teeth. His top button was undone so I levered it and undid his next button.  Still in the hallway, I felt a stray hand inside my coat.

‘Miss Baxter – you wear no dress?’ I flicked my head and leaned backwards at ten to three. Realising that was a bit of a dodgy wig move. I righted myself back so we were mouth to mouth and felt his hand underneath my garden. He was undoing his trousers and was going to take me in the corridor hidden by my coat. I wrestled myself free and spoke with pompous authority.

‘Sir you must wait. This is not the right place!’

‘But I want you, Sammy?’

‘No one eats, standing up in my restaurant.’ I landed my stilettos between his feet. Laughing, he pulled me by the hand and ran up the corridor, until he stopped outside room 215.

‘Same room!’ I sighed as we went inside.

‘I always have this room, it reminds me of you.’

‘You’re my Cockney Rebel.’

‘Not if you feel this.’ He took my hand and thudded himself into it. I went to my knees and undid his flies.

‘I remember your taste so very well Sir.’ His trousers floated towards the ground then I realised his hand would probably go towards my head.

‘Hold me by my shoulders, as I take you in my mouth.’

With my face directly above his manhood I drizzled a stream of saliva onto his nib and placed my lips around its tip. I licked it, ever so softly. Flicking his hips he gently massaged circles across my shoulder blades but I couldn’t relax. His hands moved and began to stroke up my neck and smooth around my face. I backed off before I was caught bald headed and slid upwards so we were chest to chest.

‘Take off your coat?’

Button by button I slowly undid it. Inside I had worn a scarf, I removed it and circled it around his neck before kissing him and taking his hands into my warmth. No sooner had his fingers brushed against the silk, his hands cupped my breasts and began exacting my nipples. My breasts were kneaded firmly as he ground his bottom half in to meet mine. I began to purr with delight. Dominantly his hands travelled upwards and swiftly he stripped me of my coat. A February dampness covered me as my bare skin was exposed and my coat twirled around my ankles, before it settled by my feet. He took a step backwards and devoured me with his eyes.

‘I want to take you right here, right now.’

‘Why Sir, you have waited this long and cannot wait, another second?’

‘This isn’t Downton flipping Abbey Samira. Let me at you?’

‘You’ll have to catch me first.’ I dived on top of the bed. A second later he had me clamped under his chest. He bit me on the shoulder and I yelped with pain as I tried to flick back and smack his pert, beautiful ass.

‘You hit me!’ He squirmed. ‘I will have to punish you Miss Baxter.’

I kneeled on the bed dressed in silk and fluttered my eyelids at him. ‘So how’s that going to happen?’

‘Like this.’ He pounced like a lion and roared in my ear. His mouth covered mine as he dragged my hair sideways. Cleverly our lips circled each other’s as bubbles swelled inside me. Suckling onto his tongue, I decided I was going to mount this half naked man. I jarred my body on top of his and straddled his rock hard shaft, hooked my G-string to one side and was just about to feed him in, when I remembered I had to use a condom.

‘David, I’m sorry. I haven’t taken my pill all week so we are going to have to use something.’ He sprung up to his elbows.

‘I’ll be careful.’

‘No I will.’ I reached down to the floor and pulled out my strip of ten condoms. ‘A good girl guide, comes prepared.’ I fizzed.

‘Get over here and ride me now.’

Squealing at his order, I rolled on top of him and wriggled snakelike. Rotating my pelvis into his to demand more of him.  He rolled me over onto my back where his kisses were hidden from my view.  My mind felt his touch as my body oozed with his lips. I wanted him to enslave me, but his caresses continued as he savoured every mouthful. I begged him to enjoy my creamy centre, to devour me.

‘Bury yourself in me Sir?’  I ordered

‘That’s a bit weird Samira?’

‘Let me put this on whilst you rip my panties off?’  I joked.

‘Deal.’ Within a millisecond the packet was ripped, de-foiled, scrolled back and worn.

‘You’ve done this before?’ He stated. I pulled him into me before he felt my skin redden. Once inside, sex lasted just seconds.

He apologised. ‘It’s been a long time!’

‘Won’t be before I get that old soldier, back on patrol.’

Always patient, I held him tight and searched for his mouth. As we laid in each other’s arms he asked me about the girls and I told him that they were great, enjoying life and in Tenerife with their Daddy at the moment. He asked, why I didn’t go with them, I told him that I needed a break and that I’d booked Gran Canarias, months before Jerrod had even bought the winning scratch card. David agreed that Jerrod did the right thing taking them away without me. Then he asked if I had any juicy bits to add to my Canary Island retreat story.

‘David,’ I pushed his arm, ‘I’m not like you.  I went to find myself, not play around with other people’s heads.’

‘Tell me Sexy, what did you find?’ His hand was on my tummy.

‘A naïve girl who was never taught to protect, love or value herself.’

‘I can do that for you.’

‘I can do that myself, I think, now. How do I know you’re not going to cheat on me, you did with your wife.  What makes me different from the others?’

Just them I remembered Jerrod bailing me out of the police cells.  He’d thought he was saving me from myself and look what happened. Jerrod turned into a prostitute shagging, fear-inciting psycho that needed a year’s post-traumatic counselling to calm down his rages just to become a tiny little bit civil.

‘I want you Sammy.’

‘How about, we just keep this light between us, for the time being David and see where it goes.’

‘Come here you beautiful Northern Chick and let this hard Southerner show you your future.’

‘You’re not hard.’

‘Come give me a hand?’ I straddled my leg across his thigh and sat up tall with my back arched. I bent my neck and began to lick at his manhood, before capturing his full length in my mouth. Moments later I felt his hands circle the crown of my head, it was happening and I was lost, then I remembered. I pulled up the sheet from the side of his feet and yanked it over my head. He told me not to do that; he liked to watch me.  I felt my blonde and it wasn’t right, I couldn’t run to the toilet to straighten it. I had no choice. I had to confess. With both hands I refitted it to my head and prayed it was straight.  With our eyes level, I spoke to him.

‘I have a confession David ……..This is a wig.’ I pulled it off my head to show him my new hazel down. His startled eyes glared. ‘I had all my old peroxide hair shaved off, when I was in the Canaries. I wanted a fresh start.’

‘You got that all right! What kind of crazy are you?’

‘Crazy, mental, stupidly in love with you. It’ll grow back David.’

‘You women! Don’t you ever get it? When you are onto a good thing. You all turn it, sour. You’re always judging yourselves about everybody and everything!’ His voice was dry and his eyes rolled strangely, like I wasn’t even in the room. I straddled on top of his pelvis and he pulled me into his chest.

‘Submit to me.’ I purred and locked onto his neck.

 

**

 

I stirred and looked at his bedside clock.  It was 3.15pm.  A rush of panic fired through my chest, I needed to collect Hope from school. I rolled to my right and saw David resting on his side. I shook him awake, wanting him to go and check my car for parking tickets.

Aroused, I realised I’d been dreaming because he was sleeping and my girls were in Tenerife.

I looked at his beautiful body softly snoring and ran to the bathroom, two condoms floated in the bowl.  After I’d peed, I glugged at the water running from the tap. David had stirred and was topping up his glass of wine.

‘You haven’t drank any, Sammy?’

‘Antibiotics…. Remember?’

‘Oh yes! Come back here. Let me at you.’ On bare feet I stood up on their pads and wiggled my hips as he watched from afar. I could tell by the sparkle in his eye that things were beginning to grow under the sheet.

‘I like your hair like that.’ He said. ‘Come, let me stroke your baby fur?’

‘On my head or a little lower.’ I moved my hand from my shoulder across my chest towards my tummy, ‘down here?’  I traversed. ‘Or over my tummy or here?’ My hand veered around the crevice of my hip and it slid inside my inner thigh. ‘Down here Sir’ He was chomping like he’d got false teeth. ‘I am a flame and you are my crackling.’ I stood tall and he pounced up onto all fours.

‘I am a wolf and I want to eat you, bones and all. You’re a bloody nutter Sammy.  That’s why I love you.  Come here?’

***

The following day David asked when was Jerrod back?

‘6pm. What time is it now?’

‘Nearly two.’

