Paradise (part 3)

Gosh, I’ve just re-read some of what I wrote before and it doesn’t half sound gloomy and ungrateful. I had to give myself a talking-to about that; ‘you’re in Heaven for goodness sake, get a grip. How many people would kill to get where you are?’ (That wouldn’t work of course-I can’t imagine pre-meditated murder would get you up here, even for supposed repenters. As I understand it, pre-meditated means you’re evil and truly evil people can’t repent at all: it just doesn’t work. I may be wrong, but that’s how I interpreted it anyway.) I’ve wandered off topic again, as that was then and this is now. I didn’t hear anything for a fair while after I’d submitted my application, but then I was summoned to a meeting with a ‘senior human resources assistant’ to ‘assess my suitability for the post’. Standard gumpf, you know. Bloody bureaucrats. The interview unhinged me a bit, as I wasn’t expecting one straight away, but I did my best and hoped that she was on the ball, rather than just the polished trophy of the HR team; y’know, all shine and no substance. Lovely girl, smashing low-cut blouse; made it difficult to keep my mind focused in all honesty, but I managed somehow. One thing I’ve never understood about women; they wear revealing clothes and push-up underwear but then complain men don’t make eye contact with them. During the equal rights demonstrations from all those years ago I remember women burning their bras and saying they were free from the shackles of male oppression, but I always thought women wore bras for their own comfort, not for men. It didn’t bother me whether my wife wore one or not, as long as she was comfortable. I said that to her once and she told me she’d never go bra-less as it would be ‘like wearing a very heavy necklace’, which confused me even more. I guess with women you never really understand what’s going on in their heads and what’s more, you’re better off not trying to. So I got the job. I have no idea how; maybe I was the only applicant, but I doubt that as haunting opportunities come up so infrequently and there’s always loads of folk who fancy giving it a try. Some people think it’s an easy-in for moving on to the Big Place although why it’s considered a short cut I’ll never know. The only person I knew who took on a haunting role had to give it up after a while because, according to him it was ‘knackering’. The massive points value helps draw them in too of course, so I really must have been the best candidate; either that or she felt sorry for me, but who cares? I got it and that’s what matters. Once I’d got the position I admit I felt a little nervous; I hadn’t had a new job for so long and there was also the difficult point of telling the wife what I’d done. Needless to say, she was not happy when I told her but once I explained that she could relax down here for as long as she liked and eventually she’d have enough points for automatic promotion she cheered up a bit. I honestly want her to stay here and get pampered for a good long while as if anyone deserves it, she does. All those years of caring for other people means she’s earned a rest now. No, once she got over the shock, she began to see that I was right and I’m glad. I’m sure by now you’re desperate to know how I got on with my new role and you’ll be pleased to know it started off very well. I spent most of my day down in Acacia Close and then came back up here for a relaxing evening with the wife, although as it progressed I did have to start working some rather more unsociable hours. As I’ve already explained though, time doesn’t mean much here, so it’s not the end of the world and we made the most of each other’s company. By the way, the astute among you will have noticed that I’m talking about it in the past tense and will have figured that I’m no longer doing the job, but that I haven’t actually got my promotion yet either. Well, there’s a reason for that which I will of course tell you in due course, but for now I need to say more about the property in question and its inhabitants.

