A House Without Windows

A House Without Windows by Stevie Turner Read Free Book Online

Book: A House Without Windows by Stevie Turner Read Free Book Online
Authors: Stevie Turner
sobbing alone on the other side of the door.  I can hear her little hands pounding on the woodwork as she calls out for me.
    Edwin tells me to shut my eyes.  He carries me up some stairs and opens another door. I peep through my closed eyelids and find we are in the kitchen of his house.  I see a clock on the wall, which says 6.30.  I assume it must be early morning instead of night-time, as Amy had not long been awake and no daylight is coming through the drawn curtains.  He carries on up the hallway, opens the front door and goes through a sort of half porch, and I am outside for the first time in nearly a decade.
    I feel cold, cold air.  I hear the crunch of his footsteps on snow.  He tells me to keep my eyes closed.  Another contraction takes my breath away.  He opens the car door with one hand and helps me into the front seat.  I try and slouch so as not to compress the umbilical cord, which is partly hanging out of the birth canal.  I ask him to lay the seat down, and he complies. The seat cover feels furry, and I pull at it until some of the fur comes off in my hands.  I hold on to the fur. He tells me that if I open my eyes he will kill Amy.
    He starts the car and we move off.  I open my eyes just the tiniest amount and can see we are in a street with other houses.  Nobody is about.  I’m laid too far down and it’s too dark to see any sign that might give me the name of the street.  I feel him looking at me as he drives, and realise I must be very careful not to put Amy at any risk. 
    I see road signs flashing by, and caught a glimpse of an arrow pointing straight ahead to Croydon.  I remember that Croydon is a large outer London suburb on the border with Surrey.
    I get a flashback to the evening of 20 th May 1987; the last time I was in his car.  I was 27, had just finished work in the Accident & Emergency department, and had started on the walk back to my accommodation.  I’d recognised his face as the drug user from out of area with pain and haematuria whom I had treated a few days before.  He’d told me I had beautiful hair as he lay on the triage trolley. I couldn’t remember his name, but thought it strange when he pulled up in his car a few days later and asked me for directions to A&E again.  I had to lean in through the open passenger window to speak to him, but that’s all I can remember.  I smelt some strong aftershave, but when I woke up I was in the room I’d get to know so well. I must have inhaled something like chloroform or ketamine, but I suppose I’ll never really know what happened that night. I was on cloud nine as I had just begun to suspect that Liam and I might be parents. I didn’t even get the chance to tell Liam I was pregnant, and to this day he has no idea he has a daughter.
    We arrive at the hospital and he tells me not to say a word or Amy will die.  He says he will speak for me, and that he will not leave my side for even a minute.  In-between contractions I can still feel the piece of paper in my bra, and I hope and pray I can get it to one of the nurses without him noticing.

    He parks the car and carries me into Accident & Emergency.  He’s sweating despite the cold morning, and drips of perspiration drop down his face. I’m in terrible pain but think of Amy locked in the room and I say nothing.  I hold on tightly to the piece of fur from the seat cover.  I notice a sign giving information in the waiting area.  It says that the date is Friday January 5 th 1996.  I realise I am nearly 36 years old and heading towards middle age.  The clerk on reception wants to take my name, address, and date of birth, but Edwin gives false details and gives an address in Scotland that he probably made up on the spot.  He reiterates to the clerk that we do not live in the area, but were visiting relatives when labour started.
    I’m ushered straight in to a cubicle.  The doctor pulls the curtains around me and

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