I hate this place. I hate this gloomy room and this draughty window. I hate these people and I hate … Whoa! I think my life may just get better.
They look really nice. A tall, handsome man and his petite, brunette wife. Well, I guess it’s his wife. They look like they’re married. You know what, I bet they are loaded. You can just tell these kinds of people can’t you? She’s got her long beige coat and her perfectly clean brown shoes. In fact, I’m sure they’re the Christian Dior ones I saw down the High Street last weekend.
Anyway, imagine what it would be like if I lived in their house. It’s probably a great big mansion in the middle of some great forest. You know, like the ones you see on T.V. I would have my own lovely pink, painted room and my own swimming pool, gym and…
“Hey! Haven’t you heard of knocking?”
“There are people here to see you,” she says to me in her squeaky stuck up voice.
“Yes!” I yell as I jump around. Nearly falling off my bed may I add?
I think I better get on my posh dress and high shoes. I feel like the Queen. I’m dead excited. A new family! A new life. Mr. and Mrs. Mansion house, here comes Mel.
Of course, they aren’t here to see me. They’re downstairs right now, talking about how cute, young and loveable little Samuel is and how they would love to give HIM a new, fancy room and pool and gym.
Well, I can see their point, I mean, he is a lot cuter than me and he is a bit younger. But I just thought for once, someone might actually want ME. Lil’ old Melissa Andrews.
No one has ever wanted plain, old me. Well, my mum did want me but then she met Fred and that all changed.
Fred was the man from the pub on the corner. That was the pub Mum and Dad used to go to when THEY were married. I used to stay home with Grandma Jones and play Scrabble and other games meant for old people. Then, when
my parents got home, Dad would tell me all about ‘the man from the pub’.
My poor old Dad never really liked him, you know. I can remember him saying “he is always drunk and he always looks your mum up and down and winks at her as she passes.” Dad hated that.
Then ‘the man from the pub’ seemed to disappear. In fact, so did Grandma. She was very old, so she died. I had a sense she wasn’t well but when I asked Dad about it he wouldn’t admit it. Mum and Dad didn’t go out after that. There was no one to look after me and my Dad was also very depressed. Then HE disappeared as well, but I was too young to understand exactly what was going on, so my mother explained it a little as I got older.
So there was just me and Mum. Obviously I missed my Dad but I learned to accept that he wasn’t coming back. Me and Mum would stay in at night and play games and have fun. I used to really enjoy being with mum; having her all to my self. But then my Mum found me a babysitter. So, again, my Mum started going out, just like she did when Dad was around. But now, Mum talked about ‘the man from the pub’ and instead of hearing about all his drunkenness I realised my Mum really liked him. I thought nothing of it until my babysitter disappeared too and Mum stayed at home again every night. Instead of her going to the pub, in the public eye, as it may seem, Fred started coming to our house night after night.
So that’s when it hit me. Fred was the reason my Dad left and Fred decided it was time for that grumpy, old babysitter to come back again. He and Mum looked happy together but then one night, when they came home, Fred was drunk.
He was acting just as Dad had told me. He became violent and Mum and I saw a side to him we had never seen before. It was awful. They shouted and shouted all night. It was about 3am, if I remember rightly, that I got fed up and went downstairs to investigate.
I walked in the room and Mum was crying. Her face was bleeding. I was scared and I can remember reaching for the telephone to call 999 when Fred came in and screamed at me to put it down. I jumped. Mum told me I wasn’t to get involved and that I had to go back to bed and forget about. So I did – go back to bed that is. But I definitely couldn’t forget about it. So I stayed awake and locked myself in my room all the next day until I finally, after about three whole hours of non-stop knocking, I let mum in.
She came to tell me that that night she had made plans to go out with her friends. It was her friend’s hen party, one of those nights where it’s all girls, no men allowed. They get all glammed up and drink all night. Oh, and pull men, of course. I knew Fred wouldn’t be happy about this but mum was determined not to let him ruin it for her. So I agreed to stay in with him that night and promised to call mum if he got violent again. I could tell mum didn’t really trust him with me but she wanted to prove to him that she can live her own life. So I was brave and stayed home.
I know I should have called my mum like I promised her, but I just got to sick and I didn’t want to be the one to spoil her night. Mum left at around 7pm. Fred and I watched a few films, silently, all night until it got to around 10pm. I decided to make the first word so I asked when mum would be home.
Then I said to him, “I wonder how many ‘men from the pub’ she finds. I wasn’t being serious of course. I prayed she wouldn’t find another one like Fred but I had to break the silence. As soon as I’d said it I realised I shouldn’t have. Fred rose from his seat. “Oooowwwwwwwww” I yelled.
His hand hit my face twice more before I could wriggle away from him. Now I knew what Mum must have felt the night before. That was it I wasn’t going to let him treat us like this.
After a few minutes of running down my front lane, shoeless, I reached a pay phone. I had no money so I couldn’t
phone mum, I decided there was only one thing for it: Child line.
It might all sound a bit dramatic, but my face was sore. My eyes were sore from crying and my coat was covered with blood. I was sick off running but I was too scared to return to that man. .
“I need some help please”
“Yes, and you are?”
“I’ve been beaten and my mum can’t find out and he’s coming for me. It’s Fred. Please help.”
I must have sounded like a little lost child. A three year old who lost their mummy in the big shop. You know. But I was scared. Scared of what this phone call may lead to but relieved to be away from Fred.
“Ok calm down. Someone will be right over. Stay where you are.”
I take it they traced the phone box or something. They arrived in a big white van with their number on the side. I was scared at first. Then I told them, about dad, the man from the pub and how mum was out. They took me to this lovely house and talked it over with me. Then they phoned mum.
There was no answer. We tried until 1am but no one was home. I knew there was something strange going on as mum would be home by now.
I’d been abandoned. But not by Mum. By Fred and his cunning plan to get Mum away for a while. Long enough for him to make her forget about me.
He had booked a holiday in advance for them to go that night when Mum arrived home from the hen party. She was drunk and he told her I was staying at my auntie’s house for 2 weeks. Mum believed him and they went.
So I was stuck in this home with all these little screaming kids and grumpy teenagers who had nothing better
to do than moan and play loud music. I thought the world was going to end. I hated Fred for taking my mum away from me and I was really worried about what he would do to her.
Two weeks passed. Then three weeks passed. The home tried to get in contact but found they had also moved house. So that was it. I realised this was my new home and my new family. I wasn’t sure what to think or how to feel all I know is I wanted to kill him for putting me through this.
That was until today. One year and 27 days since I left Mum. You see, those posh people have just left and Maureen has been up again. She remembered to knock this time.
“We’ve just had a phone call off a lady asking for you.”
“Who?” I asked her excitedly.
“Well that’s just it. We don’t know who she was. She had a slight Scottish accent if that’s any help?”
My mum was half Scottish and sometimes it showed through. It couldn’t be her though. She would have forgotten me by now.
“No. NO help”
“She says to tell you not to go anywhere and not to worry because Fred’s not there.” She sounded a little confused.
“OH MY GOD” I exclaimed.
I’ve shoved on some clothes and I’m now downstairs on the phone. I’ve been trying to find out the number that called but little Sam has been playing with the phone and has had a stream of people calling up.
So I’m going to just have to wait here and see if she turns up. I’m so excited you know. I’m like a little child on Christmas Eve. You know the type that are little brats and won’t go to sleep until they’ve seen Santa?
I can feel the tension building up more and more as the hours go by. Everyone knows what’s going on now and the others keep offering me words of wisdom as they call it, food and drink but I can’t take it. I’m just going to sit silently until she arrives.
I hate this place.