Number Six, Acacia Close was occupied by two members of a thoroughly rotten family named Morebad and never was there a more fitting surname in my opinion. Previously all four members of the family had lived there but for various reasons I’ll go into in a moment, there were only two left in the house by this point. (I know I make you wait rather a lot-I’m sorry about that. I know how impatient the living are; but sometimes waiting is unavoidable.) The father, Mr Rufus Morebad, fifty-six years old and as far as I’m aware never having lifted a finger in gainful employment, had two children with his wife Janet; Jeffrey and Ruth. Now I can only offer conjecture here as to what the real story with their children was, but it seems that even the job of helping his wife conceive was too much like work for old Rufus, as after Jeffrey was born they waited a couple of years and then adopted Ruth. There’s a suggestion that Ruth was the daughter of Janet’s sister who decided to give her up (or was encouraged to) but that has never been substantiated, no matter how many conversations I eavesdropped on in number six. Jeffrey was actually quite a sweet kid when he was younger, sweeping leaves, mowing lawns and offering to run errands for the folk in the close, but that’s where the problems really stemmed from. At first, everything was fine and folk were really pleased with Jeffrey’s kindness, but after a while he started short-changing folks, blaming the shopkeeper, or people would notice things had gone missing when Jeffrey had been in the house. One by one, people stopped giving Jeffrey tasks to do and I truly believe he held a vendetta against the older folk in the close, blaming them for losing him trade. Unfortunately, my wife had been the only one of the older residents brave enough to confront Jeffrey directly, which hadn’t exactly endeared us to him or his family either. After one particularly unpleasant exchange with his father because we’d caught Jeffrey pulling up flowers from our front borders, we decided that we would gather support from the other residents and lodge a formal complaint with the authorities about the Morebad family. I’ll talk about all that again shortly, but I want to introduce Ruth first. I know I haven’t talked about her much yet, but that’s been deliberate. When the business with Jeffrey really began in earnest Ruth was only about ten years old and we strongly believed that she wouldn’t turn out as bad as he had. How wrong we were. If anything, Ruth was actually more antisocial than her brother and people soon got sick of having to tidy up her messes. When Ruth was twelve, Jeffrey when to a young offenders’ place for a few months for some misdemeanour or other and the rest of the close breathed a collective sigh of relief. Without Jeffrey, people’s flower borders would be safe and there wouldn’t be him and his mates sitting on the drive in his Dad’s battered pick-up truck, listening to loud rock music every evening. The first night was relatively quiet, which lulled everyone into a false sense of security, as by the second it became painfully clear that Ruth was trying to emulate her brother, presumably in some misguided attempt to impress him or continue his ‘work’. The next morning, the neighbours in the close woke up to deflated tyres, bent aerials and/or scratched paintwork on their cars and they really didn’t have to think too hard to know who’d been responsible. Unfortunately, the Morebads went to great lengths to reassure the police that their daughter was emotionally damaged due to her brother being ‘inside’, and her mother sincerely promised the officers that  the family would do everything in their power to put Ruth back on the ‘correct path’. In truth though, Janet Morebad could do nothing with her daughter and had no influence over her behaviour at all, so her reassurances were groundless. The officers had spent a cursory five minutes with Ruth, in which time she’d promised never to do anything else ‘mischievous’ and to keep away from the neighbouring properties, so satisfied that the matter was closed, the police departed. It was about eleven-thirty that night when I heard a noise like splintering wood and bleary-eyed, I leant out of the bedroom window and told whoever it was to ‘piss off and come back at a more reasonable hour.’ ‘Fuck off you old bastard!’ was all I heard, as a projectile made contact with the lounge window and shattered the large glass pane. I told my terrified wife to stay in the bedroom and call the police, as I pulled on my slippers and dressing gown. I also grabbed my golf putter from behind the bedroom door, confident I was adequately armed should the need arise. I carefully opened the lounge door, worried that there would be glass everywhere and I wasn’t wrong. The large main window had a massive hole in the middle and when I got closer I could see there was a brick nestling in the deep pile rug. I said a silent prayer of thanks that neither of our two cats was asleep on the sofa at the time as they would both have been covered in flying glass, but even so, I knew they’d be hiding somewhere, petrified by the noise. For now though, I couldn’t worry too much about them, I had to see what was going on outside. I went up to the window and thanks to the lamppost right outside our house, I could see that there was a young figure stood on our front lawn; just standing there stock still and staring in my direction. ‘What do you want?’ I called, but the figure neither moved nor spoke, so I went into the hall and opened the front door before stepping outside. I repeated my question, my voice faltering slightly now, unnerved by the way the figure stayed inanimate. ‘I want you old man,’ came the reply, as the figure stepped into the circle of light cast by the street lamp, revealing the protagonist to be the young Ruth Morebad. ‘This is for you because you got my family evicted. You grassed us to the rest of this fucking road and now the landlord’s chucking us out. Bastard.’ ‘You’ve got a vile mouth on you for a young ‘un,’ I said before I could stop myself. ‘Your mother should wash your mouth out with soap.’ Before Ruth could utter forth any more expletives though I heard my wife cry out in shock. ‘Oh what have you done, you evil child?’ I spun around to see my wife looking at our shattered fence panels which up until that point I hadn’t even noticed. In the poor light I hadn’t been able to see anything, but my missus was shining a torch beam onto them and I could see they’d been kicked or smashed with something heavy until they’d given way. ‘You’re a nasty little wretch. How dare you upset my wife like this,’ I cried, hearing sirens approaching in the background. I didn’t want her to get away before they got there though so I walked forward to try and grab her, but she dodged out of my grasp. ‘Don’t fucking touch me!’ she screamed, as she began walking backwards away from my position. Most of our other neighbours had come out of their houses by now and despite being in nightclothes or sweatpants they had come rushing over to see if they could help. Observing that she was now totally outnumbered, the girl went to make a break for it, but as I caught her wrist she twisted and grabbed a large stone from our rockery and slammed it hard into my forehead. I heard my wife scream and several other voices shout ‘no’ or ‘don’t’ but as a splitting pain accompanied by a blinding white light shot through my whole skull, I fell to the floor. The next instant I could feel my wife kneeling next to me and stroking my head, her sobbing just audible, along with the sensation of her holding my hand. At first, I couldn’t believe that this had happened and I presumed that any second the white light would begin to recede and the agonising pain would start fading, but nothing seemed to be changing, except that the sirens were now deafeningly loud and I wanted them to stop. The next thing I remembered was being lifted into an ambulance, my wife climbing in beside me and us speeding through the night, presumably to the hospital. Somewhere along the way I became aware that I had died. My wife was rocking back and forth, moaning and crying while a paramedic worked on me and called to his colleague to pull over and come and help him. The driver had to gently push my wife so that she’d move back and he could help work on me, as otherwise she would’ve stayed where she was hanging onto my hand, bless her. The chaps were trying their best to resuscitate me but I could have told them not to bother; I didn’t need my physical body anymore and it was a bit of a relief if I’m being honest. I was hovering at the ceiling of the ambulance, watching everything that was happening with a kind of detached disinterest; like you might have if you were sitting through a TV programme you never usually tuned in for. I was fascinated to discover that just by lifting my head I could actually see outside the ambulance too, the night sky clear and cold with what looked like billions of stars hanging there. In my youth I’d been quite keen on astronomy and even had a telescope for one of my birthdays. Not an expensive one you understand; it didn’t really focus very well or show much detail but it had been mine. I could look out at the infinite blackness and dream of the day when space tourism would be a reality and I’d treat the wife to a trip around the Moon for our hundredth birthdays. Of course, thanks to Ruth Morebad neither myself nor the wife made it that far, either physically or metaphysically, if you know what I mean. The night I died set off a chain of circumstances that culminated in my wife joining me up here in less than a year, partly from the stress of the trial and having to leave the house that we’d lived in for so many years as well as her beloved garden. On top of that, my wife and I had been one of those married couple who actually liked spending time together and since we’d retired we’d done little else. Not everyone’s cup of tea, living in each other’s pockets like that, but it suited us and she couldn’t get over losing me in such a violent manner, bless the poor old girl. Thankfully, one good thing came out of my passing, which was the Morebad’s landlord did good on his promise and evicted them almost immediately. They’d gone by then anyway; moved on and rehomed by the council I expect, as the police knew that if they’d stayed in the street some of our neighbours may just have turned vigilante on them and metered out their own kind of justice. So now I hear you asking, if the Morebad family don’t live there anymore, why did I want to haunt number six Acacia Close? Well, if only that was the end of the story, then it would have been great for everyone else who lived on the close, but bugger me if the landlord didn’t go and let them move back in some months later. He stated to the neighbours who asked that the Morebads had left it in such a mess he hadn’t been able to rent it to anyone else and the council had come to him cap in hand, desperate to get shot of the troublesome family from their books as it were. So he let them move back in (no doubt after a large backhander from the authorities) and as several of the original residents had now sold up and moved, unable to stare