(from 'SOAP')

M A D - mutually assured...


A crisis situation happened with M this evening. I went for a walk in the old town and suddenly she was coming towards me with a huge dog on a lead. I'd heard nothing from her since Wednesday when she'd said she'd call here Friday. She was supposed to be here about 13.00 for me to move her stuff, but she never turned up or phoned even. Well, the fact is, she's got trapped. This guy who rents the pub, where she told me she'd move to if she didn't come here, is a kind of evil businessman who operates a whole big team of bouncers around the area.

When I met her in the old town at about 19.20, M was unusually pleased to see me and said she'd just tried to phone. I've never seen her so pleased to see me when I've met her by chance in the street. She was suffering from a painful shoulder, like a bad back, and was having difficulty walking and breathing. She asked me to meet her at the station at 20.00 in the car. When I picked her up all she wanted to do was come here and lay on the settee, to sooth her shoulder. She told me this guy was a control freak and wouldn't let her out of his sight. M had used some pretext for going out (to see some girl she knows) for just a few minutes. She told me all this here and then after about ten minutes - during which she just wanted to hug me (even while laying on the settee) - she started getting very anxious to get back. She was obviously scared. This guy even phoned her to see what she was doing, and ranted on for a few minutes. M made no attempt to stop me from hearing. The guy sounded like an aggressive nutter babbling on about money someone owed him - and M held the phone away from her ear and just said a dreary 'yeah' now and then. She told me this guy was loaded (but was tight as hell and she had never dared ask him even for a quid).

All this made me a bit angry. I didn't want to take her back. M has really annoyed me at times, sulking and throwing flids, but none of it has ever made me as irritated as this - but I kept calm and said she must stay here. She refused. She said she HAD to go back. This guy had helped her move; he'd gone there early Friday and forced her to move to the pub - which explained why M had been unable to phone me. I've never seen her in such a submissive mode. She's strong headed, has - or used to have - a fierce temper, and would never let anyone tell her what to do. Now she's a wimp. This guy has shattered something in her and has total control. He keeps her like a caged animal, even insisting on taking and fetching her from work. When she left the pub to meet me tonight, M said she had overheard this guy tell the woman in the bar to note down the times when she went out and returned. I said the situation was intolerable and that she should forget her stuff - I'd buy her some new things - and on no account should she go back.

She said this guy would seek her out - he'd said so. Then she said she'd told the guy she wanted to leave and that she didn't have any feelings for him any more. But the brute wouldn't hear of it. In the end, when M had insisted on me taking her back, she said she'd tried everything to avoid being close with this guy, from indifference to outright rejection (which she said the guy seemed almost to enjoy). The guy had said to her that all his former lovers had been shits but now he'd found someone fabulous he wasn't going to let her go.

M had said on Wednesday that she was looking for another job because she hated the one she was doing. So when I said not to go back to the pub, and M had said the guy would find her at her work, I said just leave both, now. I said I'd keep her till she got another job - and no strings (which she knows well enough). She wouldn't listen though. She said I was exaggerating the problem. So I said OK if it's not that bad then fine. Then she said she couldn't work out a way to get out - and there's her things, she said. I said just get the most important things in carrier bags and take them to work, then I'd pick her up at a slightly different place and time. She said there'd be questions if she took loads of stuff out with her to work. I said tell the guy you'd agreed to lend things to someone, and put several T shirts on over each other, etc. She didn't answer, but said she'd think of some way of stopping the guy from picking her up Tuesday - which is when she wants me to pick her up, at 14.00 (she's on a 6 to 2 shift). She was very definite about me meeting her out of work Tuesday. When I drove her back I had to avoid driving near the pub in case she was seen.
I said to her I ought to go the cops, and she should tell the guy she's leaving and just get what of her stuff she can and get the hell out. Then I added, but that could be dangerous, and it would be better to say nothing and just vanish. She wouldn't take any notice, and said I had no idea what I was taking about. But she was scared alright. Finally she told me she'd see me Tuesday, and we'd talk more then.

But I'll be damn careful when I go and meet her - I'll keep well clear of where I've picked her up previously. When I said the guy would probably turn up to spy on where she goes, M said in half astonishment that he definitely wouldn't, and that I shouldn't be so daft. She has a lot to learn. She's so naïve. She hasn't a clue about these sort of people. For that matter, nor have I, but that means I take no chances. If you hear of another murder around here you'll know what it's about.

Well now, I guess it all makes life interesting and I know it sounds absurd, like some weird TV detective story, but this is the situation to date. Now I'm going to bed - it's well past bloody midnight!

....... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .....Delight!