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Ma Thoats

 
 
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  • Colin Burnett

The Sleeping Gent




That’s her, eh? cows upped oan her taes and left me. And no even as much as a farewell blowjoab tae help ease the pain. Ah pleaded wae her tae see sense, likes. Tae show some mercy n that, ken? Ah said ‘’Yae cannae jist throw awey sivin year like a yaised rubber, Justine. Cunts charged wae murder serve less than that’’ and did she listen? Did she fuck. Insteed, aw she done wis hiss at me. Spitefully and as cool as you like ‘’ Silly me, Douglas" she said "I forgot you’re a student of Shakespeare.’’ Which, if truth be telt. Wis basically her wey ae yit again remindin me that she wis a member ae the high caste and ah wis destined tae furever slumber in the low. Ken suttin, eh? the wey she wis gone oan you could be furgiven fur hinkin that this wis aw ma ain daein. Cos, ken? there wis nae mention ae the fact it wis her ain idea fur us tae open a joint bank acoont in the first place.


‘’Come on!’’ she said, aw excited n that ‘’Let’s make an appointment at RBS’’


Ah mean, kin yae fuckin believe that, eh? ah mean, they wur her exact words, fur fuck sake. Stood there smilin and wettin herself in near orgasm. Choosin tae furget, inexplicably, mind you. The yin fact aboot me that her, and the entire world kent. That ah um a degenerate gambler. Thus, when it comes tae money, ah um no tae be trusted, under any circumstances. And so, if yae ask me this is aw her fault. Cos the mere suggestion ae shared finance is insanity. And wis pretty much the same hing as handin me a loaded gun. Mean, lits be serious, fur fuck sake. Does she really hink ah like how she earns twice as much as me when she's oot there teachin snotty nosed brats? Cos, lit me tell yae, ah dinnae. It's demoralisinly emasculatin. A truly sad and depressin state ae affairs. And the only consolation this vile fact ae life offers is ma knowledge that it's jist the wey hings are. There's buggar aw anyboady fae where ah'm fae kin dae aboot it, either. Except, of course, unless we gamble. Efteraw, the system is designed tae keep yur average white heterosexual boay doon.


So, if you really hink aboot it. It's hardly ma fault, is it? And neither wis the actual cause ae us two partin weys. Cos, and ah dinnae like talkin aboot it but ah suppose ah'll huvtae. But how wis ah meant tae ken that the selfish bastard ah’d backed that day wida went and snapped his neck efter tryin and failin tae sail oor the final fence. But ah shoulda kent better though, eh? Cos ah guess if it kin happen tae Superman then ah suppose anyhing is possible. No that there's any comfort in kennin that bad luck kin strike doon oan yae at any moment. Neither fur him in the wheelchair.And certainly, no fur me, wae nae burd. But fuck it, eh? Ah should jist stoap dwellin oan it. Makes me angry everytime ah replay the race in ma heid. That useless midget bastard, how could he no huv jist steyed oan!


Anywey, ma plan wis tae huv the money back in the accoont before she wid even notice. But, ken? needless tae say, the bad luck continued and oaff she went, runnin roond tae her parents hoose oor in Morningside. And ah dinnae need tae be a fly oan the waw tae ken how that conversation musta went when she telt thum. Pair ae miserable bastards that they are. They two wretched slobs huv hud it in fur me fae day one. See, they’ve alweys felt their precious princess wis too gid fur the likes ae me. But clearly, likes. Well, they dinnae ken what she hud up her erse last week. Jist wait fur the revolution tae happen though. And we'lll see who’s still laughin in the end. Cos when the time does finally arrive. Ah might jist heid oor tae the snotty centre, that is Morningside. Fully quipped wae ma brand new AK47 and lit oaff a few roonds.


If ah’m honest, takin the grand fae the accoont and pittin ma faith intae an animal that even David Atterborough wid consider a ‘Dirty Lame fuckwhit’ ah’m shaire didnae quite help her mood. However last week ah wis suspended fae ma joab pendin an investigation and it's this ah hink that really goat her back up maire than anyhing else. An auld gent ah helped tae look efter died suddenly when he ate suttin and as it turns oot there wis a peanut in the hing. The polis huv awready been roond tae question me but like ah telt the boays in blue ‘’Ah wisnae even there when it happened’’.


No that me bein absent fae the scene coonted fur anyhing. Fur ma caring employers telt me tae git loast until they cairy oot their ain enquires and huv croassed aw the t’s and doated the I’s. And aw ah goat fae her wis little understandin and even maire naggin ‘’He was your responsibility, you’re were his carer’’ she sais, in her sugary voice. As if ah didnae hear enough ae that fae Brian’s daughter and the rest ae his enraged family. This wis a boay who survived the might ae the Third Reich and a Japanese POW camp but in the end it wis a simple peanut who cawed his number. Accordin tae what ah heard his windpipe swelled up like a hoat air balloon and his eyes nearly popped oot his heid, jist tragic.


