Gabby Is Missing: Part Nineteen

This is the nineteenth part of a fiction serial, in 747 words.

This was meat and drink for Steve. The more Gabby talked, the better he liked what he heard. The alcoholic mum pimping her out for a bottle of vodka, a child left alone to fend for herself. He may have heard it all before, but added to what happened more recently, he knew he could turn the whole thing into a tear-jerker of a soap opera, and no mistake. They stayed up late that night, as Gabby carried on talking.

“The only time I could shake my mum out of it was when I had to be interviewed for acceptance at my new school. A parent had to accompany me, or questions would have been asked. I didn’t want to end up in a Children’s Home. No matter how shit my life was at home, at least I had some control. Being shut up in a home was not on my agenda. I told mum that if she didn’t shape up and come with me, they might arrest her for child neglect and take away her social security money. She looked a complete mess on the day, and had to hold my arm to stay upright, but she was able to nod in the right places, and remembered to say thank you to the head teacher as we left.
On the way home, I made her buy me some panty pads, as I had started my period while we were at the school for the interview.
I only knew about periods from other girls talking, mum had never even mentioned it. She bought me one packet, and used the rest of the money to buy a half-bottle of vodka. That night I had to eat three bags of crisps for dinner. I had hidden them under my bed”.

Trying to imagine how bad her mum must have looked almost made Steve grin, but he suppressed it. Gabby sounded genuinely upset.

“I got into the school of my choice because I was clever, and they liked to have bright pupils. Then like I said, I used the money from the blokes to buy the new uniform. I also learned a good trick, which was to tell the blokes who came into my room that I had my period. That stopped most of them, but not all.
When they saw I wasn’t taking any packed lunch into school, they arranged for me to get free school meals. I forged my mum’s signature on the form, and then at least I was able to start eating properly.
I made a couple of friends too, and managed to persuade one girl’s mum to come to the dentist with me. Over that first year, I got my teeth sorted out properly for the first time. Despite my age, I was more like someone much older. I had determination, and started to develop courage too. When the blokes came into my room after that, I would tell them twenty quid or nothing, and I would tell some teacher at school about them if they said no. It wasn’t long before I was saving a hundred a week, and eating better too. I managed to do that without me mum finding out, but I sometimes had to give her some cash for drink”.

Steve had a question. “What about your brother? Did you see anything of him?” She shrugged.

“He rang the house phone one night and asked how I was. My twelfth birthday was coming up, so I hadn’t seen him for four years. I answered it because mum was out cold. I was very off with him, but he gave me his number and address, told me not to tell mum anything, then said he would send me some money in a birthday card. He came good on that, sent me twenty in a card, and I got to it before mum opened it.
That was when I started to tell other girls at school that he lived in Australia, and went on holiday to Bali. I got invited to their houses sometimes for sleepovers, but nobody could ever come to where I lived. I just told them my mum was bad-tempered, and wouldn’t allow friends to visit. One weekend I stayed at Polly Machin’s house until Sunday night, and my mum didn’t even ask where I had been. I doubt she even noticed I wasn’t there”.

Closing the notebook, Steve yawned loudly. “Time for me to hit the hay, Gabby”.

44 thoughts on “Gabby Is Missing: Part Nineteen

  1. (1) “…she was able to nod in the right places,” In other words, she nodded above her neck and between her shoulders.
    (2a) Most boys see girls’ privates as launching pads until panty pads come into play. (I was thinking about offering more details, but I ultimately decided not to pad my comment.)
    (2b) Mum bought vodka to sterilize Gabby’s panty pads. “Nothin’ ain’t too good for m’daughter, eh?”
    (3) Coyotes have bright pupils, but only at night. Schools, however, teach humans. Day or night, they never see bright pupils.
    (4) “Over that first year, I got my teeth sorted out properly for the first time.” Gabby’s bicuspids canines, incisors, and molars were all mixed up in her mouth. One the dentist sorted them out, he proceeded to plant them in their proper place. But I applaud Gabby for going to the dentist. She must have been inspired by that old TV game show, “Tooth or Consequences.”
    (5) Bad citation: “When the blokes came into my room after that, I would tell them twenty quid or nothing. Of course, being young and frugal, they chose “nothing.” And that meant they got a sex romp free of charge!
    (6) Overheard:
    Steve: “What about your brother? Did you see anything of him?”
    Gabby: “We slept together for years. So I saw everything. Absolutely everything!”
    Steve: “That was then. What about now?”
    Gabby: “Believe me, I have vivid recollections of every inch of his body!”
    (7) Bali. Belize. Bolivia. I mean, really, what’s the difference?
    (8) Overheard:
    Steve: “Time for us to roll in the hay, Gabby.”
    Gabby: “Twenty quid or nothing?”
    Steve: “Nothing.”
    Gabby: “Let’s roll!”

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Good stuff, Pete! I empathize with Gabby but wonder if things were better or worse than she’s actually telling Steve. He seems to have no redeeming values.

    Liked by 1 person

        1. If she is lying, they can always interview her briother and mum to deny what she’s saying. But in the modern world of overnight celebrity, does anyone really care about the truth any longer?
          Best wishes, Pete.

          Liked by 1 person

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