Do you ever wish that just for one day you could swap lives with somebody?,
Well that is all i have ever wished for the last 7 years, I'm going to take you on my lifes journeys, the ups and downs the laughs the cries and what it feels like to be in a truly dark place,
Well first of all my name is Anna and i am 29 years young! All the people i know who are my age have either got a house and children the perfect little life it would look, then theres people with the high flying careers, these are people who don't get to just stand still for one minute and take in what happening round them, Me what was my life i was never the sort to plan, my Dad described me as a rolling stone that gathers no moss, As a little girl i always thought i would be a nurse or a hairdresser, i wanted to be with people,
My Dad built up a very successful property business that one day he was going to live to myself and my older brother Paul, I would sit with my Dad in the car as he would go looking at old warehouses that was left to rot, Now i would give anything to go back to them moments instead of being a sulky teenager, Now when i hear kids answering there parents back of kids dragging there parents on chat shows, I really wish i could let them feel the pain of what its like to lose a parent, Then maybe they would treasure there time, The first big loss in my life was 7 years ago my brother killed on a night out with his girlfriend,
It was December 2007 i was 22 years old and i had arrived on the monday two weeks before christmas to stay with my Dad and brother for a family festive affair, I had just come back from working in Turkey as a family entertainer, it was 9 months since me, Paul and my Dad had been together, I arrived at 11AM i was so tired but that soon went when i seen my Dads face, "oh Noodles its good to see you love", they were my Dads greeting words to me, Noodles was my pet name from my Dad because according to him thats what my brain was made from, i was forgetful at times and very scatty, Then standing behind him was my Nana Ava and Maureen the house keeper but more like a family member, Maureen taught me so much stuff and i could sit for her hours listening her stories, My Nana a very short women walked up to me and slapped my wrist because she did'nt want me working in Turkey, My Nana could appear a loving sweet lady, but she had a acid mouth, she was blunt straight to the point and always spoke her mind, My Dad would always wind her up a treat,
So i had arrived and went to unpack, I loved my room at my Dads it was perfect, cream fluffy carpet, My own bathroom and a balconey, I went out on to it, it was actually a nice day clear skies, but bloody cold, I stood out and smoked a crafty fag, My Nana would kill me if she saw me smoking in fact she would probably make me eat it!,
I walked back in Maureen was stood in my room, Maureen is such a amazing women she suffered lots of tragic events when she was growing up, The death of both her parents when she was 10 she was left with a younger brother who she brought up in Jamacia, then when she was 24 she came over to England, She always dreamed of working over here, why i will never know, I know where i would rather live, she lived in London for two years and married a man called Bobby, when she lived in London she held down 6 jobs, a cleaner at a school, a carer for a elderly couple she would just do shopping and cook meals for them, then she worked at two bars and also a cook in a small nursing home, I never knew why she worked all them jobs, Mareen started working with my Dad when she was 39, Me and my brother loved her to bits, her cooking is beautiful and there was nothing she couldn't do,
People my think we would have treated her like shit and was snobs having a house keeper, but that was never the case, Maureen was and still is a mother figue to me, the amount of times i have cried to her about men!
So back to my room, Maureen was stood with a cup of tea, she always makes it spot on, she looked me up and down and said "oooh girl you have lost weight", i looked at myself in the mirror i had, maureen stood shaking her head, "Maureen im not deadly skinny i still have boobs" she let out a massive laugh, i cant even describe her laugh but once she started she wouldn't stop! it was a infectious laugh, "Well im making a beef stew and dumplings for your tea" "yesssssss" was my responce i loved maureens cooking, I changed into my comfy pants and hoodie and joined the rest of my family, the fire was on and roaring away, My Dad had filled Nana's glass with a large sherry and she was drifting off to sleep, My Dad was clearing away the dining room table full of work papers, "Well Noodles, Paul is running late, is train was cancelled so i thought we could drive into Manchester and meet him off the train, "yes, im up for that" my Dad smiled then informed Maureen of what we was doing and to keep Ava's glass filled with sherry,
We drove into Manchester i loved the times when it was just me and Dad, He pulled out a cd Rolling stones, just hearing him sing along trying to sound like Mick Jagger, we didn't speak much to the train station i was taking in the scenes, We parked up at the station we had to wait 25 minutes for the train so we looked round the shops, Dad hated shopping and even more so during christmas times, then the London train pulled in, we stood at the end, i felt sick with excitment, and tears were pricking my eyes, God knows why, then comes Paul all dressed smart in a dark grey suit, I still see the smile on his face, " Nooooooodles" he yelled i gave him a massive hug, Me and Paul was so close he was three years older then me although sometimes you would think he was older in beliefs that he had, "Alright Dad" and he hugged my Dad, Now my Dads smile was massive is two kids with him, We got in the car and had a good chat, When my Dad and Paul was together they were a nightmare and would always wind me up, We arrived home and Maureen was waiting she always called us the kids she never had, Paul raced up to her "Maureeeeeeeen! god i have missed you" and he always tried doing her accent, and once again she was laughing, Nana was sound out asleep, "Got any beers in Dad" asked Paul, "Lets start as we mean to go on"! We sat round the dining room table having a drink telling each other stories of what we had done, I loved them moments then Paul and my Dad's subject that grated me, My love life! "So then Anna are you still with that dick head" asked Paul, Both my Dad and Paul hated my then boyfriend Simon, I tried to change the subject but it never worked, "Well Noodles, you know our thoughts on him and we can only respect you choice" that was my Dads way of ending the conversation, That first night we must have sat round the table for 6 hours drinking and talking,,
Well it was Friday we had all been together now for 5 days and we still had so much to say, "Paul,Noodles come here" that was my Dad shouting us, tomorrow Old Trafford"? My Dad and Paul were massive Manchester United fans, "I dont know" i said i did want to go but i hadn't a clue what the offside rule was!r
"Erm noodles, you will come" said Paul, "I will go thru the rules so you know whats happening, So for a solid hour Paul was teaching me the offside rule with the salt and pepper pots, and the herb pots, i got the idea of it but while Paul was telling me my Dad made a mini booklet with the rules,
So Saturday arrives i wake up to Paul chanting United songs, I got ready and went down to the living room i could smell bacon, "Bacon butty" asked my Dad, It was maureens day off and dads cooking wasn't in maureens league what so ever!
