“Sandy!” Mike the Lighting Tech whispered loudly as he rolled up some cables, “Sandy, come here a sec.”
Sandy, a young Producer made her way across the bustling studio interview set, smiling.
“Alright, Mike, how are you doing?” She asked.
“Not so bad, not so bad. Who have we got today?”
“Erm, no-one too important.” She shrugged. “Do you know Claudia? She’s that girl that did the show about orphans from the south of France, where they organised their own newspaper that went national for a bit?”
“Is that the one that I fell asleep to in the corner?” He chuckled.
“No, that one was about the orphans from Lebanon that set up their own volunteer Fire Station in their village, but she is actually the same person that made that docuseries too.”
“I wonder if she’s an orphan,” he scoffed, “if only she would be less subtle about telling us.
“Yeah,” she laughed in response, “but as long as she is bringing in those BAFTAs, and the ratings are decent, who cares right?”
“So let me guess, it’s about orphans again, is it?”
“She’s nothing if not consistent.”
“I saw this really old bloke coming in early, all smiles, really old suit.” He wondered. “I imagine he is one of the subjects, right? Has she ran out of bleeding heart cases around the world that we are reaching back in time?”
“Actually,” she stated, “that was her own Foster Father. The whole show is about him!”
“Bit arrogant of her, isn’t it?” He tutted. “I didn’t realise that you get to a point of doing documentaries that you qualify to get to tell your own story.”
“A bunch of us have been wondering about that ourselves,” she said under hushed breath, “apparently, he will be the focus, but there is no way you would let this kind of story go without getting your face out there a bit for yourself. We reckon that this is her trying to promote herself on to more of an on-screen kind of role, get herself a little bit of the limelight. Success isn’t enough for some people I suppose.”
“It will definitely be make or break for her, I’m sure.” Mike stretched after putting the cables down. “She must have pulled some strings to get this one on, her reputation being on the line, that sort of thing. I don’t recognise him or anything, so he cant be very famous, which makes me think that his story cant be all that interesting.”
“I read some of the pre-interview notes with some of the other subjects, this guy sounds like a real bastard. I don’t know what she is thinking, risking it all on this, no offence, nobody. Oh, here she comes.”
Claudia, a woman in her early thirties, comes through the double doors with an old man in his late seventies, arms linked together, and big smiles on their faces. The old man has a nervous energy about him, and he tries to greet the crew that he passes by, but is obviously uncomfortable.
Claudia leads him to the chair at the centre of the stage, and some pages and technicians swarm him, prepping his lapel microphone, neatening his collar, and making sure that there is plenty of water on the table next to him. Like a pit crew, they quickly and silently do their prep, and disappear.
“Thank you, kind television people.” The old man said.
Claudia did some checks with the lighting, camera, and sound people, before taking the seat opposite the old man, just off camera, the big smile on her face still.
“It feels like I’m about to give a royal address or something.” He chuckled. “I think that I literally have thirty or so seconds before sweat will start pouring and it will ruin the make up that nice young man in dressing room put on for me.
“Good thinking.” Claudia replied, before turning to the crew. “Can we get the temperature lowered by five degrees, please? I don’t want to end up using fans, so if the AC can handle it, that would be ideal thanks.”
“Its all so very impressive,” he gazed upon her, “the way you are in charge around here. I don’t know how many more ways I can tell you how impressed I am of what you have accomplished.”
“And it get gets tiring hearing you saying it,” she grinned, “but remember what we said about this? This is going to be all about you, it will be like you are telling me your story, the key word is ‘telling’, not quite a conversation. The way we are doing this is going to be in sessions, there can be as many breaks as you like, you don’t need to feel you have to do everything perfectly in one long take, that’s what the editing is for.”
“Will the others be on stage to?” He asked nervously, fiddling with his fingers.
“No, we are doing everything separately, and in parts.” She said, flatly. “Reason being, if they say something interesting, when we bring you back in later, you can expand upon it a little bit more.”
“More like try and come up with some kind of excuse to explain my behaviour.” He said ashamedly.
“You still feel some guilt, and I understand that, but remember what I said about this? This is about change, a story about light in the dark, and whether you agree or not, I’m the professional, and I say it’s a story worth telling.”
The old man could not help but beam with pride at the passion and conviction that was being demonstrated by Claudia.
“Oh, come on then,” he chuckled, “lets get this over with. Before I change my mind.
“Hello, my name is Clive Romford, and I am sixty-eight years old and I…” He pauses for a moment and starts to giggle uncontrollably. “I’m sorry, this is like some kind of video dating service from the eighties, or more like a hostage video. How do you want me to start love?”
“Please, don’t worry.” Claudia reassured him. “Everything is going to be ok. How about you start with your early life?”
“What, like school? The games that I played on the streets? That sort of thing?”
