I’m so angry with myself for falling asleep last night. Now I’ll need to wait until me and Lorna score again, and take another hit, before I can sneak her phone from her handbag to look for Mickey’s number. He might not want to talk to me at all. Not turning up to meet him is bad enough but with the issues I’ve had around him touching me as well, he’s bound to think I’m not interested. I’ve given the opposite impression of what I want him to have.
Lorna isn’t taking me to score until much later. We’re spending today at the beach, but first, we’re having breakfast in the trendy cafe we were at last Sunday. We’re sitting at the same window table as last time. And she’s eating the same mammoth breakfast again – two fried eggs, two rashers of bacon, two sausages, fried tomatoes, mushrooms, baked beans, chips and toast. When she’s finished, I’m expecting her to do the same as she did on our last visit. She’ll disappear into the ladies’ room for ages then return with the smell of vomit on her breath. It’s a shame she takes her handbag with her.
“You didn’t seem into me last night… You going off me, Nicole?”
I look down at my plate of two fried eggs on toast. I have gone off her sexually but I can’t think of a way to word it without sounding harsh. “It’s the shaven thing. I thought you understood?”
Lorna reaches across the table. She lifts my chin with her finger. “As long as that’s all it is.” She slips the strap of her handbag over her shoulder. “I’ll be right back.” She walks across the chequered floor tiles towards the toilets at the other side of the cafe.
The sun shines directly on me through the full-length window. It’s a beautiful day. Every day since I’ve been in Sydney has been beautiful. I wish I could appreciate it but I can’t, not when I’ve got a habit. Getting my next fix is all that ever matters.
I eat another mouthful of fried egg. As I’m chewing, I look out the window. There’s a man standing outside with his back to me. From behind, he looks like Mickey. He has the same short, brown hair. I try to measure up his shoulders through the royal blue, floral patterned shirt he’s wearing. I haven’t seen Mickey wear that shirt before, but then I haven’t seen him many times.
Eventually, Lorna returns to the table. “Ready to get some rays?” Her breath confirms she’s been vomiting.
Although the plan is to go to the beach, I want to go straight to score again. As well as getting the opportunity to look in Lorna’s phone, I really want to have a hit. “I’d rather go to Kings Cross first.”
She holds out her skinny arm and stares at it. “I’m looking deathly pale, nearly as deathly as you, my dear.”
On the scale of looking deathly, Lorna trumps me. Her track marks are far worse than the three abscess scars that are healing on my arms. “We can go to the beach after.” I pick up the bill from the table.
“It’s our time for the sun. One mad dog,” she says, prodding the centre of her chest. “And one Englishman.” She points at me.
After I’ve paid at the counter, we walk outside into the heat. The man who I think could be Mickey still has his back to me. If I was alone, I’d sneak around to see if it was him. Lorna being with me, I can’t. She takes my hand and we walk down the side street towards Manly Beach. No Mickey, and no heroin for me yet.