Carly’s On The Show

2 Jun

Next, a woman at breaking point. Carly’s on the show, guys.

Clapping, taped music as I walk.

Carly, welcome to the show.

He doesn’t wear a tie, open throat, a lookalike of a man who’d put a pill in your drink, smile.

Who’s Dean?

I say my boyfriend, two years and because I love him.

Want to meet him? 

Dean sits like he would with his dinner on his lap, or gently gripping his pint in the pub in  front of the big screen football. Everyone there, the girls sat apart; or just us, curtains drawn, hands saying bedtime.

But that’s not all, is it, Carly? What happened next?

I fell pregnant.

Dean the father? Hundred per cent?

Hundred per cent.

So Dean, are you working? There’s a surprise.

Some laugh or boo, but not really. We’re too boring, look stupid to them and this man who doesn’t look real. Dean with his legs apart trying to stare him out. New cap on. Security man on the side of the stage and a boy with headphones and tissues.

Look at her. She’s terrified of you.

Think you’ll pass?

 Our lie detector said.

Sorry darling, you’re boyfriend’s a cheat and a liar.

What? Like you did to her?

This is pointless. I thought it would help me but it hasn’t. Nothing can. It’s just talking. Dean doesn’t care. We don’t live here.

Last night in the hotel Dean said he loved me. Tasted of beer. Slobbered on my face. A sex kiss. I know the sort of girls he looks at. I can see him now, when I’m at home and he’s drunk and the jukebox is playing and he’s laughing and making her laugh. Like when we met. Look in her eyes and kiss her, play with her hair. Too drunk to drive anywhere. Taking her round to the bins. 

He’s shouting at Dean, asking about the baby. The baby.

You just don’t care, do you?

Not really, Dean says.  

Do you care about the baby? Hear that Carly? He’s not even sure the baby’s his.

Of course it’s yours Dean. Tears stuck in my throat. Face going red. Not fair and not real, tomorrow it’ll all be normal again but what about Dean if he left me and the baby how could I cope looking out the window at the factories and the hills and the white sky and at the shops with the pram everyone laughing as I wipe my eyes and walk back to the flat past the butchers, the offy, the wedding dress shop, Dean playing pool in the pub and I’ll stare at the pub but never go in and now he’s saying to Dean so I’m paying for your baby while you sit at home smoking cannabis and Dean’s laughing.

Why are we here? Carly, why are we here?

Don’t know. 

I’ll tell you why you’re here. You want this waste of space out of your life.

The man looks bored of us, nothing left to prove. 

You’ve got two kids already haven’t you, Dean? You a good dad? Gonna be a good dad to this child when it’s born?

Now he’s talking to me, saying you know what I think Carly and Dean says at the end of the day and I didn’t even say it wasn’t just twice that Dean hit me it’s all the time and even once in Tesco and Dean’s standing up and walking away and the man’s holding up his arm and I have to leave as people clap and my bump feels heavy and  backstage it’s all wires and corridors and I can’t see Dean and now it’s over and when it’s on our telly everyone can see at the bottom of the screen it says You Tried To Trap Me By Having A Baby and I didn’t remember any of it like that and Dean just sits there smirking and I hardly speak and the man dances round us and the audience just watch, my hair looks greasy and I sit there looking fat and my clothes make me look old and when there’s nothing left of us the man says right, next up we have Michelle.

Don’t go anywhere.


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