As a fledgeling teenager, I dreamt of being a rebel. But between the rigid Presbyterian church we attended every Sunday and a father not afraid to wield his thick leather belt, I learned to conform.
Now, as a law-abiding, middle-aged man I pay my taxes. I don’t drink or smoke and have never taken drugs or cheated on my wife. Rules and regulations; bylaws and petty bureaucracy were made for people like me.
Hence my present dilemma. The arrow tells me to drive one way. So I do.
And I wonder if I will ever break free of this roundabout?
The instructions had been clear – ‘Load your cases onto a trolley. Then, with the castle on the hill to your left. Head straight for the brick wall with the sign saying PLATFORM 7’.
We looked at one another, counted three, and charged. It worked! We’d passed straight through.
As we dusted ourselves down and looked around us our excitement turned to dismay.
The train waiting on the platform was not the Hogwarts Express, ready to take us off to our new school and untold adventures, but the 8.37 commuter train to Bridlington stopping at Collingham, Hutton Cranswick, Driffield and Nafferton.
This was not the most salubrious establishment in town. The note on the window told you it’s owners were shadowy characters, not open to complaints. The two ceramic butterflies on the wall outside must have been someone’s futile attempt to make the place seem more homely. It hadn’t worked.
Every morning I ate the burnt breakfast, drank the foul coffee and spoke to nobody. This place and I were made for each other.
I would watch the house across the street.
Watch the bastard who’d married my wife and was playing ‘daddy’ to my son.
That’s where she kept me. The room with the blinds.
I remember once letting the blinds up, the light from the sun was amazing. She was so angry when she saw what I’d done.I remember her hitting me with that belt of hers. God, I had some bruises that night.
I didn’t see the sunlight again for another ten years. Not until that policeman came in and took me away.
I cried for a week. Kept asking to see her but they wouldn’t let me.
I know she ’s evil but you’ve got to remember, she’s still my mum.