He was crowched biside my bed. His eyes glemed black and yello from lights riflectid in them. ‘Sally-Anne,’ he wispered. ‘What thay done to you is rong….Iyum sorry…’
I felt sad ness more than eny thing. ‘Did you…did you…bitray me?’ I arsked him.
The look on his fase was my anser. I coud hardly bileve it.
‘Were you…going to let them take LittelBaby…all along?’
There was a silence. His warm hand squezed mine. ‘Shh, yes, Sally-Anne,’ he wispered. ‘Iyum sorry. I dident realise what it ment. It was like easy muny. I agreed to it bifore I even met you.’
I pulled my hand out of his and terned my fase to the wall.
‘I really am a hundred persent sorry, I will make it up to you.’ He ducked down suddernly, as a nerse with a clip bord came throgh the swing dors to the ward and clicked parst my cubical.
I said nuthing. Losing him was all most as much a blow as losing LittelBaby.
‘Lisen, Sally-Anne, I’m here to help you get LittelBaby back.’
Oh god, what a stupid idiut. Thay woud never risk letting her owt of there sight. Teres were poring down my fase. Why do I never find rele friends? Only idiuts. Probly because I am a gullibel, naïv idiut my self. Stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid Sally-Anne. Why had I ever thort that I coud find a boy friend as good and as nice as the Duncan I thort I knew? Of cors it had all been fake. I had jus been imminensly stupid to think I, Silly-Sally, coud of struk gowld.
‘We carnt get her back, Duncan. Thay will be garding her. And we dont even know where she is, like where did thay take her?’
He stared at me. ‘Sheyull be here, wont she? In the center? At least for a fiew awers.’
Well yes. Where else coud thay of taken her? I realised she was most likely very clowse. And its not like NarstyLady woud of arrived all redy to get her in the middel of the night, shurly, as sheyud had no warning that I woud give berth a weke erly. I lened up on my elbow and looked abowt me. No one was arownd. The nerse who had jus helped me had gone of up the coridor and was tapping on a compiuter at the far end. But a terribel weke ness was in my legs and in my hart. ‘Duncan,’ I said, sinking back down on the pillos, ‘I jus…I jus dont think I can.’
‘Sally-Anne,’ he wispered, ‘its now or never. If you want your baby, youv got to get her now, wiol thay wont be ixpecting you to have the strenth.’
I was crying again. ‘But…I dont have the strenth.’
He rolled under my bed, as the same nerse squeked back again to the dor with her clip bord. He rolled owt again.
‘Yes you do,’ he wispered. ‘You can do it. Iyum going to help you. Sally-Anne, I promis I will never bitray you again. I love you.’
I said nuthing. I jus gulped down more snot.
‘Plese, Sally-Anne. Your the best thing that ever happerned to me. Iyuv never had so much fun as when Iyum with you.’
No…how coud I trust him now? I was thinking again of how we darnsed on the beach. Had he only darnsed just because he was pade to keep an eye on me and he was jus extra good at his job? I thort how are friend ship had sunk.
‘Did you only darnse with me….because it was your job?’ I arsked.
‘No, no, Sally-Anne, how can you think that? That was me, that wasent the job! Sally-Anne, we havent got time…Neo natel is jus along the coridor, and up on level 2, I parsed a sign as I was coming in,’ he said erjently.
‘Yeh, I know where it is,’ I said. ‘Its jus, Iyum not brave like you.’
‘Sally-Anne,’ Duncan hissed, ‘What have you got to loose?‘
I thort abowt it. What did I have to loose? If thay cort me, I woud only be in the same situashun as I was in now. I coud try then….was I brave enugh?
‘Iyum getting the van,’ he wispered. ‘Iyull be owt side the frunt in fifteen minits.’
I jus stared at him in terrer. My boddy was shaking, like in volanterily.
‘Come on Sally-Anne, LittelBaby Sprinkels nedes us.’
‘Duncan,’ I wispered, clutching his hand tight, ‘thay have a night…sicurity gard, Jimmy, owt side….the dor of neo natel.’ My voice was coming in strange, raggid garsps.
