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Tuesday 2nd December

I slept marginally all right last night. It was cold so that made it a bit uncomfortable. Luckily for me I have a living radiator in the form of Mei.

Have you ever had one of those dreams where you’re aware it’s a dream but you can’t wake up so you find something to do until you do? I had one, only I found something interesting to do, of which I can’t remember, and then I woke up. I do remember enjoying whatever it was. Dreams are such a nightmare to remember.

I’ve had my shower and brushed my teeth while still inside it again to keep warm. It sounds like we’re freezing our arses off, but we just haven’t got round to upgrading the heating. So, well, we are freezing our arses off.

I open the bathroom window to let the steam out and notice a line of police officers on the field behind the house. They’re waving sticks along the ground in front of them, left and right. They’re combing the field. Does that mean they think Jason is dead? Shit. It’s going to get busy around here.

I think it also means that his mum will be particularly difficult to deal with, when she gets out of the police cell that is. I’m not looking forward to this week. Yes I am being selfish.

I shout Mei and tell her to look. She’s as intrigued as I am. We watch them for a few minutes – the only really exciting thing to happen for a while.

I have a bowl of Coco Pops, because they were on offer, and I actually like them. I wash them down with a cup of coffee while I try to keep a track on the progress of the search. They’re half way across the field now.

‘Come on, Lee,’ Mei says from the front door.

Oh yeah. I need to take her to work.

I drop her off at the old Blockbusters and head to Leyland. Everything is going through my mind: Mrs Mellor’s injuries and damaged front door, Jason going missing, his mum losing the plot, even Harold and his cat, of which I’m yet to play.

There’s a stand outside a newsagent as I leave Preston. It says: Missing Bradley Boy.

Soon to say: Found Bradley Boy if the police get their way. I do hope they find him if only for some comfort for his mother. She might be a miserable old cow but no parent deserves to lose a child.

After my round I head home as always, only this time I hear the whir of a chopper above the canal. There’s also a lot of buzz around: police cars and the like.

For a change, I drive by the canal for a nosey. It’s pretty nice as canals go. There’s a bridge that leads to a road that goes through the trees and eventually to Haslam Park. The canal water is always murky and brown, which is nothing surprising, and every now and then there would be a mattress or old couch thrown in to break up the tedious attractiveness of a beautiful canal.

But this time there is no couch and no mattress. Instead there are divers. I think they’re divers anyway. It’s hard to get a glimpse of the fuss with police blocking the view. There are other vehicles there as well that I suspect to be the media.

I carry on driving and park up outside the house. Before I head in I think I’ll go for a stroll and see if I can be nosey. I might get a better look on foot. I’ll have to go the long way round though as the short way takes me by one twenty.

I can feel the beady eyes of the flats on me, judging me and telling me that I’m a nosey bastard. I don’t think I’ll be the only person to have a look, I’m sure that throughout the course of the day there’ll be plenty more.

I pass Harold’s house and cross the road and head to the canal. A policeman keeping watch at this side of the bridge watches me as I approach. He knows what I’m here for and no amount of bullshit I come out with will make him think otherwise. But I try anyway.

‘That’s far enough,’ he says with a hand stretched out and palm facing me.

I can see the news cameras on the other side of the bridge doing their thing. I don’t want to get in their shot, though. I’d hate to be on TV.

I glance past the policeman and see that I’m right about the divers. One is in the water while another is on the verge ready to jump in.

‘What’s going on?’ I ask the constable.

‘Please step away, sir.’

I can tell I’ll get nothing from him, so I leave and head home. That was a waste of time.

When I cross the road to Harold’s house, he comes out.

‘I’ve already tried that,’ he tells me.

‘What do you mean?’ I ask innocently.

He gives me a sideways look that says: don’t give me that, Lee.

I smile.

‘Brew?’ he offers.

I look at my house and think about what awaits me inside. ‘Wouldn’t say no.’

Harry is a very playful kitten, still finding and experiencing everything for the first time in that wobbly way that cats do. It’s cute. I like him.

I do find it strange why he called the cat Harry as he hates that name when he’s called it. I remember when we first met he said his name is Harold, not Harry. I suppose it’s because he was born Harold and he finds it insulting to be called otherwise.

Whatever. As long as he’s happy.

‘Did you see them combing the field?’ he asks me as he pours milk in the cups. ‘They must think Jason is dead.’

I nod. ‘From what I saw when I past the canal it’s all pretty serious.’

We go into the living room and the kitten searches around. I can see a little spot on the carpet where it left a little present. Harold will clear it up properly I’m sure.

For an hour we talk about the excitement around Jason. We reflect on what a little shit he was and are undecided on whether we’re happy or not. Of course we’re not happy he could be dead; we’re just happy he’s not giving us any problems now. We also go on about his mum and her drunken ways. ‘I’m worried about her other kids,’ he says, and I have to agree with him. What care are they getting?

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