Easter Saturday - The Game Changer

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Memoir  |  House: Booksie Classic
The worst day of my life is compounded. This day forever changes everything and sets in motion a chain of events that elicits the utter bizarre.

Submitted: September 28, 2015

A A A | A A A

Submitted: September 28, 2015



Easter Saturday


April, and I had plans, plans for a holiday, plans for a new room, plans for us. Trips and meals and all sorts of fancy couple things. All for us, all for her, nothing for me. It had been February since I'd spent a night in Berwick, and only a partial one. My dark denim jacket was a constant symbol around myself, an example of the new Tom I had become. Everyday had its familiar routine, I'd wake up at hers, make an option of two breakfasts, my omelette was bordering gourmet. I'd wake her with the morning's meal, eat my own, then leave for work. No sooner than work would finish, I'd grab all the relevant items from Berwick, and jet off for Carla's. Broad Oak, my first home, I'd become associated with it, that was odd, to the point where I was asked if I was staying at home or Berwick. Berwick was home, it was everything. It was. I was losing touch with my identity, my goals having changed, my squad comprising nearly entirely of 11 hers. No room for me in this team. Maybe I was just getting older, becoming 33 or 34 at 23. I would retire soon, settle down, children, a career, a future. Every night was dinner, another meal I'd often try my hand at, then a film, picked by her, then time for bed, picked by her. She'd often fall away to sleep long before her expectations, and as a result I'd carry her up the stairs and place her gently in bed. She dictated a lot, but I loved her, and I loved our little life together. I didn't know why, but I had changed, I felt so close to her, so in love with her. The cracks in the situation were obvious and glaring, her flirtatious manner was inexplicably damaging. I was so aware, yet I ignored it, I honestly believed that despite the glaringly obvious problems we would inevitably face, that we would work through it. She wanted it, I wanted it. I knew that she'd changed, I knew her confidence had grew, I knew she could have other boys, but the thought of a return to two years ago was what I held on to. Despite the distance between me and Berwick, between me and Drew and Snelly, me and Rachel. I was happy. I thought I was happy. I was more in love with her than ever, I think that's why I accepted her, even with her OCD, her sexual restriction, it meant nothing to me. Despite her tendency to reach the cusp of cheating, her ability to toss me aside twice a week, her lies and her lack of respect for me. I loved her more than anything. I had given up Berwick for her, that had to be love. I would've given anything for her to have been like before, to have the same feelings as before, but I knew she wasn't, I knew she wouldn't.


It was the bank holiday weekend, this meant 5 days away from her, each day a gut wrenching clubbing opportunity. I decided that this time, it wouldn't be all her. Somewhere inside of me, oppressed and absent, was the outgoing me. I was going to do all 5 days, going to prove to both me and her that I could still live it up, that 2014 was not my epilogue. Thursday, me and Drew and Snelly battered a ball about. Sign game. I loved sign game, a throwback to the old me, a very old me. The game was simple, you kicked the ball at the sign, you hit the sign 3 times, you win. Utter simplicity. We drank and I felt drawn to the pair again, I needed that reminder that they were still there. I went home, and the feeling I dreaded in my stomach resurfaced. Carla was out. Prior to Christmas I'd never cared where she went or what she did. Now it haunted me, because I could see it, her facebook a distinctive insight into the potential disaster we faced, or rather I faced.


That night I dreamt, dreamt of her at Jason's, cheating on me, a recurring fear, a nightmare that overtook me all too often. I awoke at 6, I'd spent a night at Berwick. Carla's ringtone rattled my ears, she was just letting me know she went to Kyle's and was that ok.


"Why not, I already dreamt it."


It was true, I'd already dealt with the hurt, perhaps reality had a lesser sentence for me. Friday began and I made plans with Ryan, then made plans with Liam, another throwback. Berwick was still there, even if I wasn't. Carla contested my plans, what a gobshite. I couldn't argue with her nights out but she could command what I did with mine. Day 2 of the five night stint, I was doing this. We returned home from Hitchin and I jumped straight away into a taxi back to Carla's. I'd made a habit of doing that. Carla was pissed off, really pissed off. She told me there'd be no talking as she was tired and needed sleep, that she was worried I didn't want to see her, that it would return to last year. We slept, my front to her back, then my back to her back. Nothing said.