Lately though, ah’ve been a bit like a young fresh pussed actor who finds himself oan the set ae a Kevin Spacey film. There's nae two weys aboot it, ah ken it's jist a matter ae time before ah'm bent oor and fucked. The maire time wuv spent apart ah’ve came tae realise that Justine wis almost like family tae me. Christ, ah’m loast withoot her and fur the past two days ah’ve been eatin nuttin but soup fae a tin. Hundreds ae pleaadin messages ah’ve sent her fur her and no even as much as a ‘Go fuck yursel’ huv ah goat. Ever since she pissed oaff, ah’ve no even left the hoose or spoke tae a single soul. Ah cannae face anycunt withoot the fear that ah might burst intae tears. Fuck me, ah need tae see Craig and especially that cunt Aldo like ah need tae witness Herst liftin the Scottish Cup again. Ma reflection in the hallwey mirror only serves tae remind me ae how bad losin her hus become. There’s nae fuckin denyin it, ah’m certainly no lookin the fairest in the land.


Dinnae tell me, ah ken that knoack oan ma front door. Either it’s the Bailiffs or it’s Aldo come tae inject his ain lethal dose ae misery intae ma awready shitty existence. Sure, as shite tae. As ah answer the door ah’m faced wae the steroid induced psycho that he is. Aw dressed in his customary light blue adidas tracksuit which hus been lifted straight fae the back ae van.


‘’Aw, it’s you Aldo, ah suppose ah better invite yae in’’ ah sais, reluctantly.


‘’Fuckin charmin’’ snipes Aldo


As ah make wey back through tae the livin room ah kin feel a cauld snap in the air wae the front door open and so ah remind Aldo tae shut the fuckin door behind cos it’s sae baltic. Enterin the livin room ah resume ma position oan the airmchair wae the intent ae continuin ma journey ae self-pity and loathin. Aldo makes himsel comfortable oan the cream leather couch opposite and produces his weed tin fae his pocket. Fae the moment he reveals the hing ah kin smell that familiar sweet sickly aroma omittin fae it. He then pulls oot a packet ae silver king size Rizla ciggie papers and begins rollin a joint oan the gless coffee table.


‘’Where, the fuck huv yae been?’’ he asks.


‘’Ah loast ma joab’’ ah tell him.


‘’Really? What the fuck happened likes?’’ He probes aw enthused n that


‘’Yin ae the auld yins ah help tae look efter died. Ah’ve been suspended fae ma work pendin an investigation’’


Aldo, who by now wis finishin lickin the papers taegether sais withoot hesitation ‘’What wis it, a mercy killin?’’


A hertless remark which instantly sends me oan the defensive ‘’Ah didnae fuckin kill him’’ ah sais ‘’He died cos he hud an allergy tae peanuts’’.


‘’Aw, ah hear yae loud and clear’’ he tells me, aw smug and shaire himself ’’A peanut done him in’’


‘’Listen’’, ah tell him. ‘’Ah’m in nae fuckin mood, mate. Justine hus left me’’


Tae ma surprise he brushes oaff this piece ae information as if it wur auld news ‘’ Aye, ah ken’’ he sais ‘’Ah wis sorry tae hear it’’ as he lites the joint he hud jist expertly prepared.


‘’How dae yae ken?’’ ah demand tae ken. ‘’Ah oanly foond oot masel two days ago and ah’ve no spoken tae anycunt’’


‘’Ah bumped intae Justine yisterday at that posh coffee shoap in the centre ae toon ‘’Sicilia’’. She wis wae some flash cunt cawed, Mario.’’


‘’ She wis wae Mario?’’ ah snap ‘’that fuckin chippy owner?’’


‘’Ah ken this cunt is probably geein yur burd her medicine the noo. But there’s nae need fur racial slurs’’ remarks Aldo, efter lovingly jumpin oan his high hoarse.


Ma eyes stare straight through him though withoot even expressing a hint ae any emotion. ’What the fuck is gone oan here’ ah thoat tae masel. This twenty-four-carrot lunatic is somehow takin the moral high groond wae me.


‘’What, did yae jist say’’ ah respond in a state ae shock



Fae the look ae his bloodshot eyes ah kin tell he’s beginnin tae feel the effects ae his spliff.


‘’Well, mate’’ he sais ‘’Jist cos he’s Italian doesnae mean he’s a chippy owner, does it? that’s some low belted stereotypical pish’’


‘’Aye’’ ah tell him ‘’ But ah ken that cunt, Mario. He went tae school wae her. His family own a chain ae chippys’’


‘’Aw, ah see’’ casually responds Aldo.


‘’Ah cannae believe this shite’’ ah tell him. Jist as he leans oor the coffee table tae pass me the joint but ah jist wave him awey. ‘’Ah’ve jist loast ma burd and ma joab in the space ae a week. Fuck yur weed’’


In this sortae situation the last cunt yae want tae huv aroond yae is Aldo. Though this wis the situation ah foond masel in. He’s alweys hud this ability tae move yae fae a big pile ae shite tae an ocean ae steamin hoat rancid piss and he kin place yae there aw in a single

thoughtless sentence.


‘’Either that cunt Mario hus grown a third airm fae somewhere or he’s goat a big cock’’ Aldo eagerly explains tae me.


‘’Eh?’’ ah sais. in a bemused daze.


