Part 15. 3 more after this one!
Frank’s POV- ‘If looks could really kill then my profession would be staring. We do this coz we care not for the thrill’
At my Mum’s request I peel myself away from a ‘Heroes’ repeat and answer the door.
“We need somewhere.” Bob says simply whilst supporting himself on the doorframe. I can see Amy looking shaken and scared over his shoulder. I step away from the door and invite them in. I settle them down in front of the TV and run to fetch 3 very strong coffees.
It’s 2:30 when I sit down in the front room and look at them questioningly although I already knew who to blame for this mess. It’s 2:30 when I decide that if I’m ever presented with the chance I will quite happily push their Dad under the wheels of a car, or a truck, or a tractor… maybe even a steamroller… or a combine f*cking harvester.
“I’m sorry to just turn up but do you think we could stay the night? We haven’t got anything with us…” I’ve never actually seen Bob loose his cool but he is distinctly unsettled right now. He also has one hell of a bruise forming under his left eye and winces whenever he moves.
“It’s fine. Honestly. We have like toiletries and stuff, Amy could have one of my shirts to sleep in if she likes?” She nods and I notice that her chin is trembling magnificently and there are deep pools of tears in both her eyes. “If you’re bothered you can borrow some of my Dad’s joggers?”
“That would be good thanks mate.” I nod and drain the rest of my coffee.
“I’ll just go inform the parents.” I say before leaving them to comfort each other and talk over what had just happened.
I know they’ll tell me eventually. There’s no point forcing it out of them. It would just be painful for everyone.
“Mum?” She turns from where she’s washing up lunch stuff.
“Can Amy and Bob stop over tonight?”
“Well… I suppose so. Do their parents know? Amy will have to sleep in he guest room and Bob will probably have to have the sofa because Shelia never did return that blow up bed…” I agree to everything she says by nodding my head as I didn’t trust my mouth.
I make my way back to the Living Room quietly and open the door to see Amy and Bob sat hugging on the sofa. They look up when I come in and I can’t help noticing that they’ve both been crying. I sit down on the armchair and wait for one of them to speak.
“Dad’s got worse again Frank.” Amy’s small voice tells me.
“Oh.” Is all I can say. I really don’t know what to say. What can you say? “…What happened?”
“He turned up drunk as usual and started arguing with the f*cking door because he couldn’t get in.” Amy breaks off and snuggles up to Bob the way a small child would cuddle up to a parent when they’re scared.
“I let him in.” Bob continues for her. “And he went off on one about how me and Amy had supposedly locked him out on purpose. Like we were conspiring against him or something. So he hits me,” he motions to his cheek, “and goes to find Amy...” Amy lets out a muffled sob here and Bob waits for her to nod before carrying on. “I tried to stop him but he kept hitting me back harder and harder. . . After he did my ribs in I was pretty much useless…” That would explain why he’s wincing every three seconds I guess. “Amy managed to get around him, grab me and my car keys and get us out of there. I don’t know what would have happened if she hadn’t. I don’t know what he’d have done. I just don’t know…” His bright blue eyes bore into mine.
“I’m so sorry.”
“It’s not your fault. It’s his for drinking and our Mum’s for staying with him long enough to have kids but not long enough to look after them when they need her.”
“She still not back yet?” I ask. He shakes his head and Amy starts to cry again in earnest.
“Can I go clean up in your bathroom?” Bob asks me after a few awkward moments of sitting in silence watching Amy try to console herself by burying her head in Bob’s shoulder.
“Sure.” I answer, willing to offer anything to either of them.
When Bob leaves I go and sit next to Amy. She hugs me and I hold her, stroking her hair and trying to be as comforting as possible.
“I thought he was going to kill me.” She whispers to my shoulder. “I really though that it would end up with one of us d-dying.” She looks up at my eyes as if to check I believe her. What she sees there appears to satisfy her and she settles her head back down onto my shoulder.
“It’s Ok. You’re safe here. I promise. I would never be like him.”
“You came close,” She says making my throat close over. I feel like crying but I don’t let myself. “but you didn’t. You’re a good guy really Frank. I know you are. I’m just waiting for you to realise it too.”