Day 3, and I had the day off, I couldn't find the Easter egg I wanted for Carla in Stevenage, so I drove with Ryan to Luton. I found it, a cute chocolate bunny, one I could have personalised. I even remembered the umlaut above her name. I drove home, swelling with optimism, she would love this. Back at Ryan's, me and him and Liam reminisced. I went outside and placed a fake parking ticket on Liam's dash. We both left for food, and halfway through the journey he noticed and stepped out of the car. I tried desperately not to laugh, but Liam lost his head and began screaming.


"This is bullshit! Illegally parked, I was in your fucking street, in a parking space! I'm gonna start knocking on doors and see who have me that! I'm gonna go nuts!"


His reaction was too much for me, hysterics consumed me. I laughed and laughed and laughed. The rest of the day I kept remembering and kept a subtle laughter about me. The smile immovable. I was cheeky but bright, and I told him later on to wipe out his misery.


I swept past Tesco on the way to Carla's, picked the biggest bunch of flowers I could see, and then hurried to Broad Oak.


"We come on the Sloop John B, my grandfather and me..." The Beach Boys blared out at me, a song I hadn't heard for years, I knew it from an old Planet Hollywood CD, it was yet another throwback.


"Let me go home, let me go home." An allegory perhaps? I hadn't been home in an age, I didn't really connect the dots.


 I knocked and her smile answered. I thrust the flowers into her face, and her smile widened.


"What's the occasion?" Her question was inquisitive yet pleased.


"Just for being you." She jumped and I caught her round the waist. I held her in our embrace and kissed her as the door shut. We span and my arms eventually gave way. I didn't want them to, I wanted to stay in that moment forever. I loved her more than I ever had. We held each other and I felt lost in our paradise. 


"Let's go out, just me and you, I want to show you that you mean more to me than my friends." Her statement eased me greatly. As always she took an amazing amount of time to get ready. We got to the Old Town, we didn't last long. We journeyed to Chicagos, the same odd route we'd walked once before. On the way I held her and she took a photo of us. Another photo. Just another photo. Decked in new clothes we entered Chicagos, my nemesis, tonight my friend?


No. Within two minutes some moron adjacent to the cloakroom threw up all over me. My shoes ruined, my trousers filthy. I waited outside, I felt humiliated, yet again I had Chicagos to thanks. I arranged a lift home, I changed, into my favourite shirt this time. In my haste I managed to knock fabric softener all over my shoes. It wiped away, but it was symbolic, almost as if I shouldn't return. Was Berwick telling me to stay away. I didn't have to listen, I wasn't going to listen to a potential, I barely lived in Berwick anymore. I left.


Carla had littered my phone with texts hoping I'd come back, hoping I wasn't angry. I wasn't angry. I found her and we hugged. A sigh of relief was written on her, and we circled round the club. More throwbacks, I met old friends and introduced my girlfriend. I saw Fazli again, which was just bizarre. He was the same, I was not.


Jason. Jason was here, but it didn't matter. I had what I loved. He had no power over me. She looked flustered. I told her it didn't matter, as long as I had her, life was perfect. Jason was irrelevant. Me and Carla sat in a booth to the side, we held each other, we drank, we kissed. I loved her more and more by the second. I was happy, maybe not in the way I had originally planned. But, it didn't matter. Top or not. I had a girl I loved, and she loved me, and we were one day going to have a great big house and a little girl called Amelia. That’s what she told me. This was now my dream.


The dream ended.


"Do you mind if I go and do the Cupid shuffle with Sophie?"


Of course I didn't. She wandered off, as did I. I chatted away with various people from my past. Then I saw her. Carla swung her head around, probably looking for me. Satisfied she was covered by enough crowding, she walked over to the smoking area. She stood, chatting away to Jason, penning her fingers through her hair, as she used to with me. Her smile widened. My heart shattered. I text her.


"I caught you out you sneaky bitch."


She flew back inside and wrestled me to look at her. I ignored. The desparados in my hand met my mouth and I drank and drank. Carla grabbed at me, she begged.


"Please Tom, just listen to me! Just look at me!"


