Family Conversation

“I hate the way I visualise it, and imagine the sound, as it goes in and the pain starts to take over, but doesn’t, quite, and the need to recreate the image proper, and this constant battle not to do so.”

The feelings had been trapped inside for so long, and fell out in a rush.

“So what do you do?”

“Drink, normally, and stay out.”

“Does that help?”

“I don’t know. It’s a distraction. I can’t do anything when I’m out. The fight isn’t whether to.. you know.. but whether to go home. And it’s easy to do that bit. Stay out.”

“And how long has this been going on?”

“Since. I dunno. I suppose.. maybe.. since I was..”

A pause.

“Go on.”

“About 15.”

“Have you spoken to anyone about it before?”

“I tried. I was at school before. Went to the doctor. He wasn’t interested. Told me that everyone at school worried about their exams.”

“Were you worried about your exams?”

“Don’t take the piss.”

“What about anyone else?”

“What do you mean?”

“Does anyone else know?”

“Uh. Yes. One friend. But he’s at uni, I don’t see him much.”

“And what does he say about it?”

“I told you, he’s away at the moment.”

“But before he went away?”

“He told me not to. That there was no reason. He didn’t understand.”

“Because he told you not to?”

“Because he said there was no reason.”

“You think he was wrong?”

“Of course he was wrong.”

Another pause. They each tried to look the other in the eyes. Neither could manage.

“So what do you want from me?”

No reply.

“You came to me. What do you want?”

“Money.”

“Money?”

“I told you, I just want to get out. For the distraction.”

“Is that really the best..”

“Its the easiest.”

A ten pound note is passed across.

“Thanks.”

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