PART SEVEN: The Back Yard
The yard gate slammed against the back wall, rebounding into the fallen bodies. Two tonnes of curled paint, fell from the tired panels. ‘Fucking stay still, will ya,’ one shouted, elbowing the door open again.
‘My Fucking nose, My fucking nose and my fucking clothes!’ squealed the body pressed to the wet flags that chequered the yard.
Blood dripped out and down over his chin, mixing with the drizzle that dampened his face. The diluted blood fell blotting onto a concrete flag, making the flow seem more impressive.
‘This is my best stuff, ya twat’ he shouted out again as the dominant figure tried to lock one arm and then the other behind his back.
‘You know I know how you think. I’ll land on the scrote. Muck up his trousers and give him a bleeding nose. Get him in trouble when he gets home’, complained the figure on the floor, his mocking tone confident, he wasn’t afraid of the filth. Silence met his complaint. The copper was too focused on tying him down.
‘Did you even stop to think? That maybe I was doing the opposite to what you thought? Someone else is robbing these houses. I just came round as a concerned passer-by’, carried on the, now cuffed, figure. Shifting his weight, the officer answered, saying to the body below, ‘so you’re telling me you were doing your civil duty? Were you fuck!’
‘I was, officer and now look at me. This is my Sunday best, was ripe for a roast brisket at me nan’s this Sunday. Now you fucking messed it up. I’ll have your number for it… and you’ll have the dry cleaners bill as well’.
‘Brisket?’ questioned the officer. He’d ignored the stream from the suspect’s mouth, his attention came back in on, ‘brisket at me Nan’s’.
‘Yeh. That cut of cow you cook for a long time and have gravy with’.
‘You on something?’ questioned the officer. ‘Fucking maybe robbery but you’re not fucking me on possession, not happening mate sorry, officer!’ he angrily tripped up.
‘So you’re admitting to robbery?’ laughed the officer.
‘Am I fuck, you clever bastard’.
Lisa’s fingers flew over the key pad in panic. It was too late, the phone was processing the send. She missed her chance to cancel it. It had gone, lost into the mire of signals all around her. It was on its way.
‘Arseholes, the lot of you’, Lisa mumbled under her breath. She tried to storm off but the fixed chairs in the canteen were like the burger bars. She found herself sat back down rubbing the back of her knees.
“What’s up Lisa?” she ignored the question. The tendons in the back of her knee pit, burned as she jolted out and up.
Limping a little, till she got to a purposeful stride, she walked out of the canteen sobbing, only wiping her tears into a paper napkin when she got out of sight of her drama thirsty audience.
She knew she had gone too far this time. Lisa was tired the negativity that dominated and fuelled her own depressions and her on-going tension with David. She felt she had to over-compensate her relationship to Nick by setting a hierarchy, to let Nick know that there was no love or feeling towards David and that Nick was the one. She felt that now she’d overdone that, it wasn’t needed anymore, the theatrics were ending.
Lisa was in the milliseconds and seconds bleeding into the minutes of what she had done. Hindsight should have been more premature and should have stopped her bowing to the need for new office entertainment. She felt closed-in, in the wide open space of the canteen floor.
She pressed the lift call button and it wheezed into action. It was floors away. In those few moments of frustration a small but right thought entered her closed heavy head. Type something else in and send a new text, blag something.
The reception on her phone had faded away, the corner that they had sat in was one of the only places in the building that a worker or visitor could get reception. In angry frustration, Lisa kicked out into nothing.
She needed to get outside of the building, write the new text, telling David that it wasn’t meant for him and was for some piss-taking arsehole in the office, who was called Dan and his number was next to David’s in her contacts list. Would it convince David, she wasn’t sure but it would hand out a reach of some kind of olive branch.
Lisa closed her eyes to try and think of what to write him, she had a little time till the lift came. The stairwell was next to the lift, she could take it, but the whirl in her head made thinking of simple tasks difficult.
Reeling off balance, Lisa opened her eyes to see the stairwell door. The lift was taking forever, she had enough of waiting and took to the stairs. She went as best as her heels allowed her down to the ground floor and reception. Multitasking wasn’t her strong point. She went a step at a time, typing, winging it for speeds sake and of desperation. ‘It wasn’t meant 4 u it w ament for a colleague’, was all that appeared on the screen. She pressed send more carefully, then this time cancelled it and in good time too, realising she’d best check it.
She pushed past a delivery guy trying to open the double doors from behind his loaded trolley. Lisa stood out in the fresh cold air, the rain polka dotting her cream blouse. She checked and re-wrote her text and with an ease of relief she pressed send to heal the pain she had inevitably caused.
Maybe David hadn’t see the first one and if he opened the first and then saw the second trying to erase the damage of the first, maybe it wouldn’t be that bad.
David toe heeled his boots off, pulled off his damp socks and threw them into the kitchen. He heard muffled voices but gave it up to next doors arguing.
