Molly Was a Good Girl

Number 12

Bert and I chatted for hours. Well, he chatted mostly- I listened carefully though, giving my opinion when it was asked for. He seemed to enjoy the sound of his own voice, and I must say that I enjoyed it quite a bit too. He had this soft, lilting accent that washed over my mind and made me feel completely at ease. His speaking voice was almost a toned down version of his singing one, and the words he used were like lyrics. Less talented bands could easily record a conversation with him and turn it into a song. I learned about his views on many topics, from politics to chart music. We had the same dislike for conservatism and the Tory* twats that paraded around our town like they owned us all and knew better than us about everything. We especially hated it at Christmas when they waltzed around the town centre on their horses, showing off the fact that they were considerably wealthier than 85% of the rest of the town, and they could therefore afford to go fox hunting and badger baiting, even though both were meant to be illegal.

I was dreading Bert finding out that my father was one of those Tory twats, and that he had a large collection of fox tails hanging above the fireplace. They made me feel sick, so I hardly ever went into the front room. If it was up to me I would have been a vegetarian since I found out what bacon was, but my parents were firm believers in the arrogant view that Man should control nature and everything in it- after all, we were the species who invented cars! And built skyscrapers! And flew planes! And controlled the whole planet!!!

It was those kinds of comments that made me feel so distant from my parents at times. They didn’t know how much peace I got from nature, how beautiful I found it. I could lie for hours in a field on a sunny day, gazing at the birds and inspecting the intricate limbs of insects. My father preferred to mangle it with his 4X4, ripping up the earth with its huge wheels and obnoxious fumes. My parents loved me, I was sure of it, but I had always felt like I was different to them. I tried to conform, I pretended to enjoy the rides I sometimes went on with my dad, jumping around on the back of a huge car that was almost a tractor, and I tried to pretend I didn’t care about the wildlife that was being trampled under the wheels. I didn’t understand how somebody could love people but not a tiny, defenceless Dormouse. It seemed like conditional love to me, something I didn’t believe in. Not at all.

As I watched Bert’s mouth move, these thoughts flooded my mind. The feelings I had compressed and tried to block out for years rushed into my mind from their cupboards they had been locked in for so long. I suddenly had an epiphany- what was the point? Why had I been suppressing these feelings for so long? Maybe it was the alcohol talking, but I didn’t see the point in staying the way I was. Every day was a struggle, every night I lay in bed, awake, thinking how pointless the day had been. I wasn’t happy, despite the smile I wore.

A tap on my shoulder brought me back to the surface.

“Molly, we need to go.”

Dury was standing behind me, an anxious look on his face. His voice reminded me of my responsibilities and duties. It reminded me that I needed to be little miss perfect, that I had to do what I was told. I had to do what was expected of me, otherwise my place in my family would disintegrate- I would have no reason for being. Who I was didn’t matter. My happiness didn’t matter. How could I be so selfish? How could I be so stupid? My brothers needed me, my parents needed me to be that person.

When I said I had to go, Bert looked put out, then let out a spiel of gibberish which I could only decipher a few words from. He thrust his phone towards me, and I entered my number as quickly as I could before I was dragged off backwards out of the club by my brother.

“Are we late?” We ran, hand in hand, through the dark streets. A light rain was beginning to fall, cooling my hot face and sobering me up.

“Almost,” Dury panted, “but if we run then we should be fine.”

We carried on running, my early morning jogs had helped to keep me fit and I could run the mile home easily- Dury, on the other hand, was a different matter.

If I had been on my own, I would have made it. But, breathless, we looked in horror as the huge Land Rover pulled into our driveway, with us only a few yards away from the house.

We crouched in the bushes, the second time I had hidden in undergrowth that day. I gripped Dury’s hand, a grim adrenaline coursing through my veins. It seemed like our breathing was a thousand decibels, our heartbeats were too fast and too loud. I dreaded to think what would happen if we were found- we saw the lights of the house go on one by one. I knew exactly what was happening- my mother was making hot chocolate in the kitchen, and everybody else would be getting ready for bed. We would have to wait, and pray that nobody went into our bedroom.

I eyed the climb we would have to make, up the three storeys of our house. I knew it could be done, I had seen Dury appear at the window in the early hours of the morning many times before. But I was smaller than him, and my muscles weren’t as good- would I make it?

It seemed like days. I had no idea what time it was, No idea of anything except that I felt very dizzy and funny. The lights had gone out a while ago, but nobody would be asleep. On our way up we would have to pass the windows of the lightest sleepers in the house, which was a terrifying thought. I felt my eyes begin to droop, it had been a long day. I rested my head on Dury’s shoulder, and felt sleep overcome me...

I was awoken some time later but Dury shaking my shoulders.

“It’s time. Just watch what I do and follow.”

He gave me a reassuring one-armed hug, before he stood up carefully. He grabbed a low branch of a tree and used it to pull himself up onto the fence. He edged along it until he got to the wall of the house, where he grabbed hold of a trellis and started to climb up it. The trellis lead to the porch roof, which he jumped up onto and crawled along. When he got to the end, he swung himself up onto the roof of the house and easily got to our skylight window. He opened it up and swung down inside.

My turn. I got to the trellis easily, but I had never been good at climbing and this was slippy... Not good. The holes were tiny, and I had to grip with my fingertips to stop myself plummeting downwards and waking everyone in the house. I gritted my teeth and edged my way slowly, slowly up the thin wooden structure. I had almost got to the top, when

♠ ♠ ♠
oh my goodness.
it's been an awfully long time...
i'm dreadfully sorry.

love you :)