The End of an Error

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Sunday 26th October

A week has passed since the brick incident, not that it’s been on my mind or anything. It’s just a stupid brick that somehow moved on its own and disappeared. But with Halloween coming up on Friday, which is the worst day for it in my opinion, other than Saturday, I have a sinking feeling something is going to happen.

The past week has been pretty event-free. Last night we put the clocks back an hour, which was the epitome of fun having an extra hour in bed. I’ve been working every day and had to deal with Agatha’s stare of death and adding another hour before meeting her again somehow made it all the more bearable. She hasn’t said a word to me the entire week and it’s been bliss. It’s just a shame I’ve had to see her droopy face.

Mei’s complaint with the human resources department has been logged and, so far, nothing has been done about it.

Right now I’m at the dining table looking online for something to buy for Mei for Christmas. It’s half past three and Mei and her mother are outside in the garden. The weather is nice so they’re in the back pulling up a few weeds while they can. As usual I don’t have a clue what to buy her. She’s like an enigma when it comes to birthdays and Christmas. Valentine’s Day is different. Flowers and chocolate usually do the job and sometimes maybe some jewellery. But Christmas and birthdays? Start from the bottom. I ask her what she wants, she tells me she wants a lot, but there’s never anything specific. It drives me mad sometimes.

This week we discussed taking her mother to Edinburgh for a weekend in January when the Christmas rush has died down. Her mother liked the idea and I do too. Downside is it’ll be the height of winter, in Scotland, but at least it’ll be authentic. And Cheaper.

I’m looking online for ideas of what to get her for Christmas. The same goes for my parents in Blackpool. There’s plenty of time but I know that time will pass in a blink. Harold will usually get a book from us and Margaret and Richard get a tin of Marks and Spencer’s biscuits. I’m a bit envious really. I like those biscuits but I can’t have them because they’re not cheap. Apparently I can only eat cheap shit. Sometimes I feel like a dog living off scraps.

Stop being so melodramatic you dick.

I look at jewellery, soft toys, books, even socks, and then I get distracted looking at sexy underwear. It’s a good job I’m using in-private browsing.

The underwear has me so distracted I don’t even bother looking at anything else. It’s fascinating me so much I go into a kind of trance. Until I’m broken out of my stupor by Mei barging into the room.

I quickly close the browser and the lid and look like a child stealing cookies. She can see that I’m a little turned on as I try to stand up, and then I don’t.

She laughs.

‘Why the hell did you come in like that?’ I snap.

‘Because it’s funny,’ she replies.

‘I thought you were in the garden.’

Her mother joins us.

‘It’s raining.’

I glance out of the back window. I hadn’t even seen it go dark, but she wasn’t joking. It’s pissing it down out there.

She looks at me. ‘Stop wanking and help make some dinner.’

I stand up now that I can and walk past her. ‘Don’t be so disgusting,’ I tell her.

We decided not to cook, opting to go out and eat instead. I think we just can’t be arsed. There’s a Chinese restaurant on Fylde Road that her mother liked the last time she visited, so we head there.

Mei and I have been here quite a few times for dim sum on a Saturday morning or something from the main menu at lunch. Singapore fried rice is one of my favourites. I think I’ll order that. I don’t have a clue what they order.

The restaurant is busy. The main customer group are the Chinese students but there are a handful of locals enjoying the food.

The food arrives in much the same way as it did at Wu’s in Manchester. At least this place doesn’t have any dickheads parking in disabled bays when they shouldn’t. That’s because it doesn’t have any disabled bays. Roadside parking only.

The food arrives: sweet and sour fish that is shallow fried and served almost whole in the middle of the table for people to pick chunks from; my Singapore rice that is lovely and spicy; some long green vegetables of some kind that are cooked in garlic and taste amazing; and some salt and pepper pork. Everything is delicious. Mei and her mother like it, I think. It’s hard to tell with their mouths constantly moving in chatter. I know they don’t see each other in person often, but they speak online and on the phone most days. Surely they’ve run out of things to talk about.

After the meal we head home with our stomachs full. I really enjoyed that one. It might not be the same food as what they sell in China, but it’s close enough.

The sky is dark when we leave the restaurant. The stars are twinkling and the air is cold. But at least it’s not raining for once. Though I do hope it rains on Friday then maybe the trick or treaters won’t be out. I hate them. I always feel like I don’t give them enough sweets and they judge me for it.

When I get home there’s a police car parked outside our house. It’s a Vauxhall Corsa, which tells me it’s for the community officer. I’ve seen that car before, usually at Jason’s home.

‘What’s that about?’ I ask.

Nobody responds to me. Probably because it’s a stupid question.

I have no choice but to pull into the carpark that goes behind the houses to the right of Harold’s. Hopefully there’s no car blocking the way when I leave.

We head to our house passing Harold’s on the way and I notice a small, dark red patch of something just inside his front gate.

‘Can you see that?’ I ask Mei.

She looks at it. ‘What’s that?’

I shrug my shoulders but I know it’s something to do with Harold. I want go inside and ask him, but I choose not to, not if he’s busy. If there’s a problem I’m sure he’ll tell me, but I am worried about it.

‘It can’t be blood,’ Mei says.

I don’t respond.

For the rest of the evening the dark red patch on Harold’s garden path weighs heavily on my mind. I’m desperate to find out what happened.

This is going to keep me up tonight, just like the Mrs Mellor thing did even though that turned out to be something innocent. I know it’s not quite the same thing, yet the feeling is similar. It is blood. Evidence that something foul has happened.

I don’t sleep well.

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