It may have felt like it at the time but Maurice was not a permanent fixture in our house. He came, he went, and occasionally he would stay the night during his 'went' periods because that's the kind of soft touch my Mother was when it came to him, but there were extended periods when he wasn't around. During these times my Mother would even pay lip service to the notion that she and he were done by getting together with other men.
One such 'filler' relationship actually managed to progress to the point of us almost moving in to the guy's house. It was
never made official, and we never gave up our own house, but at one point we
spent a good few weeks staying with him without setting foot in our own home.
Now, on the one hand, this could be seen as a bad thing, because moving in with
him would have meant leaving behind our house on The World's Friendliest
Street; a place that I was genuinely happy. None of the shit from my life prior
to moving there had gone away, my Mother had not suddenly morphed into Ma
Walton and Maurice was probably an even worse Father figure than my own waste
of space Dad, but none of that seemed to matter all that much, because I loved
living in that place. How would I cope with leaving that behind?
But on the other hand, moving in with him would have meant that we could
almost, almost, convince ourselves
that Maurice was finally no longer a factor in our lives.
In the end I made my decision on how I felt about the whole thing on the fact
that he lived further away from our school. Which meant getting up earlier and
walking further. Uphill! The indignity!
Of course, all the worrying and soul searching would eventually come to naught,
because in a scenario all too common, we came back from school one day to be
told that we were going home. The relationship, which had seemed perfectly fine
that morning, was over. Oh, and Maurice was there to help us move our stuff.
Now there's a surprise.
I felt sorry for the guy, to be honest with you, as we all trooped out of his
house and he said his forlorn goodbyes to each of us individually. I mean aside
from the, admittedly pretty major, character flaw of actually seeming to think
something of my Mother, he had seemed like a fairly decent chap. Certainly in
the weeks we spent in his house he had managed to restrain himself from any
fits of ultra violence, so he had that going for him. He knew the situation
with my Mother and Maurice going in though, so I suppose you could say he
brought it on himself.
So anyway; we trooped off up the horrible big bank that took us home and upon
arrival we quickly settled into our old routines. Maurice's 'helping with the
bags' shockingly turned into him staying the night, which in a mindblowing
twist that I certainly never saw
coming, turned into him living with us. Fair play to him though, he made an
effort. It must have been, oh, at least a week before his fists started flying.
In truth, I was fairly content with the way things turned out. I was back in
the house I loved, surrounded by the neighbours I adored. None of the rest of
it seemed to matter all that much; my hatred of Maurice settled back into a
sort of background hum of seething resentment, I tuned out the bulk of my
Mother's psychological torture and even my sympathy for the dumped boyfriend
faded pretty quickly. I don't think I thought of him at all after maybe a
couple of days.
Cest la vie.
You may have noticed that throughout this post I've never mentioned the
boyfriend's name. I'd like to tell you that it was an effort to protect his
anonymity (although I mentioned Maurice's name a lot; but then he is a dick so
maybe I just don't care about protecting him?) but in truth it's because I
don't remember his name.
That's right. This poor bloke, who's life, and heart, was chewed up and spat
out by my oh so lovely family, doesn't even merit my remembering his name.
That's just shit.