“Hmm, more like the things that shaped you as a youth, before you got the house.”
He takes a deep breath and giggles lightly again.
“I’m shaking a little, look at me.” He said, nervously. “I am conscious that the camera is rolling and its costing you a fortune while I get myself together.”
“It’s all digital now,” she chuckled back, “we can record for as long as we need to, don’t you worry. And don’t look at the camera lens, look at me. You are telling the story to me, and the camera is just listening in.”
“Ok.” He sighed, taking one more deep breath before focussing back. “Hello, my name is Clive Romford, I am seventy-eight years old, and I suppose the unique thing about me, is the amount of full-time Foster children I have taken care of, since I was thirty. I have lived in Rudderton my whole life, and fortunately for me, they have some interesting, rather controversial rules when it comes to social care and fostering in general. See, a lot of the rules surrounding the fostering of young children are very relaxed where I am from, and I am ashamed to admit it, but I really took advantage of the loopholes in the system for my own gain. Oh, I have to make it really clear that I have not done anything illegal, nothing sexual or anything like that, but there was monetary gain that I saw, and have been an opportunist my hole life. Claudia, I think I messed that up, you said I should talk about my early years, and I’ve gone straight in about the fostering, and I bet I sound really shady from it.”
“No,” Claudia jumped in, “no everything you said was great. I think we might even use some of what you said when the context needs in the show. Obviously, we will be exploring all of that later, but I just want you to paint a little bit of a picture of who you were getting to that point.”
“Alright, well, Rudderton is an old mining town and it was really quite prominent when I was growing up. Everyone was doing really well, people leapt from a typical mining worker to foremen etcetera, really quickly, as the mines kept expanding. The expansion of the town was really impressive. As the years went on, there was nothing but construction as the town centre flourished and new houses were being built with the influx of more people moving to our area. Like everyone from my area, I was expecting to have a life in the mines, so school wasn’t that important to me. As long as I could read a work rota, and could count my money at the end of the week, I couldn’t have imagined I would have needed anything else. When I finished school in the sixties, my plan, like the other boys, was to head straight to the mine, sign a form or whatever, and head into the pits. For whatever reason, the day after I finished school, I had the thought in my head that I wanted to have a head start on all of the others. Instead of going to the mine to get the job, I was going to the big bosses manor, a mile or two into the countryside, and ask for a job from him.”
“And what was his name?”
“His name was Lord Powell, and he lived at Pennington Manor with his family. So I thought that if I spoke to him, I was demonstrating initiative, that I would be seen as a go getter, and my name and face would be fresh in his mind for whenever a fancy new position was going to come up.”
“And that is not what happened I take it?”
“No,” Clive chuckled, “what happened was immediately worse, and shortly thereafter, better. Well, for me at least. See, when I arrived at the manor, on a hot summer day, sweating worse that I am now. I noticed a lot of vehicles out the front, and people were crying. My initial thought was that I had stumbled across the aftermath of some kind of murder scene, but it wasn’t emergency services, it appeared to be workmen shifting furniture. It was a few of the female staff that were crying, taking off their work aprons and consoling each other. Again, the thought was in my mind that Lord Powell had died, and these ladies were out of a job. I didn’t know how long I planned to wait there, but within minutes, the whole courtyard was cleared, with the vehicles and people just moving on out with haste. I went to the front door and knocked. There was no answer, so I knocked again thirty seconds later. There opening the door, was Lord Powell himself. He was an old, short, portly fellow with a red face, balding head, and big white moustache. ‘Did you not get everything?’ he groaned, rolling his eyes at me. ‘No sir,’ I said, ‘I have come to ask about getting a job at the mines.’ He groaned at me again, like I was physically hurting him with my presence. ‘You are supposed to sign up at the mine itself!’ It was like I had broken some unwritten rules, and my heart was in my throat that I had thrown away my whole future. But to my surprise, he sighed and invited me in for a cup of tea.”
“So at this point, were you thinking that everything was going to be ok? I’m sure that Lord Powell did not invite just anyone associated with the manual labour division of the mine in for tea? What was his reputation like as a person?”
“As a person? Well, he was the town idol. He was a man of means, probably had never worked a day in his life, but with his money, well, his attitude, well, his perception, was that he wanted to give back to the people. He had invested greatly in the town, not specifically from the point of view of owning businesses, more that he injected money into things like parks, lighting, just the things that make a town… It is hard to describe. He was the money of the town, and he was invested how the town was seen from the outside, almost like was, well I was going to say Lord but he actually was a Lord. The Mayor would come to him for loans to help schools and libraries and things, loans which he never chased, at least, that’s the story he told me. Anyway, as I sat in his parlour, nervously sipping my tea, he explained to me that had I gone to the mines that day, I would have gotten a job; however, had I went for a job the next day, I wouldn’t have. He told me that the mining in the town was depleting at an alarming rate, and that with mix a of more accidents in the mine, and the fact that a messy divorce was on the horizon, was a pretty disastrous cocktail that spelt doom for the towns future.”
