Monday 19th January
It’s Monday morning. The beginning of a new week and what I hope is the beginning of a quiet period on the estate, which is far overdue. I was told today that I get every Friday and Saturday off work and Agatha gets every Sunday and Monday. I’d rather have Saturday and Sunday off but it’s just a small sacrifice. I’ve quite enjoyed working every day as it gets me away from under Mei’s mum’s feet and doesn’t really give us much of a chance to piss each other off. She’s still being nice as pie to me. I wonder if she knows that I’ve been working so much as a way of getting away from her. The first time she came was when I got to know Harold better. I used his dog, Poppy, as an excuse to get out of the house. I’d take her out for a walk, sometimes a very long walk, and it worked. Mei later told me her mum knew what I was doing. Never mind.
Mei’s next driving lesson is tonight. I won’t be following her this time and I feel stupid for my paranoia last time. At the time I thought it was a good idea.
The rest of Monday turns out to be just a normal run of the mill day. I get home at twenty past four and see Harold. We discuss the whole Amy thing and what the police asked us and what we saw. I think the estate is still in shock. Harold tells me that he heard some arguing in the street outside the Fogartys’ home. He thinks someone was giving Alan a load of abuse. Good.
Harold’s kitten is growing fast. I can see claw marks on the bottom of his leather sofa and dining chairs. I don’t know much about cats but I do know that they’re a law unto themselves.
Even now I still expect to hear Poppy yapping at me as I enter the house. Harold says he’s okay with the whole thing now. That might just be bravado. She was his best friend after all.
Tuesday and Wednesday fly by in almost a blink. It might sound nasty but I’m counting down the days until the thirty first when we take Mei’s mum to the airport. We’ll stop at the Chinese restaurant we visited when she arrived as we usually do. It’s becoming a tradition now every time we go to Manchester. I wonder if there will be any selfish prick BMW in the disabled bay this time.
Agatha is back today. She’d just had a stomach bug, so that means the atmosphere is back in the office. It’s really uncomfortable in there with her; the silence is there to be heard. For some reason she had to train me today to make up for yesterday even though I was alone. What goes through these peoples’ minds?
Amy’s white Fiesta is still in the carpark on Wednesday afternoon when Mei and I get home. I’d like to think she is getting the help that she needs. I really don’t know what to think of her now. Is she a crazy bitch or is she a victim? Probably a bit of both. She almost ruined my life and could have ruined my marriage. I’ll never forgive her for those things. No. I’ll be happy to never hear or see her ever again.
On Thursday evening we get a visit from Constable Smith. It’s more of a courtesy visit to tell us how the investigation is going. I ask about Amy and he says she’s improving. He can’t tell me where she is but she’s getting the help she needs. He also tells me that I will need to testify in court.
Looks like it isn’t over just yet. I should have known. ‘When?’ I ask.
‘We’ll be in touch. You’ll get a call or a letter. In the meantime you need to stop shouting things at Alan Fogarty.’
‘Aww did he go crying to the police?’ I say it in a childish voice. What a pussy.
‘He informed us of your little outburst. He’s getting a lot of hassle lately.’
‘Good. I have zero sympathy for him and I’m surprised you do.’
Smith doesn’t like that. He is almost yelling when he says, ‘I have no sympathy for any man or woman who treats people in the way that he is alleged to have done. But my job is to be neutral. Do you understand? Any feelings I have towards him are my own and can’t be expressed in the way in which I want them to be.’
I think that was Smith’s way of telling me how he feels. That’s fine by me.
On Friday Amy’s white Fiesta is gone. Someone has taken it away. Could have even been her. Who knows? It’s the last shred of her left around here.
Then later in the day I receive a text message from her. She’s using a new phone number. I’m not sure she should be getting in touch with me at all.
The text says:
Lee, I’m very sorry for the pain I’ve caused you and your family. Please accept my apologies. I guess I’m just not used to being rejected. The next time we meet will be in court and it will be our last. I am eternally grateful for what you did for me. Thank you. Amy.
I’ve got to tell you, I’m a little touched by that. I show Mei, who doesn’t really show ay feelings at all. The text could be from a complete stranger for all she cares. I can partly understand her wanting to put it all behind her. It hasn’t been good for her any more than it has me.
Saturday is my last day off this week. It’s the only day of the week I get to spend fully with Mei, and we do absolutely nothing. We just chill like a couple of vegetables. We don’t even go food shopping. Her mum goes to town on her own on the bus while we just watch TV and snack on crap all day long. It feels great. She was up again last night with the pregnancy sickness. Poor woman. Hopefully it won’t last the entire term. She was telling me stories of women that keep their sickness right through to popping. I hope she’s not one of the unlucky ones.
Sunday is when things get interesting. Sunday is the day the fire starts.