Come on, Spud, come on, where are you? You’ve been gone forever. Come on!
What if he’s had an accident? That’s stupid, he’s only gone down the road. But he’s walking and half the street lamps are out, their globes smashed by vandals again. What if they’re hostile tonight, the druggies who congregate by the War Memorial? You can never tell what sort of mood they’re in. If only we hadn’t had to get rid of the car, but we needed the money to get stuff.
Come on, Spud, don’t let me down.
He’s never let me down before, ever. He looks after me, always gets me what I need, even in the middle of the night.
“Spuddie? Is that you?”
“Yeah, I’m back.”
“Thank God, come on, I’m dying here.”
“Yeah, sorry, I had to go all the way to the precinct…”
“Yeah, I know…”
“Hang on, Spud, you look terrible. Was it the gang, are you hurt, what’s happened?”
“It’s bad news I’m afraid.”
“What? What?” I’m in no fit state to get stressed tonight, I’m a mess, I’m hanging.
He hesitates, it must be bad.
“For Christ’s Sake, what’s the bad news?” I yell.
And then my belly heaves.
“What was that?” Spud cries.
Then it goes again, a massive kick in my insides.
“He moved! The baby moved!” Spud is transfixed.
“He’s been doing it the whole time you were out.”
“Seems he’s as impatient as I am.”
“Sorry, I’ve been so long.”
“It doesn’t matter, you’re here, you’re safe, but will you please tell me the bad news?”
“I’m really sorry, love. They were out of Salt and Vinegar everywhere so I had to get Ready Salted.”