I managed to get rid of Lorna. She went to her place then she’s going to score before the party tonight. I’m back in my hotel suite alone. I’ve got the syringe that I’m not sure is Lorna’s or mine in my hand. My belt is wrapped around my arm just above the elbow. A thick vein is bulging. I push in the needle. I pull back the plunger. The blood swirls up to meet the liquid in the barrel. I push in and deliver half the hit.
I’m being careful. Although I still want to die, I’ve decided I can’t do it. I can’t leave my sisters and my brother without me. I can’t be that selfish. I don’t see the point in living. What can life hold for a hooker who can’t work? It’s not about the money. It’s about doing something I’m good at, the only thing I’m good at, the only thing I know. It makes me feel like shit but it’s also my reason for being. It’s who I am. If I’m not a call girl, what the fuck am I? Who the fuck am I? Some twenty-five year old abused child who can’t deal with life.
I lie on the bed. The room feels like it’s getting lower. My eyelids are closing. I open them again, but they fall once more. I can see the babysitters. They’re standing around me. I’m in the bath. The bath in the house we lived in when my dad was still there. He’s gone though. He left a few months ago. That’s when mum started leaving me with these people. She didn’t know they were paedophiles. I know she didn’t. She wouldn’t have reacted like she did when she eventually found out what they’d done.
“I want to go to my room,” I tell them.
There’s four or five or six of them. All men apart from one woman. She holds out a towel. She picks me up out the bath. I’m standing naked in front of them. She lays the towel on the floor. She lays me on it.
“Stop! Stop!” I’m sobbing. I need the rest of my hit. I feel like I’m seven years old again. I don’t want to see this. I don’t want to watch another rerun of this fucking memory. I can feel their hands on me. The evil cunts! I want them off me. I want to kill them. When they get out of jail, maybe I will kill them. Unless some other inmates kill them while they’re in there. I want their throats slit. And hers. She wasn’t there often. But she was kind to me when she was. As an adult, I can see she was their accomplice. But at the time, I thought she cared for me. The fucking bitch. What an idiot. I thought she liked me. I thought she was a good person.
I pick up the syringe from the bedside table. I know I shouldn’t take the hit yet. I’ve too much heroin in my system already. This could be dangerous. But what else can I do? I can’t watch this anymore. Eyes open, eyes closed, it doesn’t make a difference. It’s all I can see. Me lying on that towel. I’m really small. They look really big. No one was looking after me. Someone should have been looking after me.
Holding the syringe upright, I flick out the air bubbles. I put the belt back into place around my arm. I slip the needle into the vein on the inside of my elbow. I pull back. The blood flows through to the pink mixture in the barrel. I push in hard.
4 thoughts on “The Past in the Present – 24 December 2000 – 6.55PM”
Your story is riveting and realistic. Love it.
Thank you so much.
The imagery is amazing Ruth. I feel like I’m on this journey with her and I feel the emotion in the flashbacks and the desperation of her situation. Heroin is the only way to block out the visions of her past but the guilt and shame of not being who she ought to be and the voices in her head is all too familiar.
Thank you Gareth. I really appreciate your feedback and I’m so pleased you’re connecting with Nicole. I adore her. She’s my favourite character. Writing that scene made me cry. I just reread it, and I’m tearful again.