Posts Tagged ‘Regal’

Jack has turned out to be my bezzy mate in loads of ways (well, not forgetting Regal of course!) You wouldn’t believe he was only five. He’s dead funny, and makes me laugh even when I’m feeling sad.  I hate it when me ma doesn’t come home from the boozer, or there’s nothing for Jack to eat in the cupboard, ’cause I’m terrified that social services will come and take him into care and leave me on my own.   Or even worse than that, I’m afraid they’ll put me into care instead, and leave Jack with Binny and me ma – who’d take care of him then?

It’s my job to look after him.. and if that means getting out of this shit hole of a house and away from Binny and me ma… that’s what we’ll do.

I'll see you all right, Jack.

I’ll see you all right, Jack

Photo by Jilly Gardiner

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Half Cormorant - half mythical bird!

Half Cormorant – half mythical bird! Photo by Jilly Gardiner

I never did hand Jack into the cop shop!  How could I be the one who put him in foster care?  The poor kid would probably end up like me – I don’t want to be responsible for that!  So we had an agreement; me and me ma….   She’d be around for him in the daytime while I was at school, and I’d look after him at night while she went the boozer.    Binny was around sometimes, but was always slagging off Jack’s ma for being put in the slammer for robbing frozen chickens from Iceland (the shop, not the country!).   Me ma told me that Jack’s ma was caught with a chicken in each bra cup, and only got found out because one of the frozen chickens dropped out as she left the shop and broke three of her toes (so she couldn’t leg it from security!).   All I could think about was how big her knockers must have been to have a full chicken in each bra cup! Wish I’d been there!

Anyway, It turned out that Jack’s ma was on probation for when she got caught robbing wallets off her punters while they slept.. so they sent her straight back to the slammer after the frozen chicken incident.  Binny was well pissed off that it meant HE had to be responsible for Jack, so he did hardly nothing for him – that’s where I come in.

Me and Jack, we’ve got dead close in the past few months.. he’s like my brother.  Now the weather’s getting better I take him fishing down the dock, and we share pie and chips at our chippy.   Every Saturday I still work on The Butty Van with Pete at Greaty Market… Jack comes too.  Pete’s dead sound and lets Jack use his mobile phone to play games on while I’m serving hot dogs with extra onions and cups of tea.  Then Pete gives me and Jack some top scran which we stuff in until our bellies nearly burst.

Jack keeps asking me about the Liverbirds on top of the Liverbuildings, and why they don’t fly away… so I make up  loads of stories about them.    They say that Liverpool would fall into the sea if the Liverbirds flew away…. so I tell Jack stories about the time when the Liverbirds flew away and the city collapsed into the Mersey.   He cried for hours when I told him about how everyone in Liverpool nearly drowned.  I felt so guilty that I told him that the Liverbirds had flown to every country and city around the world, but had come home to Liverpool because they couldn’t find anywhere better.   So everybody in Liverpool was saved, and didn’t drown – and they all lived happily ever after.    That made Jack dry his tears and smile again.

Yep…. everything’s going good! That might be ’cause I turned fifteen the other day – and my luck’s changing… no prezzies though.    Penny Salerno has started looking at me again, even smiling sometimes! She’s still not letting me walk her home from school yet though, but I’m working on it.   Anthony and Susan still have me round for my tea twice a week, and they let Jack come too!   And me and Jack go to Ray’s house every Sunday and take my dog Regal for a dead long walk.  Ray says Regal crashes out for about 24 hours after I’ve walked him on Sundays…. He’s a card that dog!

And today the sun was shining (a bit)… A good feeling! I’m happy….. me and Jack and the people of Liverpool are happy, ’cause the Liverbirds are sitting pretty on top of the Liverbuildings, watching over us all!

By early May me ma was hardly ever in, and when she was she was so off her head that she could hardly speak.  It hurt so much at first, but I had this other life;   a fantastic life where I walked Penny Salerno home from school every night, and then I’d go for tea round to Anthony and Susan’s house.  Anthony was Boss.   I’d never have been able to survive on the food in our cupboard at home…. a jar of mouldy piccalilli and a tin of sliced peaches (which had been there since I’d come back to live with me ma from the foster parents).

