R is for Rapist

NB: Post contains offensive and inappropriate language

I was always knackered on a Monday morning.  I’d open my eyes at the sound of the alarm and feel nauseous with fatigue.  Except that never happened at the weekend, oh no.  My eyes would ping open and my brain would be saying “Come on, get up, lots to do, come on, let’s go.” On a Monday it wasn’t even responsive.

I crawled out of bed and thought about how I was going to explain my drug induced behaviour to my boss.  Ugh.
The calendar on my phone beeped on my dressing table reminding me It was Brendon’s pediatrician appointment.  We had to go as they usually liaised well with the school on what he needed support wise.  Not that anything ever changed.  I’d forgotten on Friday to ask Colin if this was OK.  Damn. I was sure he’d be alright with it but I knew I was taking the rise with my flexible hours at work.

I got ready quickly and woke Brendon up telling him we had an appointment with Kathy.

“Oh for fucks sake. I don’t want to go.  Can I have the rest of the day off school then after?” 

“No.  You’ve got exams this year, so no.” I said.

“I can pass them in my sleep.”

“Just get up! You said you’d try so how about sticking to that and getting up. NOW!”

I went downstairs to ring Colin.  He answered in seconds.

“Hi Colin, It’s me Sophie.”

“Yes, Soph, I KNOW it’s you, your name comes up when you ring.” He laughed.

“Oh yeah, I don’t know why I do that..Anyway, I forgot about an appointment at Brendon’s pediatrician this morning.  I have to go which means I’ll be in late..is that OK?”  God I felt really bad doing this.

“Yeah, sure but it means you’ll miss this morning’s meeting.”

 I clasped my hands over my eyes and sighed. I’d forgotten that too.  “But we can go through it when you get in. What time will that be?”

“About ten -ish”  I offered tentatively.

“Ok babe.  See you then and you can tell me all about the phone box idea!”

I suppressed a groan and said my goodbye’s quickly.

After dropping Bryony at school Brendon sat very quietly in the car staring straight ahead.

“Are you OK?”  I inquired. He seemed very subdued, which was odd.  Nice, but odd.


I decided to take the opportunity to talk to him, since he was in a quiet frame of mind and stuck next to me in the car.

“You know what I said yesterday?  You know about behaviour..” I gave him a sideways glance as I drove and he remained fixated to the road ahead.  “It’s really important that you reign in a little.  Try not to react to teachers if they something you don’t like.”  I looked over as we stopped at the traffic lights. He was still staring straight ahead like he was in a trance. “it’s really important that we get through your exams and th..”

He suddenly lurched forward and punched the dashboard again and again.  I froze in the seat, scared, shocked and expecting the passenger airbag to explode.  The car behind tooted me because I was oblivious to the lights turning green.  I drove forward slowly trying to find a place to pull up. 

“”Just shut the FUCK UP.” He yelled. “ Stop the fucking car.” He opened the glove compartment and slammed it shut.  He put his hand on the handbrake. “Stop the fucking car or I WILL.” He growled.

I pulled over onto zig-zags outside a primary school where I wasn’t supposed to.  A woman pushing a buggy gave me a dirty look, like I was a stupid parent who thought she could just stop where she wanted and flaunt the rules.
“Brendon..” I didn’t know what to do.  Where had this rage come from?

“Stop fucking talking.” He said.  I stopped and remained quiet wondering how to deal with this.  He took off his seat belt and opened his car window wide.  His breathing was laboured. He leaned forward, his hands clasped behind his neck as he bent down to his knees.  He then sat up and opened the car door and got out.

“Where are you going?”  I asked. He didn’t answer.  I watched as he paced up and down the street, tight faced and angry.  I saw him taking deep breaths and stretching his arms up high and clasping his hands together.  My heart was racing and I felt worried and confused.   I could normally see when he was going to flip out but I hadn’t seen that coming.

A man in his fifties with three kids in tow stopped at the open window and leant down to talk to me.

“You can’t park here love – zig zags.” He waved his arms at the connecting yellow ‘V’s painted on the floor. “Have you passed your test?” He added sarcastically.

“I’m sorry, I know.  I had to stop because my son was unwell.” I replied, feeling like crying.

“Well you coulda drove down a few more yards, this is a school, it’s dangerous.” He walked off chuntering about me as he made his way to the school gates.  A lot less dangerous than my son yanking up the handbrake, I thought.  But he hadn’t seen that part.  He, like the woman in the buggy, just assumed I was some dilatory Mum, with no regard for anyone as was always the case.  It made me hate people. 
 Brendon came back to the car and got in.

“Just drive.”  He said.  “Let’s get this shit appointment over.” 

