It Ends Here | Mhairi Campbell


It Ends Here

Mhairi Campbell

Quitters Anonymous Award


The blood rolled out in drips as I stared at the leaky yellow toilet on the first floor. It was midnight, and I couldn’t remember the day. The tap kept in time with my blood and I thought, for a moment, that I was becoming a part of the house, an accompanying gargoyle that perched on the throne. The fight was hazy and I couldn’t remember the bastard’s name, only the drink beside me…another pint, just another pint, I had said. He had said something cheeky, ‘course he had, saying we didn’t deserve this house, had won it from the lottery…Well, why shouldn’t I have a house? Lord Campbell I was, lord…

“Dad?”

It was a voice that was hard and soft at the same time. The voice of my son, my innocent, easy going son who stole the vodka out of the cupboard on weekends.

“Dougie..” I said. “Dougie, get the plasters, won’t you son, get the plasters..”

“Dad.” The voice was scared now. His blue eyes looked at my wrists bathed in bath water, leaking petrol, I thought. Was it petrol? No, it’s blood Willie, it’s blood…It was his mother’s voice answering, his mother who had left me..Those blue eyes reproached me just as they had before. Why do you have to fight all the time? She had asked. Why do you have to fight me? Go to hell, Mary. I thought. Go to hell. Before I stop loving you.

“Dad, it’s okay, you’re going to be fine. Dad…I’ve wrapped you up now.” God, I want a pint. Or even a whisky. I thought. There was white paper wrapping around my arms, lifting them up from the water, like one of them Egyptian mummies. Dougie looked at me again, reassuring, his blue eyes like living tears,.

“I need a pint son, a pint…”

Those tears fell down his cheeks like rain and I felt something. I felt something for maybe the first time. His brothers never made me feel that way, but this young one, maybe not even my own, caught something in me. I thought I felt something when she left, when she looked at me, but it was nothing to those eyes.

“You’re not going to die.” He said.

Of course I’m not, I tried to say. Son, my son, my real son…

I cried myself. The drink receded. Have to stop. It ends here.

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