Defeatist- Chapter 5, part 2


defeatist car

A part of me wonders why she still lives in our original family home. It isn’t a question of money; the mortgage was paid off over six years ago. It’s just- it must hold so many memories for her. She cannot heal here. Violet pours herself a large glass of wine and cries. I watch her for hours, I can’t leave. Believe me I want to, but someone is making me stay. It’s like a force. I give in and sit at the opposite end of her sofa. Mum sits there, with her legs tucked underneath her. I don’t think she knows what to do. I shuffle closer to her and lean forwards. She dumps the glass down and proceeds to pace the carpet.
“How could you do this?”
I examine the bottle of wine, with the expectation of what’s in her glass, she’s drunk the whole thing. This is the first and only time I’ve ever seen her drunk, I’m shocked! “Hell, Jude! Why did you go and kill yourself?!” She yells. “Why? Didn’t you think about the people who’d have to pick up the pieces…your pieces!”  Violet picks up the picture of me on the coffee table and slams it face down. The glass smashes.
“Shit!” She grasps it again, and examines the long, horizontal crack along the glass. The picture was taken quite a while ago, because I looked happy then. Perhaps I was faking it? Something I was very good at: spreading my mouth into a wide smile, and kidding everyone that I was fine. She sighs and puts it back in the correct place. She’s hurting inside and badly, just like I did. I don’t want to watch this anymore, so I leave.

**
I don’t need to sleep. I pace the streets and decide where to go next, but I don’t have a choice. My head starts to spin, I sit down on some unknown doorstep and my vision blurs. When I’m aware of my surroundings again, I find myself at an unfamiliar house. Well, the outside is. On going indoors, I realise that this is Grace’s home. Poor Grace, I wonder how she is?
She’s sleeping, wrapped in the security of her boyfriend Henry’s arms. I’m jealous, really jealous actually. I wish that someone could have cared for me like that. Grace probably has a great life, she has a lovely house. He strokes her arm, and she stirs.
“Can I talk to you?” He whispers.
“Yeah.”
“Okay, umm. I’m going to be blunt, how well did you know Jude Reed?”
“What do you mean, Henry?”
Oh no! I know what he is implying. Grace and I were complete acquaintances, I mean we’d say a polite ‘hello’ if we ever bumped into each other or make small talk about the weather. That was it.
“Babe, I didn’t know him. Not really. Ummm, I mean we might see one another once in a blue moon, and it really was.”
“Oh, I see.” He doesn’t sound impressed.
“Why are you questioning me?”
“I- I wasn’t. Look, I’m sorry.”
“Hmm.” Grace narrows her eyes. “You should know something…”
“What?”
“He wouldn’t have been interested, even if I did fancy him.”
“What? He was gay?!”
“Yeah.”
“What makes you so sure?”
“He had a partner.”
“Wait! How do you know so much about Jude Reed’s personal life?”
Honestly, I’m thinking the exact same thing.
“You know when you just know?”
“He wasn’t camp at all!” He sighs. “Who was his partner?”
“I dunno, they were a nice looking couple, though.”
“Were they now?”
“Yep. Don’t know if they were still together…”
“Go to sleep now.”
“Do you honestly think that he killed himself?”
“Babe, I don’t know. It’s what the police seem to think.”
“It’s kind of sad.”
“Very.” Grace is tearing up again. “It-it makes me want to make the most of my life. I love you so much, Henry.” She kisses him, pressing her damp cheek against his. “Thank you for being supportive and understanding, I love you. Goodnight.”

