My writing book is sitting next to me, I can’t look through it when I ain’t had a drink or two, I find it hard to read back the things that I’ve written down, it’s like I am ashamed of it, that it isn’t good enough. It’s easier to write too, my thoughts go down easier, I can write how I really feel and how I used to feel without it affecting me too much. It probably sounds like psychobabble. The doctor got me a counsellor that I am supposed to see every week but I struggle to talk to her, she don’t make me feel comfortable, I’m thinking about not going at all because it’s a waste of time.
I’ve been waiting for two days now. I’ve no idea where she’s gone. I know she’s been struggling a bit recently but she usually lets me know where she is. I open the door to her room and see an envelope with my name written on it lying on the bed. There are clothes all over the floor and some of the drawers have been left open. I pick the envelope up and open it, there is some money inside along with a letter, I read the letter. She’s gone, never coming back again, I lie back on her bed holding the teddy bear that she’s left, desperately needing something to hold on to, to hold me.
I think deep down I always knew she’d go at some point, either death or running away. She never could face her problems and I was her biggest problem because she never knew how she could look after me. I doubt she’s even alive now, there’s no way that she’d make it another ten years, she probably didn’t make it ten months. I thought she had been doing well but I look back and realise that it was just blind hope from a naïve kid that didn’t really know anything but blind hope, that’s how I got through it all them years.
I’ve been sat at home alone for nearly a week. I’ve barely eaten, sometimes going to the chip shop when it’s dark so that I don’t have to see anyone, keeping my head down, hood up. Nobody knows because I haven’t told anyone, but I feel like everyone knows, they all knew it was coming, they were the ones that were right, the faith, the belief I had in her has all gone and now they are all laughing at me. Paranoia, fear, loneliness, hatred, hopelessness, abandoned, all those words that I was trying to use in my English exam come in useful now.
I can still see that kid walking to the chip shop under the cover of darkness, hiding away from the rest of the world. In a way I am still that kid, when I go out I don’t really want to see anyone, I don’t want to talk to them and then when I do have to talk to them I over compensate and start talking complete nonsense, making my life some elaborate fantasy that you know they don’t believe anyway. I’m still under that hood, now though, my hood is drink and lies, I don’t have to be that little boy when I have them.
I put a few bits of clothes into a bag that I found in her room, a couple of books and walk over to Mrs Smith’s house. When she opens the door I walk in and fall onto her sofa in exhaustion. I can see her looking down at me in surprise. I manage to pick myself back up again and she walks over to me and hugs me. She doesn’t ask what’s wrong, she’s just there so I can have someone to hold me, someone I can hold. When I let go she tells me to sit down and goes and makes something to eat. At least I feel safe here, she’ll wait until I’m ready before asking what’s wrong, she always knows when I am ready.
If it wasn’t for her I don’t know what would have happened to my life. Don’t get me wrong, my life isn’t amazing, it’s pretty shit, but if it wasn’t for her it would be even worse. She did more for me than my mother ever did and she is still here for me. Thing is she’s getting old, I don’t think she’ll be around for much longer, when she’s gone that’s when I really will have nobody left. At least she won’t be abandoning me though, knowing her she’ll die when I’m ready to cope with it, I can’t see me being able to cope with it being anytime soon so I hope she does have a bit longer left.
What’s the point in school? I don’t have to go anymore, not if I don’t want to. I was doing it for her anyway, give her a better life, now that she’s gone, who am I going to be going for? Myself? Honestly, I don’t care about myself enough now, I don’t have any motivation to do well, I just want to get by. Mrs Smith wants me to go, but I just can’t go in there and face all them people knowing that they know that I’ve been abandoned by my mother. I’m confused, things were looking good just a few months ago and now it’s all completely hopeless.
And I gave it all up, that’s why I am sitting here, living on the same estate as I grow up on, having just come back from a dingy little pub to drink the rest of the night away. I didn’t see it at the time, you don’t. When you’ve lost everything there’s no point looking towards the future because you don’t want to face it, everything is grey and that tunnel that leads down to what is going to happen later on in life is even darker, just fading into a darker and darker shade until it’s finally completely black. That’s probably psychobabble too, but that’s the only way I can describe it, try it and you’ll know what I am talking about.
A year to the day that she left and there hasn’t been any contact at all. Even though she wrote that she wasn’t going to contact me, I still hoped that she would, that she would have a change of heart, that she would realise what she had done. Every time I’ve heard the phone ring, a knock at the door of Mrs Smith’s house, every letter that comes through the door in the morning I look to see if it’s for me. I’ve become more detached from the world outside, scared to go outside, thinking everyone is looking at me, talking about me. I thought this was supposed to be for the best?
She took me in and let me live there. She sorted everything out that needed to sorted for me. She didn’t rush me, she didn’t try and make me go out. She did tell me not to have too much hope that she would come back though. She knew that she wasn’t going to, she just didn’t want to take away that little bit of hope I had, she wanted me to take it and put it on something else. I don’t think she knew what I was going to do with my life but she at least tried to make me look forward, give that tunnel the smallest prick of light at the end of it.
Then there’s nothing, nothing I can write about because there’s isn’t anything interesting that has happened. It’s been like that for nearly nine years, just getting by from day to day, never having a job because I don’t have the confidence to go and meet people I don’t know. The doctor gives me sick notes because he says I have depression and the events of my childhood have ‘impacted me deeply’. I have friends but they ain’t really proper friends, they’re just people I see down the pub, it’s how I prefer it though, I don’t want anyone close to me.
Extract from my upcoming book about a person growing up in inner city London and his relationship with his drug addicted mother. Dark, full of emotion and showing the struggles of those that don’t always have a voice.
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