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Sunday 18th January

We ended up having sex last night, which was odd now I know there’s a baby growing inside her. It was in the back of my mind the entire time. But it was nice. It’s just not the same as before. We both fell asleep more or less straight away. I was so relaxed afterwards. It was exactly what I needed.

I eat my toast this morning while looking through the kitchen window at the back garden. I feel free again. Not free like I did when I blocked Amy’s number, but free altogether. She is now well and truly out of my life. Probably.

Mei has started to feel sick in the mornings which doesn’t sound great to be honest. I would hate to be a woman. Not to sound sexist but I would. All the changes women go through before and after birth and later in life. It’s not something I envy. But it is amazing to see how their bodies change to adapt to the new setting.

When I leave the house I have to defrost the car again. Today is bitterly cold and it’s a job just to open the car doors. I make my way around the car as I scrape the frost from each window while also checking around for anything one of the two brothers may have done to it. I glance at their house, which looks quiet. There are no faces in the windows this morning.

Margaret Starkey comes out of her house, no doubt with some gossip for me. She was, after all, the lady who took Amy in until the paramedics and police arrived.

‘Hi, Mrs Starkey,’ I say.

She stands and looks at me, her arms folded and her body rigid, probably from the cold. I can’t tell. ‘It was a good thing you did last night,’ she tells me.


She tells me what the police said. Seems that she was there when Amy was being questioned. Amy had been locked in a bedroom in the house for a week. Those screams the Starkies had heard through the wall were not the screams of pleasure they thought they were. They were the screams of pain from being raped by steroid abusing Alan. I don’t know what to say to that. I can’t imagine something so horrific happening on this road. It’s just incomprehensible. I wonder if the face I saw in the window was Amy trying to send me a message. Shit. I kind of blame myself. But then again, if she wasn’t such a nutter then perhaps I would have paid more attention. I still wonder if it was she who nailed that rabbit to my garden gate. I guess I’ll never know.

It’s like living on Coronation Street down here.

With Amy now out of the picture it looks like things might turn back to normal. Just Alan Fogarty to watch out for now.

Mei’s mum is due to go home at the end of the month. I have twelve days left to get through hopefully without incident. This visit thus far has been pretty incident free. It was just Jason at the beginning who was the main problem. Then his mum. Where Mei’s mum in concerned, everything has been running smoothly. But I have a feeling it won’t be long until she’s back, what with Mei being pregnant.

At work I make myself comfortable in the office. Agatha isn’t here yet, which is odd. Not that I’m complaining.

I check the answer machine. There’s a message from her saying she won’t be in today as she’s unwell. Looks like my first day alone has come a day early. I’m ready for it anyway. It might go better without the soul crushing company that she provides.

Being Sunday, I finish at two thirty. I collect Mei and her mum from town and we head home. They went to buy some gifts for the family over in China: some English tea and biscuits and the like. It’s not like they’re short on tea in China though, is it? We usually bring back green tea and herbal tea and some tea leaves. We even brought back a flowery kind of tea. It’s a bud that opens up when you pour hot water on it. It looks nice and tasted all right. Wouldn’t mind getting some more of that.

I don’t really want to go home. The sun has come out and I fancy going somewhere for an hour or so. A garden centre or something. I just want a break from the norm.

We end up at a garden centre on the way to Blackpool, which reminds me: I need to call my parents. I haven’t spoken to them since Christmas.

The garden centre is huge and lovely. They even have a resident cat that lives near the fish tanks at the back. It’s a right fat thing but it’s timid. There’s a café here where we have a drink before walking around some more. I’m not a flower person myself. Mei is. I leave it up to her to sort out the gardens, something else I feel will be more my duty when she gets bigger.

We get home at the same time as Alan and Bret. When I see Alan my blood starts to boil again. He sees me but ignores me. I just watch him struggle to walk from the taxi to his house on crutches. It’s a satisfying sight to see. I’d get my phone out and take a picture if I didn’t think it would make things worse. I can’t understand why he’s at home and not locked up. He should be in a cage for what he did, the sick piece of shit that he is. The more I see him the more I want to smash the other knee and do something that a man should never do to another man: crush his bollocks with the sole of my foot. He must be out on bail. I bet that cost a lot. I hope it broke his bank.

I can’t help myself, I have to say something. ‘Proud of yourself are you?’ I yell. ‘You’re a piece of shit. You’re not a man. Your shrimp brother is more of a man than you are.’

He looks at me and says nothing. He just walks inside.

Mei frowns at me for saying something. I don’t care. How anyone can lock up another human and use her like that is beyond me. Some will say she was asking for it, putting herself out there like she does, but nobody deserves what he did to her. I hope that when he goes to prison they get a hold of him and tear his arsehole open.

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