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Defeatist- Chapter 5, part 1


defeatist car

January 2014 :

Seeing your Mother cry is the second worst thing. Being the cause is unforgivable. She hasn’t stopped crying since she received the news. I wish there was someone here to support her properly. Why didn’t I wait for a better time?
“He wanted to say goodbye. Uh, the last time I saw him. It-it was the way that he hugged me, it should have twigged. It was his final goodbye to me, he knew.”
“Had he ever spoken of suicide? Did he have suicidal tendencies, was he mentally unstable?”
“I’ll have to start at the beginning.” She sniffs. I don’t think she doubts the fact that I took my own life; she must have seen this coming.
“Jude was born in 1984, he was a good child. He was conscientious and hard-working, always trying to please. His teachers sung his praises and said that he was destined for great things. Like in most schools, he was pushed around a bit. Who isn’t, I suppose? Kids are harsh, and they don’t care what they say to their peers. There was this one boy called Jordan Neeson who was especially cruel. Jude didn’t tell me until things got really bad; I noticed a change in him. He lost his sparkle. It turns out that this kid was beating him up after school most days.”
“How long did this carry on for?”
“Months. We didn’t know.”
“Were there tell-tale signs?”
“Yes, he had bruises but he kept them well covered. It just about wrecked his confidence.”
“Did it affect him as an adult?”
“Perhaps, I just don’t know. His self-esteem was never the same again, that’s for certain.”
“When did the bulling stop?”
“Jordan Neeson dropped out of school at 16, Jude carried on. I don’t think they really saw each other after that.”
“Oh.”
He glances up and checks the time. “Is there anything else I should urgently know?”
My Mum thinks for a moment. “Jude was complicated, he had depressive tendencies but he wasn’t a bad person. Once the news gets out, people will judge him and accusations will be made. I dare say the finger of blame will be pointed at me too. We’ll never know what was going through his mind when he died. I hope to God that it was over in a matter of seconds! I’m sorry, I’m getting tired now and…”
It’s his cue to go.

My Mother gets to her feet and shakes his hand as he makes his way from our living room and down our hallway. My Mum is still clutching her stomach and looks like she’s about to cry again. He closes the door behind him, and she makes sure that he is gone. It’s then that she sinks to the ground, and wails. I almost jump out of my skin. I have never seen anyone cry like this before.  There is no-one here to comfort her or offer her support. Why isn’t there someone with her?
“Mum.” I whisper, as I crouch down beside her. “I had to. I couldn’t go on living like that, I tried to get help, but nothing worked. Everyone will be better off without me, you’ll see. I was a nobody. You deserved a nicer life and now, you can have it. Things will be much better for you from now on.”

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Defeatist- Chapter 4, part 4


defeatist car

“You’d better get on with your homework.”
“Yeah.”
I scuttle up the stairs and Maple follows. I sit at my desk and lay out my work. I never know how to begin, so I spend the first fifteen minutes familiarising myself with the textbook material. I don’t mind, I like history. I work solidly for the next two hours and almost jump out of my skin on sensing a hand on my shoulder.
“Jude, it’s 10pm. You have school tomorrow!”
I gaze over my shoulder at my Mum and my wall clock, so it is.
“Oh, whoops!” I didn’t even realise how tired I’d become, but now it hits me as I rub my eyes. “I’m going to bed now.”
“Sleep well, Jude.”
“You too, Mum.”
“Jude?”
“Yeah?”
“You can talk to me. Is there something on your mind? Because if there is, you can just tell me.”
I nod with caution, but I don’t want to say anything, not yet. Mum sighs and brushes back my hair from my face gently, stroking my cheek. She hugs me close to her and I hold her back, wrapping my arms around her waist.
“Love you, Jude.”
“I love you too, Mum.”
She releases her grip.
“You can always talk to me. Jude, if something was really upsetting you, you would say, wouldn’t you?”
I nod, I and I’m not lying. I would tell my Mum the full truth if things got completely out of hand, but for now; I’ll survive.
I traipse into the bathroom and brush my teeth. On returning to my bedroom, I see a small darkened shape on my bed. Maple is curled up, snoozing. I take care not to wake her and slide under my bed covers, falling asleep almost instantly.

