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Chapter 15

At home now and safe. Sometimes I called this place the House Of Pain, when I was a rebel teenager. No choices.

 

The lamb now in the oven has an apricot biscotti stuffing. Her Muslim friend Nazma is coming over, it is halal meat. Lucy likes to cook and also to clean sometimes, when there isn’t much to do. Her grandmother had been house-proud, so house proud that once family legend has it that she had fallen form a second floor window as she was attempting to clean the outside of the window, whilst herself inside. The window cleaner had not done a good enough Job. Her grandmother in Mumbai was 82 when she died and she had only one or two grey hairs, her locks were long and had never been dyed. Her sarees were always beautifully pressed neat and so colourful against her smooth dark skin. Once she had visited the English family, after a seemingly never ending battle with the Immigration authorities in the UK, it had been so cold and boring for her after a few months that although she made it clear to her children how happy she was to see them all that she could not wait to return and drink her favourite drinks. Spiced Chai or mango Juice. Up on her balcony of her flat roofed home.

 

 

Apparently dear, you know they are wanting to sell cow urine as a drink, so I hear anyway;’

 

 

‘ What Nan’? Lucy’s younger brother said.

 

 

Yes read the times. It is the latest attempt by the RSS a Hindu radical organization to de westernizes India.

 

 

Listen, I will read this to you wait there……

 

It is made mainly of cow pee but also has medicinal and ayurverdic herbs. Don’t worry I will bring some back with me when I next reach. She stated with a grin. Oh hang on no fear, they are thinking of exporting it.

 

Bangs and clattering came out of the kitchen and Lucy knew she would have to go in there and help as certain family members didn’t like it if she sat back and did nothing, which she sometimes did.

 

Lucy’s Uncles were talking, she could hear slightly raised voices and tea cups being clunked onto saucers.                                                                                                                                     Maybe it happened like this.  It usually has a lot of tea and a lot of political discussions, one particular uncle is effectively chairing a meeting worthy of the moniker a moot. He banging a silver goblet with a gold spoon and asking for order. Holding a half filled china cup, only slightly chipped, Lucy Mathew’s Uncle Rowan however, still looks calm despite the racket

 

Lowers his eyes and proclaims:

 

In India, life is perhaps inexpensive. In England, surprisingly to some, each life is sacred, protected and each death is investigated with vigor.

In Iraq, lives were similarly cheap and this remains the case. But, the difference between Iraq and India and England, is that a family can take revenge in the first two. Those ancient laws are understood. ‘

 

 

Lucy Mathew walks past him, saying her salaams Just as Kaka Rowan is leaving and switches on the computer.

 

There are few things nicer than being an ostrich. Wrapped up in the audiovisual blanket of face book and you tube. Protected from cold and feelings. A colorful child’s world. Who has what. Who is thin? Who is partying? Who has been promoted? Who is sharing in a sweet way? Who’s the best? Childish load of ass.

 

Three friend request, hmmm think he is from primary school, Lucy Mathew thinks.

 

Don’t know those two randomers.

 

how dull, she thinks as she moves to go upstairs and start her beauty regime.  Tan, waxing, paint nails, home pedicure. Salt scrub; steam my face and mud mask. Christ wishes I were a boy, so I could spend more time praying, less time waxing.

 

 

Lucy Mathew’s boss rings. ‘Can you work tomorrow, there’s a stock take”?

 

……No she wants to say but from memory recalls that she acquiesced again, once again. At least it was cash. Yes that’s fine Zoe, see you at ten then?

 

Zoe was a cruel woman in her personal life, by all accounts. Her husband had been depressed for a while. He was depressed as his parents were both killed in an accident abroad. Many times Zoë bitched about him to anyone that would listen, one good thing was that he had inherited a lot of cash. But really no one knew about that. She predictably divorced him when she could find someone to automatically replace him, meaning she’d never need to face her own company, understandable perhaps. Also she probably puts cats in bins some reckon.

 

Treading softly downstairs, after several hours spent killing time she notices it is getting dark. Maybe Just maybe her cousin Shaheeeda, now known as Wendy her anglicized name will call in.

 

 

I miss India. I miss the real rain, not like this drizzle.

 

They  look out of the window.

 

I can’t think of anything but rain now because if I stop thinking about the rain outside I might remember all the people I miss.

 

Living in a family can be hard I think. But also les lonely than pretending you enjoy watching TV. Alone. Also there’s always someone else to blame. God why couldn’t they Just buy bread and toothpaste. I would if it had been my Job. They hold me back

 

The phone squeaks again, Johan’s almond eyes and lithe frame make her heart raise, maybe it’s him. I know its him. When I stop feeling so in love it’s been too long.