He pushed his bags across the kitchen work surface, let them go and kicked his socks in front of the washing machine. It was then that he noticed the gate flapping open again and again but not finishing a full move to shut.
What was going on now? Someone said to him once, about bad stuff coming in threes and then something good happens. He’d lost count of the bad things, he never kept a tally and this didn’t look good. He lent over the sink and saw two bodies writhing on the wet yard. He then recognised part of the mess, Uncle Terry wouldn’t be pleased.
David pushed the key into the lock and opened the back door. The body riding the floored body looked up, rising up his armoured torso. ‘You, stop there. Who are you?’ He said as he drew his baton and flicked it out with ease.
‘Easy I’m David and I live here’. The officer hadn’t heard the key enter the lock or the door open. The gate had fallen open easily and for all he knew this could be his suspect’s accomplice. ‘Bollocks, go back in then and bring me out some ID’, said the over cautious member of the force. David’s pocket sounded a text alert tone.
‘Who’s that,’ the Officer demanded, then he realised he’d gone too far and told David just to get the ID and not have any quick ideas; like running out the house, because his partner was watching the front. David hadn’t noticed any police cars about the front when he was walking back from town. He wasn’t going anywhere nevertheless, so it wasn’t an issue.
David went back in, locked the door behind him and waved the key at the officer. ‘It’s my house! See my keys. Look, locked you out,’ he went over to the kitchen surface and flicked the kettle on. He opened the cupboard door and pulled out a box of old electrical items he kept just in case, then looked out at the copper pulling his catch up and gave a wave.
He put the box down and pulled his ID out of his back pocket and pushed his driver’s licence onto the cool moist glass. It stuck and David tapped and got the policeman’s attention and pointed to his ID. The officer dragged his customer over and had a good look at the slipping card and radioed it in.
David moved the box onto the kitchen table. If he found his old phone, he could transfer his SIM into it, and be able to read Lisa’s texts if she sent new ones. He’d not been able to see the screen to save the one to the SIM she’d sent after her sucker punch of the first text. He really needed to go back to town and get a replacement screen with money he didn’t have.
Push down and slide, it did. The back panel moved away off the phone. The backdoor handle turned, followed by a heavy knock. The ID came unstuck and fell. ‘Just give me a moment, I’m a little busy,’ David smiled, his back was to the door.
He turned on the old phone with his regular SIM inside, the phone blinked out. Sitting in the box for time, had drained it. David’s anxieties had found anger, sarcasm and someone and a half to pass it onto. It was an almost welcome distraction. Lisa’s text assault was bleeding away. He plugged the phone into charge and went to open the door.
‘I’m sorry… Sir’, customer care had arrived, ‘You know how it is, you’ve got to treat everyone with suspicion nowadays’.
‘No I don’t officer, sorry. I suppose in your joke, sorry, slip of the tongue, job, paranoia is key’, there was a snigger from the suspect, ‘If I’m not wrong. It was you two breaking and entering. I was unlocking and exiting’, David said to the policeman who was becoming put out by this difficult resident.
His fronts were well formed, one to please this resident and the other of firm control, not showing weakness to his suspect.
They both looked down at the fallen card. ‘You got the paper copy for that sir,’ said the officer with a wry smile. David just told him to piss off, the copper smiled. He clocked the building steam from the kettle.
‘Any chance for a coffee?’ I’m freezing. ‘Now you’re taking the piss’ David laughed.
‘Can I have one?’ said the wet bloodied and flag dirt smeared mouth.
‘You can fuck off, you cheeky twat, but I’ll do one for you. Keep Terry’s nephew outside and we’ll all be fine.’
‘Who’s Uncle Terry?’ asked the policeman who felt like he had been left out of a private joke.
Static and a voice of noise contacted the officer. It was only him, out of the three, who seemed to understand what was said. There was actually a police transit van up the street and sat in the dry was the fella with the three stripes.
‘You know he’s not officially arrested me yet. Not said the words. The words they say smug, like a righteous hymn’ complained the suspect, almost let down.
‘I did,’ said the copper, ‘you just didn’t hear them for whatever you call that coming out of your mouth. Constant toss, I call it. Mr Waters we’ll have to cancel the cuppa, our ride’s ready. Someone will be along later for a statement’.
Lisa sat clock watching for afternoon break time. There was no reply from David, now she was growing anxious with guilt. Her conscience called out to her, ‘enough. Rain it in and make it easier on everyone’. Lisa needed to mend the mess she had let herself into and forgotten the point of her anger. It seemed standard and socially acceptable to kick off at any time she felt challenged or something wasn’t fitting her plans.
Phones rang and keyboards tapped into random percussive noise. She still hadn’t had a reply from her second text, would her third be ignored too? She wasn’t aware that David was trying to find a way to read through his broken mobile phone screen by finding an alternative. Why would she anyway, she was blind to the consequences.
David’s old number was there waiting for her when she looked at her phone again. She sighed with relief when she saw that it was likely he hadn’t got the first punishing text. She was wrong.