ANDREWMature

Kimberley just got off the phone to Greg. I asked Kimberley to ask how Mum was doing but she just sort of waved me away. She said 'Andrew's place, why?'. Then she put the phone down. He'd just hung up for some reason.

Shelby seemed upset. She was babbling away to me, asking if debt can be written off if you go to prison and how much does it cost to go bankrupt. I said I didn't know and had to calm her down with another cup of tea.

After a bit, I asked her whether she actually liked me. Because it had been difficult to tell a lot of the time. Sometimes she seemed to want a relationship with me. Sometimes she'd kiss me or let me hug her, and other times she seemed cold and unemotional, like she wanted to be as far away from me as possible. Maybe it's because she's an older woman or maybe it's because I haven't been out of the house in a very long time, but I didn't understand how her mind worked at all, and I still don't now, so I had to ask her.

And she just said, 'I don't know.' And I said, 'Well, you're here. You decided to come here.' And she said, 'I'm desperate, can't you see I'm desperate? My family hates me... I've done terrible things... Can't... Ought to go to prison... I need your help, everyone needs your help, like your mum, like Kimberley, that's why we came here.' And I... I didn't understand what she was saying, it all just seemed like nonsense. I took her by the shoulders and I said, 'What's wrong, Shelby? Tell me what's wrong.' But she couldn't of course. She just kept saying she ought to go to prison. So I said, 'Why?' And she started crying again and said, 'I can't tell you, I want to tell you, I can't... You're so nice, like Dylan, I feel so guilty.' And she kept saying stuff like that over and over again.  

Reminds me of Mum a bit. When she's especially unwell... mentally... and she's had a drink, she'll babble nonsensically, saying 'Andrew, I'm sorry... I'm so sorry, I'm the worst mum in the world...' But Shelby isn't bipolar and she doesn't drink, she's just a fragile person. Her parents abuse her, she's lost a brother, she's in a love/hate relationship which must be confusing for her... I know it's confusing for me... and she's in debt, she's in so much debt. I don't know what she's going to do about it, but prison isn't the answer. No matter what she says, she doesn't deserve to go to prison.

Kimberley asked if there was any alcohol in the place. I told her Mum might have some vodka left... though it's doubtful. Mum easily gets through a pint a day, so her supply should have been exhausted by now.

I hate situations like this. I've always been the strong one, the kind one, but it takes a hell of a lot out of you. Look at my nails. I used to have nice nails. The one on this finger's nearly gone; I don't know what'll happen when I've bitten it all away. It'll probably start growing under the skin and I'll need...

Maybe I can help Shelby with her debt. When I was thirteen I started saving money for when I was going to run away. Even after I went to live with Mum, I still put money away. I've got a few thousand now, and I could lend it to Shelby and that could help get some of it paid off. She can pay me back whenever, or not at all. I just want to help. All my life it seems, I've... Sometimes I think I was made to help people. Like that's my only purpose. I should have been a social worker. But then I'd just be one of those people who cart my mum off to hospital. Sometimes I think they're... not good people. You know?

The End

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