In My Place ...
I haven't had a decent nights sleep for weeks.
I wake up every morning hating myself. Hating what I am doing. Hating what me and Coral are doing behind Slate's back ... but I just can't stop it ... even though I know it is a car crash waiting to happen!!
Our affair has been going on for nearly six weeks. The slightest opportunity that we get, the minute Slate walks out of the house ... we are at it, we just can't keep our hands off each other!! The minute it started I knew there was never any way of going back.
I know why I'm doing this, I love her. Once it started I couldn't stop it, but I don't really know why she is doing this. I haven't questioned her, too scared of what she might say. Something is really starting to play on my mind, since this started she hasn't once told me that she loves me. Maybe she doesn't think she needs to tell me, maybe she thinks that I know ... She told me before it started, but she hasn't said it since.
We have talked about her breaking up with Slate, and she says she wants to, but she doesn't seem to be in any hurry to do it. I am now too scared to push it because if this is just a bit of passing fun for her, it would probably kill me!! I am already making a right hash of this!!
I tell myself every day that what I should be doing is putting a stop to our affair. I tell myself I'm not going to do it anymore, but when it comes down to it I just can't do it. It is not like we can ever take back what we've done ... I will always know that I've been sleeping with my sons girlfriend ... Berry what is wrong with me!?
I'm scared of losing both Coral and Slate, I'm not sure I could live without either of them. I've already been through having to lose someone I love and I'm not talking about people fading. I'm talking about my brother who is very much alive and out there somewhere in the world without me. It still hurts everyday that we have fallen out to the point where we don't have anything to do with each other. I am the law and he is the criminal, our two worlds don't live together, and neither could we.
I'm so scared that this is going to happen with Slate that it's just easier to carry on doing what we are doing ... what he doesn't know won't hurt him ... right?! And we are all happy theoretically, but I'm not ... the guilt is eating me up and I know this can not carry on unnoticed and without any fall out forever!!
I am just prolonging the inevitable.
The thought of what this will do to mine and Slate's relationship when he finds out is killing me. Even if Slate and Coral break up it is never going to wash with him - me and Coral being together - because in his little self absorbed world there is nothing wrong with his relationship. Coral breaking up with him I think will be a shock to his system enough on it's own without him even knowing my involvement in it. Us openly together later ... he'll never buy there was nothing going on while they were together ... I doubt we can ever hide this now.
The only way to stop the upset and fall out is if I put a stop to what me and Coral are doing and walk away, but I can't do it ... if I could I would have been strong enough to stop it from happening in the first place, but I wasn't. This can only ever end in a disaster.
The night times are the worse for me, I lie in my own bed unable to sleep, just knowing that she is asleep in the next room in his bed ... wandering what they are doing in there is eating me up ... every time I see him touch her it makes me cringe, I hate it, even though really I've got no right to, the jealousy is killing me.
The only thing she has done which gives me some hope, she has postponed the wedding. A few weeks after our affair started she suddenly came out with it over breakfast, we hadn't discussed it so I was as surprised as Slate when she came out with it. She said she will wait until Tapestry comes home after all, she'll wait like everyone else is. Slate didn't bat an eyelid over the postponed wedding, he like the rest of us didn't understand what all the rush was about in the first place.
Only I know now it was one of her games to reel me into this sordid mess!!
It's just another normal day of lies and deceit. We are going through our usual morning routine at breakfast. I've impatiently sat watching the clock ticking by very slowly waiting for my son to go off to work and leave me and Coral alone.
I have been trying not to pay too much attention to Coral as she's pottered around the kitchen, while Slate is sat in front of me as usual, his head in the newspaper completely oblivious to what is going on right under his nose. I'm sat with my third mug of coffee.
"Dad you are drinking way too much coffee lately, you know it's not good for your blood pressure!!" Slate says suddenly as he glances over the top of the newspaper. I'm surprised he's even noticed.
"I'm not sleeping very well ... it's the abduction case!" I mumble an excuse, he is the very last person who I can explain the truth about my restless nights too.
"Yeah Tapestry has been the cause of many sleepless nights since the day he was born ... he's always been a little git!!" Coral laughs suddenly. I just look at her, not quite believing she's said that!
"That's not even funny Coral!! You don't know what your brother might be having to go through!!" Slate snaps at her then looks over the top of the newspaper at me again "If you aren't sleeping coffee isn't the answer Dad, that is probably the reason why you aren't sleeping!! You should make an appointment with your doctor!"