**
There’s a murmuring noise. Is there a group of people having a conversation outside? Maple stirs too and growls. I pat my bed and she lies down again. Oh dear, I think Mum and Dad are arguing.
“Why can’t you just be sociable?”
“Oh Violet, how many bloody times do we have to go through this?!”
“As many as it takes for it to sink in! You are so antisocial. Jude and I just want…”
“Yes, well don’t you dare make him take sides! Stop mollycoddling him, no wonder that he’s turned into such a drip!”
“Simon!”
“Well he is! It’s about time he got a grip!”
“He’s having a tough time.” She hisses. “Something is going on and he won’t tell me.”
“Are you sure he’s not just being over-sensitive?”
“No, he arrived home bleeding today.”
“Maybe he fell.”
“I just don’t know, Simon. I’m worried about him.”
“Well don’t be. Jude is 12 years old. It is about time that he grew a backbone. Please promise me that you won’t get involved Violet.”
“I’m not promising anything.”
“He’s almost a teenager! He needs to learn to fight his own battles. He’s becoming clingy, needy and pathetic. Don’t encourage him. It’s time that Jude toughened up.”
My Father’s words sting me, but he’s right. My heart rate increases and I clutch my cotton pillow. I need to learn to stick up for myself.

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Defeatist- Chapter 4, part 3


defeatist car

I go and wash my hands and tidy my hair. I hate the reflection in the vintage mirror before me; I look so…so out of place. I feel ugly, I am an average boy of twelve, but why can’t I be popular and clever like everybody else? I sigh and join my parents at the table. My Dad has arrived home but he barely acknowledges me. He likes to read at the table, he always has his nose in a book. Mum sighs, but says nothing and proceeds to dish the pasta, while I help myself to the leafy green salad and put some on her plate.
“Do you feel better?” My Mum asks.
“Yes.” I smile, scooping up a forkful of the pasta. “This is so nice, thanks Mum.”
I sigh and turn my head to my Dad. I want him to put down that stupid novel.
“Dad, uh Dad?”
“Hmmm?”
“Uh, how was your day?”
“It was the same as always.”
“Oh.” I’m not sure what else to say. For goodness sake Jude, ask him something to make him talk. “Umm, do we have any plans for the weekend, Dad?”
He removes his glasses.
“Shouldn’t you be making your own plans?”
I swallow. I don’t really have any friends, but I need to think of an excuse.
“I have lots of homework and a project to do, uh that will take up most of Saturday I think.”
“Oh.”
“What’s it about, Jude?”
“Well, it’s for History Mum and….”
My Dad is wolfing his dinner down. I have never seen anyone guzzle and swallow their food whole like he does. He wipes his mouth, and rises to his feet.
“I’m done. I have a lot of work to be getting on with.”
My Mum’s face falls, but she nods and then forces a smile. Poor Mum, she’s spent ages in the kitchen making tonight’s dinner.
“There’s still dessert.” This is her final attempt to make him stay.
“Yes, maybe later.” He sighs. “I’ll be in the study, you can clear the plates.”
Mum and I haven’t even finished and I see the tears in her eyes as she stands up, about to clear up. Dad has already left the room, so I shake my head.
“Mum, we’re only half done. This is delicious, I haven’t seen you all day and- and I can tell you all about my project.”
She nods. Poor Mum, she’s so hurt. “That would be nice.” She whispers.
“Well, my history project is about Homesteaders and the problems they had to endure, um like setting up their homes in new territories and the poor law and order back then. I have lots to do, but it only has to be ten to fifteen pages long.”
“Only?” She smiles.
“Yeah, I can handle it.”
“That’s the attitude.”
After we’re done, I help her to wash up. We stand in silence by the sink, my arms elbow deep in the soapy water. I like the knowing silence between us, and I wonder what she is going to do for the rest of the evening if my Dad is being his antisocial self. I feel terrible for leaving her alone, but I have to do this homework. Mum dries the last cup and sighs.
Violet Reed is trying to be brave. But inside, I know she’s sobbing.