I declined. I knew the truth, I couldn't just block it out now, I'd seen it. I didn't want it to be over, but I knew it would be. At least temporarily. She went back to Jason, I'm not sure if it was a defiant stance or simply because she no longer cared. I knew what normally entailed after this, she would lie, lie her way out of it. I rushed outside, took a photo. Nobody could claim I was the villain here. She was startled, then calm, she played with her hair again. More of Jason's friends entered their area, and there was me, now alone, despite knowing at least a dozen people inside. I grabbed another drink and the barman short changed me. I notified him of his mistake and he refused to budge. I grew with excessing rage. Chicagos weren't going to take my clothes, my girl and my money. They checked cash levels and returned my money, there was some solace at last. I sat with Fazli, half trying to make the simpleton aware of what was going on. He didn't understand, he never did. What a strange evening. Chicagos ended and I confronted Carla at the door. As usual, her entourage of juggernauts attempted to force their involvement, Rosie began shouting something. I didn't take notice. I began:


"Carla, where are you going? I need to go to yours."


"You're not coming back to mine, I'm walking home with Rosie."


I had one ace left to play in my deck. Pace. I turned.

"My stuff is there, you can't stop me if I get there first." Before I left I made her abundantly aware of how serious this was. "I'm not doing this anymore Carla, it's over."


Rosie's interruption was instant. "You say this every week Tom." I didn't. And I didn't care what Rosie thought, she was a slut and a hypocrite. Jeez, even Reece had been with this monster, and Reece would take anything.


I vaulted into a taxi and have him my destination. Upon arrival I knocked quietly but effectively. Carla's mum answered, and I explained what happened.


"I love your daughter but I can't do this anymore." The desperation was tied up in my cries. Her Mum agreed, she didn't take Carla's side, in fact, it was a rarity when she did. I promised I would leave as soon as Carla arrived. The door swung open, and I completed my end of the bargain. Me and Carla ignored each other. I stepped onto Broad Oak Way, my first home, my current house. It was pitch black, it always was this time of night. The lights hadn't been on past 12 in the town for years now. I strolled towards home.


My ears picked up what my eyes could not. Voices, two of them, male. Before I could reach them, I knew. I knew Rosie was manly but there wasn't two of her. Moonlight lit my confrontation. Jason, John. My sworn enemy, and the gobshite who had cut my neck and been seconds away from punching my lights out at overtime.


"I did not expect this, what a situation." I walked forward, John stepped towards me. His arrogant smirk tore away at me. "Not this time you gobshite, you won't put me on top of a car tonight." As I struggled past him, his fist thrust against my nose, then my eye. I was drinker than I thought and my open bag was of little asset to me now, it was in the way big time. John grabbed what he could, and I heard my sleeve tear. 2-0 to him on clothes. A brief moment of irony overtook me and I smiled. I looked to my right. This was my house, the doorstep of where I lived, 110. This home was providing me nothing in terms of protection. I was finding out the hard way that this wasn't Berwick. I was a million miles away. Jason made a phone call to what I assumed were more boys.


"You better get down here quick!" There was urgency in his tone. I was in trouble. John simmered away, his arms open, taunting me. Then he spoke. "I'll have your bird bouncing on my dick, just like I did 10 minutes ago." I felt inclined at this stage to correct him on this. He couldn't fuck Carla, but I didn't feel it would give me bragging rights. There was truth in his statement though. Next week he could do what he liked. How could I stop him. His smirk arose again, it tore at me again. I knew I was beaten at this stage, but I warned them there would be repercussions.


"I'll be back, with the same number of boys next time. This isn't over."


I raced back to Carla's, my phone was relentless, it was surely her. Kyle?! Why was he texting, and how was he texting about this. Was that Jason's phone call. Surely not, his wimpy geeky brother. He knew prior, but how. I ran back to Carla's door, her mum answered once again. I stumbled into the hallway.