I twiddled the last condom. ‘Shit…. I have to go.  We need supplies!’ Giggling he pulled me back into him,

‘Stay.’ But, he knew as well as I, that we both had to do some work. I had a house to de-clutter, furniture to find and dirt to dissolve. Not only that, he’d awoken a tornado in my brain.  I could not make sense of anything.

I hadn’t looked at my phone for two days and when I did there were three missed calls from Jerrod. A missed call from a Thornton number and three texts. Again from Jerrod, but I tried to act calm in front of David. I told him that I would call him later once I’d got Jerrod out of the way.

‘Take your antibiotics Sammy, they can’t work if you don’t take them?’

‘Yes Sir.’ I saluted and scrambled into my stilettos and coat.  I ran out to the car. On my windscreen there was a ‘Polite Notice’ from the Sunrise management. It requested all guests to register their vehicles on arrival?

‘Bollocks.’ I spat on it and threw it into the glove box.

As I made my way home I replayed the last day and a half.  It was like I’d been floating in a cloud of David. He loved me. He wanted to be with me FOREVER! He had promised me the world but why wasn’t I happy?  Still confused, I opened the front door greeted again by more junk mail. I tidied it into the pile, found some jeans, trainers and winter coat.  I went to the shop to buy bleach, clothes and rubber gloves.  Radiating love I greeted the Polish shopkeeper with a spring smile.  He snarled at me.

‘You should smile more often. You might get some customers.’ I told him. He just scowled again. I grabbed the milk, bleach and gloves and gave him a five pound note then left him without picking up the change.

‘And make a few friends, so you won’t be so bloody miserable!’ I slammed the door.

Inside the house the piles of clothes and toys seemed to have got taller, but within an hour I could see the furniture again. I whacked the toilet brush down the back of the U-bend for the hundredth time and remembered, I had a strange Thornton number on my mobile. Before I could access it I had to sort through Jerrod’s answerphone rants. I refused to listen to them and pressed delete as soon as I heard him. I deleted his texts too.

I redialled the Thornton number and it was the hospital.  Quivering, I gave the lady receptionist my ID number.  After a little while she told me that all my test results came back, clear. I thanked her, grabbed hold of my handbag and threw the spare condom into the kitchen bin.

As I waited for the tumble dryer to finish, my mushy mind told my belly to stop pining for David. Something was wrong with me because it was nearly 6pm and I should have been getting excited about seeing the girls!  I thought.

I heard the car.

‘Open the doors, let me look at you all?’ I screamed. In the dark they all seemed much darker skinned. Tia was fast asleep in her car seat sucking onto her thumb. I unclipped Hope’s seat belt and she bounded into my arms. Jerrod’s door opened and he stepped out and stretched.

‘What a fucking journey!’ He said and flicked his eyes across the road. He walked towards the house. Over the road their net curtains swayed. Someone was watching us.  Jerrod walked away and left me to put Hope down and take Tia out from the car. A metre before entering the house he began swearing.  I hid inside the car.  When I’d unclipped Tia, he was next to me in the middle of the road.

‘Twenty-one.’ He bellowed into my ear.  He pulled my shoulders backwards.

‘You’ve got it at thirty.’ I realised it was the heating that he was on about. I pushed him with my body weight backwards and gave him two fingers. He must have realised that he’d left the door open because he ran back to the house to rescue his precious heating.

‘And it’s stinking of bleach – AGAIN!’

‘You were the one who locked the windows.’ I indicated. Tia woke up growling and fighting me.  Half asleep in my arms, I pulled her in tight and nuzzled my nose into her hair, telling her she was at home.  Hope was in the road with me, clinging onto my leg. I told her to get off the road and go and see the present on the coffee table that I’d bought for her.

Tia opened her eyes and saw my face, smiled and dropped her arms down to her sides.  Her body flopped onto my chest. I kicked the car door shut and returned to the house.

Jerrod’s was moaning. ‘Twenty-one I told her, twenty one and she’s got it on bloody thirty. The window key is in the cutlery drawer. It’s always been in the drawer. What the hell is she on?’ I ignored him and went into the lounge. Hope was rattling the coconut wind chime.

‘It’s a wind chime Love,’ I said, ‘made from half a coconut.  See?’ I held it up by its metal hook and the four strings with coconut shells attached, unfolded and tinkered in their rightful places. ‘Look, this umbrella part is half of its shell.’  I pointed to the dangling arms.   ‘These four strings flow down and hold onto four more small pieces of its shell, when the wind blows, it tickles them and they tinker on a piece of metal.  It makes a lovely sound.’

Hope grizzled. ‘I don’t like it Mummy.’

‘It’s scary.  Take it away?’ Tia screamed. I smiled.

‘It reminds me of hot sunshine, palm trees and foreign birds.’

‘It’s scary Mummy,’ Hope yelled again.  ‘I don’t like it.’  They were becoming hysterical. Just as I was about to tell them to stop being silly, Jerrod stomped into the room and pushed me to one side.

‘Can’t you see, they don’t fucking like it?’ He pulled it out of my hand and slung it into the hallway. ‘It’s Alfred Hitchcock to them, you dimlo.’ Dumbfounded, I didn’t know what to say. He pulled the girls into him and sheltered them inside his arms.  I needed to run.

‘Put the telly on Samira and open these fucking windows.’

‘Are you cold girls?’ I asked. ‘Did you get sunburnt on holiday?’ They huddled together on the sofa and ignored me. Both of them nuzzled into their thumbs and stared at the TV.  Cold heavy feet seemed to trample over my soul as I sensed the girls lack of interest in me. I sat by Tia’s side but when I pulled her into me, she squirmed.

‘Come on Tia, Mummy’s just getting told off, by Daddy again.  He will shut up in a minute.  We all know that!’

‘Don’t like you,’ she purred and looked over to the door to see if the wind chime was still watching her. ‘Get it away Mummy!’ I went to move it and Jerrod put his head around the corner of the door, curling his finger. I followed him into the kitchen.

‘This isn’t going to work Jerrod.’

‘What do you mean, this isn’t going to work?’

‘We can’t even be civil to one another.  Not even in front of the girls.’

‘What’s got into your head Samira?’ He opened the fridge door and a puff of staleness attacked him.

‘What’s that fecking stench?’

‘The blue cheese you left in the fridge.’ I said smugly and walked away.

‘Oh, sorry. Sorry for being horrible. I’ve had one hell of a week.  The journey home was horrendous. Kids got cabin pressure in their ears all the way home and hardly stopped screaming. Both of them! Then Hope vomited all over her clothes.  I had to strip her sitting on the toilet in the plane. Then the smell went right through the air conditioning.  Stop smirking Sam, I can see you.’

‘You’d laugh if it was me that it had of happened too?  So, how was the holiday?’

‘The holiday was fine. Did you not listen to my voicemails?’

‘I haven’t looked at my phone today.’ I bluffed.

‘Where have you been?’

‘Cleaning! Changing beds. Went to the shop. Scrubbed shit from the back of the toilet. Jerrod, this house was disgusting especially after that beautiful hotel. You could have cleaned it before you went.

Chapter Sixteen.

By ten o’clock the girls were bathed and tucked up in nice clean beds. Jerrod said the heat in the house had knocked him out, so he was going to have an early night. My immediate reaction was to dance on the coffee table!

I text David and told him that I missed him. He replied instantly and begged me to come over. More random texts came and went and by eleven o’clock, 51% of me was in the car whilst 49% of me was still sat dutifully on the sofa. On tiptoes, I went to the back of the house and all I could hear was deep breathing and snores. I flicked the lights on and off and no one stirred. Barefooted I tiptoed to the car.

Inside David’s arms nothing mattered. Underneath his loins, I surrendered my everything. Then my bloody phone rang.  It was Jerrod.

‘Where the fuck are you?  It’s two in the morning.’

‘At the garage buying fags.’

‘Fucking hell Samira, I thought you’d gone.’ He sounded relieved.

I tried to sound cheery. ‘Chill out Jerrod, I won’t be long.’ David nuzzled into my hair.  I clicked the ‘end call’ button, and then he dropped the sweetest bomb that had ever got near Planet Samira.

