After that horrible Christmas, things got a little better at home. And by that I mean we didn’t fear that our mother was dead for a good while.
She was still drinking more than she should be, we didn’t say anything as she seemed a bit happier in herself. She was still in her relationship so was out a lot but not too much to notice that my little sister was too. This resulted in the police being called out a lot- my sister was only 13/14 and wasn’t coming home for days at a time, our mother was beside herself with worry.
After a few months of the police being called most weeks, they were sick of it. Foster care was being talked about again for my little sister and my mother didn’t know what to do. One night, a pair of police officers that we were getting used to were around again and clearly quite sick of chasing a teen who simply didn’t want to come home. They showed their frustration and began to leave while my mother was still talking about what my sister had been last wearing. My mother was a little tipsy, mentally unwell and also frustrated so she put her hand on one of the officers shoulders to get his attention.
The next thing I know, my mother was arrested for “Assaulting a police officer”. I was there, she did not! Even with me as a witness, she was released on bail but we had to prepare to go to court. I was not only a witness to the incident but a character witness. So after some preparation time, off we went to the magistrates for me to hopefully not see my mother carted off to prison.
I was questioned by my mothers solicitor who asked me things like “what exactly do you remember happening?”, “where were you?” and “where were they?”. Then I was questioned by the police solicitor who asked me things like “could you have possibly missed your mother pushing the officer so hard he toppled over the settee?”, “you were on the PC, what were you doing?” and “do you have a boyfriend?”. Seriously?!? All I’d actually been doing was English coursework and chatting on MSN messenger. A bit inappropriate but my mother and I laughed so much at that one. I am pretty sure the magistrates found the whole a joke too as they released my mother that day with no charges (excuse the terminology, I don’t know…).
I still look back and smile about that day in court, trying to imagine my mother pushing a fully grown police man over the settee.
I was very close to sitting my GCSE’s at this point so trying to study, keep up with my friends, keep up with church and not worry too much about my family was my main focus. I was completely exhausted when I sat my exams. I was predicted to get average grades in most subjects- except French, where I was told I’d be lucky to get a D.
I’ve never really liked being told that I can’t do something so made it my mission to prove that teacher wrong.
After the exams were done, school was done. Roxanne was going to Australia with her family for what felt like the whole summer so our first party that summer was to see her off. We got messy drunk dancing to all of the current charts and some “Men at Work”, obviously… Her mother was really good about the whole party and carried me home (literally- only a few streets though) with no real judgement. She probably thought that my head the next day would punish me enough, which it did.
That summer was similar to the last after that, except for the fact that the boys in the year above now had cars so were much more interesting.
Collecting my GCSE results was an experience- a couple of friends and I had a party the night before to prepare ourselves. I did really well actually, an A, a few B’s and a few C’s. I got a B in French and still bold from the drinks the night before, sassed my French teacher about the difference between a D and a B (oops).
I’d done enough to get to 6th Form and study what I wanted; Law, Psychology and Religious Studies. I was really excited for the future.