Me ma did come home… eventually. She was half cut and had a job to climb the stairs to bed. I’d been listening out for her most of the night, so eased myself off the floor with my bad ribs when I heard the door go. It was nearly five in the morning, but that was nothing new for me ma. Jack (the kid) was sleeping like a log so I caught me ma on the landing as she staggered to her bedroom.
‘Who’s the kid?’ I said. She just stood there swaying from side to side.
‘Kid?’ She goes.
‘Yeh, the kid you left here when you f&cked off down the boozer!’
Her eyes couldn’t focus on me properly, but she opened them wider as if she suddenly knew what I was on about, ‘Oh, the kid!’ She pushed passed me to her bedroom, slurring back to me… ‘Binny’s…. it’s Binny’s’.
‘Binny’s!’ I shouted, but she’d disappeared into her bedroom. ‘Where the f&ck’s Binny then!’
This tiny kid, fast asleep on my bed… How could he be Binny’s kid? I was so mad with me ma and Binny that I didn’t go back to sleep.. I just sat there watching Jack sleeping.
Next morning me and Jack were up and out by nine o’clock… I had it in my head that I’d take him down the cop shop and hand him in; I can’t let the poor little get be dragged up by a piss head like Binny! But Jack was so excited when he saw the wheel again by the Echo Arena, I just had to give him a go.
As we went round and round on the Wheel looking over the city (three times), I watched his dirty little face light up as we looked down at the tiny people on the ground. I suddenly felt sick and sad all at the same time…. It was me I could see in this kid; this kid was ME when I was his age… And I’d never wish that on anyone.
The cop shop would have to wait…