at my place of death on a daily basis I like to think, people that were living in the close were largely unaware of the Morebads and their history. Ruth didn’t return of course; she is in a young offenders’ institute, serving a minimum of eight years for my murder, the jury not buying her plea of manslaughter I was pleased to see, but Jeffrey’s back at home now and so is his father. I never found out what happened to Janet Morebad; I hoped that the mother of those hateful children just had enough of living in a household of such idleness and evil, as to be honest she was the most approachable of any of them and was possibly a victim herself, but it was more likely taken out of her hands. Either one of the family killed her and she’s buried in the garden of their previous house, or it could just be that she wanted to live closer to her daughter’s ‘hotel’. Either way, it was only the father and son who moved back into number six; a fact that was probably not much more reassuring to the poor sods that had to inhabit the same airspace as them. So in time Jeffrey began his petty misdemeanours again, although his time in prison had obviously taught him some useful rules that might have been heeded by his sister, had she not clubbed me to death with a lovely smooth giant pebble some time before his release. Firstly, he took to heart the sage advice of his cellmate that you ‘never shit on your own doorstep’, choosing instead to carry out his burglaries, car break-ins and ram-raids as far from where he lived as was practical and possible. Second, after a night of cheap vodka-drinking he had managed to get a girl in the next close pregnant and her father wanted to ‘rip Morebad’s head off’ as he’d put it when the girl had tearfully confided in her parents, so spending as much time away from his home was not only advisable it was downright essential, as far as Jeffrey was concerned. This meant that Morebad senior, or Rufus as I remembered he was called was often alone in the house, sometimes all night, which made it easier for me to exact my revenge on the man who had spawned such evil offspring and done nothing to control their behaviour. He would not only drink cans of lager while sat in his jacked-up truck, arguing with the police that he couldn’t be arrested for being drunk in possession of a motor vehicle as his had no motor, or even any wheels, but he’d play the stereo he’d rigged up at varying times of the day or night, depending on Rufus’ mood and intoxication levels. I started small; just the usual things like making the lights flicker, tapping on the walls and moving objects slightly, but unfortunately Rufus Morebad is not the kind of man to pick up on subtle signals. By the end of the first week I was starting to get restless; I would only get my massive points bonus if I achieved my objective, which I now believed was to get Rufus to leave, so I had to start thinking big and pulling out the stops. I hadn’t worked this hard in such a long time but I knew it would be worth it for me to get up to the Big Place as I’d planned. However, by the tenth day I hit on a bit of a brainwave; Rufus spent most of the day sleeping and most of the night awake smoking cigarettes of dubious origin so no wonder he wasn’t spooked by my nocturnal nuisances, he probably hadn’t noticed anything out of the ordinary. What I needed to do was think bigger; I needed the kind of display that even Rufus wouldn’t be able to ignore. I needed spectacular. Okay, so with hindsight the rest of my plan wasn’t entirely foolproof, but how was I meant to know that the kid would come back and decide to have a kip at his Dad’s house that one night out of so many he’d been absent? Burning someone’s house down when you’ve lit a match in front of their face in mid-air and set fire to the chair they’re sitting in is nigh-on genius in my opinion and Rufus would probably agree, when he’s got over the shock and all that. Unfortunately, the problem with a supposedly foolproof plan, is forgetting that you’re dealing with people even lower on the intelligence scale than fools are. Rufus was probably a buffoon, or more likely an idiot, or maybe even as far down as a moron, so when you’re dealing with that amount of missing brain cells, mistakes can be made and unfortunately, on this occasion they were. The trouble is; the biggest mistake was made by me and I know I’ve possibly forfeited my promotion to the Big Place because of it. Rufus Morebad leapt out of his burning chair and, being under the influence of goodness knows what, grabbed his most prized possession; no not his son sadly, but a framed football shirt signed by the entire Manchester United football squad, circa 1997. Despite the fact that it had been Jeffrey who’d found the shirt on an online auction site in the first place, it still didn’t trigger anything in Rufus’ mind that he should check the bedrooms in case his son had returned without him knowing. I watched from my old front yard as Rufus run out of the back door and down the close, then I followed him as he continued to run towards the High Street and the local police station. Being well-known to the officers there of course, the desk Sergeant looked up as Rufus, struggling for breath, collapsed into the foyer and cried out for help. ‘Well Morebad, you don’t usually save us the bother of having to come and get you. What’ve you been up to this time?’ ‘You don’t understand!’ cried Rufus, cradling his precious football shirt, ‘I’m under attack!’ ‘Oh God, not Aliens again?’ laughed the Sergeant, calling over his colleagues, ‘was it the anal probe this time?’ As the other police officers stood around Rufus laughing they were surprised to see tears rolling down his face. ‘You don’t understand! There’s a ghost in my house and he’s trying to kill me!’ As I heard Rufus’ words I was surprised that he’d picked up on my intentions so lucidly. I’d thought that he would’ve just presumed insanity or intoxication rather than the fact I was an actual entity trying to do him harm and I wondered if he possessed slightly more aptitude than I’d originally given him credit for. ‘’course you have Rufus,’ chuckled the duty officer as he helped him to his feet, ‘don’t say it too loud though or everyone will want one!’ ‘You don’t believe me do you? None of you do! He’s real, I’ve seen him.’ A chill went through me when he said that. Surely he hadn’t actually seen me? The information pack I’d got about the case had stated that none of the Morebads were on the Psychic register which meant none of them had any recognised spirit-spotting abilities. Maybe Rufus didn’t mean he’d literally seen me; maybe he’d sensed me or just put two and two together. Either way it had unnerved me, but it was about to get worse. ‘He’s here now! He’s stood by the notice board! Don’t let him get me!’ I turned slightly, alarmed to see that I had inadvertently positioned myself next to a glass-covered felt board that had various warnings about scams, chaining your door and not giving out your bank details over the phone. The police officer s’ laughter died down as they all turned and looked my way. For a moment I thought something had gone dreadfully wrong and I was visible to all living beings, but just then one of the officers turned back to Rufus and took his arm. ‘You had us going there for a minute old son; come on, we’ll take you for a nice rest in a cell and then you can make your way back home when you’re feeling better.’ Rufus suddenly leapt up as if he’d been still sitting in the burning armchair. ‘Home! I can never go back there, not with that ghost in there too!’ The desk Sergeant’s phone rang and after checking who was calling, passed it over to the duty officer. He had a brief conversation without muttering more than ‘right’ and ‘I’ll tell him’, before replacing the handset, his grave tone making all the other officers look concerned. ‘Constable Peters, Constable O’Brien, you’d better take Mr Morebad into the relative’s room and make him a cup of coffee. I need to come and talk to him.’ With a muted ‘Yes Sir’, the young officers walked with a suddenly silent Rufus Morebad down a corridor that led from the foyer and into a room with a frosted glass door. ‘What’s this about lads? It’s only been medicinal use like I promised you.’ As I slid through the door and joined them, Rufus once again began to get agitated. ‘Oh God, he’s here again!’ No-one had time to think about his words further as at that moment the duty officer came in and Rufus quieted down, casting furtive glances in my direction every few seconds. ‘Mr Morebad. Rufus,’ began the duty officer with a solemn expression on his face, ‘I have some rather unpleasant news. There’s no easy way to say this but-‘ ‘He’s burnt my fucking house down hasn’t he? Hasn’t he?’ shouted Rufus, pointing at me. ‘Arrest him then! He’s right there. He’s a pyrotechnic. He should be locked up!’ Rufus’ words made me laugh out loud and I mentally filed ‘pyrotechnic’ away to share with Reg when we next played canasta, as he’d find that sort of cock-up funny too. I wouldn’t be sharing any of this with the wife though; she’d expressly asked that I never again mentioned the Morebad family to her as she just wanted to forget it all and I respected her wishes completely. ‘Rufus, please-‘ began the duty officer, as the other officers rolled their eyes. ‘He’s laughing at me now! He thinks burning my home to the ground is funny! Why aren’t you arresting him?’ ‘Rufus, there’s more I’m afraid,’ said the duty officer in a raised tone and Rufus looked up. So did I. There shouldn’t have been more; I’d got him out and burnt his house down. That was it, wasn’t it? Objective met. I could retire again after this and make my way to the Big Place at last. ‘Rufus, the fire brigade found a body upstairs…’ I felt an icy shiver pass over me as the duty officer paused to let the severity of his words sink in. ‘You can’t have,’ said Rufus at last, ‘my wife has been dead, er, gone for months and my young ‘un is inside. That only leaves Jeffrey but he hasn’t been home for days.’ I was starting to feel panicky; surely I couldn’t have burned the house down with someone still in it? I wouldn’t have been that careless. As the duty officer carried on talking though and Rufus broke down sobbing, it began to appear as if I’d done exactly that. Somehow, Jeffrey Morebad had entered his Dad’s house without being noticed by Rufus or me and had fallen asleep listening to a CD, his huge headphones melted to what remained of his head. You couldn’t really blame Rufus for not checking upstairs before bolting from the house, although you’d like to think that most fathers would have looked anyway for peace of mind, but you also couldn’t blame Jeffrey; as he’d presumably seen his Dad snoring away in the filthy armchair he called home most of the time and figured he’d go straight upstairs to get some sleep. So that just left me. I searched for a reason not to blame myself but couldn’t easily find one. Page one of the ‘Haunter’s Guide’ states that if you are intending to take any course of action where property will be damaged or destroyed you must check the house thoroughly before said action commences. I hadn’t checked the house before I started the fire; I’d just got