Saturday 30th October
It’s real early in the morning, like 7 o’clock or something. I can hear my mum’s voice echo through my seemingly water logged ears, my vision still hazy and the light which has been turned on kind of blinding me. I wonder if this is how my mum sees the world without her glasses? Blinking my eyes, feeling the crust that has formed in both the corners I notice the small pea shaped head and scrawny body of Meadow linger and wave over me. The smell of my mum’s morning cigarette after she had done her business on the toilet lingers around the room, god I love that smell, but it is followed by the silent but deadly fart of Meadow who is still over me. Stretching my arm out waving it to find the distance of his body, I hear his toddler tones mock me as he giggles dodging me from side to side. Gaining better consciousness I hear my mum bellow out my name from upstairs, which seems to shock Meadow to stand still and my movements become faster, I grab him and push him down to the floor.
“Mum, mummy.” He screams out with a scream of a child that has been beaten, I barley touched him. “Roro hit me.” Looking up at the ceiling listening out for her response he gives me a skittish glance and makes the annoying remark “Can’t catch me.”
“Well in fact I could catch you, you little fucking spawn from hell, but I got bigger problems right now.” My inner voice speaks out to me, knowing that if, no, when I get out of bed and get dressed things are going to change and they might not change for the good of me.
Getting into the cab the four of us make our way to Aunt Claudine’s house. Passing all the streets that I know so well, staring out the window, hunched up, faced pressed to it, the cold air attempts to give us all a chill, but my other is on the case and tells the driver to either role up his windows or put the heating on. The cab driver is Indian, balding and fat. I can smell his clothing is stained with that nasty stench I used to smell when go to some of my Indian friend’s houses. What is it? And why does my Indian Aunty who lives up near granny and Granddad not smell like them? Well she does a little bit, but more flowery. One, tower block, two tower blocks, three tower block, four, looking at the door of the car I look at the button that allows me to open it. “Don’t think about it Rogue.” My mum has psychic powers, she obviously knew I wanted to open it and jump out. The cabman tells her that there is some child safety lock on it and he had to get a new car with them because his last car didn’t have them. Child safety, save a child from what? It’s taking hours to get to her house, and we are only near that place I hear mum and my aunties talk about these things called prostitutes, that’s a funny word to me, it seems to be a funny word to them too as they usually laugh and then have those screwed up faces like they had just smelt bad fish or Meadows shit, you know the face, scrunched up lips, curled right under the nose, eyes almost tightly closed but you know they can still see you, yeah that face. That’s what its called Kings crossing. I’m gonna look for a prostitute when we get there.
“Mummy, what’s a prostitute” The thought was on my mind and I just rather know than not know before I get on the plain. Ramona uncovers her face from her ‘Just Seventeen’ magazine, the cab driver coughs out a large looming cloud of smoke, Meadow coughs, my mum tells the cab driver to open the windows and then says turning round to me “Why? Why would you ask me such a stupid question, you don’t need to know what they are. They’re nasty, like that word you called your sister.” He face isn’t saying she’s mad, but the voice says it all. My mum was good at wearing what I like to call ‘The Mask’, never really letting on, on what she really is thinking or is about to do.
“What word mummy? Slag?” I ask, knowing fully well she told me never to say the word again, knowing it was worse than me saying fuck, but I still didn’t know why adults got so angry with me saying it. Thrashing her head back at me again she quickly gazes at Ramona, probably to see her response but she is now caved in her magazine again pretending not to listen. We’re here I see King’s crossing. “I told you not to say that word it’s disgusting, just you see, you and me, when we get out of this car.”
“Mum it’s only means female slug, Slug, slag, dog, bitch.” I only knew two animal differences in names for boy and girl. Aunt Ceecee taught me one, Bitch. My mum’s eyes widen and as I focus on her expression I can notice those thin red veins getting thicker and a deeper shade of red and she blurts out “Stop your fucking noise”. Meadow gasps and tells mum she has just said a naughty word; she apologizes to him and rubs his legs only to pinch me after. I look up at the cabdriver’s mirror; he looks at me and shakes his head then looks down and back onto the road. Why when I ask questions I always get hit for it? I guess the pinch is no where as bad as the time she tried beating me with the broom stick and the metal side of the belt, with me have to run into the single toilet and press my legs against the door stopping her from coming in, or even the time when she squeezed me neck asking me, what was wrong with me. As if I could answer. I do remember a faint murmur of “I’m sorry” attempting to leave my lips, but I could only say it in my mind.
