Chris Slater 2012 | Chapter One

Chris Slater's life was a mess. After three happy years with his girlfriend, Amber Riley, he'd gone and messed it all up; Chris befriended local troublemaker Lola Pearce who soon began developing romantic feelings for the handsome seventeen year old and when he rejected her advances she decided to tell everybody he was the father of her baby. Amber believed this lie and was completely devastated; heavily pregnant herself she chucked Chris out leaving him heartbroken and on a downward spiral. Chris sought the comfort of old friend Lauren Branning who was having trouble coping with her mother's cancer and after a drunken night Chris and Lauren found themselves sleeping together. Lola eventually admitted the truth however it was too late and Amber found out Chris really had betrayed her with Lauren – she chucked him out once again and took up with Duncan Willis, a boy from the local gym who Chris hated.

Duncan began to control every aspect of Amber's life and when she went into labour in late December he convinced her to list him as the father of her baby, Paul, and not Chris. Chris was devastated by this and headed further on his downwards spiral and began drinking heavily in the run up to Christmas.

Xmas morning

Feeling rough and hungover Chris made his way into the kitchen of the Queen Vic pub where he was currently staying; he didn't even seem to be aware that Christmas day had arrived as he drank some milk straight from the carton unaware of Kat, Jean and Tommy who were also in the Kitchen. It didn't help matters when Mud's "Lonely This Christmas" began playing on the radio. Tommy giggled when he saw Chris; Chris was the boy's favourite thing in the entire world

"Come on, you need to cheer up" said Kat as Chris sat down at the table

"Bar humbug" groaned Chris massaging his sore and hungover head

"Oh shut up and enjoy yourself will ya" snapped Kat "It's Christmas day for god sake!"

"Some Christmas day" grunted Chris "And how can I enjoy myself when that slimy gut is over the road playing happy families with my baby, my girlfriend. Acting like he's the man of the house"

"Well go over then" said Kat as if it sounded obvious

"What?" said Chris outraged "No. No way is Amber going to let me see Paul"

"It's Christmas Day" said Jean trying her best to sound positive "How can't she?"

"Erm, let me see" said Chris bitterly "She hates me for one thing, so does he. Caitlin aint too fond either"

"Chris, if she hated you she wouldn't be this upset" said Kat putting a comforting arm on her younger cousins arm "Besides, It's pretty much impossible to hate you anyway". This seemed to cheer Chris up, he kissed Kat and Jean on the cheek and made his way to the door passing Tyler and Anthony as he left. Chris and Tyler did not get on one bit, they were a complete personality clash and things were always tense when they were around each other; Anthony on the other hand Chris quite liked and they generally got on very well.

"Oh are you going already" said Tyler in a fake disappointed voice "We'll miss you at lunch"

"Tell me Tyler, how many brain cells did you get for Christmas this year" replied Chris acidly "You must have two by now!". Tyler made an aggressive movement towards Chris but Anthony held him back and dragged him upstairs as Chris exited the Vic and headed over to the flat he and Amber used to share with her younger sister Caitlin. Chris knew it was probably a long shot and that Amber would probably shut the door right in his face but he was determined to see his son on Christmas day; he may have only been six days old but it was Paul's first Christmas and Chris wanted to spend it with him no matter what

"Oh thank god" said Caitlin as she answered the door after Chris knocked "I was getting worried that you weren't going to come"

"Yeah well I almost didn't" said Chris shivering

Amber made her way towards the front door and asked who was there but her face fell when she saw her ex-boyfriend standing there.

