Early December 2011
I’d come home from a long grind in the flat, it was a Monday and Mondays could be busy, today was one of the busy days with business men coming in and out all day for a warm winter shag. We also used to get a lot of guys from the Jaguar factory in Ellesmere Port who were often quite young, attractive cocky lads with their wages burning a hole in their pockets. When ‘R’ had forced me to ‘work’ I would do my best to stall the ‘act’ and get them chatting so much that they would have 2 minutes to get their rocks off before their time was up which usually didn’t involve me touching them! I called it the ‘art of stallation’ to the girls and they’d all laugh at how cheeky I was! Ash and Susie said they’d rather get the blokes out of there and not chat shit but I was the opposite because I hated the thought of even touching them. This particular Monday I fancied some extra cash as I wanted to decorate our little flat for Xmas and buy my family presents to take to Sheffield as well as send the money back to NZ for the car payment which was killing me. I love Xmas and my mum had always made it the best day of the year as her and Granny would cook an almighty gut-buster dinner and we’d settle down to ‘The Vicar of Dibley Xmas Special’ followed by ‘Victoria Wood’s Xmas comedy’. Of course the day wouldn’t have been complete without some awkward pissed up altercation between my dad and some poor unsuspecting family member who had come to stay but in general Xmas was the best.
I’d been sending money to NZ to pay for my car payments – a few hundred quid a month straight to dad’s account and yet he hadn’t even bothered to speak to me since the brief phone call I’d received when I had been in hospital in the summer. I was mad when I learned after a phone call to the house that it had been repossessed and dad didn’t even seem to care. For christ sake what had he been spending the money on? He had only got one car left now and he’d let mine go, the car I busted my ass off to buy and keep going for him… typical. I could tell dad was pissed when I rang, he was angry and has this voice that he has once he’s had a drink.. basically he turned into an entitled wanker who thought he was ‘posh’ yet was just becoming a drunk – no better than the people he slagged off in the ‘Clover Hotel’ which was the pub he was going into every day down the bottom of our road in NZ. My friend who had worked in the ‘New World’ supermarket would report back to me on Facebook. It was a shit hole, the kind of ‘tavern’ you see in American movies where you are looked at if your not a local, I’d briefly dated a boy in the town who’s parents owned the place and his brother was a vile known drug dealer who abused women. It had been big news in the town that summer of 2005 because he had punched his girlfriend in the face and pushed her off the balcony and it was touch and go whether or not she would pull through – she did thank god though she went straight back to him. I was mad to know dad was drinking down there with those people whilst I was sending money for a car that had been repossessed. I wondered what the hell my family had become, we’d gone from having a nice life to being scum bags, it made me so sad.
I’d come home with £450 on this Monday and now I didn’t need to send money for the car I was happy I got to spend it on Robbie and family. My Auntie deserved a nice present for helping me so much and being the only one there when I needed family so I was excited to go shopping for her. I would wait until the weekend and save it all up so I go without feeling harassed by ‘R’.
I preferred week days at the flat because ‘R’ wasn’t there and I enjoyed some kind of routine of a Monday-Friday. I was still managing to get ‘R’ to let me home and do ‘day shifts’ so I could be home in the evenings to cook for Robbie before he went off to do a night-shift at the hospital. Luckily he didn’t work Mondays so I was well happy to come home to him and curl up on the couch watching crap TV. ‘R’ also liked me going home in late afternoons as after work he’d come over to the flat pissed up having driven and then he’d choose who his victim was, this had always been a thing but now it was every bloody night and it was making me wild. He hated me being around when he would do this because I’d started to confront him on it and told him “You gotta pay too ya know?” he would laugh and tell me it was their duty. Urgh little man syndrome I thought. His behaviour was so erratic lately and he became more and more obsessed with making money, he was always on the recruit and the Manchester flat had been quiet of late but I didn’t know why. He was working Bex to the bone and again I saw more new faces in the early evenings before I left to go home but I was trying to block the negative shit out and focus on my plan and Robbie. Taylor would flit in and out of the flat and she was scatty as hell, she latched on to me and I thought she really liked me but I realised she liked anyone who showed her some kindness. Taylor was far too mental for me to deal with these days and being around her made me so uneasy, I mentioned about ‘R’ being a scum bag as she was the only one who would tell him to go fuck himself. Her response was “Well if the girls are so fucking stupid to let him rape them or fuck them then I wouldn’t worry about it, ain’t nothing you can do so stop worrying, they know what they’re doing”
