Emma was pissed off. She hadn’t seen him since he got out of jail after doing a weekender. He’d been huckled for theft and fighting with the security guard who caught him. She knew Sean’s logic only too well. Getting done for the theft was fair enough but the fighting was the guards fault for catching him.
Due to his previous, Emma expected that he’d have been remanded. She’d resigned herself to the fact that she was on her own again for another few months.
Emma wondered why she was pissed off. Was it him? Or him not being locked up?
…Sean flung open the door, “Hello there gorgeous!”
Emma lifted her head, “Fuck off! You stink of skunk. I can smell it from here. Could you not have come straight home?”
“I had to see Rab.”
“I know about Rab. It was me who got you the appointment. And I don’t think you got the weed off of him.”
He laughed, “No. But fuck, that would be the best support ever! I was on my way home when I met one of the boys, we had a smoke and caught up.”
He took his jacket off, walked over and sat beside her.
“I’ve only had a few draws.”
“Come on sweetheart, want to fuck?”
“No! I’ve just got Ben down.”
“Well he’s sleeping so…”
She pushed his hand away, “I said NO!”
“Fuck sake! This is shit. I’ve been locked up, just got grief off of my support worker and then I get fuck all off of you!”
She went into the kitchen and brought him back a can of lager, “Here. That might put a smile on your face.”
He opened it and took a swig, “It doesn’t taste as nice as you.”
He moved towards her again.
…I’m surprised you’re out.”
He laughed, ‘So am I, but it was Judge Hawkins, I think she wants me.”
“At least someone does!”
She ignored his pout, “…So what was Rab saying to you?”
“I got a lecture about the arrest and then the usual…Responsibilities…Job…I’ve potential…All the shite I’ve heard before. But he stepped over the mark, he said that Ben would grow up saying that he never saw me because I was always in jail.”
“So you’re pissed off because he was speaking the truth? You do know what irony is?”
“A support worker should be there for me, not to fucking slag me off.”
“He was trying to help.”
“I don’t need help, I need your tits.”
“I’ve told you, fuck off!”
He pulled back his arm, threatening to throw the can, the lager spilt over his hand.
She stood in front of him, “Don’t you dare…And keep the noise down.”
“This is shite!
…Fuck this, if you’re not going to fuck me, I’ll go and see your Joe”
Sean could hear the anger in her voice, “Just to shoot the breeze.”
“And to see if he has any weed?”
He shook his head, “Of course not.”
“I’ve told you to stay away from him. He’s my brother and I love him but he’s a black junky bastard.”
“Joe’s alright. We get on well.”
He drank the lager, belched and grabbed his jacket.
She shook her head, “Are you serious? You’re going back out? We’ve not seen you all day.”
“I’d stay, if we’re shagging?”
“How many times do I need to tell you no! You can be a dad and help me with Ben. That would be a change”
“Fuck that. I’ll not be long.”
She threw a cushion at him, “You’re a selfish bastard!”
“Aye. And you’re a frigid cunt!”
He headed towards the door.
“And don’t you be giving him any money. You’ve a son to pay for. And keep your wallet on you. He’s a thieving prick as well.”
“Jesus! And you say you love him!”
He slammed the door and laughed as he heard the baby cry.
Sean walked the short distance to Joe’s flat. He was horny and pissed off. He wanted a smoke to calm down. He knew that Joe would have something.
He tried the handle, then rang the bell.
“Who is it?”
The door was unlocked and Sean counted four chains being undone, that was one more than last time.
“How are you doing big man! Come in, have a seat.”
“Alright Joe, I thought I’d come round and see you for a bit.”
“I take it you need a smoke…Or did she not let you get the leg over and you still need a smoke?”
“Fucking hell! Is that any way to talk about your sister?”
“Never mind my sister, should you no be sticking up for the mother of your child?”
…“Oh aye, Fuck sake Joe, don’t talk about the mother of my child like that!”
He began to laugh, “It doesn’t work when you’ve got to be prompted.”
“…It’s not that, the wee man has just settled so I thought I’d make myself scarce. But now you mention it, could you see me alright”
“Now that I mention it? What a prick. Do you think I’m fucking stupid?”
