The End of an Error

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Tuesday 30th December

Today is the day we visit the midwife. It’s just an introduction meeting really to find out how far along Mei is. I still can’t quite believe it.

Tomorrow is New Year’s Eve. I need to remember to speak to Mr Blacksmith. I might even go back to the depot after the round to speak to him properly.

I don’t think we’ll be going out for the occasion. We very rarely do. I say every year that we will go out next year but we never do. It gets to eleven o’clock and we struggle to keep our eyes open. It’s harder to stay awake when you’re trying. I often try to stay awake at night when I want to fall asleep and before I know it, it’s morning.

After work I must remember to pick Mei up. Her appointment is at three. Must remember: three o’clock. Be there or regret it forever.

It’s a point she makes clear as I drop her off at the old Blockbusters. ‘You better not be late.’

This morning her mum was still looking at me questionably. She must have been thinking during the night about the strange woman out in the street. It actually crossed my mind last night that the murderer in the area could really help me out in the Amy situation. Unless it’s either Bret or Alan Fogarty then I’ve lost all hope. They’re Amy’s friends if I remember correctly. I’m sure she told me as much the day after their party. What if they come after me? It has suddenly dawned on me that if it is them then my life could actually be in danger. Or worse: Mei’s. I’m going to have to be on overprotective detail until this whole thing blows over.

When I get to work I don’t see Amy’s car. Naz is back on the Leyland round. I’ve never been so happy to see him.

As I wait with the drivers, I ask if they know whether Mr Blacksmith will be visiting tomorrow. I ask quietly in case the witch’s super hearing catches my voice. They tell me they don’t know but they’re looking forward to their wine and chocolates. Tweedle dum and tweedle dee overhear us and confirm that they heard he is coming.

Then Agatha appears and everyone tightens up. I swear I can hear their arse cheeks squeak as they’re clenched tighter than a nun’s chuff. I wonder if they’ll be like that with me if I were to get the job.

Time will tell.

I don’t see any stalker Fiesta’s on the round today. Maybe she got the message and pissed off, though I doubt it. I keep my eye out anyway all the way around Longton and Walmer Bridge.

When I’ve finished I head to the old Blockbuster and wait for Mei instead of heading home. By the time she’s finished I’ll still be well inside my allocated hour and twenty minutes.

I’m looking forward to this whole pregnancy experience. I want to share it with Mei, if her mum lets me. I think she’ll be watching me like a hawk for the near future.

I think tonight I will tell Mei about Amy. After the midwife appointment, of course.

Mei is at the carpark at two thirty waiting under the canopy outside the old Blockbusters. I wish they’d do something with that shop as it makes the place look desolate.

I can see that she’s excited for this appointment because she’s smiling and her eyes are wide, even if it is cold outside. She runs to the car and gets in quickly. We have plenty of time yet, no rush love.

The traffic is light and we make it to the doctor’s in ample time. Fifteen minutes early in fact. But getting there early doesn’t guarantee a parking space. I hate coming here in the car. There’s never a parking space so I have to park on a side street somewhere off the main road. Even doing that is frowned upon. There’s a sign asking people not to park here who are visiting the doctor’s surgery. If the doctor’s carpark is full where the hell am I supposed to park? It’s cold outside and now we have to walk five minutes to the surgery. A pregnant woman having to walk all the way there? I tut.

I know I’m going too far as she’s only just beginning her pregnancy but pregnant is pregnant, right? Being a man I have no clue.

Mei seems oblivious to the cold. She’s on autopilot as we walk hand in hand. Entering the carpark I spot an empty space, which pisses me off a little.

‘It’s okay,’ Mei says. ‘The exercise will do you good, daddy.’

Daddy. That’s a nice feeling. Much like husband was when we got married.

We check in using a self check-in machine in the foyer. I can already hear the coughs from the waiting room.

We sit down. Monsters Inc. is on the TV. There are seven people here to see the doctor, nurse, or midwife. There are two couples, a man, and a mother and young daughter. I really hope the couples aren’t here to see the midwife. Our time slot is almost here. I have a gut feeling that we will be late in. I let out a sigh and wait impatiently while Mei concentrates on her future with a baby as she watches the movie. The little girl is watching as well. Can’t beat Disney.

While we wait I start to think about how I can bring up the subject of Amy. I need to handle this situation carefully to cause as little stress as possible. Oh I don’t know, I’ll just make it up as I go along. Probably not the best option.

Finding out I’m going to be a dad has made me philosophical somewhat. It shows that life just carries on. Mrs Mellor is fresh in the ground and here we are bringing another life into the world. It’s pretty amazing really.

I still feel a bit raw about Mrs Mellor. I think it’ll stay with me for a while yet. I just felt that she was my responsibility. If I get this job with Agatha then the lack of care will be the first thing to change. When I’m on shift anyway.

A pregnant lady walks out of the door that leads to the doctors’ and nurses’ rooms. Seconds later there’s a buzz and a name appears on a screen on the wall. Not our name. It belongs to one of the couples. I think my gut feeling was right: we’re in for a long wait.

I get comfortable while Mei is mesmerised by the little girl watching the movie. We wait for another fifteen minutes and the couples swap over: one comes out and the other goes in. The man waiting with us has been through that door and gone home. An old lady comes in and waits.

I’m so bored. I’ve read the posters on the wall so many times I could be an expert.

Then finally, after a total of forty minutes waiting, we’re called in.

We walk the corridor into room four. The midwife is there waiting at a computer. She’s thirty something with glasses and long brown hair. She looks like she’s really happy about her job and looks like she actually wants to help.

We take a seat and I let them get on with it. Mei only wants me here really in case the midwife says something she doesn’t understand. And because I’m the father, of course. She wants me to be a part of this as much as possible, but translator is one of the main ones.

The midwife uses a circular calendar thingy to determine when the baby is likely due. Mei is five weeks gone and the baby is due around August. She takes Mei’s blood pressure and asks for a pee sample. Everything turns out fine and we leave with an appointment for the twelve week ultrasound. Simple and painless. For now.

It’s ten o’clock at night and Mei and I are in bed chatting before we drift off to sleep. I think now is the time to tell her about Amy.

‘I need to tell you something,’ I say.

‘What?’ she asks as she struggles to keep her eyes open.

‘Remember when I told you about Amy at work?’

She smiles. ‘Yeah. The sexy one, right?’

‘Uh huh. Anyway, she kind of has a thing for me.’

She laughs this time. She’s not taking it seriously.

‘She’s been stalking me. I’ve seen her on my rounds.’

‘You’re being paranoid.’

I sit up and turn to her. ‘Listen to me. She was at Mrs Mellor’s funeral. She pushed me against my car and kissed me. Last night at Giuseppe’s she was there watching us.’

Mei goes quiet.

‘I’m worried about her. She’s a nutter.’

‘Did you kiss her back?’

‘What? No! I pushed her away and she told me I’d regret it. She’s also been sending me naked pictures of herself. You need to believe me, I didn’t do anything with her. She’s just infatuated with me.’

Mei rubs her belly like she’s picturing a baby inside her. ‘You need to tell the police.’

‘I’m worried that will make things worse.’

‘So what are you going to do? Just leave her to it? If you don’t call the police then I will.’ She thinks about something. ‘She knows where we live, right? You told me she was at the party we went to after we left.’

I nod. ‘She did go there, yes.’

‘Tomorrow you will tell the police.’

‘What am I supposed to say? She hasn’t done anything illegal.’

‘She kissed you!’

I hold my hands up. ‘All right, all right. Tomorrow I’ll call Constable Smith and see what he says.’

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