Siobhan snuggled under the blankets; she lifted her head up briefly and saw a vapour cloud escaping from her mouth. The familiar warmth of Roberto’s body was missing, where the hell was that man. She heard a noise from the bathroom. ‘sod him ‘ she thought ‘waking me up in the middle of the night, when he knows I have to get up for work. Full of resentment she eventually rocked herself back into a fitful sleep.
As the light crept up the bay window she started suddenly and grabbed the Big Ben alarm clock ‘Fuck’ how in god’s name had she overslept? She had exactly 20 minutes to be at her desk, if she ran up the Moseley Rd she might just do it. Living with a musician who kept all hours was proving more difficult than she had expected.
She had been living with Roberto for about a year now. School and home had been a difficult combination for her, and one February morning, she had put on her prettiest paisley dress, her beads, her leather thonged sandals and topped it all off with a black PVC mac here from Biba and hitchhiked alone to London. Some angel must have been by her as she had been picked up by a lorry driver by the Stonebridge Island. It turned out he had his own teenage daughter and saw immediately the danger she was in. after giving her some fatherly advice and a 10 bob note had dropped her outside the tube on Kilburn High Rd. Siobhan felt she had arrived at where she was meant to be.
She had seen an ad in International Times for a ‘happening at the Arts Lab in Drury Lane. She got there just after 8, exhausted, nervous but feeling she was beginning a journey that would change her life forever.
‘Hey man what’s happening’
She looked up. He was tall, dark, and handsome got nowhere near his face. He flashed a charismatic smile.
‘You need some company baby’
Siobhan had a limited experience of boys let alone men. The spotty adolescents from the boys school down the road, who had flicked bus tickets at her boater hat and called inane insults ‘ your face my arse, what a match’. Then there were the more aspiring middle class types who had been at the drama or debating clubs, boys from good families. She felt completely out of her depth.
She pulled herself together and returned his smile ‘ yeah man why not’
The evening passed in a blur. Roberto played like Hendricks but with Samba licks that made her feel as if she was lying on the Copacabana. As she stood in front of the stage, she gazed at him. She didn’t think for a second that she was being obvious or that he probably had a wife and 3 kids, she was that most innocent of life’s mysteries, a young woman swept off her feet.
‘C’mon lets split ‘ Roberto took her hand and gently led her out onto the teeming street. He hailed a black cab and looking impish whispered ‘ lets go take a trip’
The Round House was a haze of smoke and light. Great oily bubbles gently floated across the brick walls and roof; while the band played a mantra of electronic loops as a pixie singer half spoke half mumbled dada lyrics
‘ welcome to the Floyd’ Roberto gazed into her eyes and with his thumb gently brushed her lips
‘Wanna come with me’
‘ You mean?’
‘yeah man lets fly’
He led her to a corner, took out a postage stamp sized piece of paper
It reminded Siobhan of the communion host.
She closed her eyes like a good catholic girl and held out her tongue.
Work that day had completely drained her, and when she got back to the flat she collapsed on the bed. She realised Roberto wasn’t back yet but completely missed the letter on the kitchen table and the fact that the fender was gone.