‘’Well’’ sais Aldo ‘’Ah wis standin nixt tae the boay in the bog, takin a piss. And yae ken me, mate. Ah’m nae pilly biter but see when ah glanced oor tae him? ah nae choice but tae catch sight ae the hing. Nae fuckin wurd ae lie, mate. It could gee an orgasm tae a fuckin killer whale, so it could’’


And this wis jist the image ah needed in ma heid, the inconsiderate prick that he is. Mario and his monster cock.


‘’Huv yae jist come here tae make sure ah’m fuckin suicidal?" ah ask" Mean, dae yae no consider yur work here done yit, Aldo?’’


Wae ma reaction ah kin tell he’s a bit startled ‘’Oi" he gasps "Dinnae be hinkin ah've come here tae kick a mate when he’s doon. Perish the fuckin thoat. Ah only came tae invite yae fur a pint wae me and Craig themorra doon at The Spiders Web. Craig’s goat a new tart he wants us tae meet, true love apparently. Aw, and its quiz night tae. And as it happens wur shoart ae a boay n aw’’


‘’Well, ah’m too fuckin depressed tae be bothered wae that pish’’ ah tell him ‘’But cheers fur the offer’’


‘’Listen tae yur uncle, Aldo, mate’’ he sais ‘’She’s awready moved oantae bigger and better hings, nae pun intended. And lit’s be honest, eh? Wae an erse like that she wis alweys gonnae find a new cock tae knaw oan. So, why the fuck should you be stuck in the hoose oan yur todd?’’


There wis nae wey ah wis gonnae admit it tae him but he wis right. She’s oot enjoyin hersel and ah’m stuck in here oan suicide watch, fuck this. And ah kent fine well that the quickest wey tae git him tae fuck wis by agreein tae go.


‘’Right’’ ah sigh ‘’If it gits yae tae fuck then ah’ll come. But ah’m no enterin nae fuckin quiz. Ah’ll be there fur half eight’’


‘’Ah knew yae wid see sense, mate’’ he sais, as he gits up tae leave. ‘’Ah’’ll see yae there at half eight oan the dot, then"


Ah decide tae be there at The Spiders Web bang oan time. Still nae word fae Justine, fuckin cow. And ah swear doon if ah find oot that Mario cunt really hus touched her. Then ah’ll no hink twice aboot takin Aldo’s collar and leash oaff him and littin him set aboot the cunt. In ma haist ah managed tae find a grey polo shirt and a pair ae Firetrap jeans tae wear thenight. Maist likely Aldo and Craig will awready be half pished and oan their tenth line ae snow by the time ah git there. Quiz night means the place will be fuckin mobbed wae aw the desperados who huv eagerly brushed up oan their general knowledge. As if there wis a million quid oan offer and no a fifty quid voucher fae Argos. This boozer is the sortae place yae widnae inflict oan yur worst enemy. Hence, why ah only drink here wae these pair ae clowns. No long efter we first started datin ah managed tae talk Justine intae comin doon fur a wee drink. She wis nae different fae any other punter fae the toon. Ah mean, even the posh cunts hud heard the horror stories aboot the dump.


So, naturally, when ah first floated the idea, she gave this expression ae sheer panic which wis instantly splattered acroass her beautiful wee puss. And ah quickly foond massel bein reminded ae the look ah goat fae the manager ae the hotel that time ah wis doon in London. He gave me that very same rabbit caught in the heidlights glare when ah peyed ma bill exclusively in Scottish crisp twinty quid notes. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, ah hink the doctors caw it. Turns oot Justines reluctance tae visit The Spiders Web wis well placed, n aw. And she swore blind efterwards that it wid be her first and last trip there. She never did go intae much detail as tae why she hud hated it sae much. But ah reckon it hud suttin tae dae wae the fact that a boay loast an eye oor a two quid game ae pool.


Tae be fair, likes. Yae jist need tae consider the school she went tae in order tae fully appreciate why it is she goat sae spooked by what she hud witnessed. She went tae yin ae they places where they check yur parents bank balance before agreein tae lit yae step inside. ‘St Margaret’s' private School, it wis cawed. Nae doot yuv heard ae it but in case yae huvnae then "We are all posh cunts" is actually the school’s motto. A place where a square go wid often be settled oor a quick fire spellin bee. Whereas me and aw ae ma mates attended ‘Lasswade High’ and if yae left a square go there no needin a blood transfusion. Then it wis considered a gid day at the office and you could walk awey wae yur battered heid held high.


Me and Justine, eh? two lovers fae different sides ae the Edinburgh tracks. Different sports, different worlds. And it wis that night, in that hell hole ae a pub, that first made us baith realise. Jist how far apart in the social peckin order we really wur. Ah mind noticin that by the time we went tae stand up and leave. That her usual golden broon glow hud been replaced by a chalk white complexion. And ah recall calculatin that if we didnae exit sharpish then she’d soon be bokin aw oor the drinks which wur scattered oan oor table. She hud entered the pub lookin like a million quid. Yit by the time we left, she wis somehow resemblin the dishevelled Nick Nolte’s infamous mugshot. And that's what yin night in a place like The Spiders Web kin dae tae someboay.


