There was a big bang and a loud thunk. I was on the floor and cold and in the dark. How did I get here?
Johnnie came with a candle and carried me back to bed. I did not know what had happened. I did not tell Johnnie what had happened, Johnnie did not ask what had happened. Johnnie wrapped himself around me, I felt safe and warm.
“Hello Johnnie! I went to the doctor, like you said. She gave me some crème for the bruises, nothing seriously wrong, no bones broken or anything. However she said that I should stay away from my boyfriend in future...”
“You mean me?”
“I s'pose so. Someone must have told her about you and me. She thinks you beat me. I'm gonna find a new doctor. What yer doing, Johnnie?”
“I've had my usual yoghurt for lunch and I've bought a new lamp for the kitchen. I'm coming home early.”
“Good. You can do an examine-the-granny when you get back. See you soon.”
The examine-the-granny was fun, Johnnie had to touch every part of me, twice. Fortunately we had finished when the police came, Johnnie was standing on the kitchen table unscrewing a blackened lamp from the ceiling.
The policeman asked Johnnie in the kitchen. The policewoman asked me in the living room how many times Johnnie had beaten me. I asked her to leave.
It happened again that night, but no bang and no thunk of the circuit breaker. Johnnie carried me back to bed, lovely Johnnie.
Friday evening, good, I get Johnnie all to myself for the whole weekend. But no, a surprise visit from Florence, my only grandchild, she had had a big bust up with Larry, her boyfriend, and had already downed a few.
Johnnie came home, hugs all around, and went into the kitchen. I knew what Johnnie would do, a big thick soup with lots of vegetables and sliced unpeeled potatoes and a piece of cow meat on the bone. Meanwhile Florence and me were into the heavy stuff.
The soup was good and was followed by a cheese board. I took the last piece of blue cheese. There was a thunk and darkness, Johnnie lit a candle, the cheese was gone and Florence looked happy. I stared at Florence and picked up Johnnie's glass by mistake. I drank a big gulp of cold mineral water con gas and a shower of coins dropped in my head.
The soup was good and calmed us women down. But I was still merry and insisted that Florence do an examine-the-granny, she is a doctor. I lay on the bed and Johnnie laughed to see Florence fumbling her naked granny.
Florence stopped, opened her mouth wide and stared at me. I thought that she would vomit over me. She nose-dived into my chest and passed out.
I woke in the morning sandwiched between Johnnie and Florence. She still had her clothes on and remembered nothing about the day before. Johnnie phoned Larry and told him that yesterday had been unhappened and that he should be ready with a big bucket of TLC for Florence.
We bundled Florence into the back of the car and took her home to Larry, happiness all round. On the way back we stopped and Johnnie bought some rope.
“It's quite clear to me, granny, that you are a sleep walker. What can we do? I'll tell you. Firstly an examine-the-granny every night; secondly you sleep tied to me with that rope every night; thirdly no cheese, especially blue cheese, in the evening; and fourthly cut down on the booze.”
It worked, I'm closer to Johnnie now and no night wandering.
I was wearing dark glasses when I answered the door. The policewoman and policeman wanted to know who had done that to my eye. I gave them the name of the surgeon at the eye clinic. “Do you often get black eyes?” I slammed the door.
“Hello, I'm a social worker. Can I come in and ask you some questions? I don't want to discuss things in public on your doorstep.”
“What do you mean? You're the socwok that's been asking the neighbours nasty questions.” I slammed the door.
Almost the whole nation knew about the awful young man who had kidnapped his grandmother and taken her to the other end of the country to do awful and dreadful things to her. Meanwhile Johnnie and I stayed in a nice little hotel by the seaside not a hundred kilometres from home.
There was a big bang and a loud thunk. It was dark, it was three in the morning, I was lying tied to Johnnie as usual. There was a loud crash, it could have been the hotel room door, more crashing, loud crashing, screaming, loud screaming from the bathroom.
Johnnie turned on the light, untied me, gave me my dressing gown and entered the bathroom. “There's two men dressed in uniform and covered in blood in here. I'll call the emergency number.” I looked around, the hotel room had been trashed, there was glass on the floor. “Put your shoes on!”
I saw the broken lavatory and the smashed washbasin – the words blood bath and caught red-handed floated through my head.
The hotel manager entered the room and viewed the damage – he was speechless.
The men in red arrived very quickly and took the two red policemen away.
The police arrived much later and took Johnnie away, and the hotel manager.
A policewoman took me to another room, away from the scene of the crime.
A police doctor insisted that she must examine me. Why wasn't I covered in bruises, why had I no bruises.
The policewoman ignored this and answered all the questions she should have asked me.
“You must be glad that your awful grandson is gone. You've been rescued, you are safe now, you can calm down now. My colleagues have taken that dreadful young man to the police station in Bigtown. He'll be in prison for life for wounding two police officers. You have no need to worry about him again...” She droned on.
What was wrong? I did not understand. Why had I not freaked out? It had been terrifying, the loud invasion in the dark, but I was completely calm. I ignored the stupid cow of a policewoman. Why wasn't I worried. I was in control of myself. I used my mobile phone to text Larry, the policewoman droned on.
urgent sorry to call you so early but johnnie in deep trouble at bigtown police station ring me
A very sleepy Larry phoned me back. “Yeah, it's real bad. Two policemen smashed their way into our hotel room at three in the morning, we were still asleep and tied together. They wrecked the room and attacked the bathroom. And guess what? The bathroom won, the two idiot policemen are now in hospital, Johnnie phoned for an ambulance. But the police wanna do Johnnie for wounding them.”
“OK, OK, I'll be there in an hour. Keep calm! I'll do anything for you granny.”
The policewoman was shocked and wanted my phone, “another piece of evidence.” I shoved it into my cleavage and laughed.
Larry is a lawyer and the boyfriend of my granddaughter, Florence. He has helped me before. He got Johnnie out of the police station, and the hotel manager. The two policemen had been covered in blood, but nothing on Johnnie.
The four of us walked along the seafront, Johnnie was still in his dressing gown, the hotel manager was complaining about the damage to the room. Larry said that he would help him to claim or sue for money.
A warm breeze was blowing in from the sea, the sun was rising, perhaps a new beginning. Johnnie was holding me tight, I was still calm, but suddenly:
“Johnnie take me home! I wanna go home. I need to crash out. Take me home, Johnnie, please.”