Coral sits down with her coffee, she smiles at me as I feel her bare foot starting to creep up my leg. All through breakfast she has been winding me up under the table running her bare foot up my leg and playing footsie with me under the table. If my son wasn't so blind he might have noticed the looks and smiles she's been giving me across the table ... and the amount of times she's made me choke on my cereal her foot going places I really wish it wouldn't while Slate is also sat at the table.
I really need to have words with her because she is going to give us away ... for berry's sake the table top is glass and you can see quite clearly what is going on under the table. If he didn't constantly have his head in the newspaper he would clearly see what she's doing ... she's not being very careful at all.
The minute the front door closes behind Slate I get up from the table and go over to the sink where she is now washing up the dishes. As soon as I put my arms around her waist she spins to face me with a big grin on her face.
"You need to quit winding me up through breakfast!!" she just giggles at me as she wipes her wet hands down my face "I'm being serious Coral, if Slate wasn't so blind he would have caught us way before now!!"
She starts kissing me and I know that's the end of the conversation for now at least. I've only got an hour before I'm due into work and as usual we will make the most of it.
Her top quickly comes off. While we are kissing each other she helps me remove my jacket and our lips break contact for a short moment while my top comes off over my head. She undoes the belt and button on my trousers which I step out while I sit her on the kitchen counter and help her remove her leggins. She wraps her legs around me and we stay there for a while just kissing each other while our hands are traveling around each others bodies.
I swing her up into my arms while we carry on kissing, and start carrying her across the kitchen intending to take her upstairs.
I think today we have been more than silly - I didn't even wait for Slates car to pull off the drive like I normally do. So engrossed in what we are doing we have not heard the front door open or Slate come back into the house.
"WHAT THE FUDGE!!??" is all that I hear.
Slate is standing in the kitchen doorway wide eyed mouth open ... berry knows how long he has been standing there watching us. Why is he back? Did he see us through the kitchen window or has he forgotten something ... I don't suppose it matter either way!
We have just been well and truly BUSTED!!!
There is no disputing what's going on here, we were both fully dressed when he left the kitchen only minutes ago. I now stand in front of him virtually naked holding Coral who is now only wearing underwear, our discarded clothes lying on the kitchen floor not far from my feet. Even a child could work this one out!! The moment Slate spoke our lips broke contact and Coral now has her head hiding and buried in my neck. I dread to think, just how much of our performance did he see?
I put Coral down and we both just standing there staring at Slate who is stood staring back and obviously shocked by what he's just walked in on. Coral grabs my hand which I really don't think is going to help the situation.
The awkward silence is excruciating ... I never wanted this to happen ... what is this going to do to me and him ... I am now kicking myself for being too weak to put a stop to what me and Coral have been doing after the first time, when I should have stopped it ... I should never have let the first time happen!!
"HOW LONG??!!" he yells as he walks straight upto me, he doesn't even look at Coral. "How long has THIS ... been going on?" he's very angry, understandably, I'm struggling to look at him, I just stare down at the floor.
"Slate ... I'm sorry!!" I mumble.
Do I lie or tell him the truth ... Oh Fudge what have I done?!
"H O W L O N G??" he is now screaming loudly
"Five - Six weeks." I mumble still not looking at him
He flies at me then without saying another word. I didn't have chance to move before his fist made contact with my face forcefully.
Coral quickly tried to move away, as I'm doubled over holding my face I watch as Slate walks away and she slips on our clothes lying on the floor a short distance away. I hear her scream as I watch her falling. It all happened so quickly I didn't even get chance to try and break her fall.
I could only watch as her head hits the table with a heavy thud followed by the sound of smashing glass as the glass table top shatters into a million pieces, there is glass flying everywhere, some of it hits me. At the same time I hear the front door slam loudly as Slate storms out of the house yelling and shouting a string of swear words that I don't even want to repeat.
I crouch down next to Coral who is sprawled out on the floor not moving ... she has been knocked out cold.
I have to sweep away the glass before I can roll Coral over gently, she has blood on her face, she has quite a few deep cut on her face from the glass but especially the one above her eye where her head made contact with the kitchen table. I can see she is covered in glass, some of it stuck into her skin, blood seems to be coming from everywhere. I pull out some of the pieces but some look too deep and I try to brush the loose glass off her, cutting my own hands in the process.
