Chapter 5 – Alex's Monologue

Right, you can remember this, your room is on the left, Tammy, the annoying preppy girl is opposite, David's next door – I wonder if we're going to the pub tonight what with not having ID anymore – Jezebel, the pixie child - damnit now Daniel's made me say it - opposite him; then Dan's old room. I know it was explained to me but how did me turning up mean Daniel had to get turfed out of here, it's not like they found out that Daniel gave me the address. I think. I know he said it's not my fault, but I bet it was.

Now I just need to pray Gareth doesn't find me. Notice, Alex, how weird it is that before… everything, all you wanted to do was be near him and look after him, even when he was violent towards you, right up until the last minute. And now you're terrified. If he told you he was going to kill you when you were younger, you still would have stayed so desperately close and near him to look after him. What changed?

Apart from the whole girlfriend killing? No, I guess that's what changed it. How, fucking, weak. Why didn't you stay and face up to it, instead of calling Dan?

I still can't believe that about Dan! Pretty much as soon as I got here, he went. Me turning up here completely messed everyone up. Maybe I should have stayed, instead of bringing my problems here. If I stayed then we'd both be dead, and no one would have to run or hide anymore. No, no Alex, don't think that way. You know as well as anyone, both Gareth and I being dead would just mess up the family even more.

I do miss him though. It's fucking ridiculous. That time when I cried in Daniel's room about missing him and everything even though he's going to kill me and everything, I still feel the same. I want my brother back. Part of me actually wants him to find me. Maybe, I dunno, maybe if he does then I can calm him down and explain everything, and things would get back to norm- our version of normality. Cause I know we weren't normal, no – there was no fucking way that hugging, kissing, cuddling and sleeping in the same bed as your twin when you're 16 is normal. I should have wanted to share my bed with a bird at that age, but I was happy enough with Gareth. Well, not that I was happy but I guess it was more like a payback of time, yeah, cause like me and Ellie started going out around then and I was neglecting Gareth.

No, you weren't neglecting him, that's what he said you were doing; get away from thinking that way, Alex! Christ. And why can I only think of myself and Gareth in all this? Ellie's the one who died, is it because she used me? No. I knew she was, I knew she only wanted money and sex from me. So it's not that, is it? No, maybe I just didn't actually care about her, as long as I got time away from Gareth. I guess I'm just as bad as she was.

I think I should go and watch some TV. Gaby said I should try to interact with everyone a bit more. I only really talk to David since Dan left. Jez has been trying to be my friend, but she's just too young, which means Tammy is definitely out. David's been great though. He's got this weird ability to make people talk without realising what they're revealing about themselves. It's surprisingly therapeutic.

Ah, the kitchen, is Gaby in? She usually is. No! Great, can make some tea-

"Ah, Alex," fuck fuck fuck.

"Hi Gaby," She's going to collar me.

"Have you done it yet?" Why would I have done? I haven't even thought about it. Been too engrossed thinking of Gareth… At least I'm not breaking down anymore. I guess that's the good thing about here, Gaby is a social worker and trained to counsel. Love it.

"Bit of a personal question isn't it?" How can she not fall in love with this cheeky grin?

"I told you Alex, you staying on til you're 19 depends on you working this year." Don't remind me. I know she's doing me a favour, but why do I have to work this year? Can't I have a year out? I've had a difficult few years! I need a rest!

"I will get it done, I promise, tomorrow my CV will be typed up, printed out and in the hands of a job centre peon. And it'll be done by morning! Promise!" Don't lie, Alex, you're in enough trouble already for that. I hope you realise you now actually have to write your CV tonight. And actually leave the house on your own tomorrow to go to the job centre. No one is going to go with you-

I hope you know you're behaving exactly like Gareth.

I would have thought you'd remember that we're twins?

Oh shut up.

"Unless you intend to go back to Sixth Form this year," I wish.

"I can't, it's too late for me to start this year," that's why I'm starting the second year with David next year.

"Then you need to bring some money in, babe. And I'm not having you mooching around for a year."

Hang on…

"Gaby, won't it be easier for Gareth to find me if I get a job. My name will be on databases and stuff." Go on, no work for me.

"Didn't you pay attention to anything I said yesterday? Lie about your age, I'll give you a fake name, we can get you a job in a bar, okay?" We? Who's we? Not Pat again? I thought we were going to the job centre for this?

"So I'm not going to the job centre?"

"No, they ask too many questions."

So Alex, you tell one lie, it leads to another… Is it really worth it?



"Don't worry about lying. Sometimes you need to, just because Gareth didn't like it doesn't mean it's not necessary."

"It's only for the rest of the year right?"

"Yes. You'll be fine here, Alex"


"Now make me a cup of tea."