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Defeatist- Chapter 4, part 2


“That was a lucky escape.” I whisper. I debate what to do about my clothes. I can’t go up to my bedroom and then bring them down. The mud is thick, it will shed and drop bits all over our carpets. The door lock clicks, oh God! She’s home early! I am going to be grounded for weeks and I’ll never hear the end of it once my Dad knows. Mum sees me immediately and…
“Jude, you’re bleeding!”
I had been so worried about the mud, that I hadn’t even noticed the cuts on my wrist or chin. She places all her shopping bags down and fetches me a chair, helping me to sit down and crouches by my side.
“What happened?”
“I’m so clumsy, I slipped in a muddy patch and fell flat on my face.” I force a smile. I am a terrible actor if ever there was one. “Umm, I should probably have a shower.” I get to my feet, but she places a hand on my shoulder, making me sit down again.
“Honey, what really happened? I know you might not want to say, but you should never cover for others. You know me; I won’t freak out or kick up a fuss, Jude.”
I know this, deep down. My Mum is the kindest, most supportive person I know. I have to tell her the truth.
“I only told you half of what happened.” I admit. “I did slip and fall, but I was pushed.”
“Oh honey!”
“I’m fine, I-I was more worried about Maple. She was really scared, I was frightened that she might run off and get lost, or they might hurt her.”
“Who was it?”
I shake my head. I’ve told her enough already.
“I-I’ll take that shower now. I’m really sorry about my clothes.”
“You don’t need to apologise, I was just about to put a dark wash on anyway.”

She always knows how to make me feel better. I want to cry, but I don’t know how. The hot, revitalising shower washes away the remains of the mud and dried blood which clings to my skin. I dress in a thick hoody and jeans and immediately feel secure. I join my Mum in the kitchen again; she places a steaming mug of hot chocolate before me. It’s a real winter warmer.
“Thanks.” I whisper, as I blow the steam away. Maple pads in the room and hops up onto my lap, nestling into me.
“That’s gratitude.” My Mum smiles, stroking my hair. “Now then Maple, you’re brave too aren’t you?”
“She’s brave, I’m a coward.” I whisper, taking a sip of the hot chocolate, grateful for the sugar rush. I need it, it warms my chilled body. My stomach is growing and my Mum can tell, I didn’t eat lunch today. Sometimes I just can’t, my stomach ties itself in knots. Even the tiniest mouthful would have made me physically sick.
“Your Dad should be home any time now. Dinner is almost ready.”
My Mum is such a wonderful cook, I sniff as a delicious scent wafts past my nostrils.
“It smells lovely.”
“Ah good! I’ve made tuna pasta bake.”
My mouth waters as I anticipate slicing through the crispy, golden topping with my knife. To me, that is simple bliss.

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Defeatist- Chapter 4, part 1


March : 1996

The year is 1996 and I’m 12. I love our house with its timber structure. It is like something from Little House On The Prairie. It’s just me, Mum and my Dad. The air is crisp and cool as I step outside with our dog, Maple. She’s so gentle and I love walking her, it’s just as well. I mean, Mum’s normally home by the time I get in from school but she has a million and one things to do. Maple patters, staying close to my side. I think she feels safe there. I bend down and pat her head as she stops as we near the road. Her ears go back and she shivers.
“It’s okay, don’t be scared.”
I keep her back from the cars, I know how much she hates them. “Come on.” I coax as she looks at me with her sorry eyes and nudges my leg with her nose. I ruffle her fur once more. “Don’t you want to go for a walk?” We continue, but I decide to take a shorter route than usual. She isn’t as young as she used to be. We pace down the paths together and I sigh, throwing back my head. It is so nice to be out in the refreshing air. We cut through the park. I wish I hadn’t.
“Oh look, it’s ugly sissy boy and his little doggy!”
I freeze and my blood runs cold as I feel a forceful hand clamp on my shoulder.
“So what are you doing out here? Shouldn’t you be knitting by the fire?”
I don’t dare to retaliate in fear of what the eight boys from my class might do. Their ringleader is Jordan Neeson, he’s two school years above me and twice my size in height and width. I wish Maple wasn’t with me. Oh God, what should I do?
“Have you got nothing at all to say to me?”
I shake my head. I don’t want to fight.
“Fight back!”
I don’t and he shoves me. I fall back, Maple’s lead is thrust out of my hand. I hit the ground and the air if forced from my lungs. I gasp, placing a hand to my chest. Loyal as ever, she stays put and yelps. I don’t want her to bark, they’ll retaliate for sure. I gasp for breath, I cannot breathe. I’m not sure if I’m winded, having a panic attack or both. The small gang run and leave me lying on the soaking grass. Maple nudges me with her nose. I manage to catch my breath and rise shakily to my feet. My clothes are covered in grass stains. God, my Mum is going to be so angry when I get home. Perhaps I can sneak in without being seen?
I use the back door, take off my muddy shoes and wonder what to do about my clothes. I am in so much trouble. I manage to sneak into the utility room unseen and try my best to wipe and wash the mud from my shoes in the deep sink. Maple sits at my feet knowingly,  and glances up at me with her soft, brown eyes.