I try to wake her but she's having none of it, she's out for the count. I quickly get dressed, run into the living room to grab my car keys off the coffee table then upstairs to grab her dressing gown. I run back into the kitchen throw her dressing gown over her and scoop her up off the floor.
I run into the hospital carrying Coral who is still out cold.
A few people have to move out of my way as I maneuver Corals body through the doors being careful not to bang her head again. I stand in the entrance for a second to catch my breath before I start off again down the corridor heading for A&E.
I am starting to get a little worried because she's been out for nearly half an hour, I've seen plenty of people knocked out before but they are usually awake within 5 minutes. I'm not a doctor but I think she has been out for too long.
"GRAVEL?!" I cringe when I hear the very last voice in the world, behind me, that I would want to be hearing right now ... Mango!!
Trust my luck to be walking into the hospital at the exact same time that he is walking up the corridor, when I turn to face him he's on his phone, he quickly ends his call.
"What's happened?!" he starts to panic seeing Coral out cold in my arms.
"It was an accident ... she's slipped and banged her head on the kitchen table." I tell him as he takes hold of my arm and starts pulling me down the corridor, like I don't know my way to A&E.
"Mango she's been out for about half an hour now!!"
Mango looks back at me and frowns as he quickens his pace as we walk into A&E and he takes me into one of the side rooms, telling me to lie her down on the bed while he shouts a nurse and tells someone to page Dr Rock.
I stand back and watch as he starts to check her over, he pulls back her eyelids and shines a light in her eyes, he checks her pulse, checks her reflexes and inspects the cuts on her face and takes some blood from her arm. The blood he passes to the nurse and spouts a load of medical jargon that I don't understand, telling her to take it to the lab on fast track and she walks out of the door with it.
"Where has all this glass come from?"
I explain to him about the glass table top smashing when she hit it and suggested he opens her dressing gown because she fell onto the glass and it's all stuck in her front. He gives me a really strange look before he unties the belt on her dressing gown, then calls a nurse into the room.
I'm really glad that I dressed her in the car before I brought her into the hospital, I managed to put her dressing gown on, when I'd carried her out of the house I'd only covered her over with it. It would have been rather embarrassing trying to explain to Mango why she is only wearing underwear. However, he's not stupid, he has got to be wandering right now how the glass has punctured her skin but not her dressing gown. I'm hoping he won't ask any more questions ... she did only slip, fall and bang her head ... he does not need to know the whole story right now.
I sit down in one of the nearby chairs and put my head in my hands while he's talking to one of the nurses ... what have I done ... Slate will probably never speak to me again!!
The nurse pulls the curtain round the bed for a while, I'm not really sure what they are doing at first. They seem to be in there for ages, I can hear them talking and it sounds like they are picking all the glass out of her and stitching up the cuts that need stitching.
Mango steps out from behind the curtain and just stands there staring at me.
"So what's happened to your face?" he asks casually Fudge!! I hadn't even thought about my face. I tell him it's nothing. "It doesn't look like nothing to me!!" he says as he squints his eyes at me and folds his arms. Hell I hope he doesn't think I did this too her!! "Where is Slate?" again he asks casually, but I really don't like the expression on his face now.
I just continue to sit there with my head in my hands, what can I say to him, how can I tell him the truth?! I look up and he's now stood right in front of me with his arms still folded across his chest. I have no choice, no doubt when Coral comes round she's going to say something. The nurse pulls back the curtain and Coral is now dressed in a hospital gown.
"Gravel ... where is Slate??" he asks me again.
"I don't know where he is." I mumble quietly.
I'm very relieved when the door opens and our conversation is interrupted completely when a nurse enters the room with a doctor. The nurse starts to take off the wheel brakes on the bed as the doctor is speaking to Mango. I recognize the doctor, it is Forrest, he smiles at me. They start to move the bed so I jump up off my seat, thinking they might be moving Coral up to Neurology.
"Where are you taking her?" I ask Mango
He tells me they are taking her down to do a CT scan as he starts to follow the bed out of the room. Once the bed is out of view he lets the door swing closed in front of him and there is only the two of us left in the room.
Mango spins round suddenly, without any warning and takes a swing for me. I wasn't expecting it, I didn't even know it was coming until his fist painfully made contact with my face. Fudge that hurt!! I stamp my foot on the floor in anger trying to get rid of the pain in my face.
