Dirty Daddies(4)By: Jade West
They thought it was me who hit their baby daughter, but I didn’t. It was Eli, their eldest, but nobody believed a little liar like me. Problems – that’s what they said. I had problems. Too many problems for Emma and Frank and their nice little family.
That’s why I scratched his car to shit with one of his screwdrivers. Problems.
That’s why I spat in Emma’s face when she tried to say goodbye. Problems.
And that’s why everyone ditches me when I get too much. So many problems.
I should have been nothing but a problem to Michael Warren too. Hell, I was a problem enough for the two colleagues of his I saw before him. They lasted weeks before they felt intimidated. But he was different.
I could shout in his face and he didn’t turn me away. I could tell him what I thought and he didn’t scowl and sigh and mutter about problems, problems, problems.
He could be angry, but he never kicked me out.
He could want to smack the attitude right out of me, but he didn’t lose his cool.
I like Michael Warren, and I wish I’d told him before now, before our last ever session. Who knows, maybe a man like him could have actually helped a problem like me. Maybe if I’d have listened to him I wouldn’t be kicked out of Rosie and Bill’s.
Sometimes I even thought maybe he’d be the one I couldn’t break, no matter what I said or what I did. No matter how far I pushed him, he was always there next week, at our scheduled time with my stupid dumb file on his desk and his stupid dumb questions trying to help me.
Maybe he really would have helped me, if I’d have told him the truth. If I’d have told him who really hurts me.
But it’s too late for all that now. At least I told him how I felt about him, just once.
I hate this shitty little town with its shitty weather. Grey drizzle turns to full on rain and none of the shops want me in them, so I slip into an alley down the side of the bank and wait for it to ease up, cursing the fact these boots have holes in them and I threw the ones Rosie bought me back in her face a few months back.
I don’t need your fucking boots. You can’t fucking buy me, I’m not for fucking sale.
The memory makes me cringe.
She didn’t see how I ran to my room and cried harder than she did. She didn’t see how sorry I was after, even though my stupid mouth wouldn’t let me say a word.
I whistle as a guy in a scummy brown hoodie walks on by. I know him. Eddie something.
He stops, squints at me, then smiles. He knows me too, by reputation if not by introduction.
“Carrie, right?” he asks and steps on in.
I don’t have time for stupid hellos. I hitch my boot up against the wall, playing it as disinterested as I possibly can. “Got a smoke?”
He nods and pulls a pack from his pocket. Shitty menthols, but beggars can’t be choosers. I take one and light it off his lighter.
“Got somewhere to be?” he asks and I shake my head. “Want to come for a drink?”
“I’m underage,” I tell him. “Nowhere’s gonna serve me. Not without ID.”
He takes a long drag. “I’ll be buying. You look eighteen.”
His eyes are all over me, but that’s nothing new.
“Few days and I will be eighteen,” I tell him. “And then I’ll be away from his shitty place and off on my own.”
He laughs but there’s no malice in it. “Sounds good to me, this place is a shit hole.” He holds out his arm but I shrug it off. I really don’t want to be touching him. He looks the sleazy type, but a drink’s a drink if he’s the one paying.
“You’re buying?” I clarify.
“Sure am.” He pulls out his wallet, a battered thing on a chain. “Got paid today, did some overtime.”
Just as well. I’m in the mood for a few, just to drink this awful day with its crappy goodbyes away. “Alright,” I tell him, “lead the way.”
And he does.
I ignore my shitty phone buzzing in my pocket. I ignore the angry messages Rosie and Bill will be leaving me.
I ignore everything, because tonight Eddie something is going to buy me drinks and look at me like he wants me.
It’s the best thing on offer to a problem girl like me.