"Merry Christmas" said Chris brightly painting a smile across his face "I did bring some presents for you" he said fishing around in the carrier bag he'd brought from the Vic. He handed the bag to Caitlin who beamed and looked eagerly inside "They're not all for you, most of them are for Paul. You have got one or two though squirt" Caitlin kissed Chris on the cheek and ran back inside to open her presents

"Suppose you'd better come in" said Amber letting Chris inside the flat. He gladly stepped in and made his way to Paul who was in his cot in the living area. The baby was awake and cooing; Chris picked him up and began rocking him

"Hello mate" said Chris "How's your first Christmas going? Are mummy and Auntie Caitlin doing your head in yet?" He continued rocking the baby in his arms; Paul seemed to be enjoying it and was drifting back off into sleep. When he was finally asleep Chris put him back in the cot and turned to Amber

"So where is lover boy then" he asked bitterly

"He's popped around to his mum and dad's but then he's coming back" explained Amber "You should go; he'll go mental if he finds you here"

"Well he'll have to go mental then" said Chris "Because I aint going anywhere"

"Really?" said Caitlin sounding utterly relieved "Are you going to stay for Christmas dinner?"

"Yeah of course" said Chris putting his arm around Caitlin who cuddled up to him

"Err, no he won't" said Amber sounding irritated "You've just come to give Paul his presents and then you're off"

"Oh what?" said Chris "Come on Amber, its Christmas Day"

"Yeah I know" said Amber getting angrier "And you could have been here with he, Caitlin and Paul today but no. You had to go and sleep with that bike from next door". Just as Amber finished her sentence the door slammed and Duncan walked into the room. He looked furious to see Chris in the room and made his way over to Amber as if he was protecting her from something.

"What is HE doing here" Duncan asked acidly

"HE is visiting his son" Chris replied in a similar tone

"Paul is not your son" said Duncan simply. He folded his arms and looked satisfied with himself

"Oh not this again" groaned Chris "Putting your name down on a piece of paper doesn't make him yours"

"Well he's more mine than he is yours" snapped Duncan "I'm the one who's been up with him every night these past few weeks, I've fed him, I've changed him. What have you done? Had two minutes with him in the park the other day when I wasn't there and brought him around some naff presents now". He looked at one of the toys Chris had brought around for Paul, a toy lion, and threw it onto the ground. Chris picked it straight back up and gave Duncan a hateful look

"They aint naff" Chris argued "I would've been here every second if it weren't for you worming your way back in"

"Oh will you both just stop this" shouted Amber "Chris, I think it would be a good idea if you just left"

"What?" said Caitlin sounding outraged

"Fine" said Chris admitting defeat. He made his way towards Amber and stared deep into her eyes, it made her gulp and blush. Her favourite thing about him had always been his eyes; she felt as if he was looking straight into her soul when he looked at her. Chris knew it and was using it to his advantage now, Amber looked at Chris like she was still in love with him, like all she wanted was for him to kiss her and for Duncan to leave. "If that's what you really want"

Amber hesisted

"Of course it is" said Duncan making his way over to Amber "Aint that right babe". Amber looked up at Duncan, there was sense of fear in her eyes as she did so. She looked at him and then to Chris, he looked so lost, alone and sad like he was reaching out to her. She wanted him, but she wanted Duncan too. Duncan squeezed her hand

"Yeah" she said unconvincingly "Yeah. Just get out Chris. You aint wanted around here"

Chris looked at Amber and then to Caitlin who gave an apologetic shrugs. "Fine" he said furiously "Fine, you can all go to hell for all that I care". Making his way over to his sleeping son Chris stroked his cheek and pushed the toy into his tiny little hands "Daddy's gotta go now mate. But I will see you very soon. I promise" Chris kissed his son and turned back to Amber and Duncan, he looked at Amber hoping that she would suddenly cave, allow him to stay and get rid of Duncan but she didn't

"I know this aint what you really want" said Chris to her as he passed

"Just go please Chris" she replied clearly fighting back the tears. Chris left with a sigh, Caitlin gave her older sister a cross glare and stormed off. Duncan seemed to brighten up and went to put the potatoes on for their Christmas dinner. Amber went over to Paul's cot and stared fondly at her infant son, she noticed the toy that Chris had given him and knowing Duncan would get rid of it she secretly hid it behind the pillow in Paul's cot.

Chris was a mixture of angry and grief stricken. He made his way to the store room of the Vic and helped himself to a bottle of vodka intent on drinking the pain away