"W... T... F .. Mango!!" I yell at him as I spit blood out onto the floor.
"I KNOW YOU BERRY HOLE!!" he yells in my face quite nastily. "I had your son on the phone not too long ago ... IN PIECES ... telling me what you and MY DAUGHTER have been up to ... You Berry Hole!!"
He is yelling at me and pushes me quite hard in the chest. I don't say anything still a little shocked that he actually punched me.
"How in Berry's name do you sleep at night?! How could you do that to your own Son?! That is my little girl, couldn't you find anyone your own age to play with ... You are lucky it was only a punch because right now I just want to rip your god damn head off!!"
"HOW did Coral get into that state?! and I want the truth!! ... Did Slate do that to her??"
"NO!! He only hit me once then he stormed out!"
"So come on HOW did Coral get into that state?" he yells at me
"It was an accident ... Slate walked in on us ... when he came at me, Coral was stood right by me and she tried to move away ... it was an accident, she slipped on ... on our clothes on the kitchen floor and hit her head on the table, which smashed."
He swung for me again ... I saw it coming this time but I closed my eyes and just let it come. I suppose I deserve it!!
"You stay right here, I don't want to look at you right now ... and don't you get sloping off because I'm far from finished with you yet!!" he shouts at me as he walks out of the room slamming the door really hard behind him.
I've never seen Mango so mad, only with Prelude, but this was on another level, I have always thought he had a very calm nature and couldn't hurt a fly ... but he's just shown me differently. That was a hard punch which I never expected!! I guessed he'd get pretty angry when he found out about me and Coral, Dad's do tend to be a little more over protective of their daughters, but I didn't expect him to punch me!! I'm beginning to think that Tapestry's abduction has unhinged him a lot more than I realized.
It was over an hour before they returned. While I am waiting, the time drags by very slowly and I spend most of the time pacing around the room going out of my mind ... fully realising what I've done, what I've let happen and what the repercussions of this might be.
I phoned work to pull a sickie, I wouldn't be able to concentrate at work not knowing if Coral is alright and worrying about Slate. I tried to phone Slate, quite a few times, who wouldn't answer his phone to me he just kept switching it onto voice mail. I should be out looking for him but I guess I'm going to have to give him time to calm down, I know what I've done to him is totally UNFORGIVABLE ... but I have to find a way through this ... the last thing I want is to lose my son because of what I've done!!
The door opens finally and they wheel Corals bed back into the room. She is now awake and smiles at me for a moment then frowns, I presume because of the state of my face, which is now throbbing like hell.
I am a little relieved that Mango doesn't come in straight away. I sit and watch as the nurses settle her in, then they both leave the room and we are left alone.
"What's happened to your face?" she asks frowning as she sits herself up "How many times did Slate hit you?"
"Only once then he stormed out of the house, but your Dad has hit me twice ... he knows, Slate told him." she starts to look worried "Don't worry, it will be me he's most angry with, it will be fine ... how are you feeling?"
"Dizzy, sick and I've got a banging headache!!"
"I'm not surprised ... you hit the table so hard you smashed it!!" she laughs for a moment then winces as she looks at the cuts and stitches in her arms. Oh berry just wait until she sees her face, she'll have hysterics!!
Then she tells me she's going to throw up seconds before she actually does, all over herself. I have to call a nurse in to clean her up, she has to change all the bed clothes and the hospital gown.
Mango walks into the room while they have the curtains around her, reading pieces of paper, he doesn't look happy!! He looks up from the papers and frowns at the closed curtains then at me.
"She's just thrown up all over herself." I tell him.
Mango's eyebrows raise a little and he starts laughing almost hysterically, which I found a little strange. He puts the papers down on the desk and just stands there waiting for the curtains to open, he stops laughing and his arms are folded across his chest again, he looks far from happy again. I'm sat there nervously half expecting another punch.
"You are lucky she's only got concussion or your body would be on it's way into an intensive care bed right now!!" Mango snaps suddenly without even looking at me his eyes still fixed on the curtains around the bed. "Although ... that might still be happening yet!!"
When the nurse has finished cleaning Coral up she draws back the curtains and she is now sat up in bed holding a sick bowl. Mango asks the nurse if she can give him some privacy. He just stands there saying nothing until the nurse closes the door behind herself.
"So how long have you two been carrying on behind Slates back?" Coral says nothing and just looks down into her sick bowl. Mango turns to me then "Well .... how long Gravel? Just how long have you been sleeping with my daughter?"
