Monday – Shopping.
Tom knew Steve and Carol well. They were residents where he worked. They both relied on certain chemicals to function. In fact they relied on any chemicals to function. They were rattling big time. He gave them a nod as he headed into the pound shop. They called him back. There was no way that he was going to give them any money. They surprised him by not chancing it. They shot the breeze for a few minutes and then asked what Tom was buying. He told them he was looking for note-pads. Carol whispered in his ear that if he wanted, they would lift them and only charge him half-price.
Tuesday – DWP
Tom was walking home. He met Carol. “Hi Carol, you are looking…well. How’s Steve?”
“He’s no a junkie anymair.”
“That’s great news.”
“He’s telt them he’s an alky.”
“No, it’s good.”
“He gets extra money.”
“Aye. He buys mair smack.”
Wednesday – Moving On
Tom came out of the office and shouted at Steve and Carol who sat in the lounge. He noticed the sniggers from the others. He glowered at them.
“Can you two come in and see me please.” They did as he asked. He locked the door behind them and closed the blinds. “Steve, would you empty out your pockets please?” They exchanged glances and Steve frowned.
“Who the fuck do yae think you are…The Polis?”
“No. But that lot in the lounge handed in a needle just before the two of you came back down. They all said that it was found where you were sitting.”
“And…I know it is a pile of crap. But they have also said that you have got more on you. I know that you are not the only jaggers but they are all saying the same thing. If you empty your pockets and you’re clean then I can just pass on what has been said but state that there was nothing found. You will be able to stay. If you don’t,that lot is going to make this official and right reason or none, you will be out of here. They are complaining as there is a kid in the lounge.”
“Dae you no’ think we ken that?” Carol whispered.
“Yep. As I said, I know that it’s pish. I’ll pass that on but it won’t help. Give me something to work with.”
“I’m no’ emptying my pockets!”
Tom knew. “Oh fuck! You are kidding me!”
“How the fuck dae ye think I ken it wasnae me. I’ve been holding since I went intae the lounge.”
Tom clawed at his skull. “OK, then what do you want to do? I’ll give you the chance, you can walk or I need to make this official. I will speak up for you though. I know that this has been a witch hunt. And I promise you this, everyone of those bastards in there better do exactly what they should or I’ll be all over them!”
They looked at each other. She began to cry.
He shrugged, “We’ll walk. Naebody listens. Naebody gives a fuck.”
“Steve, why does everybody treat us like a pair o’ dirty junkie bastards?”
He pulled her towards him and kissed her on the cheek. “Cause, we ur a couple of dirty junkie bastards.”
He accepted the outstretched hand from Tom, “You tried…Thanks.”
Thursday – New Start
Tom had been asked to drop in some mail for Steve and Carol at their temporary accommodation.
“Here you are Carol.”
“Ta. Dae ye want to come in?”
“No. You’re ok. I need to get back.”
“Wait tae Ah tell ye. We’re gettin’ oor ain place.”
“It’s even better. Oor support worker has got us a Community Care Grant and a starter pack.”
“That’s brilliant. What are you getting?”
“Ah don’t ken. It depends on Julie.”
“…Your pal Julie?”
“What has it got to do with her?”
“It’s her we’re sellin’ the stuff tae.”
Friday – Family
Steve walked into the ward. She was in a room just to the left. “Aw Steve, we lost him.” He sat down beside her.
“I ken! Are ye awright?”
“…Aye. It’s no the first.”
He leaned forward and kissed her on the forehead. “I’ll tell you what. I’ll get a tattoo wae his name and the days date. That’ll show everyone that we luved him.”
Carol smiled, “That’s nice.”
“…Whit were we goin’ to caw him again?”
Saturday – To Be Continued…
Tom hugged her. “I’m so sorry. I heard.”
“Aye. He did it right this time. How many times did he OD on your shift?”
“Mibbey if you had been there…You were his guardian angel like.”
“I’d have tried.”
“Ah ken. You’ve always been fair wae us. You never treated us like shite.”
He gently touched her shoulder. “What are you going to do now?”
“Ah’ll be awright. His brither supplies.”
Sunday – Together Again
Tom sat the newspaper down. This had happened time and time again. Now
and again it hurt. Carol had been found.