‘Leave him?’

‘What? The only person I’m leaving is you, before we get caught.’ I slipped back into my fleece pyjamas and felt his wetness drizzle down my leg as I leaned in for one final kiss.

‘This is just the beginning Samira.’  He said. It’s going to work out between us, I know it is.

My mother’s wise voice piped in

‘If they do it with you, they will do it to you.’

*

In our bungalow at 7am Jerrod was back to normal. The floorboards seemed to bounce as he paced and moaned. He couldn’t find this, he couldn’t find that. I felt stoned as I was half asleep/half-awake.  I zoned out on the kitchen barstool whilst he carried on f’ing and blinding about everything.

From where I was, the whole scene seemed extra funny. I wanted to let the girls lie in because there was no point waking them, until at least 7.30am; but he wanted them up and he needed me to know that he was back, and things had to be done his way or the highway. I told him I could manage on my own and I didn’t need him giving me orders, but he wouldn’t listen. At 7.10, he shook the girls awake. They wined and growled because it was still dark and they were tired. Then the noise escalated even higher. I tried to calm things down and hug them but they recoiled from me again.  I told them I would buy them a treat later if only, they were quiet now.

‘Not another wind chime.’ Hope blasted.

‘No, a build-a-bear or something at the weekend. Be good for me, don’t you know, I’ve missed you.’ They still didn’t come to me.  Instead they began to bicker even more, but this time I didn’t join in. Jerrod was banging around in the background but I told myself to just concentrate on what I was doing and ignore him. I found some school uniforms whilst the girls washed their faces.

Dressed, the three of us walked calmly into the kitchen just as he was picking up his briefcase. He looked shocked when he sensed our calm presence behind him.  The girls jumped straight onto his back and bear-hugged him. Then I took them into the lounge and allowed them to sit on the window ledge so they could wave to him when he closed the gate.  He shook his head like a confused pensioner as he opened the driver’s door.

I remembered the suitcases were still in the car and ran out to stop him, but as I reached the gate, he drove off. That was when I saw a big dent down the passenger’s side of the car.

I made the girls drink some milk and we all went to the shop. Greeted with another scowl, I bought some ‘Eat Natural’ nut bars and remembered the girls had no lunch boxes. I bought a sandwich meal deal lunch and asked for an extra carrier bag. I was surprised, old blank smile, didn’t charge me for it.

At the school gate, Mrs Atkins pulled me to one side and told me that Mrs Kirkham needed to have a word with me. She had my elbow in her hand so I couldn’t get away.  She then escorted us to the main front door where Mrs Kirkham was greeting every child good morning. When Hope and Tia reached the front of the queue Mrs Kirkham raised her eyes and smiled at me.

‘Good morning Hope, Good morning Tia.’ They walked on as she welcomed, Jason, Sonya, Billy and the others in the queue. I stood limp awaiting the mythical school bailiff. She whispered over the children’s heads for me to take a seat outside her office.

I started walking in that direction, but I noticed another stream of older children coming towards me.  They had come in from another entrance to my right. I sidestepped into their corridor and walked against the flow of traffic. I didn’t make eye contact with the teachers who guarded the doorway.  I just walked outside into the playground. I gained speed and soon I was outside of the school gates, but I didn’t know where I was. It had fed me into a different street. I had to wait until the road was quiet before I made my way back to my car which was outside the main front gate. I decided to phone David, but he didn’t pick up. I text Jerrod and told him that Mrs Kirkham needed to see him ‘urgently.’ He told me to deal with it.

I rang David again, he quickly answered, saying ‘I’m in a meeting,’ and put down the phone. So I phoned April to see if she was free for a coffee. En-route, I rushed around Tesco picked up three pizzas, vegetables, bread and cheese.   When she opened her door she looked really grey and withdrawn.

She said I looked fabulous and would have loved to have come with me. She asked about my holiday. I told her about flying and the heat coming up off the tarmac, she informed me that the people that were on the tarmac were flight control people, not polish plane washers. Then about the hot sands that burnt my feet.  The German hairdresser who shaved off all my brittle, peroxided hair and about Dube’ when he’d rescued me the day that horrible barman had tried to jump me. Her face turned from worry to laughter when I told her about walking naked on the sand dunes.  She said, ‘I was the craziest –most honest, lovely woman, she’d ever met.’

I told her, I hadn’t had a drink for four days.  For a nurse she surprised me, she’d never guessed I’d had a drink problem.

‘Trouble always find me April. Look at this morning. Mrs Kirkham was waiting for me at the front door, I had to run and sneak out through the junior’s gate.’

‘Oh, it’s good to have you home Sam… But, I’ve been worried about you’ She enforced. ‘How’s Jerrod’s car?’

‘It’s got a big dent down the side. Do you know how it happened?’

‘Collette rammed him.’ I was aghast. ‘He blocked her in with his car, making a T shape. Called her a dirty old hooker and a clap clinic special.’

‘No!’ I gasped.

‘Aye, Samira. Just before the bell at home time.’ She was cringing.

‘Who saw him?’

‘Aw body! Everybody.’  She translated.

‘Did anyone call the police?’

‘Don’t know. Is it true Samira, has Collette been a prostitute?’

I had to think fast. ‘I’ve heard it said a few times, but I’ve never seen her working the streets, if that is what you’re asking?’

‘Working the streets, that’s a funny way of saying it?’

‘Guess it is.  Anyhow, I haven’t really talked to him April.  They arrived home so late last night.  How about I give you an update when I know more. Did you know her partner kicked her out?’

‘Aye,’ she replied in broad Scots. ‘I saw her ‘doon the doctors with a black eye.  That must have been, just after you went away, maybe the next day?’

‘I wonder who gave her that.’

‘I think Collette was always winding her man up.’

‘Yeah – and the rest of the world.’ I mumbled. ‘Anyhow, tell me about you April, if you don’t mind me saying, you look a bit peaky today.  Are you feeling ok?

‘I think it is morning sickness.’

I jumped out of my seat and spun her round to celebrate.

‘Aye, and some other good news. Alex got a promotion and a wage rise for supervising the night shift.’

‘I’ll go and make us a coffee April.’ She smiled like a cat. ‘Let’s drink to that’ I saluted the air and decried.  ‘A new chapter has begun!’

My phone began to vibrate, it was David apologising for being short with me. I told him that it wasn’t a problem.  He was in meetings all day and asked me what I was doing. I had no plans apart from avoiding the headmistress and not getting the fine put in my name. He didn’t laugh as I thought he would. He told me he loved me, just as my phone beeped telling me I had another call coming through. It was Janice.

She asked if I had seen Jerrod yet and how things were at home. I joked and said, invite me over and I will tell you face to face.  She agreed so I headed over on the one hour trip to Stockport.

Her flat had been transformed since I’d last seen it.  It used to be a laminated cold council flat filled with donated furniture and toys but now it was an emporium of leather and lace. Not only did she have leather sofas but she had a leather bound desk with a matching designer chair. A 51’’ plasma TV engulfed one wall and the floor was covered with a beige shag piled carpet. A huge black and gold flowery patterned wallpaper, flocked down one wall and crystal chandeliers graced every room.

She offered me a coffee and I sat on a barstool by the side of a real marbled kitchen table, whilst she percolated some fresh ground Columbian coffee.  It smelt delicious.

‘It’s all Pete’s doing.  He wants us to have the best.’

‘It’s amazing – pink lady.  Do you know what else it amazing?  I haven’t had a drink for four days.’

‘But that was eleven or so days ago, that I was round yours.’

‘A lots happened since then Jan, let me tell you!’

The story rolled off my tongue as she actively listened.  I told her about stealing the scratch card, cashing it in, running to the Canaries, the fear of Passport Control. My haircut. The judgmental old couple that slandered me for being seen with Dube’, the bastard barman, the Scouse witches, walking across the sand dunes naked and about my impression of the Rui’ mothers.  When I finished my second cup of coffee, she spoke just one word.

‘Wow!’ Then looked at the clock.

‘I think it would be good if we could get you to a meeting, Samira.’ Her voice was kind. ‘There’s one just around the corner that starts at 1pm.  Come on let’s go.’

