*Alec slept like a baby. Maggie held him like she had never held him before. Close, so close. Resting his head on her lap she gently rocked back and forth calling on All the ascended masters to create a circle of light around the two of them. Alec needed protection from the seen and unseen, especially the aspects of himself that had been buried inside, deep inside.*

*Alec had had an unconventional childhood, the name calling from so called friends were the least of his worries it was how he’d used the abuse to hone aspects of himself that presented the greatest fears. Alec had always kept a lid on his temper, befriending those who did him harm was his way of sizing them up; his way of giving the benefit of the doubt until he wasn’t in doubt. He didn’t care if he was called Dummy or Monster or Funny Face. He always knew that his day would come and in the meanwhile Melissa would sort out the rest.*

*Maggie knew that she had to wrap him in love but didn’t know if it would be enough. She’d seen the hardening set in, from the beatings he’d taken from his Dad to the almost perpetual unprovoked thumps and kicks he somehow attracted. Maggie knew none of this registered with him, she knew that Alec saw it as part of his training. Maggie, was scared. Scared because she too knew that Alec was being prepared. Scared because his spiritual maturity was incomplete. Scared because his intellectual insight masked this immaturity. It was this combination that made him potentially very dangerous. Aspects of Alec had carried forward a past not of this time and thoroughly cast in violence. It was as if all the punishment he’d suffered was a way of getting at him before he chose to get at you. Maggie knew that Melissa’s innocent love of him kept the lid on the other stuff. Maggie also knew that her having been attacked would take the lid off. Right Off. *

*Maggie wept. Tears pouring from her eyes uncontrollably. She took a deep intake of breath, shutting her eyes tight as if to stem the tide of tears. She felt ashamed. She felt defeated. She felt as though she’d finally been found out. She’d known Alec was gifted but had never said why. Maggie couldn’t stop the invasion of thoughts, the thousands of ‘what if’s’. What if she’d removed him and followed through the fostering? What if, she’d never stopped him from boxing? What If. What If? Maggie, too, soon fell asleep. *

*Maggie rapped at the letter box flap as if it were a stream of tape fast but caught in a torrent of wind. Occasionally bending and shouting through the hole to get Alec’s attention *

Maggie : Alec it’s me let me in I’ve been here for ages knocking

*Maggie knew Alec was stood by the kitchen door only a few feet away. She also knew that he’d numbed out and frozen. He was stood still and she had to bring him round.*

Maggie : Alec. Look at the door handle. Reach for it and open the door. I’ll stay here and wait for you.

Alec: Maggie is that you? Is Melissa with you? Maggie where is Melissa? I want to see Melissa.

Maggie : Alec. Step closer to the door door. Look at the door handle and open it by pressing down. Press all the way.

*Alec stood perfectly still. Maggie could just see his face from the opened letter box. She knew that Alec had gone and she’d have to activate his alter *

Maggie : Finn, Alec isn’t in,, would you open the door for me please? I won’t stay long may be we could have a cup of coffee or something

Finn: Ah, fuck off Maggie you only ever come here when there’s bother, Just Fuck Right Off

Maggie : Finnbarr O’Fearchair OPEN THE DOOR NOW! DO IT NOW!

Alec :Maggie is that you?

Maggie : Yes, yes Alec it’s Maggie please open the door.

*Alec stepped forward and pushed the door handle down once to remove the dead lock and then again to open the latch.

*Maggie on hearing the second clunk of the lock pushed her way in knocking Alec backwards and onto the wall *

Maggie : Alec I’m so so sorry for barging on…. I

Alec: don’t be sorry Maggie, it’s me that’s at fault, our kid took over for a bit, that’s all, I’m really really sorry

Maggie : oh, honey you must be really scared, come on let’s forget that happened and have a cuppa

*Alec was zoned out. Maggie took him by the hand and led him to the kitchen table where she sat him down *

Alec : We had Marrow and Chickpea salad and I remembered to leave out the tomato and go easy with the limes

Maggie : Alec that’s lovely of you and I’m sure you made a great meal

Finn : What the fuck would you know about a great meal, you haven’t seen Melissa in ages. Stop pretending you give a God Damn Fuck.

*Alec had gotten ready to go out. But not as Alec but Finn. He’d shaved his head and dug out his boots. Maggie knew she was fighting a losing battle *

Maggie : Finnbarr I want to speak with Alec. Leave us alone. NOW! Alec, are you back with me honey?

Finn: Ha, ha, ha… you stupid Twat… sweet talk will get you know where, honey.

Maggie : Alec I can’t talk to you with Finn here. If you want to know more about what’s happened to Melissa you’d better get back here NOW!

