I got a right bollocking from my mum that night. Mostly over the
fact that I had taken a pack of her beloved fags. She droned on
and on about honesty and the like and that she worked hard for
her money and I had no right to take it from her. Thankfully she
didn't notice the missing money or the bottle of Mundies wine, I
guess taking the pack of fags was tantamount to treason in her
eyes. And being hung drawn and quartered was to be my
Of course my sister chirped in with comments that she had not
seen me at school That Mr. Wright the vice principal was looking
for me and that it was wrong not to go to school. That I would
never make anything of my life. I told her to "fuck off" then
called her a stuck up Bitch. Much to the annoyance of my mother
who told me to leave the room. I thanked her and stormed out of
the room slamming the door behind me. I went into my room and lay
on my bed, put some crap music on the record player and lay
looking up at the ceiling.
I thought of Ryan and the events of the day. What was he doing
getting into a car with Jackie Walsh? Jackie Walsh and avid
catholic hater to boot. Walsh had done three years at Long Kesh
(the Maze prison, home of the notorious H blocks) for membership
of an illegal organization, possession of a firearm. All in all
he was a pretty mean bastard who would kick your head in as soon
as look at you.
The sound of my bedroom door opening bought me back to the
present. My Mother quietly closed the door behind her and sat
down on the edge of my bed.
For a moment neither one of us spoke. I could sense that a major
argument was brewing and that the shit was about to hit the fan.
She had it telegraphed on her face.
I looked at her closely. Her once good looks now fading into
advancing middle age, more grey creeping into her hair year by
year. She had told us once that she wanted to be a singer and
that her father had stopped her from following that path. Now she
worked as an office administrator at one of the local factories.
"Your sisters crying in there", she said hoping to try to get
some sort of response from me.
"Good she hates me anyway"
"No she doesn't. "You make it hard for her to like you. You make
it hard for anyone to like you"
"She's a snob and a stuck up little bitch and you made her like
My mum bit down on her lip as if she was thinking what to say.
She was nervously wringing her hands together, something she did
at times of great stress.
As she was about to say something, I blurted out. "And you hate
"No I don't"
"Yes you do. Ever since dad died you haven't given a shit about
me. Its Mary this, Mary that, Mary and her fucking violin or her
stupid work at school. All you think about is your work or your
stupid cousins sitting in their talking about me as if I don't
exist. Don't you think I hear them? The things that they say
about me, the things you say. How do you think that makes me feel
I sat up on the bed and looked her straight in the face. The
anger building inside my body waiting for someone to open the
trapdoor and set it free.
"I hate this fucking house and this fucking town. Hate it, do you
hear me hate it. There is no family here. Its just you and Mary
and that's the way you like it."
A tear started to form in the corner of her face and for a moment
that normally steel front that she nearly always kept up started
to slip up.
"That's not true, she said. "I only want what is best for you"
"And working in an engineering factory is best for me?
"It is. In three or four years you will see I am right."
In three of four years I wont be in this country. Who wants to
live in a place where children are taught to hate? All I hear is
you're anti Catholic feelings Mother. You don't even know any
Catholics. You don't even know me."
I angrily got up from my bed and lifted a red exercise book up
from my desk. Do you see this Mother? This is what I like to do.
I like to write, poetry short stories. Its what I want to do.
It's my dream; the same as Mary wants to play in an orchestra.
This is my dream.
I was in the mood to let her have it. To say everything that I
never had the courage to. Two years of resentment and anger were
coming to a head..
"Never once did you want to read just one of my stories, yet you
always find time to go and see Mary play. To stand there with the
look of a proud parent on your face." To sing her praises at
every opportunity. I never even got a mention. Did I ?"
Why is that Mother? Why aren't you interested in anything that I
"I don't know."
I sat back down on the bed and resisted the temptation to cry.
"Just go leave me alone. Please!
"When you start working and have your own money coming in things
will better, you will have more self confidence. Maybe even you
will get a girlfriend."
"I don't want a fucking girlfriend, " I yelled at her. The venom
in my tone of voice clearly shocking her. " You think that's the
answer to everything, if he has a girl to screw it will make
everything better. A few fucks and all my problems disappear…"
"Don't be such a rude little bastard" She barked at me "I didn't
raise you to talk like that. You used to be a nice boy, now look
at you. I ought to wash your mouth out with soap and water. Your
head is full of fairy tale shit. She said picking my book of
stories up and throwing it on the floor. "If your father was here
your wouldn't talk to me like that". You need to take a look at
"Look at me mother, take a long hard look at yourself. "Just
because you fucked your life up don't expect me to do the same."
She hit me. Not a particularly hard slap, but a slap never the
less. The sound of her palm hitting my check echoed around my
room. A gasp came out of her mouth and she backed away from me.
She looked at me for a moment as the first tears started to roll
down me cheeks. I sat back down on my bed and buried my head in
my hands. She turned briskly and left the room without saying a
I picked my notebook full of stories up from the floor and threw
it violently against the wall striking the ABBA poster that I
liked so much almost ripping it of the wall.
The rage building up inside of me, growing stronger and stronger
until I felt my head was about to explode. I let go a cry of
rage, of pain, of hope that somehow tomorrow might be a better
day, that there may be something worth living for
I lay back down on my bed, the tears now quickly rolling down my
face. The sing from the slap slowly receding my rage slowly
dissolving into silent anger.
I longed for the phone to ring for it to by Ryan. For him to have
some magical solution to the problems I was having. To maybe take
me away to a better place. I had only spent a morning with him
but I knew that I wanted to see him again. I don't know what that
meant, but to be honest I just really longed to hear his voice.