She grabbed my bag and we were on our way. Walking, I told her about the clap clinic recall, she got all high and mighty and told me that I should have done it years before, eventually I got a chance to butt into her nagging conversation and tell her about my results, and she showed relief.

I was welcomed back into the AA meeting by a few familiar faces. I cowered when they approached me because I couldn’t remember their names. I sat at the back whilst the countdown began.

‘Anyone One day clean? No one stood up. Two days clean?’ No one stood up. Three days clean,’ no one. Four days clean?’ Janice pushed my elbow high and stood up with me, whilst I introduced myself.

‘Hi I’m Samira. I’m an alcoholic.’

‘Thank you Samira.’ The group chanted. ‘Keep coming back.’

‘5 days clean?’ a chorus answered. ‘Keep coming back.

‘6 days clean?’ No one? One week clean?’ A huge clap. ‘Keep coming back.’ So, the mantra went around and it went from weeks sober pats on the back, to months to years sober.  For the first time in a long time I felt I was in the right place.

The chairman asked if anyone would like to share their story.  My hand seemed to drift upwards on its own. I started at the beginning when I was sober, only one month ago. I told them that I was in the midst of thinking about Jerrod’s proposal when the attack happened and the first escape route I took, was into a bottle. Then I had to run away to find myself but more drink madness found me.  Then in the midst of it, I met a waiter – Hassus, who asked me a thousand Why’s. To cut a long story short, every why he asked me, led to one conclusion – self-pity, drink or drugs.  Now I’m home and haven’t touched a drop of alcohol, but chaos has still found me.

It felt good to let the steam out of my bulbous secret.

One man told me that I wasn’t pulling myself away from David because deep down I wanted to cause chaos, so I could choose drink, rather than serenity. He advised me to stay away from relationships until I was stable in the relationship, which I had with myself.

I nodded, fully knowing he was right. When I finished everyone in the room seemed to form a consensus that I was juggling four or maybe five demons all at the same time.  They thanked me for doing such an honest share.

‘Honesty and gratitude are the only way out of our denials – for all of us.’ The chairman informed the group. On the way home Janice never mentioned a word about what I had said in the rooms, instead she talked at a hundred miles an hour about Pete, the baby and the nursery. I told her how defensive the girls were since Tenerife. She assured me that it would pass.

‘What did the waiter do on holiday Sam, you said something about a thousand why’s?’

‘I just told him that I was a bit stressed about going home, he asked why? Because he was a stranger, I told him the truth. Then he asked why again, and again and again. My answers seemed to descend down a ladder of truth which dug into my subconscious mind. Not the face that I present to the world, the one where denial reigns.

‘Why?’ she joked

‘Why – ask yourself why, especially when you are doing something that you don’t want to do.’

‘For instance wise Crystal?’

‘Like me laughing now when I find it really offensive, that you have just called me Crystal.’  Her face dropped.  ‘It rakes up the past and is s not nice to joke about such horrendous times Janice.’

‘I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to pull you down.’

‘I know that, it was only meant as a joke, but I have to protect my new life. That life has gone, even Jerrod doesn’t remind me of it anymore.’

‘Remember when we used to call ourselves the untouchable blacks Sam?’

‘That’s so sad Janice.  Let’s move forwards, always.  We are the untouchable pinks now.’

‘You betcha, right down to the cars and fingernails.’

‘Yeah, all ten of mine. I broke one of the door slamming Collette out.’

‘OMG, that’s so awful!’

‘Hey Jan, in the Canaries, I told everyone my name was Jessie, after Jessie J?’

‘Why?’  She joked.

‘Because I could do anything there.’ I threw my arms into the arm flamboyantly. ‘I can be whoever I choose to be.’

‘Why?’

‘Because I am worth it.’

Janice was clapping her hands like a pregnant penguin.

‘Gran Canarias, taught me that I didn’t have to settle for the stereotypical dream and the conveyor belt of conforming to a proposal or of repeating the same mistakes over and over again. It taught me how to grow up Jan. To respect myself.

Today! I even managed to get the girls up, ready and out for school– on time -no bother.’ Her clapping restarted.

Driving home, I felt tall and proud.

But when Jerrod came through the front door at 6.30pm I was the first one to be verbally shot down. He had spoken to Mrs Kirkham and was not a happy man.  He pulled up a bar stool and poked at his pizza and veg.

‘What’s this?’

‘Vegetables.’ I replied.

‘What sort?’ I grabbed the packaging out of the bin and told him what it said.

‘Dur…Broccoli.’ (Shit, I saw the condom packet!)

‘I’m not eating that?’

‘Oh yes you are!’ I parented. ‘The girls ate theirs earlier, and you will eat yours, now. It’s healthy.’

‘We don’t do healthy in this house.’

I pointed my finger at him. ‘Now we do, Jerrod Ibori. This house has now been declared as a five veg a day household.’

‘You what!’

‘You heard.’

‘Why?’

‘Wrong question.’ I laughed to myself.

‘That’s not funny Samira. You know what happened with Mrs Kirkham today?’  His eyes searched mine for clues.

‘No.’ I lied.

‘I’m getting fined,’ He was serious. ‘£600, for taking the girls out of school.’

‘I thought it was only £500.’

‘I didn’t know I would get fined.’

You did. I said to myself. Maybe that’s Karma. You go away, I get fines. I go away, you get fines.

‘This isn’t funny Sam.’

‘Did you pay it?’ I asked cutting him up.

‘No.  The school truancy officer is calling us in for a meeting. There’s a letter coming……………I was cold today.’ He finished.

‘Me too.  I only had the heating on for an hour Jerrod when the girls came in, so you can take that look off your face.’ He nodded.  ‘I went to see Janice at lunchtime and went to an AA meeting.’

‘I thought you’d stopped drinking.’

‘I have.  This is my forth day. I had to stop in my own time Jerrod. It took me a bit, to calm down after going through all that shit. I had to do it my way.’

‘Yeah, I know Love.’ (Love?)

‘How was Tenerife?’

‘Tenerife was beautiful.  The beaches had black sand.’

‘Gran Canarias didn’t. Their beaches looked like they’d come from magazines.’

‘I didn’t take the kids to the beach; they just loved the pool and played in it all day long. The water was freezing too. Did I tell you Hope can swim now?’

‘No?’  I was overjoyed.  ‘That’s brilliant. Can she save her own life yet?’

‘Give her a chance. Tia can do all the party dances.’

‘What, the Macarena?’

‘Yes, all of them.’

I was aghast; she’s only four. ‘I want to do them too.’ I went into the lounge and sat next to her.

‘Tia, can you do the Macarena?’

‘Yeah, but I’m watching this.’

‘Teach me?’ She ignored me. I should have said darling! I pretended to cry.

‘Please Darling, teach Mummy?’

She stood up and Jerrod put the Macarena on YouTube.’ He brought over the laptop and in seconds the music began to play. Tia sucked onto her thumb.

Jerrod threatened her softly. ‘Do it Tia, or Mummy will get the wind chime out?’

Hope slid off the sofa and pushed Tia out of the way, stating           ‘I will teach Mummy.’

‘Tia teach her.’ Tia pushed Hope out of the way, but she came back and pulled her hair. Jerrod lifted Hope up and took her away to the other side of the lounge and formed a barricade between them.

He grinned back at me. I could tell he felt really stupid but he followed every direction Hope and the dancers on YouTube gave. At the end of the tune, we were all laughing, but the girls wanted more. They wanted to do the Music Man.  Jerrod put it on and we copied; playing invisible pianos, trumpets then violins. Then they wanted ‘Superman.’

At that point we escaped into the kitchen, leaving them with the tune playing on the laptop. Soon it was bedtime. I told them to go and brush their teeth. Jerrod picked up their school clothes and laid them over the back of the sofa, ready for the morning. He told me that he would come down and have a coffee once he had read them their story. I wanted to read tonight. He took a step backwards and stumbled with surprise.

Little Red Riding Hood was the book that they chose, but I didn’t want to read them that because it was a scary story; especially when the wolf woos a girl, as his prey.