Arriving at Aunt Claudine’s block, the shades of grey bricks, which are dulled by the cloudy skies, make me feel as if I’m attending a funeral. I probably am. The crackly buzz of the intercom bugs me, I’m glad that I don’t have to hear that all the time, we have a bell and it goes ‘Ding-dong’. The snap of the lock being released, herds us all to moving even closer to the door, we waddle like penguins climbing some iceberg alone in the sea. I really hate coming here. “Reana, how’s it going girl? All ready?” Aunt Claudine throws herself through the doorframe and Tanny swiftly passes her through her legs running down the cold hard concrete stairs to hug Meadow, Mikes is probably in his room no doubt listening to his tapes. Getting into the passage of the house, we all walk crammed like sardines to get to a place where there is some room. Mike and Tanny’s door is open so Mikes probably has gone to his dad’s or friends across the road. Walking to the bathroom, as I need to use the toilet whilst the rest of them scatter to the living room I notice a bag, a biggish bag, with this tag-thingy-ma-jig on it.
“Rogue.” Mikes shouts out as I see his toothy smile whip crack from the side of his door. “Come, come in I got something to show you” always having something to show me that clearly I am not interested in I tell him I’d be a minute as I need to use the toilet. I’ve got to push like 5 times to get the door to shut; it obviously is broken or wasn’t made to fit. What’s with this tower-block house? Making my way to his bedroom hearing Meadow and Tanny giggle and my mother and Aunt Claudine talk, only the stars above know what Ramona is doing, probably face down in her magazine or pretending that she actually wants to be. She always was so polite, but her answers to question were short and to the point, not really giving much or a reason to ask her any more when we were at ‘The occult’ family member’s homes. “I’ve got The Bodyguard soundtrack” Mikes says staring at this black, dusty, very used stereo. He says it’s new but it’s quite obvious its what my mum would say second hand.
“Oh lets listen we can sing some of Whitney Houston’s song, not I’ll always love you, I’m bored of that one. All of Ramona’s cousins, I mean my cousins sing it, at their White parties.” Not terrible interested yet again with what he has to offer for entertainment I give a slight interest and story to it, make him believe I care. He looks up at me with a slight puzzled face, I look down at the old patterned carpet, gosh change this shit already.
“What are the White parties?” He asks me; like I said something I have no idea I’m talking about. So I tell him.
“They’re parties you go to and all the girls have to wear clothes, all white and the boys have to wear white shirts. Don’t you go to them or have them?” I already know his answer but I ask any way. He shakes his head saying no and curls the right side of his mouth towards his right nostril. So he presses play on the old machine and that airy nose begins its way. All I hear is music I’m unfamiliar with and then voices. I expected, there to be songs sung by Whitney herself, but all I hear are the words, the script of the film. This is fucking stupid, “This is fucking stupid” shit the words slipped right out my mouth moments after burning so brightly in my mind, I kind of do that a lot when I’m under the stone of boredom. “What do you mean, this is wicked I taped it when my mum was watching it I’m going to learn the script, you should too then we can become famous and act it on stage.” Ok so he thinks learning the script will make us famous. I suppose actors must learn some way, but I’m not too sure they listen to films and learn. Wouldn’t that be stupid? I mean a film would have already had to have been made for you to listen to it and learn it, so then why would anyone want to see it repeated again? I don’t know. I sigh and exhale a kept in breath, I kept in from spit out my thoughts on him. “Oh, ok I guess. Who are you going to be?” I ask rolling my eyes and still thinking of the flight. He tells me he’s going to be Rachel Marron and I should be Frank, like I know who they are. I agree, only because It’s still morning or maybe it’s afternoon now, that drive was long, plus I need something to occupy my time, better this than listening to my mother and Aunt blabber away about the joys of Dominica and how they wished they had gone back more often. So my mother, my mother dearest has been before, she’s lives in England and has done all of her life, well I know she lived up with Granny and Granddad up in Chorley, she told me stories about it when she was seven. Well it can’t be that bad. My heart starts to thump and I’m sure the small, tight space Mikes and I are in, his bedroom is echoing the sound of my heart like an elephant’s mating call.
“Rogue, I think you should break. Break and then it will stop.” A shudder runs down my back and down both sides of my bum and a laughter follows it trail, Ashlley speaks to me and although I’m tempted to listen, if I do, I probably won’t be gone for just the few weeks I’d probably be gone a month. A whole month without Greyson, not sure I can do that.