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Defeatist- Chapter 3, part 4


“Hello, Violet Reed?”
She frowns. “Yes, I’m Violet. What’s wrong, what’s happened?”
They usher her inside and she sits down on her sofa.
“We have been trying to get hold of you for nine hours.”
“It-it was a twelve hour flight. Oh God! It’s Jude isn’t it? Is he alright, what’s happened?”
They are about to give her possibly the worst news she has ever received. Thank goodness she’s seated. This is my fault, I’m such a bad person and…
“When was the last time you saw your son, Jude?”
“Umm, it was December.”
“How was he in himself?”
She sighs. “Stop trying to wrap this in cotton wool. Tell me straight!”
“In the early hours of this morning, your son was involved in a fatal car accident. We’re so sorry.”
“He’s dead?”
“Paramedics arrived at the scene as soon as they could and tried to resuscitate him for over half an hour. Yes, I’m so sorry, he didn’t make it.”
She bursts into tears. If I had a heart, it would ache, but I no longer exist in human form. How could I do this to her? My poor Mum, she only went away for a week: she needed a break. I want to cry with her and tell her how sorry I am. She can’t hear me, this is torture. My torture, I earned this.
“Who-who else was involved?”
I don’t know whether the second piece of news will be slightly more reassuring for her.
“It was just him.”
She presses her lips together as they hand her tissues and a glass of water.
“Was it suicide? I suppose it was.”
“Mrs Reed, we don’t know that.”
“You don’t know my son.”

I want her to go on and expect her to say something awful about me. I deserve it. She has the right to slag me off to everyone now, but I don’t mind.
“Jude-he was complicated….was, hmmm…”
She ponders over her thoughts for a minute or so.
“He didn’t want to live, not really. He was so unhappy. I wanted to help, I tried to but he shut me out for the last few months. Jude didn’t return my calls, or come and see me. He said he wanted to spend Christmas with us, but I knew he wouldn’t come.”
“Why?”
“I think he thought that our family might judge him. They probably would have done. He was only 30, but he wasn’t a well man. On appearance he looked fine, but he was so troubled.”
She rocks backwards and forwards on the chair, clutching her stomach as she dabs her eyes with a tissue.
“Mrs Reed, was there anything that someone could have said to Jude that day to upset him? Was there something else going on in his life that was effecting him? Why was he afraid that people would judge him?”
She only shrugs.

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Defeatist- Chapter 3, part 3


“I’m sorry that you saw it, I made a mistake. I’m such an idiot. Goodnight Grace. You were innocent in all this; you’re one of the victims.”
Henry’s eyes open as he senses a damp patch forming on his shoulder. He sighs and strokes Grace’s cheek, tucking the duvet around her. I am not surprised that she is icy cold. I half expected him to wake her to check that she’s alright, but he doesn’t. Instead, he watches her sleep for a while, pushing back the lock of hair from her face. Content that she’s settled, he closes his eyes once more.