Oh how bloody wrong Taylor was but I was trying to adopt this attitude for the time being as even the girls made me think I was being hysterical as they just didn’t seem to see how bad he was apart from the ones who’d left.I guess they were so used to being treated this way it had become ‘normal’. Serena had told me this particular Monday that she’d been in touch with ‘Baby-Angel’ the one who was so young looking and built like a 10 year old yet had ridiculously massive boobs… well apparently she was pregnant and we all speculated it was ‘R’s’ baby as he just seemed so obsessed with her at the time then she disappeared and he’d been making stories up about her life to us which we all found a bit odd. Serena hated ‘R’ as much as I did too though and I knew she was better at speaking with the younger ones as she had more in common with the ‘kids’ than I did at age 26. Although I thought I was still cool I think the young girls were a little afraid of me which made me sad, but Serena wasn’t, Serena was my ride or die in there I later realised – Oh and Penny aka Fag Ash Lil. Penny was still up to her tricks (literally) coming in for the entire weekend to work, smoking 5 thousand fags in 48 hours and being a general sweetheart. I loved her she made me chuckle, I’d been training her up on the phones so I could actually have more of the weekends off. ‘R’ had agreed to this, it meant he saved money but he reckoned it lost him money as nobody had my voice…
Penny had told me that on weekends ‘R’ had been bringing all kinds of girls back to the place or turning up pissed and staying for hours playing his guitar and ordering them take aways. Fuck that I was glad I wasn’t there. She’d told me this Monday morning before she handed back the main phone that this had happened and he hadn’t left until late Friday night and been back both Saturday and Sunday. I hated thinking about his sordid fuck-den he had going on, he reminded me of some weird cult leader at times because he just had this power that got people to think he was amazing. I’d managed to confide in Penny on our ‘personal’ phones that I now realised ‘R’ couldn’t hack as he only knew Blackberry and he slagged Iphones off all the time – result! Penny had said she’d help me and give evidence to me to hand in when I went through with the plan, in her thick Burnley smokey voice she said
“Don’t wurry love, I hate the bloody bastard, just give me heads up will ya so I can find somewhere else to work, but I’m right behind ya”
Penny had been in care as a kid right unttil her teens and had a terrible life herself but she seemed so wise for her age and very kind-hearted.
Anyway, that Monday when I got home Rob said he’d got a surprise for me… I hated surprises because I hated having to pretend I liked something if I didn’t – I was crap at hiding my reaction as my face would always give it away so I hoped I liked this surprise.
“Sit down, I made you a booklet of questions so we can get to know each other and they are just yes/no ones”
“Urm ok.. haha thats cute”
There were so many questions that I was getting bored now and I had to keep ticking the box for my answer and then showing him… it was very sweet. Then on the back page ‘THE’ question came…
“Would you like to be my wife?” there were two boxes to choose from and I read it looked at him whilst his smiling face beamed down on me
“Have you chosen your answer then or what?”
I said Yes, and really meant it I really wanted to marry him but we were both still married to other people and so part of the magic wasn’t there. Theres a real feeling of failure when as a woman your marriage breaks down, even though I knew it wasn’t my fault and that I was way better off without him I felt a bit ‘tainted’ but at least Robbie didn’t see me like that. I didn’t want to tell anyone either as I knew what their reaction would be but inside I was so excited. He handed me a ring, it was lovely but not me…Oh fuck.
“You can change it if you don’t like it”
“I love it” I lied but now wasn’t the time to say that, It wasn’t an offensive ring, it was that it was just ‘common’ and I didn’t want something that everybody else had though I was pleased he’d gone to so much effort. I knew I was being a total brat about it in my head and for once this was a man who all I wanted to see was smile because he was amazing. He’d even got us our fave Pizza, the one we had the first time we properly went on a date.
I went to bed so happy and feeling so safe with him, I was now a Fiance AND wife but something inside me told me this time it was going to be so different and so much better. Life was getting better in so many ways and I’d applied for my college course too! Bex had gone home for Xmas now and there was just 3 more weeks until D-Day.