Makin ma wey through the high street tae The Spiders Web wid be aboot a ten-minute walk fae ma flat. The street appears tae be unusually quiet. Though it doesnae take me long before ah cloack the familiar sight ae a group ae the self-proclaimed Leith Young Team standin oan the corner. There must be a gid twinty ae thum and ah kin see that a few joints and cheap boattles ae Buckie are bein past aboot. The shoapkeepers fae here hate these wee basatrds cos their presence obviously pits oaff the regulars. Especially at the weekend when there’s maire chance they're oan suttin. Jist the other day ah wis readin in The Leither that this Dominos delivery driver boay goat set aboot oan by this mob. Accordin tae what ah read the poor sod took the wrong turn and made the novice choice ae walkin oan fit. Before he kent what wis happenin he foond himsel spendin a night in The Royal and hud goat the satisfaction ae kennin he hud jist done the caterin fur The Leith Young Team’s weekend piss up. Different days fae when me Aldo and Craig roamed aboot this wey. Back then if yae goat a gid kickin it steyed between you and the other boay. Nowadays though, these wee mutant fuckwhits video the hing and before yae kin even regain consciousness you’ve goat a million hits oan youtube.


Justine wis alweys whingin in ma ear aboot how ah shouldnae be best mates wae Aldo. Anytime his name came up in conversation aw ah wid git fae her wis ‘’I don’t know how you can be friends with him. He’s a stain on society’’ ah mean, dinnae git me wrong, she hinks Craig is a fanny tae but at least she’s marked him doon as a loveable yin. But no Aldo though. She cannae see an anyhing endearin aboot him and if ah’m honest ah kin hardly blame her. Mean, his ain psychiatric report fae Saughton clearly states that he’s prone tae ‘psychotic tendencies’. The cunt actually hus it in writing he’s a looney tune. And you kin often find him quotin fae the report wae pride. Like, ah dinnae really need some Eggheid wae ink tae come tae that conclusion. Ah’m no Stevie fuckin Wonder, ah kin see it wae ma ain eyes. Yit, yin time, when Aldo’s name came up, ah foond masel jumpin tae his defence.


‘’Listen, Justine," ah telt her. "You kin say what yae want aboot him, but ah'm tellin yae. Aldo wid surprise yae’’


She wis lyin in bed daein some school markin, eh? And suddenly stoaped what she wis daein


‘’Enlighten me, then." she said "What has Aldo 'the Great' done, that is so wonderful?’’.


Tae ma ain surprise ah wis genuinely excited aboot contradictin Aldo’s character. But when ah hink back now then ah reckon ma enthusiasm in leapin tae his defence mighta been explained by the fact ah hud jist watched ‘My Cousin Vinny’, fur the first time in years.


‘’Well’’ ah telt her. ‘’A few year back, this boay fae Granton moved oot this wey. And word goat roond he wis dealin tae aw the young yins’’.


‘’Okay, and?’’ curiously, if no a wee bit sarcastically, asked Justine.


‘’Ah’m gittin there" ah said "So, as soon as Aldo heard aboot what wis gone oan. He went mental. Ah mean, proper oaff the radar. It then took him aw day but eventually he tracked the boay doon tae a flat in Pilton. The pavements run rid that day. Efter the surgery ah heard the boay did a midnight flit and never even selt as much as paracetamol tae the bairns again’’


Efter digestin this piece ae information she conceded ‘’Well, maybe I was too hard on him. I don’t condone violence. But I guess you could say that this time it was in the name of a good cause. Saving kids from drugs is so important’’


‘’Savin the Kids’’ ah laughed. "Wur talkin aboot Aldo here, no fuckin Bono. He jist hus a strict zero tolerance policy oan cunts stealin his customers"


She immediately started chokin oan her cup ae hoat chocolate and ah foond masel rushin oor the bed tae pat her back.


‘’What!!’’ she gasped. ‘’I thought you were telling me something good about him. He needs locking up!’’


‘’Listen’’ ah reassured her. ‘’Ah wis tellin yae suttin gid aboot him. He might be a psychotic lunatic but yae cannae deny he’s no committed tae his work’’. But there wis nae maire hope ae convincin her that Aldo wis undeservin ae her hatred. And fur the rest ae the night she never spoke another word tae me.


Starin eyebaw tae eyebaw wae the shite hole that is The Spiders Web. The windaes are protected by steel bars and the ootside wah wis covered in rid graffiti. As ah git closer tae the entrance ah catch a glimpse ae a few ae the regulars who wur huddled in the small sheltered smokin area. And so, ah promptly gee them each a wee wave and smile ae acknowledgment. Before ah kin even make it tae the bar ah’m hit wae the stale smell ae drink and smoke. Since ah’ve been wae her ah’ve scaled back ma nights oot wae the lads. This wis the first time in a long time that ah’d went oot tae a pub withoot the Pope’s blessin. The place is mobbed. Jist as ah thoat it wid be oan a Friday night. And the first hing ah kin hear when ah walk inside is the raised voice ae Aldo. Even Oasis’s Wonderwall blastin fae the jukeboax cannae muffle his screamin voice. The commotion ah wis hearin seemed tae be comin fae the seated area at the back and an educated guess wid tell yae his latest victim wis none other than Craig.


