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Songs of Bliss


lets her out of the workhouse, but it?s a fleeting consideration. She has felt the hard steel of
the Beretta tucked into the back of his jeans. She has felt the caress of the needle. She
makes a choice every morning.
"Okay, that?s enough. Take it over to the other table and we?ll take a break."
Helen carefully wipes the serving spoon that she has been using to blend the various
ingredients of the good doctor's happy cake mix on a sheet of kitchen ro ll. She carries the
bowl to the table and then joins the doctor in the kitchen. He spoons instant coffee into two
chipped brown mugs and waits for the kettle to boil.
"Please, sit down."
"It's okay, Arbnor, I'll stand. You've had me sitting at the workbenc h all morning. I
need to stretch my legs."
"Whatever".
The automatic switch on the kettle flicks off and water bubbles out of the spout. He
always overfills. He lets the water settle down and then pours. Two spoons of sugar. "I?ve
been thinking. You work very well. I?m happy you?re here, so long as you remain a good
girl. I?m going to make you an offer."
When the doctor is in a good mood he makes offers. Helen thinks that he is sincere
when he says he needs a friend. She is coming round to the idea.
"I can get you off smack. If you really want to I can do this. Not now, though. We
have to stay calm. There?s too much work to do."
Getting off smack is the last thing Helen wants to thinks about right now. That is
something you have be committed about. Jesus. That is something really scary. Humour
him. Say the things he wants to hear.
"I don't know. I mean, yes, but the come down is shit. Sort of freaks me, you know."
The coffee burns the inside of her mouth.
He smiles. It?s a start. "Let?s go outside. It?s a nice day and I want to breathe fresh
air."
Taking their coffee with them Arbnor Jasari and Helen, his Girl Friday, unlock the
doors and venture out into the bright sunshine of a clear Spring day. There is a low wall at
one end of the courtyard where they can sit. They squint up at the sky. The house martins
have been joined in flight by swallows. The eaves of the old barns are spattered with
droplets of mud where the birds are building nests. New life.
The two of them bathe in the fresh warmth of the day. Eye lids close and burn
orange. They can hear the sound of a tractor in the distance. Gulls surge up into the bright
blue sky and drop down again to feed on the bugs and worms turned up by the plough.
Through cracks in the concrete floor of the courtyard Campion has sprouted and is in early
bloom. Cuckoo- flower. Helen soaks it all in. She will say anything so long as it guarantees
her another moment like this.
The doctor watches her as she leans her head back and opens herself up to the sun.
He too feels the warmth of a new growing season in his bones. He sighs and allows his
otherwise taut and watchful soul to appreciate this simple moment of happiness. He is
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