He frowned. ‘Iyull go there ferst. Iyull dele with Jimmy. By the time you get there, heyull be gone, dont wurry,’ he said.
Dispite my terrer, I maniged to give a tiny nod. He looked arownd to check no boddy was there, and shot of owt the dor.
Fere corsed thrugh me. I tried to cuntrol the littel garsps and sobs that were coming owt of me. I was still shivring as I pulled my self owt of the bed, kepeing lo, squished my pillos into a boddy shape under the cuvers and scrumpeled a black cardigun where my hed shoud be. With my tethe chattering, I pulled the hoodie thay had broght me back over my hed and pulled on jogging botterms and my traners.
I knew where neo natel was, because it was on the same flor as where I had my helth checks. With my hed swivling franticly apon my showlders, I did what Duncan had done, and zoomed as farst as I coud, but on tip toes to slip owt of the swing dors. I had no time to look back and see if I was being followed. I heved my self up a fligt of stares, quiertly, quiertly, and crossing my fingers in my hed, pushed opern the dor at the top a crack and peked rownd. The coridor was empty. I shuffeled up it, peped rownd the corner and again ran along until I reched an alcove. Right next to the alcove was a fire iscape with a spyrolled metel stare case on the owt side of the bilding. Coud I get owt there with LittelBaby? Was it the tipe of dor wich woud set of an alarm? The neo natel ward was jus biyond it at the end of the coridor. There were two glars windos in the dors. It looked darkish in side. As I peeked owt of my alcove the dors banged opern. I pulled my hed back sharply.
‘Oh! Wheres Jimmy gone?’ said a nerse.
‘Gone for a fag, mos probly,’ said anuther.
‘Hes left his coffee bihind, silly man! Itul go cold.’
Thay squeked parst chatting in low voicis. I squeezed my self back against the wall. I thort I might screme or may be wet my self with fright.
I tip toed very quiertly to wards the dors. Shure enugh, no sign of Jimmy. Jus an empty chare, a niews paper and the coffee cup on the flor, steming jently. Well done, Duncan. I looked thrugh the glars windo. All looked still with in. I took my curidge in my hands. ‘What have you got to loose, Sally-Anne?‘ I arsked my self again and I ansered my self too, with fresh teres corsing down my chekes: ‘Nuthing, abselutely nuthing, Sally-Anne.’
I pushed opern the dors and walked in. No boddy sterred. No boddy was in the resepshun airea. At the far end a woman who looked like she was the maniger was bent over files with a littel reading lamp iloominating the paper. She looked up but she was quite far awey. I walked normally. The ferst two littel see thrugh cots were empty. I walked on, like in a dreme, to the therd cot. It was a fat boy baby with a very red fase. Not mine. I carried on walking. ‘You jus have to be very very quick, Sally-Anne, and very very shure of your self,’ I said to my self. ‘Confidance is evry thing.’ The next cot was surrowndid by blue curtens. I slipped rownd the curten. There was the cot. There was my baby. She was dressed in a pink baby gro. Her hed was tiny. Her hare was wite. Her hands were the tiniest things you ever saw. Rownd her rist I saw the tag with ‘Collins’ on it. No time to loose, I picked her up. Her hed fell for werd on to my coller bown. She was floppy. She gurgeled. I grabbed the blankits from the cot, clarsped them arownd her, and shuffeled off, but farst, ‘no noise, Sally-Anne, make no noise,’ I said to my self.
I herd a showt. I terned rownd but carried on shufferling back werds as farst as I coud. The maniger lady with the files was harf way to wards me, a questshuning look on her fase. ‘Excuse me?’ she called. A nerse looked owt of a room and startid walking to wards me. It was Nerse Janit. ‘Sally-Anne!’ she exclamed. Suddernly thay were panicking, and showting for Jimmy. My legs stopped walking. I was like frozen and coudent move. I knew they were going to get her of me. My legs woud not obay my mind.