I would just like to say sorry to those of you who have been waiting for chapter 3. Unfortunately I have been unwell over the weekend and was unable to get this out on the day I wanted . So, finally, here it is.
"Lewis please I'm begging you, I need this place. I've set everything up just right, please don't tell anyone" Suddenly his face relax and then he looked at me completely confused "Why on earth would I tell anyone Faye, I want to help you not run you out of town" OK now it was my turn to look confused "but you keep telling me I was terrible" "I didn't say that I said IT was terrible, you can't stay here on a bench in a park, look I have a spare room at my house you can stay there until you are on your feet" I could feel my heartbeat finally start to slow down, oh thank god, he was just concerned. I smiled at him, I could tell he really just wanted to help me. This was an odd feeling most people I met just wanted to help themselves "Lewis I really appreciate what your trying to do but I like it here, I have my garden and my fish and for once in my life I am doing things for myself" "but you must be freezing out here" I don't think he could grasp that I was actually fine. "Believe me it's not as cold as you think. I have a good thing going here, people are buying my fruit, veg and fish and I'm always finding stuff that sells for a good price" He suddenly cut in "find things?" "Oh no I don't steal things, well only if I need to too for food or warmth and I've not had to do that here, well there was that once but I'm gonna pay them back I promise" I didn't think I should tell him the whole story I felt ashamed already. "I know your concerned, I really appreciate that but do you think you could just be a friend, I'm really proud of what I have done here and if I accept your offer I will feel like I've given up, it may not make sense you but I need this"
He laughed "you're a stubborn one arn't you, of course I'm your friend I would be here if I wasn't" He then pulled me into a hug, at first I didn't know what to do, I was a little shocked, normally when a guy had hugged me he wanted something else but with Lewis it was just a friendly hug. I relaxed a little and hugged him back. The strangest thing in all this was I was actually using the word friend, you don't get to make friends when your homeless most people just stay away thinking you have some kind of disease. We sat a chatted for a while and he told me about all the things he had done while he was on the street for drugs and why, even after he had cleaned himself up he thought it was best he moved away for a fresh start "Somethings people just can't forgive you for and some people just want to drag you back down" I then told him about my mum and Lou, why it was easier on the streets and as much as I could about my real dad. As he was leaving he turned and passed me a cellphone "What?" "Faye I know you want to do this on your own but I'd never forgive myself if you needed help urgently and you couldn't get any. It's an old phone all you can do with it is make and receive phone calls nothing fancy. Please take it, if only to put my mind at rest" I took it and out it in my pocket "Thank you" He hugged me again and left.
I was working so hard all the time to get the money I needed. On top of my garden the fishing and gem hunting I was clipping every coupon I could find to save money on food, catching bugs to deliver to the science lab and that was asking a lot because I hate bugs, and doing the very thing I detested the most which was rummaging though trash cans. It was disgusting but some of the stuff people threw out, once clean or fixed, would get me extra money and sometimes quite a bit. Unfortunately I was so busy that I would get so tired and even that lovely shower in the main park wasn't enough to get me to get up off that bench. It was getting worrying, I was even falling asleep in the day which was a good way of getting caught. I had to sort myself out.
I remembered seeing in one of the news papers a coupon for a manicure, it would only cost me $25 so I went and had a shower and made myself look as neat as possible and made my way to the Spa. Everything inside was so shiny and clean, I felt very out of place but the beautician called my name before I could change my mind and leave. She chatted away and asked me things about my life and if I was going on holiday, never actually caring about the answer but asked anyway as it was part of the job to keep up small talk. After that I kept up the day of fun. I went to the pool area where they had loads of stuff for tourists to use. I had a good look through the telescope but when it focused in on a fat my in speedos on the beech I decided to leave that activity alone before I lost my lunch. Everyone just though I was another tourist so I played foosball and chatted with everyone, it was nice to just be accepted and not avoided.