So I made up a story about a fluffy white tailed rabbit who loved little girls and always wanted them to be happy. He knew that boys liked to be tough and strong, but that wasn’t good when they were around girls. So when the boys came near the girls to kiss them, Bunny chased them away. He told the boys, if they were gentle and loving and earned good reputations, he would allow them to kiss the girls. But only if the girls wanted them too.’

Hope stopped me and said that she’d kissed a boy on holiday. I asked her how old he was and she said, four.

‘I kissed Daddy’ Tia confessed ‘and he’s 49.’

‘Urgh, Daddy smells.’ Hope piped in.  ‘Do you kiss Daddy, Mummy?’

‘Sometimes. But only if he’s good and kind.  I flicked the triangle night light on, and went to leave.

‘Love you Mummy.’ Hope called over. ‘Love you.’  Tia mumbled over her thumb.

‘Sleep tight en engels. I’m glad we are all back home.’ I closed the door.

Jerrod had made me a coffee and sat it next to my flashing mobile. I picked it up and had two blank texts from David. I hid it in my pocket as Jerrod asked me what I got up to in Gran Canarias.

I lifted my wig and showed him my scalp. His eyes nearly popped out of his head. He came over and smoothed over its hazel down.

‘You didn’t have to do that?’

‘I wanted to. It’s a fresh start.’

‘You’re gorgeous.’  He stated, stroking it. ‘It’s lovely, it really suits you.’

I recoiled

‘Now I know you are lying.  I’m all pointed and stubbly.’

‘I love it. Have you shown the girls?’ I shook my head.  ‘They’ll think you’re related to the wind chime!’

I picked up a cleaning catalogue and threw it at him.

‘That was a joke Sam.  You are lovely, honest.’ I took a step back and cowered, as I assessed him for truth.

‘Come here.’ He put out his arms to me.

‘What’s the matter, Samira?’

‘I don’t know.’ I wanted David’s arms. Not his. ‘I’m a bit edgy since I came off the drink.’

‘It’s only me. I won’t hurt you. I love your coconut hair doo!’

‘Do coconuts grow on Palm trees?’ I asked trying to make small chat.

‘Yes, but not the ones in the Canaries.  What made you think that one up?’

‘I don’t know. I need to pee.’  Inside the bathroom I text David to say I couldn’t make our date. I deleted my text and went back into the lounge. Sitting opposite him in the armchair, I looked him up and down. He looked relaxed and sort of glowing under the TV lighting.  He was fresh from his holiday.

‘How was work?’ He looked startled.

‘Same old. Saw Pete, he said you rang about the heating. He’s a nice chap don’t you think?’ I nodded.

‘They’ve got a great set up in Stockport, Jerrod. They live like kings and we are paying for it, with our rent money.’

‘Good for them, we won’t be soon, though.’

‘What do you mean?’

‘I told you before you pissed off on your jolly, that I was thinking of making Pete an offer on the bungalow and getting a mortgage.’ It was my turn to be shocked.

‘What with them across the road?’

‘Property’s property. It’s an investment for all of us. We will be able to leave it to the girls.’

‘That’s like!  A mortgage!  For twenty five years?’ I calculated. ‘Me and you, us together!’ I was astonished. He looked confused.

‘Of course!  That’s why I asked you to marry me?’

I gawped. ‘I never thought you were really serious.  Me, be a bride!’

‘I love you Samira.’

*

The phone rang and it was April.  She said she was in excruciating pain, I offered to go over but she said she just needed to moan.  I arranged to drive Lucy to school for her then advised her to relax and have a lie in, in the morning.  When I arrived April said that she it must have been wind and a panic attack mixed together, because it had gone when she woke up. Regardless, I got a shopping list off her and arranged to bring it back at three, when I dropped off Lucy.

I drove back to our house, hoovered, mopped and left a fresh trail of bleach fumes. I took a moment to look at my new lingerie in the mirror and Seductive Samira, smiled back at me. Strutting in my stilettoes, I left my nearly married home and walked up the path, I couldn’t find my car key.  In my mind, I could see it on the side, by the mail. I kicked the door but it didn’t budge. I tried the windows but they were all locked. I reached up for the little bathroom window but I wasn’t tall enough. I pushed it with the yard brush then pulled a chair over from the front doorway. Freezing, I pulled over the grey wheelie bin.

Barefooted, I climbed onto the chair.  Then the grey bin.  I peeked my head through the window. I squeezed it in and wriggled my head to the side. I squeezed my shoulders through. My stockinged feet began to stick with the frost on the bin. I lifted my weight onto the window frame and yanked myself up. With my breasts inside and my legs at ten to eleven, I swung on the windows cross bar. Tipping my right hand I reached down and hand-walked from the inside window ledge onto the sinks edge.  I reached for the bath sill. Then my ruby red fell off and knocked over the tumbler, containing the toothbrushes. Hope’s pink Princess toothbrush caught in my hair alongside Jerrod’s silver razor.

I weighted my pubic bone onto the edge of the window’s trim and counted to three.  Then dived another four inches as I felt my thighs slide off the plastic window frame.  I landed on the floors lino totally humiliated with holes in my stockings.

Going out to meet David was a mistake. I realised Karma had locked me out. I needed to get myself to an AA meeting not sitting on top of him.  With that thought, my breathing began to calm and a weird thought came to mind.

Today, there was no animosity between Jerrod and me.

We had laughed, danced and for once I’d felt safe around him.  He hadn’t even tried to have sex with me.  Last night we’d slept big-spoon/little spoon and although it was creepy, I fell asleep inside his arms.

In the bathroom I held out my calm hands and saw a bloody age spot. I was horrified. I put on my jeans, found my key, opened the front door, picked up the grey bin and loose condom then went back indoors to read my AA book but googled and found and AA meeting near me, that  was about to start.

**

In the meeting I didn’t share anything that day. I listened and understood that there was a message of survival in everyone else’s stories. I sat in honesty when I looked at myself and saw the faults I needed to change. When I told Jerrod that I had been to another meeting, he told me that he saw a change in me.

He pulled me into him and put his arms around me. I felt his breath and kisses around my ear then I tensed as I felt him harden. Luckily, he pulled away and went to read the mail that was in the hallway.

I called him back for his dinner.

‘I need sunglasses.’  He joked.

‘They’re carrots Jerrod!’

‘No not for the carrots Love. It’s you; you look so, radiant.’

‘Have you had a head transplant or something? What was in the water over there?’ He took my age spotted hand and softly smoothed his lips over it.

‘Ten.’ He counted. ‘My lady has ten pink fingernails back. Hallelujah!’ He jived me under his sweaty armpit but as I twirled the girls came in and fought me, for his hand.

‘I can only juggle two of you?’ He said laughing.

‘No – three Daddy.’ I managed to keep his right hand as the girls shared his left then we all became dizzy and dropped off, one by one.

‘Who wants an apple?’ I asked, to six startled eyes. ‘It will make us reach our five-a-day.’ Jerrod’s head was wagging from side to side.

‘The girls will have one.’ He stated. ‘Hey I’ve been meaning to ask you Sam.   How come it said Samira Ibori on that letter with Christopher’s photograph?’

It was me that looked stunned then. ‘There’s a really good reason Jerrod, but first let’s put the girls to bed.’

‘Oh, I can’t wait to hear this one!’ He added sarcastically.

‘Have you got our name too Mummy?’ Hope butted in.

‘Kind of?’ Jerrod glared at me with shadows behind his eyes.

‘What do you mean ‘kind of?’  He spat.

I whimpered. ‘Argh. Please, five minutes?’ He turned towards the girls.

‘Girls go and brush your teeth and Daddy will come and check them.’ He chased them out of the room, turned to me and said,

‘Spill?’

‘Last year when you were in Nigeria with the girls and I had the bailiffs round and you wouldn’t talk to me on Skype. I heard your mother talk about putting the girls into school in Nigeria.  Well I went off on one.’

He interrupted my ramble. ‘You went on a bender?’ I didn’t acknowledge his stab.

‘I started to believe that you had done a runner with the girls and that you wouldn’t be bringing them back.’

‘I could never do that Sam!’  His eyes were sad. ‘You’re their mother.’