I can touch the light, and it feels dead good! Photo by Jilly Gardiner

Anthony could sense things weren’t going well in our house, so Susan was making dead gorgeous scran every night, and then washing and drying my school clothes for me to take home for the next day.   Susan had even gone out and bought me a pack of new white school shirts from Next!

I was feeling dead smart when I’d walk Penny home from school.   Then on Saturdays I’d fish on the dock, and Sundays I’d go to Ray’s at tea time to walk our Regal, and they’d always give me a load of ham and tomato butties and trifle for afters……   Yeah life was fantastic!

I just dreaded nine o’clock at night when I’d go home, put the key in the door and not be sure what I’d find.   It was mostly a relief when me ma wasn’t in; but if she was I was terrified to find what state she might be in.    One night I found her lying draped over a tipped up chair in the kitchen – puke all over the floor, and a cup smashed to pieces with her still holding on to the handle (with nothing else attached).

Sometimes Binny was there… sometimes he wasn’t.  He was always in the same state as me ma if he was there.  I reckon neither of them ever noticed me come in… I wondered if me ma remembered I lived there at all.   I’d just go to my room and lock the door, lie on the bed and surround myself with National Geographic mags.  Then before I went to sleep I’d think about my walk home with the gorgeous Penny Salerno, and her smile….. thinking of her always relaxed me (worked me up in a good way, but made me feel relaxed and content).

The less I was seeing of my ma, the more I could pretend everything was brilliant.

Our Daily Challenge - Doors

Image by JaseCurtis via Flickr

I picked Regal up and took him for a walk.  I usually go there about 3 times in the week to walk him.. then I  take him for a dead long walk on Sundays – all over South Liverpool, depending on the weather.   If it’s raining, Regal’s foster parents let me stay in their house instead.   They make me tea, and let me sit on the couch with Regal cuddled next to me.   I always wish it would rain when I go to see Regal.

Regal is the only thing in my life I can really trust.  He might not live with me anymore, but I’m over there by his furry side loads.   And his foster parents say he sits by the front door at about 4 in the afternoon, waiting for me to come and see him.  I love him so much.

Binny’s well got his slippers under the table in our house again now – not that he wears slippers… just manky, stinking,  socks.   I hate me ma for letting him in.   I wish I had somewhere else to live, but I want me ma to come with me.

I stay away in the evenings, or sit in my bedroom.   I unscrewed one of the locks on the toilet door in school, and put it on my bedroom door to keep bubonic Binny scum out.  But I won’t take Regal back there – I just can’t chance it.

I’m going to wait until Binny’s gone…  and he WILL  be gone… Then Regal can have a life with me again.

The Pump House - Photo by Jilly Gardiner

I arranged to meet Ray Moorland next to the Pump House on the Albert Dock.   It’s a pub now.    I stood for about ten minutes before he arrived.   In that ten minutes my mind was spinning.   What if I just left now with Regal before the fella came?   Or what if he just didn’t turn up?  Then I’d just have to take Regal back home with me and keep him… I’d still be able to cuddle up close to him at night and feel his warm fur against my chest.  I’d be able to watch his little legs trying to run while he was asleep, dreaming; chasing a cat or something.

God! I so wanted to turn around and walk straight home with Regal.   I looked down at him, it’s like he could sense how sad I was.  He stared up at me, and then jumped up at my legs, wagging his tail.  I bent down and tried to smile, ruffling the long fur on his little head.   It was then I spotted Ray, the fella who I met on the Albert Dock a few weeks before.  He’d signed my petition to save Regal, and dump Binny.   My heart was in my shoes.. I felt sick ’cause I knew this was it.   I really had to do it now.   It hit home that Regal was really going to leave me.

Ray smiled as he approached me, but when he saw my face he looked concerned.  He was a kind man, I knew it when I met him.   That’s how  I knew I could trust him to look after my little dog.   He gave me his address and told me that I can visit and walk Regal any time that I wanted to… but to make sure I phoned first, as he was a nurse at Whiston hospital and worked funny shifts.   Even though I was gutted about giving up Regal, I really had to hold my smile back… as Ray was about 6 feet 2 inches tall and  built like a brick shit house.. And he was A NURSE!  How mad was that!   I had visions of him in his little white nurses dress and tights.   I pursed my lips and tried to drown out my smiles.   Then I remembered why I was there, and I felt sick again. I picked Regal up and gave him a massive cuddle.. so tight that he gave a little yelp.   I just didn’t want to let go.    Ray gave me all the time I needed.. he was a good man.