…“Well…Have you got any?”
“What I’ve got, there’s no way it’s getting smoked. If you’ve got any money, we can do some business.”
Sean felt a twinge of excitement, “You mean jagging?”
“It’s the best way to take it. It lasts longer. Fifteen for a charge.”
He frowned, “I thought it was normally a tenner?”
Joe shrugged, “It is but if you’re desperate.”
“I’m no desperate, I’m no a junky!” He knew there should have been more sincerity in his voice.
“No bother, you can sit and watch.”
“…It’s just that I’ve never done this before. I promised Emma that I’d only smoke weed, no smack. You know that.”
“Smoking is for pussies. And Emma’s not here.”
“I’m no fucking pussy!”
“I’ll cook it up for you, I’ll show you. But I want the money first.”
Sean stood up and began to pace, “I don’t know.”
“You’re fooling no cunt. Walk about with a hardon if you want or you can totally chill. It’s up to you.”
He thought about Emma and Ben. It was all her fault, if they’d been in bed, he wouldn’t have been here.
“…Fuck it, why not.”
Joe grinned, “Excellent! But money first.”
“Where the fuck have you been? Jesus look at the nick of you.”
“I was with Joe.”
“Why didn’t you phone?”
“I’ve lost it.”
“Aye right. I bet I know where it’s went.”
“Don’t make a fuss. I’m going for a shower.”
He began to strip off, “I’m going to wash my shirt for tomorrow.”
Sean went into the kitchen. She followed him and grabbed it out of his hand before he had a chance to put it in the washing machine.
She slapped him across the face.
“What the fuck did you do that for!”
“Are you fucking kidding me! You bastard. You stupid fucking bastard. You’ve a kid now and you’re doing this!”
“I’m not blind. I know that’s blood and I know what you’ve been doing. I’ve seen enough in my time with my junky brother.”
“…That’s no blood.”
She held out the sleeve of his shirt.
“Let me see your arm.”
He turned away, “No. I’m no playing into your paranoia. You’re not right in the head!”
“Let me fucking see your arm or you and me are finished.”
“Don’t! Don’t say fuck all, just show me your arm!”
He held it out and lowered his head.
Emma stared at the mark for a few seconds. She turned away from him and sat down on the couch. She turned on the TV.
…“I’ve put up with the drink, that legal high shit and the skunk but I didn’t think you’d have been this stupid. Fuck you Sean, get your shower and fuck off to your mums. Tell her why I’ve thrown you out.”
She was calmer than normal. He didn’t like it, “Emma, you don’t mean this. It was just for a laugh. I’ll not do it again.”
“I told you to fuck off. You’ve half an hour to get out of here. If you’re no, I’m calling my dad and you know what he’ll do to you.”
“Can’t we talk about this.”
“We have, get your shower.”
“What about Ben?”
“You don’t give a fuck about him.”
“I love him!”
“Aye right. If you want to see him, make sure you’ve nothing in you. And that includes weed.”
“You’re wasting time.”
She realised she was still holding the shirt, she threw it at him. “And get your mother to wash that for you.”
She turned the TV up.
For the first couple of days after she’d thrown him out he kept calling, it was Joe’s number but she knew it was him. She didn’t answer. He’d been at the door but couldn’t get in as he only had a key for the chubb, she kept the mortice locked.
The phone-calls stopped. She reckoned that Joe had got pissed off with him using his phone.
It had been four days since she’d seen him. She checked on him by calling a friend who lived near Joe, she didn’t like what she was told.
Emma was heading to the shops when she heard the shout and the bike brakes.
She didn’t stop or turn around “Get away from me.”
“Just listen, he wants to come home but he’s scared that you’ll tell him to fuck off.”
“Don’t you even want to know how he is?”
Now she spun round and looked him up and down.
“Well I hope he’s in better nick than you, if not, he’s fucked.”
Joe grinned, “He’s fine. And if you must know, I’m just getting over the flu.”
“I tried to tell him not to take it but he begged. You know what he’s like when he gets something into his head.”
“So you gave him it out the goodness of your heart?”
“No I gave him fuck all, he insisted that he paid.”
