There’s a woman on the television telling me I’m useless. Not just me, everyone that is struggling to make ends meet. Funny! I suppose when you’ve grown up with everything given to you, you’ll never understand what it’s like to have to try and achieve something, try and get somewhere in your life. I pick the book up I’ve been reading from, it’s part of the course I’m doing, trying to better myself, I throw it at the television and punch the air in frustration, screaming inside. The tears want to burst out but I won’t let them.
“Mum, are you okay?”
“I’m fine, love. The book fell out of my hand.”
She looks at me as though I’m odd, my own daughter probably thinks I’m a lunatic. Then she laughs, like children do, distracted by something, she runs off out of the room. I pick up the book and put it back on the table. I’m angry at myself, I shouldn’t lose control like that. It’s frustration though, you do everything you can but still you don’t get a break. See, even now I’m doing everything I hate, feeling sorry for myself, being the victim. Am I a victim though? I don’t know, I don’t want to be. Society would say I’m just one of the average Janes.
I watch as Charlotte runs around the living room. Lost in a world of her own, one of them that only children can find. I wish I could do that, just for five minutes, run around in a circle and be somewhere that’s not here. Her with me, she can come off to this fantasy world with me, fuck the rest of them. The woman is still on the television, droning on and on. Talking nonsense, it means nothing to me. I’m not stupid, but it’s all just platitudes, cliches, meaningless numbers. How am I supposed to have any connection to a person like that?
I put my books away in the small cabinet beside my tatty sofa. A friend gave it to me when she was moving house. I catch a glimpse of the envelopes with my name and address written on them, quickly putting my books on top of them so I can’t see them. If I can’t see them I don’t have to think about them. Well, I do have to think about them, but not as much as when they’re staring back at me. They’ll be due soon, I’ve nothing to give them. What’ll I do if they cut off the electricity? The winter will be here soon enough. I’ll find a way, I always manage somehow.
There’s a knock at the door. Who’s that? I’m not expecting anyone, it can’t be anyone looking for money.
“Charlotte, be quiet a minute sweetheart, sit down on the sofa.”
I look down out of the window, it’s a man in a suit, wearing a blue tie. He’s skinny, doesn’t look like he’d even be out of school that long. He can’t be looking for money, if he is then he isn’t going to get very far. I walk down the stairs, open the door a crack. He smiles a fake smile.
“Hello, madame, I’m from the Conserv….”
I shut the door back in his face. I’ve not got the time or energy to be listening to another one of these clowns promising me the world, telling me what they are supposed to have done for me, all while I stand there wondering what I’m going to feed my child with tonight and whether I’ll have enough money in the morning to get myself a cup of coffee as a treat when I take her to school. Like any of them give a shit. Same as the woman on the television. They’ll never connect to me, or anyone that lives around here, their lives were and always will be a million miles away.
“Mum who was that?”
“Just some man telling us how great he is, Charlotte.”
“Why’s he knocking on our door?”
“What’s for dinner? I’m hungry!”
“I’ll get you something now. I think there’s some eggs in the fridge.”
I open the fridge, there is a box of eggs, I open them hoping there will be more than two. No. Only the two. I turn on the gas and put the frying pan on to the flame, frying the two eggs in a daze. My stomach hurts, I’ll check my purse, see if I can go and get something from the shop. I finish frying the eggs, put them on a plate and on to the table. I call Charlotte and watch as she devours them. Doesn’t complain that it’s too little or that she’s still hungry.
“Will you read me a story tonight?”
“Of course I will, go and finish your homework and then we’ll sit on the sofa and read.”
I take my purse out of my handbag, there’s just enough to get through the next couple of days until I get paid. I can’t afford to go and get something from the shop. I’m scared I won’t have enough to get more food in for tomorrow. I close the purse, putting it back inside the bag. I laugh to myself as I see a lottery ticket, a desperate hope. They’ve always got to keep you hoping don’t they? I think back to that woman on the T.V, I wonder what she’s doing. I bet she isn’t hungry anyway.
Don’t vote for those who don’t care about the working class.
Below are two of my books which are available on Amazon Kindle and in paperback. please have a look!