‘’The didnae play fuckin snap in the Wildwest, yae daft cunt!’’


Naeboady else in the pub seemed tae pey the hale hing much attention. Probably because they thoat the same hing as ah do ‘’That’s Aldo fur yae’’. And fae what he wis sayin yae didnae need tae be Hercule Poirot tae ken that the quiz hudnae quite went tae plan. Each time ah’m in here the place alweys feels as if it’s permanently 1988. Which wis probably the last time its décor hud seen as much as a lick ae paint. Maist ae the seatin hud seen better days n aw. The only hing that added a bit ae colour tae the place wis the emerald green picture frame that wis positioned proudly behind the bar. Which jist so happened tae state the sentiments ae maist ae the folk here ‘’Hibee Til I Die’. Some hings here dinnae change and you could also say the same hing aboot Auld Maggie. Who, as per, wis busy pullin pints. She wis yin ae they fifty suttin year auld women who couldnae git oor the fact she wisnae twenty yin anymaire. Ah kin still see she’s wearin that same shoart black skirt fae the last time ah saw her. And her hair’s still dyed bleach blond. In what ah kin only guess tae be a desperate attempt at disguisin her age. But she kin dae fuck aw aboot her skin. Which appears tae resemble the texture ae a crocodile. And then there’s, Archie. The owner ae The Spiders Web, who wis also slavin awey behind the bar. He’s auld tae and looks a wee bit like Geppetto fae Pinnochio. Dinnae lit appearances fool yae though. Cos growin up ah heard stories aboot how he wis yince yin ae the maist feared faces in the hale ae Edinburgh.


It’s no long before his gravelly voice is cawin me oor ‘’Dougie, son.’’ He sais ‘’Come here fur a minute, will yae?’’


‘’Awrite Archie, What’s up?’’


‘’Jist wanted tae say how sorry ah wis tae hear yuv been dumped’ he then pulls a pint and passes me it. ‘’This yin’s oan me. But, here. Jist dae me a favour, eh? and keep an eye oan Aldo. He’s gone fuckin nuts ever since him and Craig loast the tie breaker. And ah dinnae want any trouble here thenight’’


‘’Wait, how did yae hear aboot me and ma burd? Wis it oan the fuckin news or suttin?’’


‘’ Aw, Aldo’s been tellin everycunt aboot it. Gittin pumped by an Italian wae a huge cock, is she?’’


‘’That’s jist fuckin great!’’ ah sais. ‘’ And no, she’s no! Listen, ah need tae go. Cheers fur the fuckin pint’’


Ah make ma wey through the crowd taewards the back where ah find Aldo and Craig sittin. This wis the first-time ah hud seen Craig in a few weeks and ah wis a fairly welcome sight. He’s a shoart stalky built boay wae shoart auburn rid hair. When ah reach thum Aldo’s still gone at him aboot the quiz.


‘’Ah kin hear you cunts fae the other end ae the room’’ ah tell them.


Craig stands up and shakes ma hand ‘’It’s gid seein yae again, Dougie. Sorry tae hear aboot yur missus, by the wey. She hud some erse oan her. mate’’.


‘’Jesus fuckin Christ, Aldo. Is there anycunt yuv no telt?’’.


‘’Well, he didnae hear fae me, did he? he bumped intae someboady else ah’d telt and it wis them who telt him. So dinnae fuckin blame me, mate’’


‘’Aldo’s right, Dougie. It wis ma neighbor who telt me.’’


‘’Fur fuck sake’’ ah crack ‘’Is there anycunt in Edinburgh who doesnae ken?!’’


As ah sit doon oan ma tattered seat nixt tae thum. Merely fae jist observin their constant sniffles and constant fidgeting. It soon becomes clear as day. They wur indeed baith oan the ching.


‘’Fae this cunts hissy fit’’ ah say, as ah gesture tae Aldo. ‘’Ah’m guessin the quiz didnae go well, then?’’


Fae the sheer rage in Aldo’s eyes and the worryin glances ah wis gittin fae Craig ah could sense this wis summit ae a touchy subject.


‘’The fuckin tie breaker question wis ‘What caird game did Steve McQueen play in the film ‘The Cincinatti Kid’’ Aldo asks me.


‘’Poker’’ ah tell him, aw deadpan, and admittedly a wee bit arrogantly


‘’See" he says "that’s why ah wanted yae here. Cos ken what this daft cunt jumps up and sais? Snap, fuckin Snap!’’.


‘’Ah said ah wis sorry, Aldo." explains a pleadin Craig "He said ‘The Cincinatti kid’ so ah thoat he wis talkin aboot a bairn. Efteraw, he’s cawed kid’’.


Turnin tae face ma direction the veins in Aldos hied are pulsatin and he looks as if he’s aboot tae spontinulousy combust. He slams his fist oan tae the table which nearly causes its legs to buckle and fur me and Craig tae run fur cover. ‘’The Cincinatti kid wis a cowboay" he says "When the fuck did yae see an auld western film where their shootin up a toon oor a game ae fuckin snap?! Now you shut yur puss aboot it and git the fuckin beers in!!’’.