A shrill cry pierces the air and Henry almost jumps out of his skin. Grace is sitting bolt upright in bed.
“Grace?!” He shakes her and she almost slaps him, still half asleep.
“Wh-what?”
“Grace, you just screamed!”
“Oh God, sorry. Did I?”
She’s bleary eyed and sleep deprived. It’s only 2am. Henry sighs.
“We need to talk about this properly, you should really see someone.”
“I don’t need to see anyone.”
“You really do. You’ve had violent nightmares every night since it happened!”
“Perhaps it’s my way of coping.”
“It’s not a good way.” He mutters, climbing out of bed and pulling on his dressing gown.
“Where are you going?”
“Well, I’m awake now. I might as well do something useful.”
“Oh Henry, please come back to bed. I’m genuinely sorry that I woke you.”
“It doesn’t matter.”
He climbs into the bed beside her and shivers. “Please talk to me Grace! I feel like you’re trying to shut me out, please don’t do that. You’ve barely told me anything. Talking helps.”
She sighs, her bottom lip trembling. “What-what do you want to know?”
“What is it that you can’t get out of your head?”
“E-everything. It-it was his face. I saw it.”
“After he’d died?”
“Yeah. It-it was horrible.”
She snuggles next to him and rests her head upon his shoulder. I recall the last time I slept beside someone, and it really hurts inside. I wonder where they are and if they are happy. I rub my eyes and take a deep breath, rubbing my chest. My failed heart is breaking.
I think she finally feels safe and she drifts off to sleep. I can leave now; there is somewhere else I should be.

My Mother is a matter of hours away from knowing the truth. The small smile on her lips is breaking my heart. Violet Reed has a glowing tan as she pulls her coat over her slim figure. I-I think the police will be waiting for her. I mean, they won’t break entry, but I am positive there will be a police car pulled up outside her home. I wish I could take it back. I wait for her too, there are no limits to where I can go. Six hours later, I hear her car pull up outside and the pitter-patter of her shoes as she pulls the keys from her hand luggage and freezes. God, oh God!
“Oh Mum, please! Don’t go inside!” I bleat, but my words are lost in a gust of frosty wind. She does a double take of the occupied police car, opens the gate and reaches in her pocket for the house key, seemingly un-fazed.

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Defeatist- Chapter 3, part 2


Oh God it’s my Mum! Somehow, I’ve managed to travel and there she is. She’s smiling. My Mother looks happy and tanned. Oh no! Please don’t let her hear what’s happened while she’s on holiday! Oh Jude, you selfish sod! How could you do this to your own Mum? Surely they won’t tell her over the phone. I’ve only been dead for half an hour. The police are trying to contact my Mum, but they cannot get through. She has no phone. She’s coming home tomorrow, but at least she can be blissfully unaware for another 24 hours.

Grace’s boyfriend is quick to arrive. She really needs him by now, if she is this worked up, I dread to think what my Mother’s reaction will be. He says nothing, but sits beside Grace on the sofa and wraps his arms around her.
“Thank God you’re here, Henry.” She’s shivering and he immediately gives her his jacket.
“I’m really sorry.” He soothes. “I came as quickly as I could.”
“I know.” She says nothing else and rests her head against his shoulder; I think she must feel safe this way. Curled up on the sofa, she has a good cry. She’s holding back, she has barley spoken.
“Do you want to talk about it?”
She nods as he hands her a kleenex tissue.
“His car skidded, hit a tree and a tree branch umm… he got mangled. They tried to save him, but I think he was more or less dead when they pulled him from the car.”
“Was it an accident?”
“I don’t know, I can’t get the images out of my head. In a way, its better that he died instantly, it was over in seconds. I remember him vaguely, he was a decent guy, or used to be.”
“What do you mean?”
She’s taking great care with her answer and rubs her nose. “I hadn’t seen him for years. People change in that time.”
“Hmm. The police will call if they need to speak to you again. You need to get some rest; you’re exhausted, emotionally and physically.”
“I don’t feel like sleeping right now.”
“You should, come on.”

