Can’t believe Chrimbo’s just days away. It’s a whole year since I robbed that Chrimbo tree from someone’s garden and put it in our living room! Can’t believe it’s already time to go and rob another one. Our house has got no Chrimbo decos; me ma celebrates Chrimbo by drinking double what she usually does, and staying out for even longer than normal. So it’s my job to make the house look brighter and Christmasy.
It’s dark when I leave school now, so the day before yesterday I went walking down the posh street where I robbed that dead nice tree from last year. They put loads of Chrimbo lights outside their houses and it looks dead boss. One house had a little steam train made of coloured lights on their garden – I really wished we could have that outside ours. But next to the steam train was a small, fat Chrimbo tree in a pot – just perfect for our living room. I noticed the house still had their curtains open, so I had to be careful when I bunked into their garden. The lights from the steam train made it hard for me to hide, but there were loads of bushes for me to stoop behind. The only problem with nicking Chrimbo trees out of gardens is that they always have lights on them! Have you tried to untangle those lights? It’s not easy you know!
Anyway, I could see there were people wandering around the living room inside the house, so I really had to be extra careful. I stooped by the side of the tree and started to pull the lights off, but they weren’t budging. So then I had the bright idea of getting my flicky out (which I’ve started carrying for when Zani’s lads come and kick my head in) and started cutting the wire to the lights so I could just carry the whole tree away in the pot with the lights still attached (it’s less hassle than untangling them!). As I cut the wire, the lights went out and the tree was dark – but I wasn’t expecting such a dramatic impact from light to dark in the garden – somehow it made the steam train lights go out too, and all the other Chrimbo lights in the garden. This was VERY noticable! I saw a face of a woman in the window.. she was staring out onto the garden but I don’t think she could see anything with it being so dark. Then the light came on in the hall, and the door opened. I don’t mind telling you that I nearly shit myself! Some fella came out onto the path from the house and stared into the garden.. he stood there for a life time (I reckon), and I hid at the back of the small tree, not even breathing. I was dead made up when he turned and started walking back into the house shouting ‘Must be the fuse’. He shut the door behind him as he went in.
I thought I’ve only got seconds to carry the tree away before he’s back out wondering what else is causing the blackout, so I picked up the tree in the pot (it was like a lead weight) and staggered across the garden onto the pavement. It was then I saw the kid in the window… he was about four, and was sitting on the back of the settee staring at the dark garden. I stopped and put the heavy pot down. I could see his bottom lip going as he looked out at the blackness. Tears rolled down his face as he started sobbing; I could even hear him from the other side of the window.
It broke my heart… How could I take his Chrimbo tree away? Call me stupid, but I had to put it back. So I staggered back into the garden with the tree in the pot. I was just putting it back where I found it when the outside light came on and the front door flung open. There was I, caught red-handed; bending over the Chrimbo tree. I couldn’t move…. I just stared at the fella in the doorway (I didn’t know what else to do). He stared back.
‘I was putting it back!’ I said, knowing how stupid it sounded.
He shouted into the house, but didn’t take his eyes off me, ‘Call the police!’.
I felt my feet again and legged it off across the garden and down the road. I felt him chase me out of the garden but wasn’t sure if he was tailing me down the road, so I kept running for ages until I had a stitch.
There’s only one thing for it.. I’m going have to do the decent thing and pay for a tree off Greaty Market this year … I can’t have a crying kid on my conscience!