Craig, not wantin tae further feel the wrath ae Aldo, made a hurried trip tae the bar.


‘’Aldo, take it easy man." ah say " The fuckin hing is finished noo, anywey.’’


‘’Naw, mate. We’ve been cairyin that cunt since primary. He’s alweys been a doughball. Dozy prick nearly drooned dookin fur apples yin year. He's been a fuckin liability fae day one’’


Even ah cannae help but smirk at the thoat ae Craig nearly droonin in two inches ae water.


‘’Aye’’ ah sais ‘’ah mind ae that. ‘’Halloween 1996, at mines’’.


Aroond ten minutes later Craig returns tae the table wae three pints. As he places the tray oan the wonky table he’s suddenly buzzin aboot us meetin his new girlfriend. Deep doon ah wis pleased fur him, likes. But ah did still ponder tae massel aboot what a selfish cunt he wis in the timing. Mean, here’s me aw weepy eyed aboot losin ma yin true love, eh? and he chooses thenight, ae aw nights, tae show oaff his new burd.


‘’Aw, Dougie, honestly, mate’’ he sais ‘’Wait till you meet her, man. Caroline's a ten in anycunts book’’.


‘’Sure, she is, Craigie’’ ah tell him. ‘’When will she be here?


‘’She’ll be along efter her shift at The Royal. Listen, lads… " he sais "Ah dinnae want tae tempt fate or anyhing, eh? but ah reckon this lassie could well be the yin. Last Saturday ah even gave her ma last line ae snow’’


‘’True love then?’’ ah say, tryin ma best no tae puke or to ram ma gless straight in his puss.


‘’It might jist be Dougie, it might jist be’’


Efter a couple ae hours ae powerin through a gid few jars. It dawned oan me how nae amount ae drink or laughter could heal the pain ae losin Justine. It wis kind ae sad, likes. That moment when yae realise that you wur in fact deeply in love wae someboady. But it’s too late, eh? fur she is gone in probably will never return.


‘’Moan tae fuck’’ sais Aldo, suddenly. Inadvertently assistin me in escapin ma daze. ‘’Yur burds left yae, Dougie. But cheer up, fur fuck sake. C’moan intae the bog wae me and take a line, eh?’’


Ah swiftly reject the offer. Explainin tae him how ma heids awready too fucked up wae everyhing that’s happened. Then, ootae naewhere, Craig jumps up aw excited. As if he wis a bairn at Christmas. Exclaimin ‘There she is, boys! That’s her there! That’s ma burd! Ah telt yae she wis a fuckin stunner!’’.


Me and Aldo stand up in unision tae try and git a gid look at her. But the only lassie we kin see is this twenty suttin brunette. Who's sportin what kin only be described as a long, equines shaped puss. Resemblin suttin ah hudnae quite seen since ma useless bastard ae a hoarse collapsed gone oor the final fence.


‘’Where the fuck is, she, then?’’ asks Aldo


‘’She’s right there, mate. She’s standin by the entrance’’ Craig sais, still, aw bright eyed.


‘’Aw’’ sais Aldo. Before he shouts acroass the room tae the lassie ‘’Excuse me love?! kin yae move oot ae the wey, eh? Ah’m tryin tae cloack a tidy burd and yur blockin the view!’’


Craig seems tae be in a state ae utter disbelief ‘’That is her ya prick. Caroline?! Wur oor here, hen!’’.


Aldo immediately bursts intae a fit ae laughter ‘’That’s her? Fuck me, Craigy, son." he scoffs

"Aw that snow really hus fucked up your eyesight, pal’’.


Ah’ve goat tae admit it, likes. Ah soartae felt bad fur Craig and his missus. His puss hud turned as rid as a ripe tomatae and she wis nae doot even maire mortified and hurt than him. Ah tried ma best though tae pit her at ease. By littin her ken this wis jist Aldo fur yae.


‘’Dinnae mind him, hen. The doacturs are still tryin tae figure oot what’s wrong wae the cunt’’


These words seem tae bring ae wee bit ae comfort tae Cinderella’s ugly sister. As she suddenly appears tae ooze confidence and she marches oor tae gee Craig a big kiss oan the lips.


‘’That’s okay’’ she sais. ‘’Craig hus telt me aw aboot him. But ah suppose it’s a bit like seein a UFO. You're no gonnae believe it until yuv actually seen it fur yursel’’.


Then, in the blink ae an eye, Aldo went fae smilin and laughing. Tae producin yin ae his famous Charles Manson death stares. That wis the hing wae ae him. He wis too unpredictable. Fur her, fur me, fur anyboady. And yae wur never quite shaire whether tae laugh or start dialing ‘999’. Though this time, and tae mines and Craig’s relief. He jist gees a soft chuckle and seems tae appreciate and respect her attitude ae no takin any ae his pish


‘’Ken, she’s awrite, Craigy, son. Ah like her.’’


This seems tae ensure that the mood ae the night remains fairly positive. And it's no long before Caroline reveals that her mate. A lassie cawed, Alana, will soon be joinin us.


‘’Ah alweys wondered what happened tae shergar’’ whispers Aldo, intae ma reluctant ear.


