She’s a fucking nightmare. A disgusting, vindictive little shit.
They’ll probably be glad I’ve gone. They’ll probably hope I’m dead in a ditch somewhere just so I never show back up there.
We’re right in the middle of woodland here, and I’m sure I can keep off the main routes as I head back towards Gloucester. It’s got to be twenty miles away at least, and my boots aren’t the best for long distance, but I’ll need to get there before dark if I want to call on Eli. Like I said, I’m not scared of anything, but the alleys around his place after dark sure make me edgy.
I’m edgy around him after dark, too, but beggars can’t be choosers. Hopefully he’ll have something for me to eat at least.
If I had any credit left on my mobile I’d consider calling ahead, but I don’t. It’ll be a risk showing up there without something to give him, but Rosie hasn’t left any cash around for weeks now. I’ll have to turn up emptyhanded and there’s fuck all I can do about that unless I take to breaking and entering before the morning’s out.
I dip into the public toilets on the way through town to fill up my bottle.
It’s still early and I’ve hardly slept. My face looks pale and drawn and my eyes look sunken. My hair is a crazy mess and looks little better for me running my fingers through it. It’ll have to do as it is.
I try to keep my spirits up as I set off. I’m going to take a route across the countryside, so at least there’s that to look forward to. I conjure up crazy fantasies as I walk, imagining that I’ll run into a travelling community with traditional wagons. Maybe one of them will be a distant relative and there could be a big happy reunion. Maybe they’ll cry and say they’ve been looking for me my whole life. Maybe they have dogs, too. They’ll surely have dogs, and horses.
I’m happily lost in the fantasy as I stumble upon Michael’s apartment block. I hold my breath as I pass the entrance to his car park, and all thoughts of my long-lost traveller family disappear at the prospect I could knock on his door for real and ask if he really can help me after all.
My heart will almost let me. Almost.
I’m almost at the rear door of his block when I think better of it.
He’ll just take me back to Bill and Rosie’s.
Once I realise that cold fact, it’s easy to turn away, even though I don’t want to.
It’s only when I’m on my way out again that I register there’s no sign of his old blue Ford. I guess he didn’t come home last night, and I don’t know why I feel so miserable at the thought of him being with a girlfriend somewhere, but it quickens my pace as I power on.
Of course he has a girlfriend, why wouldn’t he?
He’s old. Older than me. He must be at least forty, and that means he could be married or anything for all I know.
Maybe he laughs about me with her. Maybe he tells her I’m just a fucking nightmare, and a vicious little bitch. Maybe that’s why he was always so cool and calm when I asked him disgusting questions in his office.
Most people hate that, it makes them uncomfortable. Bill left the house and slammed the door behind him when I told him I knew he wanted to lick my pussy, but not Michael.
Maybe Michael doesn’t give two fucks about my pussy, because he’s riding some gorgeous bitch of his own every fucking night after work.
What nobody gets is that this crap is all talk with me.
I’ve messed about with guys, but nothing serious. I’ve had boyfriends, but they were only stupid young pricks who didn’t mean anything.
I’ve not been anywhere near an actual man, and I nearly crapped myself the one time Bill finally did answer my question and told me that yes, he did want to lick my pussy. He hated me even more after I laughed in his face and told him I was gonna tell Rosie and call the cops.
I didn’t do either, but that didn’t matter to him. He’s been gunning for me ever since.
My phone starts bleeping in my backpack when I’m a couple of miles outside Lydney. One incoming call and then silence. I check out the handset and find the voicemail icon, but I haven’t got enough credit to listen.
It doesn’t matter anyway. I’m on my own now, on the road and happy for it. I’ll only stay with Eli a short while, just enough time to try to earn a bit of cash and find a way to join some travellers somewhere.
He always promised we could go together one day, but over the past few years – since he’s been dealing drugs – I don’t think he has any intention of really coming with me. He never says he gives a shit about me anymore either.