She felt the tears. She wasn’t sure which ones won, the hurt or the angry.
“We’ve a kid and he’s paying you to fucking jag him?”
She prodded her finger into his chest, “Cunts, both of you!”
“Don’t give me any of your shite. He couldn’t do that himself, he’d have got the needle round the wrong way. You’re a lowlife bastard, but I didn’t think you’d do this to me. And where’s his phone?”
“Don’t be so fucking naive Emma, he knew what he was doing. I don’t know where his phone went. Honestly. He didn’t have it when he turned up at my flat.”
“You’re a liar Joe. Every fucking thing that comes out your mouth is a lie. Stop selling him that shit. I’ve heard how he looks. Get him clean and then and only then will I speak to him. If he’s jingling at all when I see him, he can fuck off.
Remind him he’s got a son. I think he’s forgot that.”
He held her arms, “He loves Ben.”
She shrugged him off, “Like fuck he does. Oh and I think I’ll give you some incentive. If you don’t help him, I’ll be letting dad know who got him into this mess. He’s been looking for a reason to beat the shit out of you, maybe even kill you. He’ll be delighted when his little girl tells him what her brother has done to his grandson’s father.”
“…He’ll have a problem with Sean too.”
“He will. But he’s had a bigger problem with you for the past eight years.”
Joe squared himself up, “I’m not scared of him.”
She sniggered, “Aye right! And let’s be honest here, fuck, do you even know what that means? Sean has been at your flat for what, four days now. He got paid yesterday, so let’s see, let me guess…He’s given you all his money, you’ve got your usual fuck all left, so the two of you have come up with him coming back to me to see what he can get…Fuck right off!”
“No sis, it’s not like that. He’s out trying to get a crisis loan. He wants to buy you some groceries and something for Ben to say sorry. He’ll be home tonight. Well, as long as you say he can come back.”
She hated herself for being weak. She detested the fact that she kept giving him chance after chance but she knew that she always would.
“Come on Emma, be a family again.”
“Shut your fucking hole! There’s nothing that you say that matters to me.
Fuck! I can’t believe this. I hate myself for this. I hate you both for doing this to me.”
She took a deep breath.
“…Tell him, he better be clean. And he’ll stay with me and not go near you.”
Joe held his hands up, “Sure. I don’t want to come between the two of you. Fuck me Emma, I was looking out for him. If I wasn’t there he’d be planted by now.”
“Aye thanks very much, you truly are a latter day Mother Fucking Teresa!”
Joe leaned forward to hug her but she’d already turned away. He watched her as she walked up the street. He shouted after her,“Any chance of a tenner for some dinner?”
He laughed when she gave him the finger.
Joe got on his bike and headed towards the Council Hub.
Sean was waiting for him, “Well?”
“Sorry mate, I tried. She’ll have fuck all to do with you!”
“Did you tell her I was sorry!”
“Aye with bells on. I laid it on thick. I even told her that you’d been crying, but fuck all. She’s a hard hearted bitch – Always has been.”
Why is she doing this to me?
I thought she loved me, but one fuck up and she does this!
“Come on mate. Don’t beat yourself up. Calm down.”
“Calm down! Fucking calm down!”
Joe put his arms around him and Sean began to sob.
“I love her.”
“I know you do. Look, she’ll come round. Give her until tomorrow. She’ll be fine. We both know what she’s like.”
Sean began to nod, “Aye, she’ll be fine by tomorrow. Thanks Joe, you’re a good pal.”
“No worries, I look out for both of you, you know that.”
“Aye, I do.”
Sean wiped his eyes.
…“So…How did you get on? Did you get a hold of your support worker?”
“I was lucky, Rab was in the office. I gave him a sob story about the wee man not being well and me having to fork out for a taxi to get up to the hospital. The daft cunt swallowed it. So, he spoke for me and I’ve got it! It’s not much but forty quid is better than nothing.”
Joe fist pumped him, “Superb my man! Look, I know someone who’ll give us a bit of credit so we could make that forty quid go a long way.”
Sean clawed at his head, “I don’t know, what about Emma?”