Ah start chokin oan ma pint. Whilst at the same time tryin ma best no tae laugh.


‘’Are yae awrite? ’’ asks Craig and Caroline


‘’Aye’’ ah assure thum. ‘’Jist went doon the wrong hole’’.


As the night went oan it became maire and maire apparent tae me that nae amount ae drink or laughter wis gonnae dull the pain ah wis feelin at the loass ae ma Justine. The maire ah drank, the harder it aw seemed tae git. And the empty bed ah kent that wis awaitin me started tae fuck wae ma mind.


‘’That bitch hus abbliterated ma perr fuckin hert’’ ah declare tae the three ae thum.


However, neither Aldo or Craig seem tae pey ma sorrow much attention. And so, it’s no ma two best pals who offer me a shoulder tae bubble oan. It is insteed Caroline. This lovely, ugly lassie, ah've only jist met.


‘’She’ll come back tae yae, dinnae worry.’’ She sais, aw sympathetically.


But Aldo hus decided he's hayin none ae it. He's clearly grown tired ae ma depressed mood. And every five, or ten minutes, he's offerin me an E. He takes a wee yelly tablet fae his jean poacket. Huddin it up intae the light. As if he wur apprasin a diamond. ‘’See this wee hing, eh? It'll take awey aw yur problems, Dougie’’ It wis a really professional sales pitch, likes. Only problem wis, ah wisnae buyin it.


‘’No thanks, mate’’ ah tell him. ‘’Ah gave aw that up years ago. No gone back tae it now’’


Before ah ken it, its awready half ten. And suddenly in walks this lassie. She's aw dolled up and is well lookin the part. And unlike Craig’s missus she doensae look as if she’s jist wandered oot fae a Crufts competition. Everyboady in the boozer stoaps what their daein tae admire her beauty. Her long legs alain seem as if they could easily broker peace between Israel and Palestine. Me and Aldo jist stare at yin another, likes. Wur each in the midst ae an overdose ae disbelief. Surely suttin sae beautiful cannae be foond in a shite hole like this? Then, tae oor amazement, Caroline caws the lassie oor


‘’Alana! oor here!’’


She struts oor tae oor table and Caroline introduces her. And before she could even sit doon Aldo makes his move oan her


‘’Same again?’’ he asks, and the three ae us concur. "And how aboot you, darlin?" he asks her "Fancy a cocktail withoot the tail? ’’


The look ae disgust plastered acroass Alanas puss at the mere thoat ae his question wis a picture. And she soon follows in the fitsteps ae her Caroline by pissin oan Aldo


‘’Jesus, yae wurnae kiddin aboot him, Caroline. What a fuckin wanker’’


Aldo then speedily returns wae the drinks and carries oan where he hud left. Sleasin oor this perr lassie. Everyboady seems tae in gid spirits as the night progresses. Everboady, of course, except me. As wae every passin minute ah find ma thoats driftin oaff intae the realms ae what Justine might be up tae. A thoat process which Aldo seems tae huv picked up oan. As yit again he tries tae persuade me tae droap an E. Another prompt rebuff though and his sales pitch hus ended. And ah'm insteed talkin tae the lassies aboot ma unconditional love fur Justine.


This comfortin conversation is abruptly interrupted, however. As Aldo surprises me wae a Jack Daniels and Coke. In the back ae ma mind ah’m hinkin this is fuckin odd. Considerin he’s an absolute tight erse. Still, ah decide tae ignore ma doots and proceed tae lovingly guzzle doon ma free nip ae whiskey.


Five minutes later, efter drinkin the hing, ah’m startin tae feel as if everyhing in the room is slowin doon and ma speech is rapidly descendin intae a garbled slur.


‘’Ah dinnae feel sae gid’’ ah tell thum.


‘’Are yae awrite?’’ squeals a horrified Caroline and Alana thegither.


Fae the corner ae ma eye ah kin see Aldo grinnin fae ear tae ear.


‘’Ken suttin, Dougie. Yae pit up such a gid fight, mate. Ah almost feel bad aboot winnin’’


‘’What?’’


‘’Well’’ sais him. ‘’That whiskey yae wur sae keen tae doon? Ah droapped an E in it’’


‘’Yae didnae, did yae, Aldo? Fuck sake. That's ootae fuckin order, man’’ Craigs voice kin jist aboot be heard sayin


As clumsily rise fae ma seat. But the groond is unsteady beneath me. Ah fear ah'm jist aboot tae collapse oor the table but revenge is oan ma mind. So ah goes tae lunge in the hope ae rappin ma hands roond Aldo’s oversized neck. Before ah kin make it oor tae him though ah kin feel ma legs bucklin and the last hing ah hear as a collapse oan toap ae the table is the smashin ae gless oan the manky lookin flair at ma feet.


Ma alarm goes oaff at half eight in the nixt mornin. Justine alweys insisted we made an early start tae the weekend and ah couldnae help but no keep up wae the tradition. She wis furever draggin me tae some ponsy ert gallery up toon. Or tae hear some dafty read a poem written aboot how his cunt ae a landlord hud turned oaff his heatin. And ah wis expected tae sit there enjoyin massel. The pair ae us aw teary eyed and moved. Well, try and lived through ten year ae the Tories ya middle class ersehole. That'll gee yae suttin tae really greet aboot.


