“Ye didnae think I’d come n see ye.” Fraser stood in front of me, pupils pinned.
I readjusted my towel, covering my small cleavage. Fraser back on the gear was an unknown quantity, I’d already risked my life when he’d hung me out of the 15th floor of the tower block we’d lived in. I’d promised myself I would never see him again. I also wanted to please Ian (the therapist no. 89), I’m sure he thought I could do better, but he didn’t know Fraser, I didn’t feel he could understand how nice he could be, how sexy he was, how he was a great carpenter, a great guitar player – if only he’d get off the drugs for good, then everything would be alright.
“Is Marni in?”
“No, she’s home soon. She’s out to get food.”
“I’ll come in then.”
I knew he didn’t believe me, and at that moment I didn’t care, he was smiling, his presence, his scar and familiar accent melted me into the hallway lino like a scene in Train Spotting. Neither of us believed anything about each other. He lied about the gear, I lied about not having boyfriends while he was in prison.
He crossed past me like he always crossed the lines of life and relationships. I followed him into the living room and we sat on the sofa.
“I’m off the gear.” He said. “Come back home.”
I looked straight into his eyes and saw the tower block, then realised I’d been wrong, his pupils weren’t pinned, I was so used to judging him – he actually looked good. He looked gorgeous. I leaned forward, held his head and snogged his face off. The towel fell to my waist. He leaned me over the arm of the sofa and fucked me. The phone rang as he was pulling out.
“You gonna get that?”
“It’ll be for Marni.” I retrieved my towel and dashed to the bathroom to clean my back. The phone kept ringing. “I’ll get it, she’ll be back soon.” I rushed back into the living room but it was too late, Fraser was unfurling the coil of the lead as he listened to the caller.
“Aye, aye,” he repeated. I tried to grab the receiver from him, but before I could get it back he’d slammed it down. “One of your boyfriends?”
“I haven’t got any boyfriends.”
“Why the fuck did you leave then? I fucking go to work, get home and you’re gone, everything has fucking gone. You and Marni planned it, that fucking bitch. Where’s all your shit? Where’s that fucking bitch.”
Fraser’s shouting was more threatening than the man at the Samaritans and the fear of being burgled. I was scared. He picked up the coffee table high above his head and chucked it at the door, it clipped my eye as it flew, he picked up the TV and threw it onto the telephone table where a plant pot toppled and smashed onto the floor covering the carpet with fresh soil. I ran back to the phone and dialled 999, Fraser came after me, trousers at half mast, I screamed down the phone, dropped it then jumped up at him grabbing hold of his long hair, pulling a chunk out, we were on the floor and I was beating my fists on his chest.
Before long the police were banging on the door.
“It’s the bizzes, you called the fucking bizzes,” I covered myself with the towel and Fraser pulled up his trousers. We sat back on the sofa, like naughty children about to get a ticking off.
A man and a woman officer this time. I pulled my fringe over the cut eye.
“We had an argument, I’m sorry for bothering you. Everything’s fine now.”
“She gets paranoid, then she kicks off”
“We’re sorry” I reiterated.
The police made notes and left just as blood began to trickle down my face.
“You’ve cut your eye. I’ll get something.” Fraser disappeared into the bathroom and I looked in the mirror in the living room above where the stereo and TV used to sit. There was a large cut above my left eye, the eye that was just getting better from the optic neuritis, an MS symptom that had left me with blurred vision for the last 6 months. In the mirror I could see the state of the room. It was fucked. I wished Marni was there, or Wand, or someone. Ian would be horrified, I was starting my counselling course Tuesday and my eye was swelling, there would be a bruise. Yes Fraser, I’d cut my eye alright. I thought about what Ian might say. “You didn’t cut your eye. Fraser cut your eye. ” I thought about the girls in the pub when I was 16 . I didn’t get beaten up, those girls beat me up. But I was shagging about. The phone call could have been one of my ex men, he was right to be angry. I had done a runner, I had left him. The confusion and complexity of loving and hating someone at the same time was overwhelming.
Fraser came back into the room and dabbed my eye with wet toilet paper.
“I’m sorry. I’m so, so sorry.” We sat on the sofa again and we cried into each other.
“Maybe it’s a good idea if we don’t see each other, for a bit. Just while I sort myself out. You’d better not ring or come round here again, Marni will fucking kill you for this.”
We looked at the devastation. “You’ve still got Scotty,” he picked up the small teddy on the floor near my mattress, poking out from under the sofa. “You must still love me.” He smiled through his tears, still like a child. “You do don’t you?”
“I still love you Fraser.” And I did. He handed me Scotty and I watched him walk down the stairwell and down Long Lane towards the tube. I put the portable TV back on its table, turned it on to check it was still working and began the massive clear up of the living room. The brush from the dustpan and brush was soft, and that and the hoover struggled to get up the wet plant soil. It was good enough, Marni wouldn’t notice the rest.
I was starving, hadn’t eaten since lunch the previous day. I found some dried pasta and stale bread in the pantry, ate the bread while I cooked the pasta and when just about soft, I shoved every piece of the swirly fusilli down my mouth as fast as I could. I drank a pint of water and with bloated stomach went to the toilet, knelt on the aubergine toilet mat, put the swollen fingers of my right hand down my mouth and threw up every bit, I drunk another pint of water and kept making myself sick until only bile came up. It was a relief my stomach was empty again. I wasn’t so overwhelmed now and flushed the toilet enough times to clear any evidence and cleaned round the bowel with toilet paper. I scrubbed my hands with soap and cleaned my teeth hard until my gums bled. My new dentist would kill me if he knew I was throwing up again, I hadn’t had to resort to this for months, since I’d been seeing Ian.
I picked up Scotty from the sofa. That fucking soft toy Fraser had bought me when he was on a weekend release. I’d always hated soft toys , Scotty was no different. I called it “SC” Fraser thought that was short for Scotty but it was short for Shit Cunt. I tried to pull its ears off but needed help. With kitchen scissors I cut the fucking stupid cuddly toy so it was completely mutilated. I opened the window and threw the remnants of SC into the square of the estate. It landed in the children’s concrete play area, some bits into the multi coloured spider climbing frame, other bits sank into the pit that had no sand in.