I pulled away from the kerb and kept quiet.  We had to get to the pediatrician and I needed him to be calm. He’d tell me what all that was about when he was ready.
We parked up at the back of the health centre and made our way to reception.  The centre was having a refurb and we were directed to a different corridor than usual to sit and wait.  The hallway was quite dim and had three wooden doors to different clinics.  We sat down on the waiting chairs and I grabbed an old magazine and started going through it. Brendon sat next to me looking at it as I flicked through.

“She’s such a slag.” He said as a picture of Jordan came to view.

“She’s actually very clever at what she does.”  I replied, glad that he was now entering into conversation with me.

“I hate girls who look like her.  She’s a tart.”

I carried on reading the wasteful gossip as we waited for Kathy to become available.  Suddenly Brendon got to his feet, arms folded and clearly agitated.   I looked up quickly, praying he wasn’t about to lose it again.

“Come on.” He urged “There’s no fucking way I’m going in there.” He nodded his head back to one of the closed doors.

“What? Why? What’s the matter Brendon?”
“Err have you seen what it says on the door? This place is freaky man.  Come on!”

I looked at the plaques on the door wondering what the hell he was on about.  “What are you talking about?”

“The door..DUH .. Have you read what is says.” He pointed at the door plaque. “PHYSIO THE RAPIST 
I leaned back in my chair and laughed out loud.  That was priceless.  I’d never known anyone that could take me from absolute despair to simple joy in the space of a few minutes.

“It’s physiotherapist.” I said. “As in fiz-ee-oh-therapist.” I was still chuckling at how he’d read it and loving the naivety of youth despite how intelligent he was.  “It’s a name for a person that helps with physical therapy and movement..that sort of thing.”

“Well it’s retarded and I’m not going in that room.”  He remained standing, arms folded whilst we waited for Kathy. 
The appointment went by fairly quickly, mostly due to Brendon being as difficult as possible.  I didn’t mind that as much because at least she got to see what he was like to deal with.  We went through some of the school behaviour, the fact he’d upped onto Governors report and so on.  I wanted to mention taking weed but I’d have to do that when alone with her.  He wasn’t responding well to being questioned this morning and had burst out with a “Why does everyone keep talking and telling?  Why don’t they shut the hell up and start listening?”  Ah, so that’s what the rage had been about.   I felt for him.  I knew it was difficult but only he could find a way to manage it.

We left with an ‘open appointment’ as Brendon had said he didn’t see the point in constantly discussing his condition with people that had never experienced it.
We drove back to school in silence as I didn’t want to overload him.  I didn’t dare say “behave yourself” as I think that would have just tipped him over the edge.  I wished him a good day as he left the car.

I got to work at 10.15am and went straight through to see Colin.  I noticed Johnno wasn’t there as I passed his desk.

“Thanks Colin.  Sorry about all this flexi – time.” I said as I removed my jacket. “What did I miss?”

I sat in his leather chair as he talked me through the mornings meeting and what he wanted me to cover.

“There’s an invite to World Service in a few weeks, I’ve put you and I down as attending...if that’s alright.” He said going through his blackberry looking for the date.

“Yeah, sure..”  I replied.  World Service was a really exclusive restaurant so I felt honoured that Colin had asked me to go along.

“So – what’s this phone box idea then Soph?” He looked up with a big smile.

“Oh God. I’m so sorry about that.  You won’t believe what happened.  Brendon fed me hash brownies and I went cuckoo. Just ignore EVERYTHING I said.” I blushed a little now I was having to explain myself.

“HA HA!  That’s hilarious.  I like his style. How did the meeting go?”

“Well, Karl came and managed to save the day for once.  Hopefully I can get him through his exams now. Thanks Colin, you really are good to me and I appreciate it.”
“No worries babe.” He looked so sincere but then he did have those kind of blue eyes that did that.

“Where’s Johnno by the way, is he out on something?”
“He’s got a groin injury from a charity five a side yesterday.  Says he’s in agony!”  Colin shook his head.

I left his room and went to my desk.  I was so going to rib Johnno about that.  I got my phone out to text him.

SOPHIE RHODES: Aww poor baby...does it hurt? 

My phone rang before I could put it down saying Hillfields School. No. No way.  Surely he can’t have done something wrong already in just two hours.  I took in a deep breath and answered.

“Hi Sophie, It’s Janice.”

“Please tell me he hasn’t kicked off already...”

“ Err no, actually he hasn’t but if you can come in sometime later or tomorrow then I need to see you.”

“Oh?  Well I’ll have to check with my boss.  It’s probably going to have to be tomorrow first thing, if I can.  What’s the problem?”

“Mr Fothergill had to change all his arrangements this morning.  The school had an impromptu visit from Victor Churchman in respect of something that Brendon has done.”

Oh. My. God.  Victor Churchman, the Labour MP has visited the school because of Brendon.  The enormity of it ran through my mind. 

 What the hell has he done now?