‘Well I didn’t know that?’ I whined.

‘You gave birth to them.’

‘I know that. I mean. I wasn’t their mother by name though. They are in your name on their birth certificates and on their passports. It was important to me.  I had no real rights.’

‘You’re deluded Sam. I’d never take them away from you, no matter how bad you were. You’re everything to them.’

‘Well I didn’t know that. Did I?’  I snapped. ‘Anyhow, I panicked, and changed my name by deed poll. The only people that know, are Grace, the doctor and now you.’ I waited for his slap but it didn’t come.

The girl’s voices reached us.

‘Daddy. We want our story.’

‘Just coming. You’re amazing Samira Ibori.  Come here?’ He pulled me into him and hugged me like a bear.

‘In the words of Dan Quayle,’ he stated. ‘We will move forward, upwards and yes, we will move onwards’

‘Right Jerrod,’ I pacified. ‘I’m going to read to the girls.’ I tried to escape his philosophies.

‘We will read them a story together. Let’s do it.’ With teeth like diamonds, the girls smiled as we entered the room.

‘Tell us the story about the kissing bunny Mummy?’ Tia asked, then inserted her thumb.

‘Tell us your love story, Mummy.’  Hope asked. ‘Did the bunny let Daddy kiss you when you were little?’

‘No, Daddy and I were grown-ups when we first met.’

‘Did you meet him at the disco?’

‘Not quite!’ I didn’t know what to say, I looked at Jerrod.

He blushed and asked,

‘Where do we begin?

Chapter Seventeen.

For we, had met on the streets of Manchester. Union Street to be exact. I’d spent the morning at my mother’s cremation and ten minutes later, I was scratching lumps out of my arms as I gave a regular, Jerrod – head.  I needed the money for heroin, to make me forget.

As I wiped my mouth, he offered again, to take me away from this life.

‘This ain’t no Pretty Woman Jerrod.’ I told him. ‘I’m a hooker. I fuck men for money, for drugs?’

‘Why are you being so horrible to me?’  He asked.  ‘I only offered to help you.’

‘Well, give me more money.’

‘I’ll give you what you need, not what you want Crystal.’

‘Why?’

‘Because I like you.’

The next day I was in his hotel’s bathroom and my grey half dead face was leering back from the mirror. My hair was a bird’s nest of peroxide green. My skin was translucent and I had huge black bags around my eyes.  My face had a black/blue tinge to it and I was covered in bruises. The scales read, six stone, three pounds. My teeth and green tongue made me want to vomit. Eventually the bath was full enough for me to get in. I phoned Janice and got her to score, then meet me in the bus stop opposite the hotel, in an hour.

‘He’ll be sticking you in a helicopter next. ‘She joked as I hid my rotten carcass under the water. But she couldn’t have been more wrong; because when I entered the bedroom he was butt naked.  He tiptoed past me and put himself into my dirty bath water. Aghast, I dried myself inside one of the hotels massive white dressing gowns. I sat on the bed waiting for him and he came back with a bag.  Inside there was a black silky dress. I slid it over my head.  It flopped down to the ground.  I collected the straps and hung them back over my shoulders.  It looked like a sack.  Jerrod told me I looked lovely.

‘You’re taking the piss.’

‘Honest Crystal,’ He stated.  ‘You look really pretty.’

‘I would if I had some tits to hold it up. Look at me Jerrod I’m a fucking mess.’

‘Crystal.  Let me help you come off the drugs and get you well.  I can find us somewhere to live?’

‘Are you going to kidnap me?’ I accused at the top of my voice. ‘You’ve locked me in.  Are you going to kill me?’

‘I’m offering to help you. I like you. How many times do I have to tell you?’

‘I want to go.’

‘You’re free to go, but don’t you want to enjoy our time together?’

‘I don’t enjoy time with punters. I fuck wankers like you for money. I’m a whore.’

‘Hell.  I like you.’ He repeated.

‘You’re fucking nuts.’

‘You’re right.  But we get on ok, don’t we Crystal?’

‘As customers, not lovers! I need to go. I climbed back into my street clothes. ‘I have a friend outside and maybe you need to listen to yourself.’ I looked back and I’d never seen anyone look as sad, when I left.  He stayed away for a few weeks then we girls got arrested, and in the morning I only had one phone number that was safe to call. Gladly he picked me up.

I was clucking and terrified. Not terrified of the impending court case but terrified of going with Jerrod and not being able to score drugs. I knew Kez would go ballistic if I went off with a John, so when we left the station and he saw us from across the road. I kept my head down to protect Jerrod’s identity.  Back in his hotel room drinking whisky, a black cloud came over me, I was alone without chaos, for the first time since I could remember.  Then I heard him talking on the phone.

‘Bring an extra-large breakfast up to my room.  Yes, with everything.  As soon as possible.’ He drank from a bottle of Evian.  With dirt encased fingernails I stood in front of him tearing strips out of my arms. He looked at me with a kind softness behind his eyes. Then told me he’d run a bath.  Once naked he sent my clothes off somewhere to be cleaned. I put my hand in front of my mouth and blew.  My breath smelt of heroin, whisky and stale phlegm. I looked in the mirror. My black framed eyes glared back.  I was the image of my dead mother.  I heard her dry slurring dead voice, for the first time.

‘Look at the state of you!’ I hid under the bath waters and held my breath.  I was too scared to come up for air. However, Jerrod the Fucking Baptist came in, and yanked me out.  Shaking, he laid me on the cold tiled floor.

‘What are you doing, you could have drowned?’ His face was swollen with grief.

‘Get me a drink.’

‘You’ve had enough, lady. Eat.’  He ordered.

‘I don’t eat.  I’m going!’

‘Oh no you’re not.’ He grabbed my black/blue arms and opened his hand.  He showed me two blue pills. I snatched and swallowed them whole.

‘I need more than that, to stay Jerrod.’

‘There’s more.  You can wait.’

‘Give me them now?’ I screamed.

He began to walk away. ‘I will, later.’ And that was that.

Three days later I woke up and remembered going through the sweats, the cramps, him forcing water into my mouth and him wiping the sweat off my body. He’d scored some Skunk and rolled us a joint.  This was to be the next stage of my rehabilitation; but I hated weed. I hated the smell, the paranoia, the taste, but beggars couldn’t be choosers! After a week off heroin, my body stopped wrenching, my skin looked clearer and I could look out of the window without wanting to jump. My head was still scheming up ways of scoring drugs but I increased the volume on the TV to blank them out.  Sometimes, I needed to shout, to wail into the night, but after a while, the skunk began to taste ok and do its job.

A couple of weeks into it, I started to look half human and a miracle happened. I had a spot of blood in my knickers. I’d never really had much of a period like the other girls that I’d known who bled profusely. In fact I didn’t have a lot of anything. Boobs, teeth or hips. But somehow I had managed to have two babies in the midst of my drug use. Jerrod praised the blood like it was a Summer Solstice and reported that my body was healing.

Soon, I put on a few pounds and looked much better.  I think we’d been in the hotel for just over three weeks when Jerrod told me that we were moving to Stockport. He felt it was a safe distance, away from all my ‘old cronies,’ but close enough for him to commute. We moved into a third floor, tiny one-bedroomed flat. I had my hair dyed and cut and with make-up on, I blended into crowds, but I wouldn’t go out alone.  How could I?  I knew I’d go back to the streets and score. However, I did get bored in the flat. There was only so much Jeremy Kyle, Doctors, Relocation, Relocation; that anyone could watch, without ugly memories rearing their putrid heads.

Every day my mind was full of grief for Christopher and Leon. I needed to know what they were doing. I had to know what they looked like. I’d harass Social Services and beg them for photographs but they wouldn’t tell me anything. My paranoia told me it was all my fault and I knew it was, but I missed them dreadfully.  I had to say sorry.  I had to see them again.

Christopher’s last scream pierced every sober thought of every day.  Over and over – his image in the back of the police car, trying to escape the social workers arms, as he tried to climb out of the police cars back window haunted.

