Hey guys! Thanks for all the reviews I'm really glad people are liking the story, makes me very happy indeed :D So here ya go new chapter. Enjoy, I love you all :)
My sculpture went unloved for the next few days, there was no sign of Freddie and my mother and I had begun speaking again, but relations were still frosty at best. She kept a closer eye on me when she could; making sure Freddie was not sniffing around anymore. But I had a feeling what happened between us had spooked him so he went off looking for someone who wouldn't bother him emotionally and would just fuck him and by the row I witnessed one night coming home late from college, it certainly wasn't Jackie he was going to for it. I climbed the never ending stairs and heard a commotion coming from down the alley. Jackie was standing, looking like a tart I might add, in the doorway of the Jones' apartment shouting at Mrs Jones. Maggie suddenly rushed past me as I stood to observe.
"You're a facking slut! Stay away from my Freddie!"
Maggie tried to calm her down and dragged her into her flat.
"He's got someone else Maggie…" she sobbed as Maggie opened the door. "Someone serious…" she said before she was dragged inside.
I all of a sudden lost the use of my legs and I had to support myself on the balcony hearing her last statement. Can't be me she was talking about, I mean I haven't seen any sight of Freddie for days. It was weird listening to her say 'someone serious' it was hard to imagine Freddie being serious about anything let alone a person. I also noticed she seemed to be putting on a bit more weight these days; hopefully she wasn't going to be bringing another one of her little demons into the world.
Things were pretty quiet for a few weeks and it was almost like Freddie was back inside again. It was only when I walked by his flat and heard him shouting and roaring that something inside me weirdly settled knowing he was still around. I leaned into the door listening, I know I shouldn't have but Freddie was getting under my skin that much that I had to.
"You're man enough to have them but you're not man enough to love them! Just like your own father!"
"Fack off Jackie!"
"Why don't you just go back to your whore?!"
"You know why I go to her?! It's because when I'm with her I forget how shit my life is like here!" he bellowed.
"Well then fack off Freddie! We'll fend for ourselves!"
Then I heard Jackie cry out as Freddie clearly started throwing punches at her. I heard a large thud and suddenly I heard a door slam and I could hear his footsteps coming closer. I jumped and ran from the door before he threw it open as I pretended to open my door. I looked sideways at him as I twisted the key in the lock but said nothing. I had just heard him beat up his wife, I wasn't about to be the first to strike up a conversation. He came over and stood inches behind me, feeling his breath on my neck. I glanced down and saw his hands with some cuts and grazes embedded into his skin.
"Babe…" he whispered.
"Freddie, I heard you hitting your wife" I whispered.
"Babe…she drives me to it. She doesn't get me…like you" he said placing his hands on my shoulder.
"Freddie…when she was talking about your…whore, who was she talking about?"
"She's just jealous babe" he said the tip of his nose running along my neck.
"I'm sorry Freddie" I said stepping inside "If my presence in your life is causing you to beat your wife then I can't have that on my conscience. Not even Jackie deserves that"
I heard him inhale deeply and I'm ashamed to admit it but I braced myself for a punch, but nothing came. He just kissed my neck lightly and then stormed off towards the stairs and was gone. Even from inside my flat, I could hear Jackie cry loudly and then Maggie shouting "He's an animal Jackie!" I went into my room and just stuck my earphones in my ears.
Soon the night before my presentation was upon me. I sat at my desk looking at my clay Freddie not entirely sure what the next step was. Then I heard a knock on my door. I raced to the door and pulled it open revealing Maggie. I was secretly hoping it would be Freddie, as much as I hated to admit it I kinda wished I hadn't said what I said to him, I missed seeing him.
"Maggie, what's up?" I said genuinely shocked by her presence, she has never called here before.
"Alyson I am sorry for dropping by like this but have you seen Jackie at all today?"
"Eh yea I saw her this morning, I was getting the paper and I saw her hobbling down the street in her heels"
"O god, ok…I'll have to go pick up the kids from school"
"Where's Freddie?" I asked as nonchalantly as I could.
"Fucked if I know…probably out shagging around. He's a fucking animal"
"Ah he can't be that bad"
She suddenly looked at me like I was a piece of shit on her shoe.
"Well, whenever I've talked to him he was fine"
"Did you not see what he did to her?" she sneered.
"Yea I know…but I'm sure he has a different side to him…"
"Freddie Jackson is scum!" she sneered. "And if you think otherwise you're just a stupid little girl!"
She stormed off and I went back inside. Ok, not my best move trying to defend the indefensible but the side I was shown was always in my mind when discussing him.
I went back in and stared at my sculpture…it was only half finished.
"He's an animal!" That was all that was ringing through my head.
I took another piece of clay, inspiration suddenly hitting me. I sculptured another part to stick behind my Freddie. It was a tiger creeping up behind the back of the sleeping Freddie, its mouth open over his head with its teeth slightly touching off his ear. After about three hours of working, it was done and it looked unreal. Freddie Jackson was an untapped well of inspiration.
"Wonderful! I love it! What's he called?" my lecturer said examining it, especially the genitals I added in at the end just to show him stripped and exposed to the core.