These working-class hero thoats disappear when the voice comes in though. A female, familar voice, which isnae Justine "Hello, you" " it sais "good morning" it immediately sends me hurdlin oot the bed. And as ah look back, there she is. The wee stunner fae last night, Alana.


‘’What the fuck are yur daein here?! ’’ ah ask her, in a terrified, panicked state.


‘’Charmin’’ she sais


‘’ But…" ah say " mean, ee didnae dae anyhing last night, did we?’’


‘’Nah" she tells me "Yae passed oot before we could. Yae wur that oot ae it last night ah goat yae haime tae make sure you wur awrite. But yae insisted ah spend the night."


‘’Honest, like, seriously, eh? Nuttin happened?’’


‘’Aye, nuttin at aw. You wur a sleepin gent’’


Ah couldnae hide ma relief at hearin this ‘’Yur no jist fuckin sayin that tae cheer me up, are yae?’’


‘’ No ah'm no. But ah'm tellin yae, Dougie. Yae really ken how tae make a girl feel special’’


‘’It’s no that, hen. Ah need tae win ma missus back. Trust me, if ah wisnae in love ah widnae huv hinked twice aboot pullin the trigger.’’


She jist smiled at me as she finally stood up and begins tae git dressed. Then she tells me that ma phone hud been ringin earlier but that ah wis lookin too peaceful snorin. That she didnae want tae wake me up. Ah start rushin tae find ma phone, which, as it turns oot. Wis still in ma jean poaket. It tells me ah’ve goat a new voicemail. And when ah call it back it’s unbelievably fae Justine. She’s comin oor tae talk hings oot at half nine and ah kin hear in her voice that she’s hurtin jist as much as me. Wait, it’s the back ae nine noo though. And this fuckin hoose is a dump.


Aw, ma god, someboady is at the door. And ah ken wae the gentle tappin ae the letterboax, it’s goate be her.


‘’C’moan, you" ah tell Alana "git movin. Ma burd is at the door."


‘’Ah’m nearly dressed. Hud oan’’ sais Alana.


‘’Wait, if she sees you, she’s gonnae lose her shit. Ah’ll tell her ah’ve hired yae tae clean the hoose. Please play along, eh? and ah’ll make it worth yur while’’


‘’How much? And do yae no hink she’ll ken ah’m a bit underdressed tae be a cleaner? ’’

In ma haist ah make a hurried rush tae find some cash. Tae ma surprise ah find roughly three hunner quid in ma wallet. That cannae be right, ah hink tae masel. Aw, wait! ma luck must be is changin, right enough. Ah’ve goat Aldo’s wallet fur some reason.


‘’Ah’ll handle Justine. Jist go along wae what ah say. And there'll be three hunner quid in it fur yae? ’’


‘’Too fuckin right! ah’ll go along wae it. Fur three hunner quid yae kin huv yin ae ma kidneys’’.


Ah soon make a dash tae git dressed and go tae answer the door. Fae the first moment she sees me she gees ma yin ae her cute smiles. ‘’I lost my key. What took you so long to answer the door?’’


Before ah kin respond she cloacks Alana standin in the hallwey.


‘’What’s going on here, Douglas? ’’ Justine asks. And she seems ready tae fuckin explode.


‘’Eh, this is Alana. She’s Craig’s new girlfriends best pal. She’s a cleaner and ah hired her tae clean the hoose fur yae’’


‘’Hiya’’ sais a beamin Alana


‘’Yeah, hello’’ Justine tells her, dismissively


Thinkin oan ma feet ah tell Alana ‘’You’ll find cleanin stuff in the kitchen cupboard’’. She goes through tae start cleanin. And now ah wis finally oan ma ain wae Justine. Ah decide tae throw jist masel at her mercy ‘’Justine, ah need yae maire than ah’ve ever needed anyboady. Ma hert is brekin here’’


Her response wis music tae ma ears ‘’I have given this a lot of thought. And, well, I love you too. I want to give us a second chance’’


But as ah go tae gee her a kiss she stoaps me in ma tracks. ‘’Before I come back. You have to promise me. You’ll stop gambling and spending too much time with Aldo’’.


‘’Done, Its Done’’ ah reassure her.


We share a tender kisss and a hug. Then she hits me with it ‘’That Alana seems as if she’s dressed for a night out. And not for cleaning hosues’’


‘’Ah’ll be huvin words wae her employer, dinnae you worry aboot that’’.


Aboot an hour later Alana comes and tells us she’s finished cleanin. Ah walk her tae the front door and sneek her the three hunner quid courtesy ae Aldo. As ah’m stood in the hallwey watchin her walk along the pathway ah become memerised by her curvy erse and ah’m left wae this thoat


'Ah definitely shoulda shagged that’’.


I was planning to self- publish this story on Amazon but I decided not too. If you enjoyed this story and my other pieces of writing. And would like to support my work, you can do so by buying me a coffee. Via the link provided below. All support given will be greatly appreciated.


https://www.buymeacoffee.com/burnett89


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