Joe smiled, “She doesn’t want to see you. Fuck her, let’s treat ourselves today and she’ll be there for you in the morning.”
“…Aye…That’s what we’ll do.”
Emma was feeding Ben when the doorbell rang. She felt the anger build up. Not only had he fucked off, got out his tits, he’d now lost his key. At Joe’s. She knew she’d have to change the lock. She took the baby with her to stop her hitting him.
“So you’ve finally chosen your fucking family!”
She opened the door and saw the two Officers. She knew both of them because of Sean.
“Fuck! What’s he robbed now? He had no fucking money so I should’ve expected this. I’m not giving him an alibi if that’s what he’s thinking.”
“Can we come in, Emma?”
She sighed, “Aye, knock yourselves out.”
The woman pointed to the chair, “You better sit down.”
“…Why? He’s not hurt anyone, has he? He’s got a bit of a temper…And he’s probably fucking rattling. Dick!”
The officer continued to point at the chair, “Please..”
“There’s no easy way to say this but Sean was found dead this afternoon.”
She kissed Ben on the head, “I’m sorry baby.
The other officer leaned forward, “Let me put Ben into his cot.”
The man touched her on the shoulder, “I’m sorry Emma, I had a soft spot for Sean.”
She flinched and cuddled into the baby. She took her phone out of her pocket, “His mum…I’ll need to..”
“That’s okay, there’s someone with her.”
“…I’ve not seen him for five days, I chucked him out. I should’ve kept him here with me. Are you sure it’s Sean?”
She knew she didn’t need to ask.
“We’re sure. We found him in a close. He was lying against the wall.”
Emma stared at the woman for a few seconds, “Are you going to tell me what happened?”
“At this stage…”
“Don’t give me any of that shite. What do you think happened!”
“Emma, we can’t…”
The two officers glanced at each other, the female nodded, “It looks like an OD. But we do need to ask you something.”
“I fucking told him…I kept telling him.”
“There was no kit with him, so he must have been somewhere else, we think someone put him there.”
She laughed as she cried, “Well it wasn’t me.”
“We know that.”
Her sobs got louder, “Rab was nearly right.”
“His support worker. He tried to tell Sean that Ben would grow up saying that he never saw his dad cause he was always in the jail. He was right about him not seeing him. The poor little bastard will grow up saying I don’t see my dad cause he’s a dead junky.”
She held Ben to the Policeman who took him from her and lay him in his cot.
She blew her nose, “What do you want from me?”
The woman Officer reached forward and took her hand.
Emma, where he was found…It was the close next to Joe’s. We need to ask…Do you know where your brother is?”
“No I honestly don’t. But when I find out, I’ll have to tell you.”
Image – Pixaby
4 thoughts on “Daddy’s Girl by Hugh Cron – Warning Adult Content.”
I remain impressed by your ability to keep it all going so clearly without dialogue attribution. This is no minor feat, and you make it look so effortless that it gives the false impression of simplicity. That form begs confusion, but that never happens in your stuff.
Love the title and its irony.
I think my characters are so clear in my mind, I can hear their voices. This stops me writing all the fluff around their dialogue.
Thanks as always for your interest in my work. It means a lot to me.
The dialogue draws me into the situation and the dynamics among the characters. Looks like there’s an old testament daddy out there. The dialogue is very real, the part where Sean blames his taking “jag” on Emma because she wouldn’t do a “leg over” with him is classic. I like the part where the instincts clash, the mother’s instinct is to be clean for the baby, to sacrifice herself for the baby, whereas Sean verbally states he loves the baby, and he likely does in his own way, but not enough to sacrifice himself for that. He gives easily into temptation, for this is his nature, to live by his own impulsive instinct. The fate of the brother seems dire. I’m hoping Ben will now have a better future, with Daddy’s girl to raise him and bad influence out of the way.
Your critique is very perceptive.
It’s strange when you think on all families arguments. Whether it’s over kids or money or inlaws, these arguments are with everyone. It’s not just how they are dealt with, it’s the ultimatums and outcomes that determine who and what you are as an individual.
Not sure if this is right or wrong – It’s just life.
Thanks as always my friend – Much appreciated!