I'm not sitting here now because I suddenly saw sense. The reason
I'm sitting here now is because that night turned into as much of a
mess as everything else. I couldn't even jump off a fucking tower
block without fucking it up.
On New Year's Eve the nursing home sent their ambulance round for
him. You had to pay extra for that, but I didn't mind. How could I? In
the end, Matty was going to cost them a lot more than they were
costing me. I was only paying for a night, and they were going to pay
for the rest of his life.
I thought about hiding some of Matty's stuff, in case they thought
it was odd, but no one had to know it was his. I could have had loads
of kids, as far as they knew, so I left it there. They came around
six, and these two young fellas wheeled him out. I couldn't cry when
he went, because then the young fellas would know something was wrong;
as far as they knew, I was coming to fetch him at eleven the next
morning. I just kissed him on the top of his head and told him to be
good at the home, and I held it all in until I'd seen them leave. Then
I wept and wept, for about an hour. He'd ruined my life, but he was
still my son, and I was never going to see him again, and I couldn't
even say goodbye properly. I watched the television for a while, and I
did have one or two glasses of sherry, because I knew it would be cold
I waited at the bus stop for ten minutes, but then I decided to
walk. Knowing that you want to die makes you less scared. I wouldn't
have dreamed of walking all that way late at night, especially when
the streets are full of drunks, but what did it matter now? Although
then, of course, I found myself worrying about being attacked but not
murdered - left for dead without actually being dying. Because then
I'd be taken to hospital, and they'd find out who I was, and they'd
find out about Matty, and all those months of planning would have been
a complete waste of time, and I'd come out of hospital owing the home
thousands of pounds, and where was I going to find that? But no one
attacked me. A couple of people wished me a Happy New Year, but that
was about all. There isn't so much to be afraid of, out there. I can
remember thinking it was a funny time to find that out, on the last
night of my life; I'd spent the rest of it being afraid of everything.
I'd never been to Topper's House before. I'd just been past it on
the bus once or twice. I didn't even know for sure that you could get
onto the roof any more, but the door was open, and I just walked up
the stairs until I couldn't walk any further. I don't know why it
didn't occur to me that you couldn't just jump off whenever you felt
like it, but the moment I saw it I realised that they wouldn't let you
do that. They'd put this wire up, way up high, and there were curved
railings with spikes on the top...well, that's when I began to panic.
I'm not tall, and I'm not very strong, and I'm not as young as I was.
I couldn't see how I was going to get over the top of it all, and it
had to be that night, because of Matty being in the home and
everything. And I started to go through all the other options, but
none of them were any good. I didn't want to do it in my own front
room, where someone I knew would find me. I wanted to be found by a
stranger. And I didn't want to jump in front of a train, because I'd
seen a programme on the television about the poor drivers and how
suicides upset them. And I didn't have a car, so I couldn't drive off
to a quiet spot and breathe in the exhaust fumes .
Kenn Nesbitt is new Children's Poet Laureate(Jun 12 2013) Kenn Nesbitt has been named the new Children's Poet Laureate: Consultant in Children's Poetry to the Poetry Foundation, which noted that the two-year position...