 

It’s her pal, Olympia. Hey I think someone else fancies me, on top of all the other people that do. Oh that’s great news Lucy Mathew replies. Um who? Oh you don’t know him. Are we out on Friday? Yeah that’s cool where? Living room somewhere original. God someone from school asked me out on a date, I’ll have to tell you about it. Great!

 

Lucy Mathew’s friends from school at least aren’t the sorts of friends that she can actually tell things too. Not really. maybe apart from her best friend, Olympia is there with the tissues and loves everyone she comes across. Once in a video she’s seen a girl standing with a giant heart, maybe that was her. The rest do have too much to think about in their own lives, really. It’s fine. When they don’t return her calls,

 

At that moment, she hears a high-pitched bark. WOOF

 

Wendy?’

 

‘ As I live and breathe what is wrong with your hair”?

 

Haven’t I told you to splash out on some serum cuz?

 

Well, possibly, Lucy Mathew smiles.

 

Wendy’ is a lawyer, she tells anyone she meets. She is proud about this fact.

 

So what you been up to then cuz?

 

Well let me tell you…………………………………..

 

You know that time that Banar and Bareza said they thought I was too shy to be a good lawyer, well let me tell you.

 

Today, I stopped a fight in the Courtroom itself.

 

My client was a beautiful model like swan. Six foot. She was falsely accused of having crashed into another porches in Waitrose car park.

She insists it is a miscarriage of Justice.

 

Her husband, a swerve army officer takes the stand. He is incensed. He explains that his wife’s car was not to blame, that no one saw her car as he was convinced that a thick coating of mud had been covering the number plate at all relevant times. Coincidentally he had kept some photographs showing how the number plate was covered in mud.

 

Anyway, at the end, we sort of lost. Wholly unreasonably, the Judge felt that the eyewitnesses who were sort of well, independent, (Wendy flinched on saying this last word). Well those people, he preferred their evidence. Naturally, this being a miscarriage of Justice Mr. Eckersley felt aggrieved; he stood up, muttered something and Just well WENT for District Judge Battersby.

 

 

Do go on Wendy, Lucy Mathew yawned…

 

Well, yes so of course I leapt up, I ran over and I sort of separated them.

 

I could be up for some sort of award apparently.

 

That’s great, shall I put the kettle on cuz, well done.

 

Wendy had a far away look in her eyes.

 

This fibbing was out of control. Done to amuse, it would get her in serious trouble one day.

 

The truth was not so very far from the mark.

 

Glyniss Eckersley was in actual fact probably a battered wife. She was tall, that was true, but not majestic. That bit was in breach of the trades descriptions act. She ex policeman husband, who was a scary man, had bullied her into giving evidence, into lying about crashing her KIA piano into another car. He had a face like a robber’s dog. The Judge quite rightly didn’t believe him and perhaps the bit about the fight was true. I can’t quite recall how many sugars you take Wendy? Sam says with a glint in her eye knowing her skinny cuz is always dieting.

 

Just pass the splenda you loon.

 

The two girls sit, giggling at ‘ Make your own angel cards’ on Gloria Hunniford Angel watch and feel a bit better that the other is near.

 

Someone had left some pages nearby, probably Dr Khaki dad’s friend and left them as they discussed communist ideology in the conservatory, chilling cold place.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

While more than one group in Iran have called themselves mujahedeen, the most famous is the People's Mujahidin of Iran (PMOI). Currently an Iraq-based Islamic Socialist militant organization that advocates the overthrow of Iran's current government. The group also took part in the 1979 Iranian Revolution, Iraq-Iran War (on the side of Iraqis), and the Iraqi internal conflicts. They are recognized as a terrorist organization by the United States CIA as well as the Iranian government. Their mission is to overthrow the Iranian government by any means necessary.

Another mujahedeen was the Mujahidin-e Islam, an Islamic party led by Ayatollah Abol-Ghasem Keshena.[38] It was a component of the National Front (Iran) during the time of Mohammed Mosaddeq's oil nationalization, but broke away from Mosaddeq over his allegedly unIslamic policies.

 

 

Various other papers are scattered about the place, like any other living room. The

 

Photos on the wall show Lucy as a baby, young girl at school and on her graduation day. On face book there are pictures from when her and her friends go to concerts, Metallica, Gwen Stephanie, eclectic mix of things.

 

Her father’s photos in the big album in the draw are less ephemeral, no digital errors could result in deleting all of the memories at the slip of a button.

 

There are the family’s guard dogs in black and white, great big things with a ruff.

 

Hey, Lou look at us on here. You must be about seven.’

 

They take her dog for a walk, come home and look at Nigel recipes, before attempting to make lobster pasta, a chocolate soufflé and moJitos seeing as Dad and Uncle were out running, their favourite pastime aside from talking politics.

 

 

The End

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