Chapter 29. Got Me Knickers in a Right Ol Twist.
The next day were Finn’s album launch in the Old Vic Tunnels. Matt couldn’t come cos he had a meeting, so I went with Debs and Shelley. Bit of a wacky place OMG it’s like a rabbit warren down there. He had them crazy girls on drums, lots of em. They don’t never smile, they just bang on them drums. Havin said that, I were listening for about two minutes and I just had to start dancin! And once I started, I couldn’t stop! It were fantastic. The rhythms is like brilliant, they gets you goin. Even if you was dead it would get you goin! The words what Finn was singin was not real words, it were like a foreign language. And he weren’t really singin he were speakin a bit like rappin. He sounded like that weird Rafiki in the Lion King. A mix between that and some serious clubbin shit what you like if you done tons of E.
We brought ourselves a couple of bottles of white wine. Me and Debs and Shelley was all like totally getting into the dancin. It’s like we had tickly hips. We danced for hours. Shelley were makin me die! She were bouncin around squealin and fallin into people. When the music finally stopped we was sweatin like mad. I wanted to tell Finn how good his music were so I were lookin out for him thinkin he might come in to spend time with his mates. He were takin ages comin out. I pushed open a door under one of the arches to see if I could get backstage. It led into a cold corridor. I turned a corner, and there were Finn, talkin to Nick. ‘OMG, Finn, that were soooo good,’ I yelled. They both just looked at me, eyes all dark and nasty. I were scared. I din’t know what were up but I left em to it. What can you do? It’s lad stuff I thought to meself. Went back through the door to go home with me mates. How could I have known, see? I couldn’t of known. There weren’t no way I could of predicted what were gonna happen.
I went round Shelley’s on the way home for another coupla drinks and a fag. We had a good old giggle us girls. We was litrally screamin our heads off with laughin. Can’t remember what about, but it were makin us laugh whatever it were! I do love a night out with the girls.
Anyway, I got home and there were Nick on the settee in the lounge. He had his head in his hands. ‘Whassa matter love?’ I asked him.
‘Mum, it’s just so, so bad…’ he said.
‘Nothin a nice cuppa tea won’t sort out,’ I said.
‘No, Mum,’ he groaned. ‘This is worse than you can know.’
What?’ I asked. ‘Nick, you can tell me! I’m yer mum!’
‘The little girl…that baby,’ he couldn’t speak, he were crying his eyes out. I hadn’t never seen my Nick like this before.
‘What? What baby?’ I asked.
‘Izzy’s baby….Gloria.’ He gulped. ‘ I couldn’t heal her. I made her worse. She’s dead, Mum.’ He dissolved into sobs.
Ooh, that were a blow. No wonder he felt upset. ‘Dead? Oh! The poor little soul!’ I said.
‘Finn…’ he looked up at me, ‘…Finn told me, she just got worse…and worse, after seeing me.’
‘Nick, that baby were very very ill!’ I said. ‘You could tell. Her skin were grey! And how come Finn knows that Izzy anyway?’ I asked.
‘She…lives with a couple of the drummer girls.’ Jesus, the light had gone out of his eyes. ‘Mum,’ he whispered. ‘Finn says people are sayin I’m a…a fraud. And that I always have been. A fraud.’ It’s like he were tryin out the word, like he’d never come across it before.
‘Nick,’ I says, indignant, ‘you ain’t never been a fraud! That Finn’s always been jealous of you. He’s a nasty piece a work as well…not his fault, fair to say, his mum died and his dad smacked him about and that…but don’t you go listenin to what he has to say. He is one messed up boy.’
I made my son a nice cuppa tea and a rich tea biscuit. The poor lad were in shock. Never nice hearin bad news. Dead baby, not easy though is it? It’s never easy that sorta thing. Whatcha gonna say? Nothin helps. Although I did say this, I said, ‘Nick, whatever’s done is done. You can’t change it. It’s done.’ And maybe I think now I should never of said that. Because maybe it made Nick realise that there weren’t no mendin what had been done. What do I know? I’m beginnin to think I know nothin! I probably shoulda said to him what me mum always says to me when I’m havin a hard time, she says, ‘Shardie, you done your best. You can’t do more’n your best, no one can do more’n their best.’ I shoulda said, ‘Nick, you done your best! There ain’t no more you can do than your best.’ Because that woulda helped more than tellin the poor boy that what were done were done. Oh my god, I’m so confused now, I got me knickers in a right old twist.
Anyway, it’s too late now, Shardie, what’s done is done! Let’s face it, there ain’t no goin back now.
So I went upstairs and fell asleep. Oh, I don’t even know if I can tell you this bit. It’s just too bad. You won’t believe how bad it is. I’ll light meself a Silk Cut and take a deep breath, that’s what I’ll do. See if that helps.
OK, so in the morning around half nine I were in the middle of frothin a coupla cappuccinos for me and mum and I had a phone call from Nick’s London studio. They had to repeat theirselves a couple of times, cos I weren’t really getting it: Nick’d been found by some stalking press guy, half hung from a rafter by his recordin cables. Problem from Nick’s point of view is them cables had stretched a bit, so’s his feet was on the floor, so he din’t die, he just nearly died! He basically got in a coma, broke his spine, and is now like completely palarysed. The only thing what he can move is one eyebrow and that not often.
I were pretty gutted when I heard all this as you can imagine. I think I went into shock. Me mum made us a cuppa sweet tea. I were shakin like a leaf. Matt came home and we rushed to the hospital and was there for like the next three weeks. It were touch and go. We kept thinkin he’d died. He would drift in and out of conscience but mainly he were out for the count. The machines was all bleepin. We was exhausted.
It’s funny, right, but Nick still looked so gorjuss, lyin there, his blond hair flicked back like it were blowin in the wind, his cheekbones so defined, his fingers so long and relaxed. Only just fourteen years old! Still a child, but he’d seen so much. I just sat there by his side lookin at how beautiful he were, and prayed and prayed that he would come back to us. Me and Matt sat there for hours and hours every day, holdin hands and holdin Nick’s hand.
The doctors called us in to tell us stuff. They basically said that Nick were trapped in his palarysed body, but so far as they could tell his mind were still alive and workin. But there weren’t like any way for Nick to tell us that he were still here. After three months we would be allowed to have him at home and look after him there, they said.
I did want to have my boy at home. It felt right. It were hard work, but carers came in every day to help us. Me and mum put him in the lounge in his special raised bed. We made sure our massive telly were within his line of vision and chose good stuff for him to watch all day. TOWIE, Big Brother, Jeremy Kyle, Britain’s got Talent, America’s Next Top Model and that. If he did have an active brain, I din’t want him gettin bored. He could actually twitch one eyebrow, and when I put on TOWIE for example he twitched it like mad, so I could tell he liked it. ‘Alright love?’ I would shout. ‘You doin OK in there?’
Once a week we would give him Songs of Praise cos he used to like that when he were little. I think he probably still liked it. Hard to tell really. We did our best though, me mum and me. And you can only ever do your best.
If I ever went out with Debs and Shelley, cos you gotta have a break, you just gotta, Matt would take over and just sit there readin him poems, for hours and hours, one hand holdin the book and one hand holding Nick’s hand. I thought to meself, ‘Lucky the poor sod can’t hear any of that shit!’ But I din’t say nothin. What can you do? His dad were only doin his best as well. And you can’t do more’n your best.
Me mum says, she says, ‘Shardie, it’ll take time. He’s gone and hung hisself, you can’t expect it to get better overnight. These things take time.’