He takes her by the hand and they go upstairs. Their house is a tastefully decorated, but modern. He puts on the large overhead light and helps her to sit down on the bed.
“Do you want to talk?”
She shrugs, glancing up at the ceiling. “Maybe I am tired. I’ll try and sleep.”
“Okay.”
I know full well that Grace wont sleep tonight, but her boyfriend does. I watch over them both for a while. Grace opens and closes her eyes, rolling onto her side.
“What the hell have you done to me?” She mutters. “Why did I have to see it?”
I swallow. Poor thing.
I watch her toss and turn for the best part of three hours, until she finally exhausts herself and falls asleep. Henry must be a heavy sleeper, it didn’t wake him. I walk over to the bed and crouch down beside her, touching her shoulder. She shivers, and pulls the duvet up to her neck.
“I’m sorry.” I whisper. “We don’t really know each other, but I didn’t mean to put you through this.”
I sigh and perch myself on the end of their bed. I am riddled with guilt.

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Defeatist- Chapter 3, part 1


January 2014 :

Why are we lead to believe that when we die, we automatically go to heaven? I’m feeling pretty stationary as I continue to sit in Grace’s house. Perhaps I have burnt my bridges and heaven isn’t on the cards? I envy the hot cup of coffee in the police woman’s hand. What I’d do to drink coffee. I wait with them and listen in: it’s weird being talked about when you’re dead.
“So um, if she’s abroad, when will you tell his Mum?”
“She should be back tonight.”
“What news to come back to. Couldn’t he have waited?”
“We don’t know what the cause of death was, Grace.”
“I feel awful that I know before his parents.”
“You were the first on the scene. Sometimes it just happens that way.”

They continue to ask her questions for a further hour. She’s as timid as a shrew and I wish I could help her out and give her answers to the things she couldn’t possibly know. I don’t think she could hear me, even if I tried. I wring my hands and pace up and down the floor, wishing that I could get out of these blood-stained clothes. I guess they’re a punishment in themselves. A cruel reminder of what I did. I have to leave, but I wait and see what Grace does when the police go. Just as I thought: she places her head in her hands, and bursts into tears. Grace grabs her phone and dials a number. I can hear the whole phone call.
“I-I don’t know what to do.”
“Grace, is that you? Oh Grace, what’s wrong babe?”
Babe? It must be her boyfriend. She’s becoming hysterical, but won’t answer him.
“Grace, you have to tell me!”
“S-somebody crashed their car near my house. I saw it and-and…”
“God, are they okay? Was it a serious accident?”
“He died.” She whispered. “I-I’ve just been interviewed by the police. I think I might be the only eye witness, but they haven’t checked any CCTV cameras yet.”
“Oh God! Grace, I’m coming to you.”
“At this time?”
“Yes! I’ll be with you soon.”
“Okay.”
She doesn’t have to wait long. Gosh, he’s dedicated and she leaps to her feet as he taps on her door.
“I cannot believe that car is still there!” He gasps.
“It’s a crime scene.” She sighs. “It’s going to be there for a while.”
“Jesus! How much did you see?”
“Most of it.” She mutters.
“Can I do anything?”
Grace shakes her head. “Thanks for coming, though. I’m a bit freaked out to say the least. I don’t know who knows. I hope they can get through to his Mother.”
She starts to cry again. Shit! I didn’t mean for anyone to witness it, not like this. I thought everyone would be in bed. Nice one, Jude. That was excellently timed. I wonder how they’re going to tell my Mum? I have to find her, but how can I? How would I get there? Surely there are no limitations to where you can go when you’re dead. I am sure that they will find a way to contact her? My head is spinning and their house is becoming blurred. I think I’m leaving, but against my own will.  What is happening to me?

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