Finally Ray took him from my arms.   I breathed out slowly, trying to keep the tears away.   I wiped my arm across my face, ‘That breeze off the Mersey doesn’t half make my eyes water!’   I said. 

‘Yeah you’re right, it does it to me too’, he smiled.   I could tell he knew I was lying, but he didn’t let on. I watched Regal and Ray as they walked off along the dock.   Regal was pulling back on his lead, looking back at me.  I couldn’t watch him anymore… that Mersey breeze really does play havoc with your eyes!

See ya Regal…… Miss you loads… x

Our Regal

I made the biggest mistake of my life tonight…

I went and had a bath, and left Regal in my bedroom.   I was just lying there in the cold water – No hot water in our house, so I’m only minutes in the bath! If I can get away with it I just wipe myself all over with the end of a wet towel (but every once in a while I have to grit my teeth and have a bath – it’s the only way I can get the dirt out of all my creases!). 

While I was lying there with my teeth chattering,   I heard Regal barking.  I darted out of the cold water and ran out of the bathroom, dripping wet and with my tackle out for all to see!   There was Binny on the landing, standing outside my bedroom door, staring into my bedroom.  He was winding Regal up – barking like dog.    I ran to the door and pushed him aside; running in to get Regal, who was barking and growling.   Binny laughed, pointing down at my tackle.

‘I’ve put maggots on the end of my fishing rod bigger than that!’ He laughed.  It was only then that I remembered I was b*llock naked!  I picked up Regal and held him in front of my tackle so Binny couldn’t see.

‘Get out!’ I screamed.   Binny threw his head back and laughed.  ‘

Go away’, I screamed.  Binny laughed even more as he turned and walked down the hallway into me ma’s room.   I kicked my bedroom door shut with my foot and dived on the bed with Regal, holding him tight against me.  He was warm against my cold, wet skin.     I started crying then; crying loads and loads… couldn’t stop.

It was then I realised what I had to do.. I had to do the right thing by Regal.  I love that dog with all my heart, but I had to forget about what I wanted, and do what was best for him.  

I just kept cuddling him until his warm, soft hair was soaked from my wet skin and my tears…..

I haven’t been to school for most of the week… I couldn’t take the risk of leaving Regal at home where Binny might get to him.   I wouldn’t even go the bog without him!  He’s become my right arm.. (If I didn’t already have a right arm, that is!).  I’m so afraid of leaving him, but he can’t be attached to me 24 hours a day….

Not that I’ve seen Binny.  I’ve heard him rolling in bladdered at all hours of the night, and then those really disgusting noises coming from me ma’s bedroom.  I might be thirteen, but I know exactly what’s going on the other side of that wall.. and  it’s something I don’t want to think about.  So me and Regal end up putting our heads under the pillow and trying to block out the noise…  But it gets so loud that Regal starts howling with every bang of the bed on the wall.     It always sounds like Binny’s hurting her.. makes me want to just run in there and knock him straight out of the bedroom window onto the street below. 

Anyway.. I don’t want to talk about it; it makes me feel like throwing up just thinking about it.  People shouldn’t be doing that sort of thing over thirty anyway!!

I’ll be glad when Regal’s house trained, my bedroom’s starting to smell like the lift in one of those multi-storey car parks!  Rank!

 I spent the night walking, and walking and walking.   There was no sign of Regal anywhere!  I was walking around the streets and kept bursting out crying.. I felt like a right knob head!  Everyone looking at me.. other kids laughing,  grown ups asking if I was okay.   I felt such a tw*t!  I was shouting Regal’s name everywhere.

I’d ran into me ma’s bedroom last night.  I was going to dive on Binny and kick the shit out of him!  But he wasn’t there… there was just me ma.. out of it on the bed.. an empty whiskey bottle lying next to her.  I knew I’d never be able to wake her, and even if I could, she’d barely know who I was!

