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Mr Harris laces his fingers together and rests his chin on them.
‘I never touched her effing watch,’ I say. Mr Harris doesn’t like me swearing. He doesn’t even like me saying ‘effing’, but I’m so mad I can’t help myself. He raises his eyebrows and I look down at my hands. He turns to Mrs Snotty Sheridan and says he thinks they should give me the benefit of the doubt. I want to pick my chair up and throw it at one of them. I have no idea what happened to the watch. I give the old witch one of my stares. She stares back, not even flinching. She’s not prepared to have me caring for her mother, she tells Mr Harris. She’s all for giving disadvantaged teenagers a chance, but she has to draw the line somewhere.
Mr Harris shows her out. He’ll make sure another carer sees to her mother in future, he promises. The zip on her skirt is undone, and her posh knickers are showing. I can’t stop smirking.
‘It’s no laughing matter, Kirsty,’ says Mr Harris. I remember how angry I am, and a tear rolls down my cheek. I loved that placement, looking after old Nancy. She’s not actually that old, but her marbles have gone. She’s a great laugh though, and she has a load of old Beatles stuff from way back. There’s nothing wrong with her memory when she’s singing along to the songs. I love all that sixties stuff, although I’d never let on to my mates.
On Monday morning I’m back in the office. Mrs Sheridan’s been on the phone. It turns out the watch was down the side of the sofa.
‘All’s well that ends well,’ says Mr Harris. There’s no ‘sorry’ or anything. At least he says I can still take care of Nancy. I’m off before he can change his mind.
Nancy’s in fine form. We sing along to ‘Yellow Submarine’. I dance as I push the hoover around. She claps her hands. I make her a sandwich and sit and chat for a bit. She goes on about the old days at the Cavern Club. She reckons she was on speaking terms with the Beatles. She used to get them to sign all her records. She knew they would be worth a pretty penny one day, she says. Funny how she can remember all that stuff, but not what her daughter’s name is.
Nancy has a doze. I wash the dishes and put them back in the cupboard. Then I have a quick wipe around the kitchen. Nobody can say I’m not thorough. Quietly, so as not to wake her, I take the album off the turntable and put it carefully back in its sleeve. I slip it into my bag. I kiss Nancy gently on the forehead.
I’ve got no interest in cheap watches. I can spot a fake at twenty paces. A signed copy of a Beatles album though….. Well, that’s another matter.