"It's very good, elaborate"
"The tiger represents the many sides of the man. On the one hand we have this man whose face shows anger, stress and mistrust while his body lay relaxed as he sleeps and the tiger shows his dark side that rears its ugly head from time to time. He fights it off but sometimes he can't help it and it bites taking over his entire being"
"I love it!" she exclaimed and I noticed the mole that's usually on the left side of her face moved to the right, typical art teacher, mad as the head of a brush.
"A!" she suddenly shouted.
She just pulled that grade out of the air but I wasn't complaining.
"Is this taken from real life?"
"Em yea slightly, well he is a real figure"
"O?" she smirked glancing at the genitals again.
"Well that is taken from imagination" I laughed. You could only have this conversation with an art teacher.
"Ah so you haven't seen it yet?"
"No not yet" I said going slightly red.
"Well maybe when he sees how generous you've been to him, things might be different and remember treat it like a work of art, it needs to be treated with respect and gently caressed and moulded like a piece of clay…" she winked.
"NEXT!" she suddenly yelled. I picked up my work and placed it in the bag while the next student brought up his work which she asked to elaborate on too. I had gotten my grade which I was happy about so I left quite chuffed with myself. I decided to reward myself with a cigarette. I had just lit up when I heard his voice.
"So this is your college!" he smiled brightly, his aviator shades hiding the obvious water that were involuntarily falling down his cheeks from time to time.
"Freddie…what are you doing here?" he said coming up and hugging me.
"Ya know what, I had a…business meeting down the road and I decided to take a stroll through here see if I can see ya and here you facking are!"
I noticed his loud swearing was attracting the attention of the other students and the security guards.
"Darlin' I know I haven't been around and I'm sorry about that especially…the way things went the last time" his tone suddenly changing. He shook his head reaching into his pocket and taking out a tiny white packet and I knew immediately what it was.
"Freddie, put that away" I sneered.
"What babe…" he said shaking some of it out onto the back of his hand and snorting it loudly.
"Freddie…the security over there are watching us"
"Yea and…" he said whipping off his shades and glaring at me his pupils becoming more diluted by the second.
"And I kinda have to go to school here"
"Babe…it's no big deal is it? Maybe you should try some" he grinned.
Why is he so different out in public?
"Freddie" I said shaking my head disgusted by him even offering me some.
"Babe" he pouted. I noticed his eyes darting to the bag under my arm.
"What's this?" he said smiling warmly. That was the smile I was used to seeing, the one that made me forget everything he had done.
"It's my sculpture"
"The one of me, can I see it?"
"Em…yea I suppose" I said unwrapping the bag from it.
He glanced down at it, moving his head from side to side.
"Wow! It's really good. I'm also loving how accurate you were" he laughed.
See this was the Freddie that I wanted to everyone to see. Maybe if he was like this more often people wouldn't have such a negative image of him but maybe he figured it was just for me.
"What's with the tiger?"
"O em I just know some people have this raw animalistic side that they keep hidden…and I just thought it would add something extra to the piece"
"I love it" he said wrapping his arm around my shoulder.
"Can I give you a lift home?"
"Em…" I was a bit wary to be honest since I just saw him lashing coke up his nose.
"C'mon what happens if you break this on the bus? Nah can't be having that" he said leading me out the gates and to his car. I sat in but I was still a bit nervous considering he has a side that is quite accustomed to hitting women…hopefully the tiger doesn't bite this time.
When we got to the block I noticed he parked his car just out of sight of the front of the building which scared me a little before he killed the engine.
"Freddie what are we doing here?"
"Babe, what was your Da like?"
"Your Da" he said turning his body towards mine.
"Well he wasn't great, I don't really remember a lot about him. He drank and gambled…partly the reason we live here…he was never any good to us. Why, what about your dad?"
"Well it was my Ma and Da's anniversary the other night and he brought this slut he's been banging, she's like 20 and it just…it just killed me" he said wiping his eyes.
"My Ma was a saint to him…and he treats her like that?!"
Ok…was he seriously saying this to me, considering what he's like when he's not with me?
"And you know what he said to me? He said if I spoke about her like she was a slut he would finish me off himself…my own father!" he screamed.
I placed my hand on his shoulder as he stuck his fingers in his closed eyes.
"That's awful Freddie"
He leaned closer to me so I started to rub his head, I know that relaxes him.
"My old man was scum"
"But he's still your father" I whispered.
"I know…but my mam doesn't deserve this"
"I think I should pay him a visit"
"Freddie, don't do what I think you're gonna do. He's still your father"
He looked up at me and I saw hatred burn through his eyes. I kissed his forehead trying to calm him down.
"Maybe try and talk to him"
He clenched his eyes and I watched as his brow knitted together. I reached over and wiped the tears that were forming at the edges of his eyes. They ripped open as he sighed heavily and I knew he had calmed down but only slightly. The hatred in his eyes had disappeared. I saw him lick his lips as he leaned in closer and kissed me.
"You're not an animal Freddie" I whispered into his mouth.
He glanced down knowing exactly where I heard that from.
"Well if I am, you seem to be the only one who can facking tame the animal" he laughed to himself holding my face between his hands.