Tuesday, 27 June 2017

Saz part 1

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Saz looked at her wardrobe in despair. What should she take? If it was just for today, then the lightest summer clothes would be fine, but this wasn’t about today or even about tomorrow. She picked up a top and held it to the window. It needed ironing, everything needed ironing, but there was no time for that. She stuffed it in her bag and looked for knickers and socks. She caught a glimpse of herself in the mirror, her face was pale and her hair looked like clumps of frayed rope. Where had her beauty gone? She tried to muster a smile, but it barely reached her lips, let alone her eyes. She squeezed in one last top into the bag and picked up the photo of her and Greg from the bedside table and laid it flat on top.  Then, she zipped the zipper and was ready to go.

Go, go where?

Four steps out of the house and Saz could already feel sweat dripping down her back.
“Don’t look back,” she told herself, knowing the tears welling in her eyes would flow if she did. She walked up the hill and turned right. She heard the sirens and ducked into a doorway. Two police cars flew past her and skidded left into her street. She knew where they were going, but they wouldn’t find what they were looking for.
She imagined them smashing through her front door and trampling her carpet. Opening her doors and cupboards but finding only ghosts and memories that they were too boorish to notice.

She was amongst the shops now. Not the town’s main shopping street, but a bustling little row of stores, a grocer’s, a baker, a barber’s.  A barber’s? She pushed open the door and bells tinkled.
            “Hello love.”
            “Any chance of a wash, cut and blow dry, now,” Saz asked.
            “Well, we don’t have many in like you?” The barber said. “But you’re in luck love, I’m quiet today. Sit yourself down.” He patted the seat with a towel. She sat in the chair and looked at the black and white pictures of various versions of short back and sides dotted around the walls.
            “How do you want it, love?” the barber asked as he towel dried her hair. She could smell cigarettes on his clothes and clipper oil on his fingers.
“Short, very short,” Saz said.
“Crew cut?” The barber smiled.
“Going anywhere nice?” the barber asked.
“No,” Saz answered.
            “Enjoying this sunshine?”
            “No,” Saz replied.
            “Not very chatty are you.”

Saz didn’t think this deserved an answer. But to be fair on the bloke, he was doing a pretty good job with her hair. She’d not had short hair since she was about five years old, but it suited her. She handed over some money, checked herself one last time and after refusing something for the weekend, left the shop. She hesitated for a moment on the pavement outside the barber’s. Which way? Part of her wanted to walk past the house, look at the mess they’d left. But she knew that was folly; she’d had a haircut, not a facelift.  So, she’d turned right and carried on up the incline. Greg had given her two addresses to go to in an emergency. The first one wasn’t too far away; she could walk there by nightfall. One black cloud floated across the bright blue sky. People went about their daily business. Saz wished she’d bought water, should she go back to the shops to get some? She looked around and saw a car pulled up beside her. Men emerged from everywhere. Before she had time to react she’d been accosted and handcuffed. A second later she was being manhandled into the car and it sped away.