So now I was just wandering the streets of Liverpool , not having a clue where Regal could be.   I even went down the docks to see if there was a plasy bag with something little in it floating in the water!   I thought I saw something floating at one point.. but it turned out to be a bin bag full of rubbish.  I burst into tears of relief when I realised that it wasn’t Regal.  I was knackered from no sleep, and I was supposed to be in school.   I headed back home.. I couldn’t think straight in this state.

I hate Binny’s guts!  When I find him, HE’S DEAD!

King's Dock, Liverpool - Photo by Jilly Gardiner

I laid low until the middle of the night.. sat on the dock most of the evening, watching the ferries dock and sail away.   I thought if I stay away from the house long enough, Binny will be pissed and will fall into a coma, so he wouldn’t hear me come in.  

By half past one in the morning, it was getting cold.  The sky was clear and the stars were really bright.   The night was light and looked pretty, but the giant sick ball in my chest was still there.  I did a lot of thinking while I sat there.   I remember hearing about the Nazis form of psychological torture, where they’d capture a Jewish family.  Then they’d line their kids up against a wall and make the parents choose which child they should shoot dead!   If the parents refused to choose, then the Nazis would kill all of the children.  I thought that’s got to be the worst form of torture.

It made me think of me ma;  who would she choose if the Nazis  captured her?   If they lined up me, Binny, and a full bottle of whisky against the wall, and then asked her to choose who gets shot dead.  The first she’d choose to be shot through the head would be between me and Binny I reckon… I’d like to think she’d choose Binny to be shot instead of me, but I can’t be sure on that one.   But I was pretty sure which one she’d save…  The full bottle of whiskey! It’s the whiskey she loves most out of all of us.

I felt sick as I walked home along the quiet dock.  I looked up at the sky; stars in the shape of an elephant!  I don’t ever remember seeing a constellation that supposed to look like an elephant! Dead random!

As I walked down our street, I really was feeling dead sick.  In fact I couldn’t hold it any longer, I turned to the wall of a house and threw up, just missing a black cat that flew out from behind a bin and ran off down the road.  I thought being sick would stop the pressure in my chest, but it didn’t.

… Key in the door.. the house was all in darkness.    I quietly went into the kitchen.   Blood spots still covered the units, and smeared red stains on the lino.  I snuck as quietly as I could up the stairs, passed me ma’s room.   It was so quiet. 

Pulled the handle down on my bedroom door, and opened it really quietly, not wanting to start Regal off barking, and waking Binny.   Walking into the darkness, there was no noise.  I clicked on the light… no Regal.   ‘Regal’ I whispered, thinking he was under the bed or something.   I got down on my knees and looked under the bed, but just a load of crap, socks, chip paper, tissues, me ma’s Littlewoods catalogue (for the ladies knicker section!) … but no sign of Regal..   I wanted to be sick again.  I was struck with a feeling of major panic and realisation… BINNY HAD TAKEN REGAL!

Huge cast iron columns line the Albert Dock's ...

Image via Wikipedia

Bubonic Binny has told me that my little dog, Regal, has to go!   I said to Binny ‘Where can he go?!’   Binny said he didn’t give a shit as long as it wasn’t where he was!

I can’t get rid of Regal… he’s not just a dog.. he’s my mate now, my bezzy mate!  Besides, Regal was here before Binny, so it’s Binny that has to leave if anyone has to!

I went and told me ma that Binny can’t make me get rid of Regal, and she said she’s sorry, but he can, ’cause he lives here and he’s older.   I don’t think that’s right!

I decided I was going to go around the Albert Dock and get people to sign a petition that I could give to me ma, that said Regal should stay, and Binny should go!

Some people were dead nice! They signed their name, and one even put his phone number down, just in case I did have to get rid of Regal.. he said he’d take him and look after him.   I thought that was dead nice of him (Not that it’ll ever happen, ’cause I refuse to EVER let Regal go! AND THAT’S THE END OF IT!) I’m 13 now, and in some countries you can marry and be a proper man.  I’m the man of that house.   That house is mine and me ma’s, NOT Binny’s, so he’s got no rights in MY house!

I got NINE signatures on the petition… I reckon that’s enough to take to me ma, and then she’ll let me keep Regal, and tell Binny where to get off!