"John and Jason just beat the shit out of me." Carla left almost instantly, there was no care in her, but no curiosity either. Then I understood, she already knew. She needed to know nothing. It was her. She never walked home with Rosie, not unless she's been masquerading as Jason this whole time. I ran back out. I raced up the road, I didn't want to embarrass myself further by having to explain to my mother what happened. I headed towards my Dad's, I needed someone, and he would be livid, he idolised me. I needed that. His phone was unresponsive. I turned as voices flooded my ears once more. Somehow I had acquired a position ahead of them. I had rung Dave when my Dad hasn't answered. He knew my location. All I need do is play for time. My mother rang me and I warned her that I had to go.


"They've seen me Mum, it's gonna happen again, but I've got to go, this phone is worth too much money. I'm sorry." I placed my phone in my pocket and sighed. Just letting the day out, as always. Our journeys met. And I warned them someone would be on their way. Me and John crept together almost in unison. I needed to nullify his attacks as best I could, especially if I was gonna hold out for long enough. I took our grapple to the floor. I blocked my face as best I could, and as he wore out, I even began to take the upper hand. That's when it happened. A boot flew in above my left eye.


As if Jason hadn't done my head in enough, he was now proceeding to kick me in the head. I did my absolute best to block it out, I couldn't release my grapple with John. His kicks continued, nobody there to prevent his barrage. My chest, my ribs, my face. My eye, the eye the cRodbar had torn open once before, and here was this cunt giving it a second try. Eventually the combination of the two loosened my grip. Both made final harder hits and rose up. I followed suit, they had begun to ran.


"Come on! Why don't you finish me off! I'm still here! I'm still breathing!" They scurried. Despite all the beating I had taken, they ran. I walked back to Carla's, Dave couldn't find me. I rang Carla, I screamed down the phone at her. Worse than the night the bubble burst, worse than ever before, louder than ever before. "You bitch! You cunt! You fucking done me! You fucking done me you OCD freak! After everything I did for you, how dare you, you freak! You fucking slut!" I had been undeniably set up, destroyed by the girl I loved more than anything. I felt so humiliated. I went back to hers for the rest of my things, and I was only too aware of everything. As I dragged my beaten body acRod my birth home, I remembered walking away from hers two years ago, just before I got ill, listening to my song of the month, the final one I would have for a while, being so full and vibrantly content with everything. Now, I walked the opposite way to hers, empty. Had the last three years been for nothing, had my unexpected revival really culminated in this. Yes, yes it had. I had returned for nothing. The door had opened for nothing. Her mum met me. "I take back what I said earlier, your daughter is not a good person she's evil." Her mum leapt to her defence.


"What about you?! What about what you just said?! I heard that Tom it was terrible." Maybe so, but her daughter had just set up an assault against me. Fuck me if I shouted at her. Point scoring on morality here was going to be low. Dave arrived, and I left. My breathing was laboured from the insistent kicks I suffered to the chest. We arrived at a&e and I took a photo of myself. I needed to remind myself of this night, I needed to make sure it was never forgotten. It was the cornerstone for change. X-Rays revealed no more than heavy bruising, and I was discharged. My phone kept going. Kyle and Carla. My pleas as to why were simply met with:


"I was scared."


Subsequent messages from the pair were similar. Carla was drip feeding him, she had been the entire night. This was her creation. I went home. I spent another night in Berwick at last. The morning and i strode into work, casual as anything. Karlie eyed me with doubt. I could see the fear within her. She knew I was suffering, she knew there was little she could do. She had warned me that this wouldn't end well. Now I knew. Karlie had got to know the ever changing version of me and grown to care massively for the pushover I had become. I no longer defended myself in my usual maverick fashion. Karlie cared even though she had no reason to. I needed her that day. I needed her badly. She let me go home. She knew I was no good this way. I boarded the bus to Carla's and took my car. The radio rattled.