Jerrod gave me money to go shopping and distract myself, but I wouldn’t go. One day he brought me flowers, another day he bought me a dress, another day, some lingerie.  His train of thought was ‘If he made me look good, I’d feel good,’ but nothing could make me feel better.  I asked for a kitten, for company, but he said he wouldn’t encourage my agoraphobia.  I had gained nearly half a stone and my ribs had a thin layer of fat on them. He started to call me cute and cuddly.

I became convinced that my body was rejecting being clean because I began throwing up all of the time. Jerrod thought I’d been using and stopped trusting me. He would come home at strange times of the day and check my arms for track lines. He’d stare into my pupils looking for dilations. He drove me crazy and gave me more reason to want to use. I was so lonely in the flat.  I missed the girls and the chat. I couldn’t talk to Jerrod like I talked to them

One day, it all got too much.  I phoned a taxi but when I got to the train station, my Higher Power must have stepped in because something tripped me up on the staircase as I ran down to the platform.  My shoe came away from its platform and flopped into two pieces under my foot.

I felt I had no right to throw all this hard recovery work away. Jerrod would kill me if I relapsed.  Six hours later he came home from work.

‘Hello Love, how was your day?’

‘Alright.’

I had a heavy conscience and hid my shamed face. My conscience grew darker over the following days but he didn’t suspect a thing. I was having hallucinations and flashbacks about using all the time and needed some help. I was starving for someone to talk too who would understand.

One day I was telling Jerrod about my poor old horrible day in front of the TV, and he turned to me and told me ‘to man up and grow some!’  I lunged at him but he wouldn’t listen to me screaming about my sons and missing drugs. He locked me in the flat and went out.

When I had finished crying.  I recognised the grave ache of loneliness within me. I had always felt a lonely darkness inside.  It had been my stimuli to use drugs, to latch onto undesirables and to feel constantly, sorry for myself. I needed to score. No I didn’t, I needed support. I’d been to an N.A., meeting a few years before, so I went online and found my nearest, I chickened out.  I couldn’t go.

The next day, the same thing happened.  Then the next and the next week.  I was going insane. Eventually, I opened up to Jerrod and told him that I needed to be around like-minded people.

‘But you’re clean.  You’re cured.’

‘I’m not, Jerrod, I’m far from it.  I’m too frightened to go out alone, I don’t trust myself. I know I will relapse and all this, will be for nothing.’ I cried into my hands. ‘You are helping me Jerrod, but everyone there, is going through the same shit at the same time. I’ve tried to go. But I can’t. I’m too scared to go out alone.’

He tucked me under his sweaty armpit. ‘I will come with you.’

*

As we sat hips apart on Tia’s bed, I saw Jerrod’s love for me and felt so guilty for seeing David again. He finished the end of his fantasy story, just as I saw our family for the first time in real life.  A Mummy and Daddy together, making up stories even if they were not exactly true whilst the girls slept safely in their beds. He asked me if I enjoyed his version. I nodded and took his hand softly.

‘Let’s go to bed Jerrod?’ He backed away and then said he needed to catch up with some work on the computer.

‘You’re on a promise Mr?’ I winked. His eyes rolled as he thought up the next thing to say. ‘I have to finish this project Sam. I will be about an hour.’

‘You hate it don’t you Jerrod.’  I snapped.  ‘My fucking coconut head. You think I’m a mong in a thong —don’t you?’

He laughed. ‘What? I’ve got work to do Samira?  Go to bed, I won’t be long.’

I stormed out of the house, went over to the blue bin, tipped it out and the bottle rolled onto the grass verge. I brought it back into the house and waved it madly at him.

‘What the hell’s going on now?’ He gawped.

‘You Jerrod fucking Ibori.’ I spluttered ‘Have, fucking rejected me, how dare you reject me.’

‘Sam, I’m working.’ I looked at the spread sheet on his screen.

‘Well I will just keep myself company with this then?’  I threatened.

‘Do what you like.’

‘I knew you didn’t care Jerrod. You don’t care if I die drinking do you. You… just… don’t… care?’

‘I care, but it’s you, Samira, that needs to care ABOUT YOURSELF. When you do that, you will have cracked it. I’m just the prick who has to wait for the light to go on, inside your head.  One day you will realise how much we all value you.  You are worth so much Sam.’

‘What did you say?’

‘You’re worth so much.’ He repeated.  I turned, went out of the room then ran towards the front door. Up the path and over the road. Holding the bottle by its neck I lobbed it at Collette’s wooden front door.  I stood still as I watched the blood red wine drizzle down to meet the shattered glass. Deano came to the bedroom window upstairs, and over our side of the street, Jerrod reflected him, in the upstairs office window.  I howled like a deranged dog, letting go of rage.

The huge full moon seemed to cast its spell on them for not one of them came out to rescue me.  In the middle of the road, I collapsed onto my knees. Soon frostbite chaffed at my knees but I couldn’t get up. Another torrent of emotional pain purged up within me and my organs contracted as fresh tears lashed.  My chest expelled another load of painful emotions. Phlegm caught my throat and gagged me from breathing.  I cleared it away with my sleeve and clung onto my ribs as I rocked.

No cars drove up the street and no lights came on, but every time I looked up and around, those two were still staring. I needed David to hold me, I screamed inside my mind for Tia or Hope to wake up, but nothing moved in the darkness. Then a stern voice came from nowhere.

‘No one’s coming to get you.  You’ve got to rescue yourself this time. Only you can do it!’

I looked around and saw no one. I didn’t know if I’d dreamt it or heard it but I knew it was said, only the once.

‘How?’ I begged it.

‘Forgive yourself. Forgive yourself that you did what you did, until you knew better.’

Slowly I regained some height and a few seconds later I took tiny terrified steps back towards our house. I heard Jerrod shout to me downstairs.

‘Shut that door and keep the heating in.’

I went into the bedroom got my candles and ran a bath. In the still waters I remembered the last time I’d broken down and purged my heart like that.  I’d rebuilt myself then – I could do it again!  I lay exhausted in the bath.  Jerrod appeared after a few minutes and put his head around the doorway.

He gave me a thumbs up and salute.

‘Good Shot Samira!’

Chapter Eighteen.

In the AA meeting everyone listened intently as I shared of my break down. Nods of acknowledgement, tears of pride and desperate eyes begged me for knowledge on how to have their ‘bing bong moment’ too. See that’s what happened. My light came on.  I’d worn my old track record.  I couldn’t repeat my natural old behaviour. In fact, I couldn’t dance at my own Pity Party – any longer. The black and white old crows staring at me through their windows gracefully, gave me the space to have a melt-down so I could pick myself back up.

For once, Social Services did not appear on our doorstep.  But sitting in wait at the end of our road was another bruised seagull, in a Silver Insignia – David.  Phoning, then texting, then hiding behind Caller ID.  He begged me to come out. He said, he needed me and he didn’t mind if I stayed with Jerrod, as long as he could see me. I realised, he needed more than me – he needed a bloody shrink. For his needy behaviour spoke volumes.

For the first time in my life – I felt disappointment.  For my gorgeous Armani clad dreamboat, had turned out to be an insecure cling on. I had to create a way that was kind and meant that the end had come, so I blocked him and waited a few days until he got the hint. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t easy, especially when my mind remembered his naked body coming out of the shower, with water drizzling off his nipples and a ravine flowing down his six-pack.

He’d presumed too much!

I had made my decision about my future I was going to stay with Jerrod however he was still acting strange.  He didn’t instigate sex anymore. I even dressed up for him one night and made it obvious, but he hid behind his computer and made excuses. Night after night I lay there alone.  Janice said that he must have been reading the AA bible. She reckoned he was giving me space and time to grow into my new self.

Kind considerate April said it could be an age thing. She found the good in everyone.

Well, she found the good in me a couple of days later because she phoned crying.  She needed a lift to the hospital. She was bleeding and her husband was asleep after the night shift. I drove around to her house as quickly as I could. Luckily there was no Insignia to be seen.

But when I approached, she was waiting for me on the pavement outside pushing her baby back into her tummy. Crouching, she pulled the passenger door open and climbed inside. Her face was a map of grey mascara. At Fleetwood’s maternity unit they gave her a scan and told her that they wanted her to stay in for the night, to rest. Despite her contractions, the baby was still hanging on in there!