We all ate our bacon sarnies and Dad and Paul would talk about football, "Hey noodles where is your football shirt"? asked Paul, "I dont have one" i replied, well its a good job i got you one!
We arrived at old trafford we was second from the front, everybody was in good spirits singing, chanting, and good banter, I remember seeing the football players walking in the pitch, i loved it
On the Tuesday afternoon Paul got a phone call his girlfriend had been taken into hospital something wrong with her appendix, Paul loved his girlfriend she was called beth, I only met her a few times, i never really clicked with her beacuse she was a very needy girl, but my brother loved her and he was worried about her, He wanted to go back to London just to see her and be by her side, I was gutted to be honest, we drove him to the station, I hugged him tightly, he had promised to be back before christmas, "I will be home before you know it" said Paul, "stay safe son, and ring us when your there" i remember standing waving at him i didn't want to leave ther platform, Then the train pulled away, A few days passed quickly there was not much word from Paul, we knew Beth was doing good, I rang Paul on the Friday night, just to see when he would be back, "I will get the train up christmas eve Noo, just catching up with a few mates, and want to be sure Beths ok", Paul always kept his word and i knew he would be back, that night me and Dad sat in the lounge watching some old films and just chilling, It was nice to see my Dad without his face glued to a computer screen and a phone glued to his ears, Nana Ava had gone away for the weekend on one of over 60s coach holidays, then the house phone rang it was Paul, He and Dad was talking about something it was all coded man chat! Then he passed me the phone, "Noodles! Im going to be coming home early now, Beths home and well, but right now i'm going out with the lads and getting mullard"!! Now i was so excited, i made some pland of some gigs we could go too, Saturday morning it was sleeting and bitter cold, i was wishing it would snow so we could go sledging, I remember pottering around my room,The something caught my eye, it was a police car driving up the drive, I didn't take much notice because it was probably something or nothing, I lay on my bed and looked at my phone waiting for a text off Paul, I went outside to the balconey and smoked a fag, the police car was still parked up, then Maureen knocked on the windo to my balconey door i jumped out of my skin, she didn't have her usual sunny charm about her, in fact she looked sad, "you ok Maureen"? I asked cause i never saw Maureen sad, she wrapped her warm harm around me, "I think you need to come downstairs" i was very puzzled, I rinced my mouth with some mouthwash and sprayed some spray to hide the smell of fags, I walked down and into the lounge, There was a man policeman he nodded his head at me as i walked in the room, I looked at my Dad there was no expression on his face it was blank, she was talking to a women in a navy suit, I remeber her so well, Dyed Black hair wavy, and a touch of a purple lipstick, She looked at me with a small smile, "Once again i am sorry for your loss" I looked at her, loss? what? "is it Nana Ava" I asked Dad, "love come an sit beside me" I did as i was told, I could here sadness in his voice and hurt in his eyes, "Maureen please can you bring my whiskey" Mareen left the room, it felt like hours before she had returned back with a isle of jura whiskey and two glasses, "Maureen please feel free to have one" said my Dad, "Dad whats going on"? he poured a very large whiskey and handed it me, "sweetheart, the early hours of this morning Paul was attacked outside a pub" At this point my heart felt like it had stopped and i froze, "is he ok Dad" i asked he paused and took a massive mouthful of whiskey, He put his head down, " He passed away at the scene" then my Dad got up to his feet and left the room, Dad never let us see him upset, Its got to be wrong, i kept saying to myself, Paul never causes trouble when he's out, he loves a laugh and joke, But fighting that just wasn't in his nature, Maureen sat beside me, and necked the whole glass of whiskey, "Anna, I am so so sorry of your news", I looked at her there was tears slowly coming from her eyes,