"Well I feel so broke up, I wanna go home." The same song, now with relevance. "This is the worst trip I've ever been on." It wasn't the best. I knew I still loved Carla. I hadn't switched off in one night. Her texts made it painfully obvious that she had. She wanted to be single, cited my shouting as a definitive reason for our break up. It was over. I bawled. She had somehow become me from late 2013. I knew I had wanted to be single then, but not like this. Not in these circumstances. This was agonising. The Broad Oak era was over, but where was I now? I didn't know how to be me again, a year before and I would've batted it off like it was nothing. If been so enveloped in her life and our relationship that I didn't know how to be me now. I returned to Berwick. I felt like a rotten child. I'd been warned. Berwick had tried to save me that night, something had. I should never have gone back to Chicagos. Day 1 of my new era, and day 4 of the bank holiday weekend, and I was resolute that I would show face. Carla begged throughout the day for me to phone the police, John was bragging. Something didn't feel right, she was too insistent. Later in the night me and Ryan made an appearance at Chicagos, but I was halted at the door. Bouncers, I knew it. They must've been warned. No. Stephen, Jennie's Stephen. An ally, a much needed ally. Stephen wasted no time in declaring his loyalty to my cause. Carla was there, my heart sank. I was broken, I was a shadow of the night before, even my clothes echoed this. Jason walked in. Carla warned me by text that he had numbers. Stephen collared him and his mates, we stood in the smoking area. A battle waiting to brew. I piped up.


"Why don't me and you see how well you do when it's just me and you Jason, when someone isn't there to hold me down while you boot my face in."


"I didn't boot your face in." His deceit enraged me.


"So you didn't kick me in the head last night?!"


"Yeah I did but..." I watched Carla make her way from the dance floor to the smoking area. She didn't need to be involved.


"Can you all just stop please, Tom, why don't you leave?!"


I retorted, she had no rights over me now.


"It's nothing to do with you, I'm here for him. Besides you relinquished your right to tell me what to do. I'm making my decisions now." Brave new words. We all returned inside. I text Carla to let her know I was leaving. Her bodyguards left her side for long enough for me to steal a moment, we said goodbye, in person. There was a subtle threat that a hug might ensue but nothing. I saw a solemnity in her gaze, it was the last I would ever see it like that. Carla kept me updated with texts. She told me she would convince him he would be prosecuted. Why was she playing with us both. Another night in Berwick, I was home, to stay.


Monday night, day 5. Me, Drew and Snelly went to Watford. I remember little of the night, I was too out of my face to recall much. All I knew, that by this point, I was fading. I wasn't getting better, I wasn't regressing back into the Tom I wanted to be. I didn't eat. I didn't sleep. I didn't enjoy anything. Before Watford I had rehearsal. Carousel. The show she'd tried desperately to stop me doing. She'd tried so hard she'd even entertained a holiday for us both the week of the show. A for effort cakes. It was all I had, my only significant hold over her. The Lyttons was mine, that was a surety. Everyone here already had reservations of hate for her, that was good. Rod offered me some advice:


"I had a girlfriend when I was 21. 17 she was, she was wild and loved partying, I used to catch her at other guys houses all the time. One day I had enough, I waited til I was fucking her, and as soon as I finished, I confronted her with my issues. Point is she couldn't use sex as a weapon, and I told her that if she disagreed, she could literally fuck off. She did, and I got over it, you get over it. Don't ever let anyone have a hold on you like that."


That night I decided to tell Carla that I wouldn't speak to her anymore. Carla had kept half alive this prospect of us just being on a break and that she still saw herself marrying me. It was littered with fallacy this theory. But, she seemed despairingly sure. But then, she didn't even want to see me. When I told her, she burst into tears down the phone. Then she told me her life was over. What the fuck was going on? This was too much. Far far too much. I retracted my offer, and things seemed stable. Day 5, and I'd done it, I'd been out every single night, living it up. Now I was broken, and I didn't know where to find the repair guide. 


It will never happen again, that was the mantra I developed from this. I'll never let a girl abuse me like that again, and never allow her to allow others to abuse me. I had been ridiculed and humiliated as a result of her actions, yet I allowed it to happen. I wish I had fought back, I wish I had used all my rage and channelled that into destroying those boys. I expect I would regret that the most. I would have to have the image of that boy's foot repeatedly kicking my eye, with the thought occupying it that he was only there because she led him there, only there because she knew it would hurt me. He supplied the kick, but she may as well have put the shoe on his foot for him. That image I feared would replay in my mind forever, the eye that was torn open before was this time torn open emotionally. Only my right eye would see the present, my left would now see only the past. Amelia was dead.

To be hurt the worst by the one I loved the most, what greater emotional agony existed above that? I suspected none.


© Copyright 2020 TomBerwick. All rights reserved.

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