Tuesday, December 30, 2014

A short from The Harralton

We have been through so much together. When I first met him, he was still a little boy. Could not have been more than 14 or 15 years old and he was starving and living on the street. He looked like a high wind would blow him over and he was so bloody innocent. There was one wet, cold evening when I decided to buy him something to eat out of the blue. I don’t know why, I didn’t care about anyone or anything back then. I felt I just should. I had seen him a few times up till then.  He was so polite and so grateful that it really moved me. This poor little boy had no choice but to be out there selling himself.”

"A few weeks afterward, I saw him again. This time he was beaten so badly that I almost did not recognize him. Some devil had abused him and dumped him in a rubbish bin in an alley off of Oxford Circus. He was in hospital for month.  In the beginning, he was not expected to live. I went and sat with him for a little while every day until he finally opened his eyesI talked to him, held his hand, did whatever so that he would know he was not alone. Again I still don’t really know why because I was so mixed upmyselfbut he was just so sweetHe still is. You know how some people are just so good regardless? So good, you just want to be near them?”

“He’s just like that. But of course, you know that already. Anyway, when the authorities finally figured out who he was, they sent for his stepfather to come and collect him. He begged me to take him out of there even though he was still in no shape to leave hospital. He was so desperate to get away that I knew I had to do it. I knew what kind of a beast his stepfather was, I had gotten away from one of those myself, so I took him back to the flat I shared with two other girls and took care of him. They were angry that I had taken in this grubby little boy, but soon enough they were in love with him as well.You could say he brought out the good in all of us.

“He did everything he could think of to pull his weight in that flat, Sandra went on smiling. The place was immaculate the entire time he stayed with us. There was always dinner on the stove. The washing up was always done, our beds were made for us. The lavatory was spotless. He carried the laundry to and from the Chinese down the lane.And he was always willing to run the odd errand. He made that shitty little flat a place we wanted to come home to.
“He has returned it all to me a hundredfold over the years. When things got really dark for me, when I was still using, he actually knocked some sense into me and took me to treatment. He has always stood by me. He introduced me to my husband Roger, you know. They were mates at a racket club in Kensington. Nearly every good thing that has happened to me in the last 15 years, he has somehow been involved in it.