*Maggie had trained in many different countries as a healer and was a recognised channeling medium. She knew about how to work with and meet multi-dimensional beings. She had long wanted to take Alec to Mount Shatna in Hawaii to meet her Shamanic teachers. Maggie knew Alec, despite his awkwardness, was a gifted soul. Finn, was an inner wounded angel. A natural fighter, and boy could he fight or rather take a lot of pain and get right back at you. He was the aspect of Alec who’d, when they were teenagers, would get paid to fight much older lads and young men. Winning wasn’t the point being prepared to do it was. Maggie had scrapped Alec up from so many beatings the very thought of it, even today as we speak, made her stomach turn. She had thought that these doors were shut now, that somehow Alec had let go. She was wrong*

*Maggie left Alec sitting at the kitchen table and digging deep inside her inside coat pocket pulled out her mala beads. Then sitting crossed legged in the middle of living room floor began chanting *

Maggie : Om Tara Tuttare Ture Svaha , Om Tara Tuttare Ture Svaha , Om Tara Tuttare Ture Svaha

*Maggie repeated the chant, a chant to the Ascended Master, the mother of all Buddha, Green Tara, she who is the supreme keeper of the femmine divinity of compassion, 108 times. *

Finn: Mumbo, Mumbo Jumbo, Jumbo, Mumbo Jumbo….. Jumbo the elephant bag his bags and said goodbye to the Circus….. that’s what you should do Maggie, say Good – Fucking – Bye

*Maggie ignored Finn. She knew he’d collapse eventually, it’s called polycythaemia and arises due to an increase in carbon dioxide in the blood when hypervigilent and in panic; sure enough by the time she’d completed the 15min mala, Alec, exhausted was sat slumped on the sofa. Maggie had to get Alec to protect himself, without Melissa he’d eventually lose out to Finn. While Alec slept Maggie called in her circle of light *

*It was too early for the phone to be ringing. Alec stirred from being asleep and still dreaming to look at his phone. Maggie. Missed Calls. Twice. He grudgingly got up and having gone to the loo went down stairs to put the kettle on. Black coffee or Lemon and Ginger Tea would be the limits of the choices he’d make for at least an hour or so. Still, Maggie phoned and phoned again. Alec grabbed his phone and pressed Call Back.*

Alec : Hey, Maggie are you ringing to blob out, you could’ve texted.

*Maggie was quiet. Still and silent. Alec didn’t know if she was actually on the phones but if she was something wasn’t right *

Alec : Maggie, are you there, what’s happening, are you OK, are the dogs OK, you had an accident?

Maggie : No, Alec. I’m fine it’s….. it’s about Melissa….. she’s

*Alec interrupts *

Alec : Maggie, Mel is great I saw her yesterday and she is

*Maggie shuts Alec up, stopping him in mid sentence *

Maggie : Alec. Listen. Melissa has been hurt. She’s in hospital. The doctors say she’ll get better. She was badly hurt.

Alec : What’s happened? She was only here 12 hours ago. Has she fallen or been knocked down?

Maggie : Alec just listen. Get yourself washed and dressed and I’ll pick you up in an hour. I need to see you face to face. I’ll tell you what I know when I get there.

Alec : Jesus Maggie!!!! What’s happened? Where’s Mel? Is she OK? Maggie just tell me!

Maggie : Just get yourself ready. I’ll be there in an hour. Melissa is on hospital I’ll tell you more when I get there.

Alec : Which Fucking Hospital Maggie!

Maggie : Alec!!! Stop! Listen to what I am telling you. I will see you in an hour. Be ready.

*Maggie knew Alec and he knew she did. He’d sworn and meant it. Maggie knew that this wasn’t a good thing, his triggers brought out another side of him that was dark, broody and intimidating – the naturally mischievous glint in his eyes became murderous. He felt threatened with out Melissa to watch out for him and he was fiercely loyal and protective of her*

Maggie : Alec. Everything will be okay, but right now Melissa needs you to be her friend. I’ll tell you everything I know when I get there. Stay calm. Ground yourself before you do or think about doing anything.

*Maggie knew she’d have all on to stop Alec tipping over. She’d seen how Melissa had kept Alec going, through thick and thin. What Alec didn’t know, was just how much Melissa had needed him too. Maggie had to get Alec to see this too. They’d been deeply bonded since childhood and Melissa was always the boss. Maggie knew that this was only half the story. Alec had needed her friendship to keep him in check, she was his balance to an aspect of him not many people were familiar with. An aspect that wasn’t that pleasant, if he’d decided you were on the wrong side of him *

Alec: So, what’d you get?

Melissa : Oh! Nice to see you too Alec. What have you cooked?

Alec: Uh! why so touchy and I’ve done stuffed marrow with a watercress and chickpea salad.

Melissa : did you leave out the tomatoes, I hate tomatoes and did you go easy with the limes? I really don’t know how you can taste anything with the amount you put in.

Alec : so, did you get anything nice for yourself

Melissa :I did, well I think I did but I don’t know anymore

Alec : been looking at yourself in the reflection from the Bank window again?

*Alec knew Melissa would first go to The Warehouse to buy this linen dress she’d had her eye on, then cut through Boots to get to the bus stop outside Lloyds/TSB. The black marble frontage acted like a huge mirror and Melissa simply couldn’t stop herself from looking*

Melissa : well, so what!

Alec : did you try it on in the shop as well though?

Melissa : Idiot! of course

Alec : And….

