The things you do for family
Authors note: Ok so I'm totally loving Eastenders at the moment. The Ben, Jay, Heather story has had me gripped. So now that Ben has confessed I wanted to put a different spin on it. Hope you enjoy
When I was small I begged and pleaded with my mom for a little brother. She'd smile at me and say maybe one day. Mom never gave me a little brother though, she died too young. When I think back to losing her at such a young age I think of little George and how he will grow up without his mother just like I did. It churns me up inside knowing I helped cause that. I know that I didn't inflict the deadly blow but I might have well have. Covering up her murder is just as bad.
The hardest thing about the last several months is having to try and remain calm when everyone around me is falling apart with their grief. All I want to do is collapse, lie on the floor and scream and cry until I can't keep my eyes open any longer.
Sometimes I lie in bed at night trying to control the sobs choking at the back of my throat as the tears fall freely. Ben hears me, and sometimes he lies beside me and wraps his arms around me until I stop. Sometimes I look at him and wonder how he can hold it together so well. I'm sure he's breaking inside but his exterior is passive.
I often think back to my dad and I wonder if he'd be ashamed of me.
I would be!
He was a good man, much better than me. He wouldn't have left her there to rot, to be found by her best friend. I think of my best friend and wonder if he would conceal the truth for me. Ben's the best friend I've ever had, the brother I wanted I finally got.
Jay Brown became Jay Mitchell and the orphan finally got a new family. It's a screwed up family but it's my family. I smile as I think of us all sitting around the kitchen table eating fish and chips. Laughing at Phil's terrible jokes as he slowly wines up Shirley until she's ready to explode. Hours spent playing on the Xbox with Phil and Ben, teasing Phil because he's so crap at computer games.
No more Mitchell dinners around the cramped dining table. No more Xbox parties, No more Mitchell brothers epic nights out. It all disappeared when Ben said those three little words.
"I did it!"
Shirley had been the one to tell me of his confession and I was left with her taking all her anger and grief and frustration out on me. Her eyes were so full of hatred that I'm lucky to still be alive. Sometimes I wonder if I would be better off dead. I'd be with my mom and dad then. Why couldn't I just be a normal kid? A mom. A dad. A cat. A dog. Get grounded for being late home, take family holidays to Devon and whinge like hell that I hate it when secretly I'm glad to be there.
I miss being a normal kid. It's been that long since I felt like one. I envy Abi so much, when she complains about how annoying her family are I sometimes just want to shake her and yell "You don't know how lucky you are!"
I'd give anything to have the worries she did. As I sit in the cold dim lit interview room at Walford Police station it dawns on me how alone I am right now. No Phil, no Ben, no Shirley, I'm back to being that scared fourteen year old boy with no one in the world to look after him.
I survived that though and I'll survive this! I don't think Ben will though. I saw what youth offenders did to him last time and I don't think he'd come back from it this time around. I know that if he could go back to that night he would have never confronted Heather, he'd have left well alone. I have to live with the guilt of covering up her murder for the rest of my life but for Ben he has to live with the fact that he ended her life, took away her future, took away Andrew's future and stole away George's mom. And that will stay with him until his dying day.
The door opens and a middle age man stands in the doorway. He hands my solicitor a piece of paper "For your client," I hear him say before he leaves.
My solicitor hands me the paper and when heart sinks. It's from Ben and it's a plea. "It's ok. Tell the truth. I'll love you forever. Ben xx"
He wants me to back up story. My chest tightens as I think of my little brother facing life in prison without anyone to have his back. He wouldn't cope, he'd be dead within weeks either at the hands of some bullying thug or his own when it got so bad that he could cope any longer. The thought of that makes it hard to breath.
I'd hate the idea of going to prison like any one else would but I'd cope a lot better than Ben would, and here he is trying so desperately to protect me, when it should be the other way round.
D.I Marston re-enters the room and the interview begins again. I think of how grateful I am that Phil and Shirley took me into their home and treated me as if I were their own. I think of how after a few weeks of animosity Ben accepted me as his brother and shared his father with me.
"I did it!" those three little words were back again but this time they were from my mouth not Ben's.
D.I Marston's head whips up quickly and she eyes me with both shock and suspicion "Excuse me?" she asks "What did you say?"
I clear my throat and begin to speak. My voice is quieter than normal "I said that I did it. I killed Heather!"