Chapter 33

'I should have told her Rach, she should have known earlier. She may have been able to help me; she could have stopped it from happening.' Janet says to Rachel over a glass of wine at the pub. 'What do you mean Jan? We've talked about this before; we both know there wasn't anything anyone could do to help you properly. As bad as that may sound.' Janet nods with a clear understanding. 'I know Rach; there isn't anything she could have done. Nothing would have stopped him. Like Gill would say...' she begins to smile and does her Gill impression '...he's a twisted twat.' Rachel lets out a huge chuckle. 'That wasn't too bad to be honest, with a little practise you will be an expert at it. But you are right in what you said, he is a twisted twat. He's more than that; he's a fucking twisted twat. I hate the man. I hate him more than Andy and that's saying something Jan.' Janet takes a huge sip of her red wine, wipes her mouth and nods her head. 'I know Rach; I know everything that you said is true. I can't help but feel bad for him. Something must have happened to him in his childhood to make him like this. People aren't just born sinister. Oh, I know how much you hate Andy. You've made that pretty clear all along.' She sighs.
'You still miss him don't you?' Janet nods and sighs harder. 'Why don't you just tell him that?' Rachel looks at Janet sympathetically with a slight glimmer of hope in her eyes. 'It's not that easy though is it? I only just had a huge go and him and said some things that I can't take back. I regret it but at the time it seemed to be the right thing to do. He treated me so much better then Ade ever did. I don't understand why I couldn't have just stayed with him.' Something catches Rachel from the corner of her eye. 'Speak of the devil and he shall appear. I bet his ears were just burning.' She begins to laugh, a laugh that Janet had never heard before. There was a certain amount of satisfaction in her laugh. 'Should I go to speak to him?' Rachel shrugs 'Is he looking this way?' Rachel looks subtly towards the bar. 'No, no, no...' She quickly looks at Janet. '...he is now. I think he saw me looking at him. Act normal, he may just not come near us.' Janet looks at Andy, she smiles at him. 'I think I need to talk to him Rach, I know I shouldn't but I have to. I will be back I promise. Don't get too pissed when I'm away, we can do that together.' She stands up and laughs to herself as she walks to the bar where Andy is standing. Andy starts to slowly walk away, to avoid another argument. 'Andy, I didn't come here to have ago at you. I just want to talk to you without having one of us having to start shouting and doing things they regret.' Andy looks at Janet uncomfortably.
'Look Janet, I still love you. I don't think that will change any time soon. I just can't go through it all again, not that you aren't worth it. I've just been thinking about it all. I don't want to start another argument with you, that is the last thing I want to do. I can't explain now, not here anyway. Someday I will tell you everything, not just yet though.' Janet processes what Andy has just said to her. She beings to nod. 'Andy, I didn't come to make you feel like shit, I didn't come to make you feel guilty. I came to apologise about what happened today with Geoff. He was out of line and I should have handled it so much better. I'm sorry if anyone said anything to you.' Andy takes a step closer to Janet, he could smell her. He could feel his legs getting weaker so he leaned against the bar. 'I heard about that, I'm sorry it happened to you. You really didn't need that. Is everything cleared up now though?' Janet nods uncertainly. 'Was that why you were talking to Gill on the stairs?' Janet nods again. 'I told her about what had happened between you and me, I told her how Ade left and that he isn't coming back. It's all fine now, it's sorted.' Andy thinks to himself. 'You know when you went into Gill's office, why were you crying when you came out? Was it because of the way I treated you?' Janet smiles and shakes her head quickly. 'Of course it wasn't because of you. You treated me so well, better then my husband ever did. I don't have a bad word to say against you when it comes to the way you treated me. You were lovely, you are lovely. It was something else.'
'Was it to do with the bruises on your wrists?' He looks at one of her wrists which is resting on the bar top. She looks at it and pulls her sleeve down. 'Yeah.' There is a slight tremor to her voice. Andy can see that she doesn't want to talk about it. 'It's okay, you don't have to tell me. I understand why you wouldn't. I'm still here for you if you ever want to talk. I won't tell anyone. Even though we aren't together anymore I won't see it as something it isn't.' Janet smiles as if to say 'Thank you'. She glances over to Rachel who is watching them. 'Andy I have to go, I'm here with Rachel and I've left her alone. I need to go back to her. Thank you though; I'm happy we have spoken to each other.' She leans into Andy for a hug. He opens his arms and she squeezes him tightly.

'Bye Janet.'

Janet walks back to the table where Rachel is sitting. 'How did it go?' she asks eagerly. 'Well you were watching. I saw you looking at us. Things are okay between us now, we sorted out our differences. We don't want to argue or to cause any problems with each other.' Rachel smiles, she has got red wine stains on either side of her mouth, making her smile look wider. 'Yes it is good but I've broken him. He tried to hide it, he tried to not give it away but I could just see him breaking down on the inside. He asked about the bruises on my wrists.' Rachel's face drops. 'You can't change the way he is feeling. Did you tell him the truth?' Janet has her glass in her mouth; she takes it down and slams it on the table trying to swallow her mouth full of wine. 'Of course I didn't, I don't want to worry him. He won't understand that I've left that life behind. He will just want to know everything and I can't go through it all again.'