After such a wonderful day it was back to the hard work but I promised myself to treat myself every so often so I wouldn't get run down again. One night I was fishing when the phone Lewis gave me rang. I leapt out of my skin, I'd forgotten I had it. When I finally calmed down and answered the phone. At the other end was a man who sounded very frantic, all I could get from him at first was a delivery hadn't arrived and he needed veg fast. I asked him to calm down a bit so I could understand him and he scream the Big Bloody Ship on the beech get here quick, you will be paid well just get here and slammed the phone down. I grabbed every piece of veg I had and got there as soon as I could. I went in and got told to go round back. A guy very red and very flustered came at me and grab the box of veg looked through it and smiled "Ah Lewis was right about you, thank you" he shoved a wad of money in my hands and disappeared. I stood outside not quite sure what had happened. So Lewis had given him my name, I wanted to be mad at him but when I thought about it he hadn't done anything wrong. He had just told someone I sold fruit and veg and the guy rung me when he was desperate.
The next day I rang Lewis to thank him. It was the only number I had saved in the phone. After a little chat he asked me why I had never been to City Hall to find out about my dad. I had tried but without ID and an address I couldn't prove who I was and they weren't allowed to give out information on people without proof. I'd settled for when I finally got a place of my own and sorting out my life I could get back to that. We said goodbye and I continued what I was doing. About half an hour later he rang back "meet me at the library" "What? why?" "Just meet me at the library" I finished up and went to the library.
When I arrived he was stood over at the looking through the reference section. He turned with a big grin on his face. "You said your dad's name was Philip Jackson, well I was in here the other day looking up on some local history for a friend of mine when I came across his name. Turns out he was the towns greatest footballer, the town loved him. I'm sure if we look through some other newspapers we'll be able to find more on him. being a small town he was probably front page new quite often." Wow. "where do we start looking" "go upstairs there is loads of computers just search for the newspapers around that time"
It was true he was in loads of newspapers. He was always the one to get the winning goal in, he was helpful in the community and straight A student, he was perfect.Then the more I read the more I wish I hadn't. The stories changed from local hero to town disappointment. At first he just became less and less in the community and shunning friends and family. Then he gave up football to get himself a job and soon dropped out of school and took on several jobs. There were always stories of how everyone was so disappointed in him as he has so much going for him and no one could understand why. There was also stories about how he couldn't handle the pressure and just gave up but I worked it out, just as all this started happening would have been the time my mum was pregnant with me. Then there was nothing in the pages for ages, I was about to give up when the last newspaper I came across was LOCAL BOY DRUNKEN CAR CRASH HELL. I don't know why but I just knew it was about him. I was right, he had gotten so drunk that he had driven his car into and on coming truck. I felt ill. I was never going to know him. I made myself read on. I found out in news papers not long after his death that his father died of a heart attack and his mum had moved to a town called Twinbrooke to live with her daughter after a mental breakdown. I also found out my dad was buried not that far from here.
As soon as Lewis saw my face he knew it wasn't good. I told him what I had found out. "I am so sorry Faye, I thought I was giving you good news and now I've made everything worse" "It's OK Lewis I'm glad I know but I just wish I had been able to meet him. He's buried not that far from here would you please take me" "of course! do you want to go now?" "yes I think I need to see it to believe it" The car ride was so quite I just felt so down.
We searched round and eventually found it next to the mausoleum. I couldn't believe it I had walked passed this grave so many times going into the mausoleum, under it was some catacombs that had all kinds of gems and metals I would sell, it gave me chills just thinking about it. "Faye, do you want me to stay with you or do you want to be on your own" "I think I'd like to be on my own, thank you for bring me" "I could wait in the car if you want" "No, it's OK I'll make my own way home" Off he went and there I was alone with my dad.
I didn't know what to do but then out of nowhere I just burst into tears, I hadn't cried in years but all of a sudden it was like I was crying for every time I held it back. All I could think was all that time I was eventually gonna find my dad and he would take me in a make everything OK again and now he couldn't he was dead. I would never find out if he ever wanted me or if he loved me, I suddenly felt very alone. I sat on the floor in front of his grave, I started to talk to him as if he was right in front of me and told him everything about my life. In the end I promised I'd visit as much as I could, even if it was just to tell him about my day. I was determind now more than ever that I was going to get a house, I needed my ID so I could get the information I needed from City Hall. I wanted to find out more about what had happened, maybe I could find my Aunt and Grandma, I needed some answers.