The Break In

I have been wondering what I want to do when the placement’s finished. Well, I may not know what I’m going to do career-wise, but I certainly know where I’m going to go, and it’s anywhere but Glasgow.

I was really quite shaken up earlier, and I just can’t sleep. But I’m finally feeling less shaky, so I’ve decided to blog about what happened.

Tonight was Rangers v. Hearts and the area around the flat exploded. You can see Ibrox stadium from our back kitchen window, and we could hear the chants for hours before and after the match. The noise got so loud the closer it got to the game, and even though we’re up on the second floor, every once and a while something would hit our window. People were hurling cans and rubbish up at the flats, and every couple of minutes the front entrance buzzer went off – from people pushing buttons at random.

As it felt like a carnival I found it all quite unnerving, but HarryPotter was nonplussed. He said that after a while you ‘just get used to it.’ I have no idea how I’d ever get used to this.

The game started and things quieted down for a bit. Luckily HarryPotter isn’t a football guy, so I don’t have to listen too him go on about sport, and I could watch Midsomer Murders without interruption. (When I first moved here Stv didn’t carry new Midsomer Murders, so I was terribly happy when they started programming it into the schedule again. And tonight was the last episode with Bergerac. So, as you can imagine, I wasn’t going to miss Barnaby’s goodbye. But this is a serious digression.) Roger came around totally stoned out of his gourd. HarryPotter opened a beer and they sat around mocking my old lady television viewing habits. 

Midsomer Murders ended and so did the match. From the chants and the songs we could hear that the Rangers won without looking up the score. People were screaming and shouting, cars were honking and people started throwing stuff at buildings again. The buzzer went off a few times, but we ignored it, and I popped to the loo.

While I was in the toilet I heard a banging noise. The pounding got louder. I thought it was more footballers throwing stuff at the building, so I ignored it. Then I heard Roger say he was going to answer the door. I heard him undo the locks then the next thing I heard was someone bursting into the flat. I recognised the voice and froze. It was that thug, it was FringeSisterHusband.

I have no idea how he got into our building, maybe he just came in behind someone. I can’t believe Roger opened the door. I can’t believe this criminal just came bursting in. I can’t believe he found out where I live. It must have been Hall who told Fringe. I can’t believe they ratted me out.

He was yelling. He wanted to know where I was. He wanted to know where the money was. I was petrified. The bathroom door was locked, but if he heard me he could easily kick in the door. It’s just a flimsy slide bolt. I held my breath and listened. He wasn’t in the hallway any longer, I thought he was in the lounge. That’s where HarryPotter was. I don’t know where Roger went. The only one saying anything was FringeSisterHusband.

Something had to be done. He could have stolen all of our stuff as ‘payment’, or worse. I have no idea what he was capable of. There’s an old key hole in the bathroom door, you know the kind with the slider that goes over it. The key’s probably been lost for a century. So I peaked out of the key hole and could see that he was in the lounge, but he’d left the door to the flat open.

As slow as I could, I slid the bold open on the bathroom door. It made a bit of a thump when it unlached and my heart stopped. I didn’t breath and I waited for a moment to see if the thug had heard. I couldn’t let him find me.

He hadn’t heard a thing. He was too busy pulling books, cds, dvds off shelves. I slowly turned the knob to the bathroom door and only opened it as slight as I could. I wedged myself through, slipped across the hall, out the flat door, out of the apartment, onto the landing, down the stairs, and out into the street.

I took a deep breath and then emptied my lungs with the biggest scream. People actually stopped.

I didn’t realise it at the time, but I was sobbing, and the look of terror on my face must have been what actually called my attention. Some woman grabbed me and asked if I was okay. I said, ‘No. No. Someone’s attacking my boyfriend.’ (Yes, I called HarryPotter my boyfriend. A Freudian slip, and now’s not really the time to analyse that one.) A couple of very large men stepped in, and I told them that someone had busted into our flat. I didn’t have my phone. I needed help.

The two men were in my building like a shot. I ran after them and pointed the way. They burst into the apartment. HarryPotter and Roger nearly shat them selves when two more burly men bounded into the room. I could barely talk; I just pointed and said, ‘Him. He shouldn’t be here. Him.’

The men jumped FringeSisterHusband. They had him on the ground. One was kicking him in the stomach and the other was punching wildly. This wasn’t what I wanted. I just wanted to be safe. I didn’t want more thugs and violence. (Although, I can’t say I’m not grateful to the men from the street. It’s a moral dilemma I never thought I’d have to face.)

Then I turn to notice that a woman was in the flat. She was yelling, ‘The polis, the polis,’ and the three of them bolted. Within seconds FringeSisterHusband was on his feet and he was out the door. There was a huge pool of blood on the rug where he was being beaten. Our stuff was everywhere.

Roger was suddenly sober, and HarryPotter hadn’t moved a muscle. The police had come in, and I have no idea how they didn’t pass all the others on the stairwell. (Roger later told me that they probably went up one or two flights, then once the police entered our apartment they went back down. Sounds to me like Roger knows too much about criminal activity.)

The next bit was even more of a haze. We told the police what happened. I gave them FringeSisterHusband’s name and the address of the old flat. They took statements. HarryPotter asked if they needed the rug for evidence, they laughed and said we could throw it out.

Then came the difficult question, ‘Do you know of any reason why this man would be after you?’ I decided to be honest. I’d done nothing wrong. I said, ‘He believes I’ve taken some of his money. But I haven’t. I moved out of my old flat because of him. I don’t know anything about money.’ The police seemed to believe me.

They had us sign statements, then they left. It was suddenly all so quiet. The street outside was covered in rubbish, but all the footballers were gone. It was still in Ibrox.

Roger rolled up the rug and took it outside, then when he came back he put two little pills in my hand. He said it would make me sleep. I’ve only taken one. I’m not in the least bit sleepy, but everything feels really crisp, really sharp like cleaning-up a picture in Photoshop. I’m oddly calm, and it all seems so distant. I should probably be feeling something. I’m going to flush that other pill down the toilet. And starting tomorrow I’m going to sort out my life. I swear this time I really am going to do it.

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