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Wednesday, 30 January 2013

399


“Let’s go home,” suggested Luigi to Cody, after they’d finished helping with the clean up after breakfast.
Home? thought Cody.  Where is that?  But he didn’t speak.
“Your medical certificate might have come.  The doctor said he would send it to my address.”
“Maybe ….”
“What?”
“Maybe I should just … resign.  I dunno that I can face them if the truth comes out.”
“Is it a good job?  Pay and stuff?”
“It’s all right.  Not a fortune.  But enough.  Phillippa”— he swallowed and looked away—“she … the house was given to us by her parents … so we …. There was enough money.  Even though I didn’t earn a lot.”
Luigi wondered how to put what he was going to ask next.  “Will she ask for maintenance?”
“She’s  very … yeah.”
“Will you fight that?”
“No.  Not for the kids.  My kids.  I … I want to be …”  He broke off, unable to speak.
Luigi waited, patiently.
“I want to be part of their life.  Just because …. You know … and I love them.  And … well … maybe I can trade, you know, maintenance for access.”
Luigi was quietly angry.  Not against Cody.  Against society.  Cody had a right to see his children, to love them.  Just because Cody was gay, didn’t mean that he’d lost that right.
“Well, let’s go and see whether the medical certificate is there and then we can think about phoning your work.  One step at a time.  We’ll make it.”
Taking Cody’s hand he led him through to where Eleanor was sitting.
“Mrs Cumberledge, we’re off now.  Thank you for the party last night and breakfast this morning.”
“Oh, do call me Eleanor, Luigi.  ‘Mrs Cumberledge’ sounds so formal.”
He smiled at her.  “All right.  Thank you.  And thank you for … your support.”
Cody looked at her and said, all at once overcome with shyness, “Yes, thank you.  I … it helped.”
She took the hand Luigi wasn’t holding and squeezed it.  “Do come again, Cody.  Soon. You’re very welcome here.” 
Episodes 1 to 260 (without pictures, 10 episodes per chapter


Tuesday, 29 January 2013

398


She’d come home so happy.  His name was Sean.  He was cute, with brown hair and blue eyes and a smile which made her heart flip.  He was shy, and asked if he could walk home with her every day.  She watched him with amused affection as he built up his courage to ask her out.
He’d found out.  She didn’t think she had to keep it secret.  When he found out about it, he’d beaten her, calling her slut and whore and bitch and then he’d fucked her brutally and left her to cry herself out afterwards.  The next day, at breakfast, he’d been quite ordinary, almost more loving and friendly than usual.
After that, their sex had never had even the pretence of love.  She started making up stories about how she’d fallen down the stairs, or slipped on a wet pavement, or tripped over the edge of the carpet and hurt her eye.  She could see the doubt and disbelief in the faces of her interlocutors.  She was too ashamed to tell the truth.  I deserve it, she thought.  I tempted him.  This is what he’d told her.  And when she turned her face from him as he thrust into her, he’d ask, so reasonable, don’t you love your daddy? And then he’d hit her hard.   Smile at me, bitch, he’d say.  Smile, you fucking whore.  You unlovable trollop. Smile.
But she couldn’t.

Episodes 1 to 260 (without pictures, 10 episodes per chapter


Monday, 28 January 2013

397


The autumn sun was warm, but the air felt like champagne, sparkling and full of light.  Luigi, Cody and Jason sat in the garden chairs on the back verandah and chatted with Lucasta and Eleanor.  It was peaceful in the sun.  In the distance, there was the grumble of lorries on the main road, the clang and ping of trams.  From neighbouring gardens there came the indistinct mumble of people chatting, of washing machines going, of some energetic soul mowing.  The world felt right.
Even Cody felt some peace.  His life was in ruins; worse, he had ruined Phillippa’s life.  Well, there was nothing he could do now.  He had to start again.  From scratch.  And his grief and humiliation and terror still howled deep inside him.  And yet, on this autumn morning, with people who didn’t judge him or who at least had suspended judgment, he had hope.  He could start again.  He wasn’t dead, murdered by a demented pervert.  His life was in front of him.  And into his head came the renewed vow, that he would make his life worthwhile, and do something to pay back Fate or God or Life for his good luck.
And he wasn’t alone.  He had friends.  Luigi and maybe Jason.  And Eleanor and Lucasta.  Perhaps he could get a room here.  So he wouldn’t be a burden on Lou and piss him off.  If he still had a job.  If.

Episodes 1 to 260 (without pictures, 10 episodes per chapter


Saturday, 26 January 2013

396

She pressed the razor blade into the muscles of her forearm.  The sting brought her immediate comfort.  She watched the blood swell and trickle down her skin.  She was mesmerised by the rich burgundy discharge.  You shouldn’t do this. It’s not healthy.  She didn’t know where the voice came from.  It wasn’t her mother or her father.  But she ignored it anyway.  She made another cut parallel to the first, a little deeper.  She hissed at the pain and closed her eyes.  As always, a kind of peace came over and she floated over the memories.  She always cut herself up in the fat part of her forearm.  It wasn’t really bad, she comforted herself.  She’d never cut her wrists, except the once.

The first time he’d come to her, he’d said it was time to show her how to be a woman.  She’d adored him. It didn’t seem wrong.  Not till later.  When he’d told her it was their secret and she should never tell mum.  With the instinctual insight of children, she’d felt it wasn’t right, though she didn’t know how or why.  Just that it felt off.
The violence had only begun later. When she started going out with a boy from her school.  

Episodes 1 to 260 (without pictures, 10 episodes per chapter


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