Homeless For Christmas and New Friendships On The Horizon

My Mum had managed to do the unthinkable. After months and months of being on the market and countless viewings, mainly timewasters, with a couple of keen players, the house was finally sold. It helped that we’d switched Estate Agents as well because Choices were absolutely abysmal at their job and did not advertise the house very well. Andrews on the other hand, three weeks with them and…boom! It was a week before Christmas and the couple who bought the house were really keen to move in and get started with installing central heating firstly (I can understand that, I lived in the cold for 13 years) so we had to move out two days before Christmas Eve. Not only that but they had the audacity to ask for the white goods to be left behind as well. Cheeky bastards. I was about to be made homeless for Christmas. Mum was fine; she managed to book a room at the Kenley Hotel at short notice for herself. I stayed there for the one night and Aran kindly let me have the Festive period off so I could go and stay with my Mancunian surrogate family. He even paid for my coach ticket up there. I travelled up Christmas Eve; Dez met me at the coach station in his Freelander. Caz and Dez were back together and they seemed happier than ever. My Christmas wasn’t going to be ruined at all; in fact it was probably my first proper family Christmas. Something I had never experienced before which is the true meaning of Christmas after all. I spent the big day with Caz and her family, who did a huge meal and we exchanged presents. Dez had to go to work in the evening so Caz and I went to the Station pub to play pool until he finished. I decided to go to Blackpool with my camera to watch the sunset and take some pictures during twilight time. I got some wonderful shots of the lights but soon had to leave as it was bloody freezing there! Well, it was the 29th December after all. I went back to the train station and headed back to Manchester. Dez picked me up as he didn’t want me travelling back on the bus in the dark with expensive camera equipment. There he was acting like an over-protective big brother again. New Year’s Eve was celebrated in style. The four of us (three plus Kim) went to Canal Street in Manchester; the gay capital of England, next to Brighton and London’s Soho. Kim knows it very well, she’s not that way inclined but she has a lot of gay friends and spends a hell of a lot of time there, she even got Caz going there a fair few times before Emily came along. Apparently it is where they filmed Queer As Folk, not that I watched it as it’s not my sort of programme. If people aren’t getting blown up or shot at, or investigating crimes then I’m not interested. I will be very honest and say that when I was getting ready I was really not looking forward to going out and half tempted to make out that I wasn’t feeling well. But if Dez could stomach going to a few gay clubs then I think I could too. I met a few of Kim’s friends that night; Darren, Matt and John. Darren and Matt I still talk too, John I didn’t really get on with, I found him to be too bitchy. I have to say that it is such a shame Darren is gay because he and Kim are perfect for each other but then it would probably spoil their friendship if anything happened between them. I’m glad I decided to go out in the end as I did really enjoy myself; I always did back in the good old days of my Northern adventures. The following day it was time to return back home. What home though? I had nowhere to go. I said my goodbyes to Caz, Dez and Kim at the coach station and took my seat on the coach. I hid behind my sunglasses and buried myself inside my coat, wishing I could have stayed there with my friends and family. I knew I couldn’t let Aran down though, he did a good thing for me and helped me out with the tickets, and I was in his debt. I eventually arrived back in Kenley and stayed another night at the hotel with my Mum. It was the weekend; I had to find somewhere to live before being back at work Monday. My Aunt Jennifer had agreed to rent me her spare room, and luckily she had just got back from visiting her son in Liverpool so could come round now. She and her friend, Alan, drove down and got me and my stuff from the hotel. I knew Alan quite well, the three of us had become good drinking buddies and met up on occasions and had some very messy nights out. One of which involved Auntie Jen getting herself barred from the Jolly Farmers in Purley for stealing a bar mat and being abusive to the staff. It was over-expensive anyway. Another time I got too friendly with someone far too young for me that was celebrating his 18th birthday. He got more than he bargained for in the beer garden and was left with his trousers round his ankles as I ran off when the police came along. I was so drunk that night and lost Auntie Jen. She said she was going to go to Sutton and meet up with Alan. It got to about 2am and I waited for the last bus to get back to Caterham, there was no sign of her on there. I drunkenly asked the driver if he had seen her and he said no. I tried phoning her and there was no answer, I was actually genuinely concerned for her safety. I walked through the Valley calling her name really loudly, banging on pub doors. I’m surprised I didn’t get arrested or worse that night. I even phoned Surrey Police, who were actually quite helpful and understanding, they knew I was drunk and let me explain my concerns. They said to call back in the morning if I can’t find her. I walked back to her house, more of a stagger actually. I was hammering on her door but there was no answer, so I sat down on her doorstep and waited there. Surrey Police phoned me back and said they managed to get hold of her. She was at home in bed and apologised for worrying me. Living with my Aunt started off alright but was proving to be an expensive way of doing things, especially when you add travelling expenses on top of that. Not only that, but her daughter had just come home for a few days after walking out on her boyfriend. Jennifer warned me that Charlotte was a thief and to keep an eye on my stuff. The first day she was there I had to fake a sick day in order to make sure she didn’t steal anything of mine as I had some pretty valuable things. Jennifer was home the following day and I explained to Matt and Aran the situation on my return to work as to why I was off and apologised for having to do so. I got a padlock at lunchtime and fitted it that evening, making sure Charlotte saw what I was doing. I felt a bit safer then. It was cold in the house as the central heating wasn’t allowed on for more than half an hour and the poor dog was locked in the bathroom. Every now and again I would hear a yelping whenever someone went in there, I don’t know who it was and I wish I called the RSPCA but I would have been out on the streets if I had as Jennifer would have known the report came from within the house. The travelling was getting too much now and I wasn’t really happy living there anymore, although I appreciate that she gave me a roof over my head when I needed it. I had to find somewhere closer to work.

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