caught up in the moment and if I’m being honest I’d enjoyed the power I had over Rufus, or so I thought, which was the biggest rookie mistake anyone can make. Jeffrey Morebad was an unpleasant young man but he didn’t deserve to die in such circumstances. I’d played God with someone else’s life, albeit inadvertently and as such had to be punished. I was summoned back up for a meeting with human resources as soon as the news broke about Jeffrey Morebad’s demise. I saw a different lady this time; she was older, with close-cropped hair and large glasses and she didn’t smile once. Her nameplate read ‘Miss King-Human Resources Manager’ and straight away I knew I was in trouble. ‘This is a very serious matter you know, very serious indeed,’ began Miss King and I nodded. I knew that I was in for it badly but just how badly didn’t become clear until after Miss King had droned on for another ten minutes about ‘irresponsibility’ and ‘amateur mistakes’. ‘Don’t you want to make a defence for your actions?’ I didn’t. I couldn’t see the point in all honesty. I was guilty; she knew it and worse, I knew it so there was really no point in dragging things out and I said as much. ‘Your honesty and willingness to accept responsibility are admirable and I do understand the highly emotive circumstances of your history with this particular family-‘ she consulted her notes, ‘-the Morebads. However, I’m afraid the rules on such things are very clear and my hands really are tied. After careful consideration I have had no choice but to permanently revoke your possibility of promotion. You will never be able to ascend to the Big Place.’ ‘What? But that’s-‘ ‘Furthermore,’ continued Miss King, ‘you will be required to attend a one week’s equality and diversity course on following protocol correctly, to be arranged in Hell during the coming month.’ ‘But you can’t!’ I blurted out, horrified that I’d ruined mine and possibly the wife’s chances of promotion and worse, they were sending me to Hell, even if it was only for a week. ‘I’m afraid I can. I have no other choice. You can of course appeal but I wouldn’t recommend it. It costs upwards of four hundred thousand points and has a very low chance of success. Good afternoon.’ I walked out of Miss King’s office close to tears. How could I have been so stupid? What was I going to tell the wife? She’d expected me to come back with news of when I was getting promoted not a week’s one-way ticket downstairs. As I walked into our home she took one look at my face and knew the news hadn’t been good. I explained everything to her and she surprised me by saying she’d secretly hoped I’d be prevented from getting promoted and she was glad it had happened. ‘How can you say that? I’d always dreamt of the Big Place and now I’ll never get to go. You can’t imagine how despondent I feel.’ ‘I can imagine how you feel as its how I felt when I knew you weren’t going to be here with me much longer. It’s the same way I felt when you were slipping away from me the night you died and I couldn’t do a thing to stop you. And it’s the same way I felt every day of the year we spent apart before I was able to join you up here, you silly old man,’ laughed my wife, as she stroked my hand and my head. I suddenly had an enormous déjà vu moment of the day I was killed and how my wife had done the same things to try and comfort me then. Instantly, the disappointment about not ever getting promoted didn’t seem to matter, as I remembered why I had even wanted to get revenge on the Moorbad family in the first place. It wasn’t about my death, it was because of what they’d done to my wife that I wanted to hurt them, but I’d missed the point entirely. My wife didn’t care about revenge or restitution; she just wanted us to be together and had actually been grateful when she’d suffered her enormous heart attack and died at home before an ambulance could even be called. When she’d joined me so suddenly I was angry for her, but it had taken all this time for me to see that she wasn’t angry about it, she’d been glad it happened. The only sad part was that young Lee from next door had to find her on the floor the next day, after she’d noticed that our milk hadn’t been taken in but that even had a silver lining as Lee now looks after our two cats Tango and Smudge and I’ve observed on several occasions that they’ve both never been happier.

So there you go. Every cloud, etc. I spent the whole of last week in Hell which wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be actually, except for the mind numbing HR course I had to sit through. However, I nodded and smiled in all the right places and now I’m back up here with the wife and my record is reset like none of the Acacia Close stuff ever happened. I even saw Jeffrey Morebad in Hell and he insisted on buying me a drink in gratitude for getting him access to the ‘coolest fuckin’ place I’ve ever been, man’ as he told me about thirty times. We parted on good terms and with hindsight i have to say that week in Hell has done more for my state of mind than the rest of eternity in therapy could ever do. ‘What’s that love?’ Sorry, the wife’s just called out to let me know Reg is here for canasta, so I’ll have to go, but before I do I’ll leave you with this one thought. However nice I’ve made it sound up here, don’t be in too much of a hurry to join us, as you’re in a pretty good place there too. Oh and everything happens for a reason, as I hope you will have realised by reading my tale. Good night to you all, oh and don’t forget to look at the stars once in a while will you?

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