“Thank you.” I whisper to the top of her head and press a light kiss onto the top of it.
“For what?” Her wide eyes turn up to mine and look bewilderedly into mine.
“Believing in me.” She nods once and I think about just leaning down and kissing her but it wouldn’t be right.
“Thanks for letting us stay here. We’ll go as soon as.” She pulls away from me and sits facing me on the sofa.
“I love you.” I blurt out. She looks as though she’s about to say something and in those split seconds I think through every possibility of what she could be about to say. I never get to find out though as Bob chooses that moment to reappear from the other side of the door. Amy closes her mouth and turns around so her side is facing me now and we begin to debate whether or not we should tell my parents what is really going on.
“I don’t want loads of people getting involved.” Amy says from where she’s now scrunched up in an upright ball on the sofa.
“She’s right. It wouldn’t help. And if the police did get involved he’d get hardly any time if any then when he got out he’d just get really wasted and come do it again.” Bob agrees.
“You need to do something though…” I trail off miserably. I really don’t want this to happen ever again.
“Maybe Mum will leave Dad.” Amy theorises.
“Maybe…” Bob agrees solemnly.
“Did you want to call her? You could borrow the house phone?”
“Tomorrow.” Bob says firmly. “I don’t want her going home to him tonight on our accounts.”
“Oh ok.” I agree feeling foolish for suggesting it. I’m out of depth in this whole situation. I feel like I should be supporting them but it ways it seems to have upset me more than them. At least shocked me more.
If my parents notice that there is anything odd surrounding Amy and Bob’s appearance they keep quiet about it. My Mum makes us pasta for tea and my Dad has a really huge chat with Amy when he realises that it’s the same Amy I’d known when I was little.
Amy handles it well. She laughs when she should and gives long responsive answers and joins in with the telling of some childhood stories. I listen in with Bob and watch in amazement as Amy acts perfectly normal.
“That was unbelievable.” I mutter when my Dad finally leaves.
“What was?” Amy asks looking more than slightly bewildered.
“Explain?” She says with a raised eyebrow.
“Talking to my Dad as if everything was completely Ok. Laughing at his totally crp jokes and stuff to keep him happy even though you must feel like sht.”
“She’s had enough practise.” Bob speaks us. “We both have. It took us 3 years to realise she was self harming she’s that good at hiding things.” He frowns slightly and Amy turns slightly pink at the mention of her previous self-harm.
By 10 o clock we’re all yawning and decide to call it a night even though it’s still a little early by sleepover standards.
“It’s been a weird day we’re allowed to be tired.” Amy says sleepily. “It seems a million years ago that you were around my house begging for forgiveness through m letterbox.”
“Yeah.” I agree with a sleepy smile of embarrassment as I help Bob to unfold the sofa bed and set it up. Amy is curled up in the arm chair already nearly asleep.
“So I’m on this and Amy’s in the guest room?” Bob asks as we try fruitlessly to get the duvet in the cover.
“Yeah. Erm… I’m more inside of this that the quilt is.” I point out, half engulfed in bed covers. Amy sighs and takes them off of us. Within a minute she has the entire bed made and laid out neatly.
“Boys.” She yawns and stretches exposing a strip of stomach.
“Yeah well... It’s just lucky we have you then.” She hits me weakly on the arm and then follows me upstairs after saying goodnight to Bob.
I listen to her moving around in the bathroom from my room and jump slightly when she knocks on my bedroom door. I’m lying on top of my covers on my bed in my PJ bottoms with my hands behind my head just staring at the ceiling. “Yeah?” I call out to her.
She opens the door slowly and peaks around it. When she has located me amongst all the garbage in my room she gives me a small but genuine smile. “I just wanted to say goodnight.”
“Night.” I smile back. She was sweet sometimes.
“Yeah… I’ll see you in the morning then I guess.” She yawns and stretches again. She is only wearing one of my old t-shirts presumably over underwear and she looks pretty hot.
“Yeah I’ll see you in the morning.” I blow her a kiss and my heart actually leaps when she pretends to catch it and then blows one in return rather than just giving me an odd look.
“I love you Amy.” I murmur when I hear her shut the guest room door.