The postman wasn’t sure; my name wasn’t on the envelope. Somebody I didn’t know was c/o John Riley. That annoyed. I didn’t open the letter.

His letter to me came yesterday. I read the last page first. He was pushing marriage, commitment, engagement. Read like fantasy to me. That annoyed. He also asked for £50 to give to his daughter for holiday money. That really annoyed.

When he came today, I expressed my annoyance. He said he didn’t have any money. If I wasn’t giving him the £50 he’d just have to go shop-lifting. The attempted moral blackmail of that did not go unremarked either: thieving was his business, nothing to do with me.

He expected a partner to help out. I didn’t know about partnership, never having had one and wasn’t sure in any case I was his partner. He wasn’t out of bloody prison yet. How would I know?

Emotionally, I got him the £50. On the basis I wouldn’t give him it, Diana had given me a silvered and stoned brooch in the shape of a flower for him to give to the daughter. We talked of Yvann I’d fed cauliflower and cheese to during the week when he’d no money and who looked back on the good old days when he was thirteen, a robber and had girls sit on his prick. John claimed he too had had a gun and used it. “I do like bad boys,” I said.

I’d put him off sex but shortly he was feeding me half a viagra with a water chaser. “And I was worried about Yvann!” he said afterwards, worrying me because who’d I been thinking of? He scorned my sardine and red cabbage, denying he’d ever asked for red vegetables. Off he went for a fortifying McDonald’s before facing down the combined forces of his family, a confrontation I’d set him up for and would, as he observed, undoubtedly have made worse had I accompanied him to it. I’d’ve got tore in. He hadn’t read my reply to his letter, asking me to read it to him. Before I’d got very far, catching its drift, he snatched it and tore it up. I’ve sellotaped it together again. Who knows? I may want to write out the relationship.


About johnbrucecairns

I'm a retired history teacher who's written for most of his life with a book readied for publication.
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