Wishing to Avoid an Unpleasant Scene by Ben Oakes

Feet are freezing. Should have listened.

Well, what are you supposed to do when your dad sees it appropriate to cheat on the step-mam you were actually starting to like, then punch you with the fact when you call him a slut?

Well, putting on shoes may have been a good start, I must admit.

Grabbing a coat would also have been productive. Fucking freezing.

‘Slut’ should be a word for both genders, I feel. It’s not right that lasses are looked down on for sleeping around and us lads aren’t. Heroes. Legends. ‘Lads.’

Nah, it’s all bullshit.

If I cheated on Sally, then I’d happily be called a slut too. But I wouldn’t do that. I’m decent. Not fucking stupid.

Apart from forgetting to put shoes on. That was pretty stupid.

And it’s not like I haven’t had the opportunity. At Mickey’s last week, well, that was eventful. Can’t remember her name like. Rachel, or something. God she was all over me. All over, like a rash.

But I resisted. Because I can. Because of Sal.

Us men are not animals, we do have willpower and we can say ‘no.’ Unlike my dickhead of a father.

Why her? There were plenty of past girlfriends who were right idiots. Cheated on him ’til the cows came home. I mean, look at my mam, she wasn’t exactly wife of the year but he stayed with her for twelve bloody years.

When a lad’s got two cheaters for parents, where’s the hope for him?

Phone. Did I bring that? Aye. Good.

Less than 20% battery remaining. Fan-fucking-tastic. Enough for an hour I’d say, maybe two if I don’t check Twitter.

What would I tweet about now anyway? ‘Life’s in the shitter cos my dad’s a twat and I haven’t seen my mam since she ran off with that French bloke only two years older than her youngest son?’

Nah, I think that’d be more than 140 characters.

I’ll phone Sally. Aye, that’s what I’ll do.

God, who has the determination to fool around in a park? In this temperature? Really?

Two rings, come on Sal, pick up.

In the middle of October too, Jesus Christ can the human body even… function… in this cold?

And is that Maxwell’s Silver Hammer I can hear?

Sally man, ha’way, I’m freezing.

How many people in Newcastle would have that as their ringtone though?

Hang on. Blonde hair. Denim jacket. Maxwell.

Sally?