Melissa : Well, that’s just it the lighting is false on the shop but it looked OK, but when I put it up against me outside Lloyds it didn’t look as good.

Alec : What? you did that at the bus stop?

Melissa : Of Course! Everybody does it even lads with their hair does, making sure they’re just right for the night. It’s a proper fashion parade sometimes, bloody bus drivers ooggle though.

Alec : Maybe, they’re wondering if you actually want the bus?

Melissa :don’t be stupid, an ooggle is an ooggle you feel it, it’s not like saying hurry up we haven’t got all day now is it?

Alec :yeah, I suppose so

Melissa : Alec you gotta wise up, the world isn’t nice and you gotta be on guard so no one thinks that they can have a go at you.

*Melissa and Alec had known each other since infant school and she had always watched out for him. It’s hard to say what Alec had but he definitely had something*

*Melissa piled the dishes and pots into the sink. And by pile I mean piled up and all over the place. Not scraped clean and with the knives pointing blade upwards upwards *

Alec : Leave it I’ll do it

Melissa : Awww, you’re such a honey, I gonna get ready… you’ll tell me if I look like a twat won’t you?

*Alec knew Melissa never ever looked anything less than stunning when she went out. Her gift was to see herself without knowing it was her she was seeing. Alec loved the mystery of her and the journeys she’d take according to her look she had at that moment *

Alec: Ouch!!! ffs Mel what’s with the knives!

Melissa : Sorry hon, gotta crack on, hugs for you

*Melissa disappeared behind the kitchen door as it closed, skipping up the stairs to the bathroom and shoving the door closed with a grunting push. Alec knew she was about to cut her hair and wondered what had bothered so to do so. Melissa had from being young loped chunks of her hair off when she was bothered by something. It had started when her Dad had died and she still does it now *

*Alec emptied the sink placing the plates to one side and removed the roasting tray from the bottom. He used kitchen roll to clean off the grease and gather up the now horrible looking salad. He stacked everything neatly and in order of washing-up priority on the drainer. Alec knew not to actually wash up because Melissa would get scolded by the hot water upstairs. He liked thinking about her and smiled to himself knowing that she’d dodged the washing up so there’d be enough hot water for a shower. It was natural and they both knew it. They were natural extensions of themselves. It worked that way. *

*Alec stood by the open window of the 16th Floor Flat and stared across the city, picking out landmarks that each had a story to tell *

Melissa : Aaa Lec, come and see, NOWWWWW!

*Alec flicked the remaining fag end into the sky taking aim at the distant water tower on the other side of the city*

Melissa : Alec, come on already I’m going out in a bit, hurry up

*Alec opened the door to his bedroom to find Melissa craning her kneck so to see the backside of her dress*

Melissa :With or Without!

Alec :With!? What?

Melissa : Underwear silly, I don’t want lines showing through the linen, that’s all.

Alec: ah, I see – what you got on now? turn around so I can see you then

Melissa :OK but no laughing, promise

Alec, OK promise promises so let’s see you.

*Melissa stood up straight and slowly turned a full 360 degrees, the sun pouring in through the tilted open blind caught the reddy auburn flecks in her hair and shone through the dress in all the places she knew it would. She was clearly going without. *

Alec : Mel, that’s stunning, absolutely stunning, revealing in the sunlight too, you do know that don’t you?

Melissa : But what does it actually look like, please Alec just tell me.

Alec : I just did, Mel, you look stunning

Melissa :yeah but what’s it really really look like Alec, yeah know to you – then I really know

Alec : ah! got you…. my favourite ice cream with honey comb topping – delicious Mel, God Damn Delicious!

*Melissa squealed in delight. Threw her arms around Alec and kissed him full on the lips *

Melissa : yeah know that I love you so, don’t you?

*Alec had already started down the stairs his hand holding hers as she trailed behind him whittering on about how much she did actually, actually love him but not like that, she made clear too*

Alec: Right Honey, have a good night and be safe, I see you when you’re next round, ring me if you want anything

Melissa : why don’t you come down later, please Alec, there’s loads of people you know

Alec: thanks but no, I’m done with that scene and besides I’m meeting Maggie tomorrow

Melissa : And what’s Maggie got that I haven’t?

Alec : Er!! underwear for a start, Go on be off with you. You do look brilliant too and the chunk missing from the front of your fringe is totally totally you. Big hugs hon. I’ll see you soon.

*Alec still holding Melissa by the hand led her out of the flat door to gently pushed her on her way*

Melissa : Bye Honey. Love you. See you in couple of days.

*Alec returned to the washing up and thought about meeting Maggie in the morning. Maggie was also Ms Walker, Alec’s former social worker, now retired but they’d stayed in touch. Ms Walker was the other person, after Melissa, that Alec truly cared about. He called her Maggie after Mary Magdalena, a name Alec’s Dad had given her, way back when his Dad believed he was God and she had had to agree that he was sectioned to be detained in a mental hospital. The name had stuck ever since and she, Ms Walker quite liked it too. She’d been called a whole lot worse. *