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Royal CourtsThey walked slowly out of the building; through its long shadows, down the stark white steps and into the sunshine. It was only then he realised how chilled the stone had been, and how muffled the sound as it’d bounced around the cavernous architecture.

He glanced up at the arch as they came out under it. The building seemed to glow in the sunshine. The sky a blue back-drop. In any other circumstance, he may have paused to appreciate it more.

He was suddenly aware of a group of people clustering around the family who had come out just ahead of them. Men with cameras, a woman holding a microphone. Press.

He guided Geena in the opposite direction, and closer to him, thankful that the family had come out before him..and that they were not interested in them. In the grand scheme of things – they were small fry.

He glanced at Genna as they crossed over the Strand and made their way down Arundel Street, towards Temple Tube Station. Her shoulders shook under his hand every so often as she took another gulp of breath. They hadn’t said a word to each other for hours.

But, what do you say?

His attention was caught by a young black man standing outside a coffee shop. He wore a long black robe that fell to just above his ankles. He was holding a white wig under one arm; his other hand held a thin cigar, which he drew on every so often before it collaborated in making another point to his companion. 

He realised that it was the smell of the cigar that had caught his attention. It took him back to the last time he’d smoked one, thirty odd years ago, when his son had just been born.

With two girls already, he’d really wanted a son. He’d have been happy with either, of course. But, he’d secretly wanted a son. So when he’d arrived at the delivery room, and the nurse presented him with a wriggling bundle in a pink blanket, he was slightly dismayed.

Geena laughed at him. She’d looked blotchy and knakered. Her gown was in disarray, and the top of her breasts were streaked with blood. She was beautiful. 

And then he realised, as the nurse, half smiling too, opened up the blanket.

“We ran out of blue ones today,” She’d said, apologetically. 

Victim

I listen to Kings of Leon.. when I’m feeling most crap..It should be something more spiritual I guess; that’s what i used to do. Something that speaks to my soul when I’m not listening.

I was at the solicitors, Law for All. My appointment was for 3pm.. I arrived on time. And I waited with fear and doubt carving ever deeper grooves in my chest. I didn’t see Maria Abdul until around 3.50pm (by then I couldn’t bear to look at the clock anymore)

No I don’t qualify for legal aid. It would be best not to site Adultery ind the divorce, as this makes for more paper work and court time for busy solicitors.

Oh, and I have to do it myself: fill in the forms, take them to court etc.

Ultimately, and feeling as shite as I’m feeling, it was the most discourteous, shit experience I’ve ever had. That added to the fact that I’m going to have to do this myself anyway…So now I can see more crap ahead waiting for me.

Then on the bus.. While a group of black guys argued with and bullied their friend who’d tried to flirt with me, and then the girl next to me accidentally kicked me, and didn’t even look at me to acknowledge an apology, I asked myself.. ‘How long will you be a victim?’