With a few grains of hope April lay statuesque as we made arrangements for her daughter Lucy’s care and for her husband not to go A.W.O. L in his first week in his new job. I offered to keep Lucy overnight whilst he worked.

After school Lucy came to our house. Jerrod built them a tent using the backs of the furniture as poles and all three of them fell asleep on the rug. As he climbed into bed with me he pulled my listed body into his arms and asked if I would like to have another baby.

‘You don’t even try it on these days so how could we possibly conceive?  Look at poor April Jerrod, clutching her legs together to trap her baby in. I don’t want to go through that.’

He agreed.

‘Hey look! Mines are wide open.’  I traced my toe up his thigh. ‘Why don’t you lose yourself in me?’

‘I’m tired Sam.’

‘No you’re not. You are avoiding me like I’m diseased.  What’s got into You?’

I rolled my head around with my hands.

‘You haven’t touched me once, since you’ve came back. I repulse you – don’t I Jerrod?’

‘No Sam, I’m just having a few problems… getting it up.’

‘Liar.’ I spat. ‘I felt it the other day.’

‘Yeah, that day it worked, but it hasn’t since.’

‘Let’s try.’ My fingers traced over his kegged belly.

‘No. It’s not working. Stop it Sam?’ He sounded frightened.

‘Well go to the doctors, get some bloody Viagra. Everyone’s on Viagra these days.   In fact, you don’t even have to go to the doctors, you can buy it online.’

‘That’s so embarrassing.’

‘No it’s not.  I’ll do it for you.’

‘Don’t you dare spoil the name Ibori?’

Our giggle didn’t last long because April’s phone call took the smile off our faces.  She’d been transferred to Thornton for a D & C. Between sobs she told me that the medication that they had given, hadn’t stopped her cervix from dilating.  Little Lucus was still-born.  I said I would drop the girls at school then collect her from the hospital.

When I arrived, her face was a darker mush of swollen pain. All I could do was cry alongside her. Luckily, she was ready to leave.  Weakened from the anaesthetic, we borrowed a wheelchair for our long corridor finale’. At first she sat quietly but soon started to rock inside the chair. She twisted herself around.       ‘Look there, over there?’ She was pointing at an old woman. ‘That’s Collette.’

About fifty metres ahead of us, Collette came into view. She was huddled inside a dirty grey chequered coat and was ducking in and out of bewildered patients who were roaming the corridors. Instantly my blood pressure raised and I felt my veins pulse with a need to kill. My ribs locked and felt like they’d explode with rage. I aimed the wheelchair straight at her. April begged me to hide and watch.

Quaking in my G-string I balanced myself over April’s shaking knees and peered around the metal wall guard. There were loads of signs above pointing to lots of different wards. Collette looked suspicious, sidling up to patients and visitors, checking into their pockets and bags. I saw her feet aim in the familiar direction that only a few days before, I had trod.

‘She’s going to the G.U.M clinic April.’  I reported. ‘Shush, she’s, she’s walking towards us.’

Two, three steps, she took. Then she veered off and reached inside a patient’s handbag, took something out and turned 180 degrees.  She dived through the G.U.M. clinic’s plastic doors.

‘She’s not getting away with that April. I’m going to have her.’ I aimed the wheelchair in the same direction but sadly clipped the metal trim on the corner of the wall. April was nearly catapulted out.

‘Stay here,’ I told her ‘if you don’t want to see Collette get her comeuppance?’

‘No, take me with you.’  With all my might, I pushed the chair forwards and attacked the wards see-through doors with the footplates. But they wouldn’t budge. With all my might I levered the handles and spun her around so she was facing the other way. I attacked the doors – buttocks first.  As they opened I pulled April inwards with me. The sounds coming from the sucking of the draught proofing reminded me that I had to breathe. Still in reverse I aimed my butt at the next set of double doors.

Once inside the reception area I turned the wheelchair around to face the receptionist and took a step to my right. There, Collette was seated and counting out money from a black leather purse.  The receptionist made eye contact and told me to wait whilst she booked me in. My mind was spinning and my blood was gurgling even faster.

I had to remember that number that they’d given me the other day, but it wouldn’t come. She asked me for my name and address instead.  I wrote it down on a piece of paper.  I looked back at the seating area trying to appear calm. Collette was scrolling through a phone.

‘I’m shyting meself.’  April moaned.

‘Well stop smiling then!’

‘This is all going to end in trouble Samira.  Will ya no’ take me home.’

‘I can’t now.’

A young patient came up by my side and interrupted all the buzzing receptionists. She asked them to get that smelly old woman out of the ladies seating area, because she was stinking of cats piss and it was making everyone sick.

‘Collette must be using MDMA.’ I whispered down to April.

What’s N.D.N.A.?’

‘A drug that you can make yourself?’ Don’t you know anything April?’

‘I know I want to go home. I’m exhausted. Please Samira this nurse is taking too long?’ She was pleading.

‘One more, minute April.’  We waited to hear the receptionist’s heels. I stood up on tiptoes and peeked through the glass screen to the men’s side.  There were about fifteen men sitting on the edge of their seats anxiously waiting to be seen. Amongst them my eyes seemed to lock onto a set of black hands that held up a large Guardian newspaper.  They reminded me of Jerrod’s.  I heard the doors squelch behind me and two burly security guards came through the double doors.  They marched past us and smiled compassionately at April. We watched spellbound as they lifted Collette to standing. She started to protest but they told her to stay calm.  She started to kick out with her feet and scratch for their eyes.  April cheered as they went past. Collette turned and spat on April’s right foot. Security threatened her with handcuffs.

‘Do that?’  She cursed ‘And I will infect you two, with Nigerian Fucking Herpes, As Well!’  She glared at me and said – ‘Like her and her precious fiancé.’

My body locked.  My eyes were wild fire. A rush of truth flowed down from head to heart.  I looked into the men’s side of the clinic.  A man stood up to see what all the kerfuffle was on the female’s side.  I focused in onto his face. It was Deano.

Ping, ping, ping.

She’d said, Nigerian fucking Herpes. Oh, my god, Jerrod’s the sexual contact!  That’s why I was called up. Tia had herpes too. Oh my God!  Wide mouthed, I watched Collette be escorted out. Behind me, I heard a nurse call out a number on the men’s side. The black man next to Deano laid his newspaper onto his lap and looked up.

It was Jerrod.

‘You dirty old bastard.’ I hollered at the top of my voice. One of the guards let go of Collette and accosted me. April jumped out of the wheelchair and crouching her tummy, tried to put an arm around me. I pointed my finger at Jerrod’s squared fat nose.

‘You’ve never smiled once, when you’ve cum.

And now I know why?’

The End.

I would love you to leave a review on amazon

 https://goo.gl/Q8sr6G



Slap Dash Queen is my next novel to be released to my special audience on blogspot.  I’d love a review on amazon to kick start sales.



I am a satirical author and have written three novels which I am now releasing into the big wide world. Slut Detox is my first and it is free on this blog page.  Slapdash Queen is coming soon, then Office Gossip.  I am now in the process of writing – Big Bad Me.  These are all powerful novels with an edge of Self Development lessons, running through their veins.

Check out my website for details. I would love to have some feedback, please leave a like or a comment.

Slut Detox the novel is available at amazon.co.uk ….https://goo.gl/638XWc

Slapdash Queen is available at amazon … https://goo.gl/quG0Gm

Office Gossip is coming in summer 2017.

http://annieandersonauthor.wixsite.com/an

Website    http://annieandersonauthor.wix.com/annieandersonauthor

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Slut Detox

Copyright @annieandersonauthor 2016

The rights of Annie Anderson to be identified as the author of this work has been asserted in accordance with sections 77 and 78 of the Copyright Designs and Patent Acts 1988.

Conditions of Sale.

All rights reserved.  No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted, in any form or by any means without the prior written permission of the author, nor be otherwise circulated in any form of binding or cover other than that in which it is published and without a similar condition being imposed on the purchaser.  This book is licensed for your personal enjoyment only.  It may not be re-sold or given away to another person.  If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each person you’d like to share it with.  Thank you for respecting the work of this author.

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