"Five ... Six weeks." he rolls his eyes then glares at me before he looks at Coral.
"I am guessing you've also been sleeping with Slate over these past five or six weeks? seeing as he didn't have a damn clue about what has been going on right under his nose!!"
Coral looks up angrily then and says it none of his damn business!! He has no right to ask her those sort of questions!! I put my head in my hands because I really don't want to hear what she might say ... even though I've suspected that they have been because I haven't heard them arguing or Slate complaining about a none existent sex life ... I really don't want to hear her admitting it.
"JUST ANSWER THE QUESTION Coral!!" he shouts at her quite loudly "Well have you been sleeping with them BOTH?"
" YES!! Okay ... are you happy now!!" she yells at him ... I am now feeling sick, suspecting and knowing are two totally different things "And you can stop stressing your prudey little head over it because me and Slate are done!! It will only be Gravel from now on not that it's any of your business .... we love each other and there is nothing you can do about it!! So you can save your prudey lectures, I'm a grown up now and I don't have to listen to them any more!!!" she shouts at him.
Mango suddenly bursts out into that sarcastic laughter of his.
"Well I guess you have a problem then don't you!!" he stops laughing and snaps back into angry mode "I can't wait to see how you are going to handle this one ... seeing as you now THINK you are all so grown up even though your behaviour of late is verging on childish stupidity!!" he snaps at her sarcastically "And might I remind you young lady, it doesn't matter how grown up you THINK you are ... I'm still your Father and you won't speak to me like that again, do you hear me!!"
He walks away from the bed then and snatches the papers up off the desk and slaps them onto the bed next to Coral. I jump up off the chair thinking he's about to hit her ... I'm beginning to thing Mango is slowly losing it!!
"Now let's see how grown up you look ... You are PREGNANT ... you silly little girl!!!" he shouts at her. Coral just stares at her Dad and her mouth drops open.
FUDGE!!! I think my own chin has just hit the floor!!
"I thought you was on the pill!!" he snaps at her and she yells back that she is. "Well you obviously have been too preoccupied playing whore that you haven't been taking your pills properly or you've been sick and not taken precautions!!"
"I'm not a whore!!" she yells at him
"Really?! I'm not sure anyone else is going to agree with you when they find out what you have been up to!!!" he yells at her "It's just a pity you didn't listen to my prudey lectures a little better then you wouldn't have gotten yourself into this state!!" boy he's mad
Nobody says anything ... the room goes silent. I'm now too scared to speak, not that I can right now, still trying to take in the fact that Coral is pregnant.
"So who's baby is it then Coral? Slates or Gravels??!!" she carries on staring at him like a dumb idiot not saying anything, he glances at me for a moment before turning back to Coral "Well come on ... who's baby is it?!" she says nothing but eventually she shakes her head and starts to cry. "You don't know do you!!" he yells at her.
Coral shakes her head again and mumbles "no" very quietly, she now can't look at either of us as she just stares down into her sick bowl and starts crying badly. I get up and go to put my arm round her but her stops me.
"DON'T you touch her ... you've done enough damage!!" Mango rares at me, he is getting really angry. I just stand there not wanting to push him.
"What the hell is wrong with you Coral?! I brought you up better than this!! I can honestly say I'm ashamed of you!!" he is yelling at her "Fudge!! And I thought that Tapestry and Honey were stupid ... this beats what he's done hands down!! I dread to think what this is going to do to your Mother!! Like we don't already have Honey and Tapestry's babies to worry about ... now you've given us another baby to stress over!!"
FUDGE!!! I think the repercussions of this baby has just hit me!! Is it mine or Slates!? He is NEVER going to forgive me for this especially if it's mine. That is a complication we really didn't need right now!! How the hell are we ever going to get through this in one piece?! ... Oh Berry!!
Mango turns to face me then, his face twists up in anger. He seems to be angrier with me than Coral, which I expected anyway.
"She is my daughter you berry hole ... and she is just a child still but you ... you are old enough to know better!!!" I can hardly look at him. "Well done M A T E!!" he spat the word mate at me ... oh Fudge, what have I done!! "You are about to become a Dad or a Granddad ... but you like the rest of us are going to have to wait another eight months to find out which!!"
Coral starts screaming as Mango flies at me fists first ....
he's totally lost it!!
Song ~ In My Place .... Cold play