“The money was drying up?”
“Shockingly quick. What was crazy about this whole exchange though, was that he did indeed like the initiative that I demonstrated coming to the house, and get this, offered me a job. Not at the mines, but at the house itself, as a groundskeeper. The staff which were employed had either been taken by the wife in the divorce, or else been let go of.”
“That is quite unusual. All staff being fired, only for a random outsider to be given a job.”
“I thought so too. Over the years in better days I would say it was the luckiest moment in my life, and on my worst days, I have called it the most accursed. He was an eccentric for sure, and the money that was given to me was higher than that of what I would have been earning in the mines, it would be debatable whether or not the work I was doing would be worth it in the grand scheme of things. You see, not only was there the toll of the manual labour; I was the gardener, the cleaner, the carpenter, even on occasion, I was the cook. But I was beginning to get a rather sour reputation in town. As the months rolled on, access to the mine was getting more and more limited, which meant that more and more people were losing their jobs, until the mine finally closed. The townsfolk did not realise the anguish that went through Lord Powell, knowing that his legacy was slipping away with each pink slip, and that he had people working to the very end, even without profit. To them, he was this man, resting in his ivory tower, shaving off the workforce at his whim. And I was his pet. Rumours would go around about him and myself that were not flattering to say the least. I mean, I will say that I had my suspicions about him, but he always treated me with respect, and whatever his proclivities were had nothing to do with me.
“They accused you of being lovers.”
“In so many words, yes. Keep in mind that attitudes were very different to the way they are these days. Ultimately, I regarded such rumours with anger, it often caused brawls at the pubs when people started throwing accusations my way. I just want to point out that I do not think there is anything wrong with that lifestyle, but you see, being a young man that liked women, these rumours were the antithesis of what I was trying to achieve. Such animosity to the people in the town really left me quite isolated.”
“Did you live at the manor at this point?”
“Yes, by the time I was twenty-five, I had accepted Lord Powell’s invitation to move into the Guest House on the estate. By that time, I had enough of a reputation within the town with the ladies that I was confident enough in my masculinity to make such a move; its all very silly looking back and thinking of it in such terms. Prior to that I lived with my mother and two older Sisters: Peggy and Audrey. My Father died when I was four, in the very mines which I was so keen to be a part of; such was the tragic cycle of life in those working-class towns.”
“Did you see Lord Powell as a Father figure?”
“He was certainly a positive male role model, but he was not so much a Father figure, more like a favourite Uncle, or something like that. He never had any children of his own, and as the years rolled on and his reputation was dragged out, the happy chap that once knew was worsening all the time. He developed a bad drinking problem and became very depressed.
“Was there nothing he could do about his reputation?”
“It is that famous Bible tale about the prodigal son. When all you are known to offer to people is money, that is the love language that they expect from you. He himself, did not know any other way of dealing with problems other than just throwing money at it. It all just made me hate the townsfolk more to be honest. I was a fixture in the local pubs, and eventually night clubs when they started becoming a thing, and I always stuck up for him, but whenever I did it would soon go into accusations against my character, which lead to fights, which lead to hole being dug that much deeper.”
“And when did Lord Powell pass away?”
“He died in the Winter of… I don’t know the year, but I was twenty-nine at the time. I was out drinking the night before and in doing some quick rounds of tidying up, I found him under the water in the bath tub the next day. I still see his face to this day, his eyes looked so focussed, like he was still trying to figure something out. Tragic. Absolutely tragic. It was only then that the townsfolk began to treat him with regard, acting like he was always celebrated. Disgusting really. His ex-wife organised the funeral, I will give the people credit for showing out that day, it was almost as if a royal died.”
“The ex-wife, did she try to claim the manor?”
“I expected her too, and I think she expected to as well. But there were two factors in my favour: the first was that a few years prior, Lord Powell had updated his will to include me in it, giving me sole ownership of the manor, and the second, was the state of the manor. See, after some years working at the manor, I am ashamed to say, it was getting easier and easier to cut corners on my duties. Lord Powell rarely had guests around, and if they did, they were most in the living room or the parlour. My drinking lead me to not really care about the state of things, and when queried about the state of things, I would offer him a drink and he gladly accepted. It has taken me a long time to get over the shame of exploiting the man, he was just a lonely fellow…”
Clive pauses holding back from crying. Claudia steps over into the frame and puts her hand in his and he looks up at her with tears in his eyes and smiles. He nods at her and she returns to her seat.
“He was just a man who wanted a friend, and that was me. If only I knew that then, I don’t know, maybe things would have been better. Anyway, the point is, the house was not worth the effort for repairs. It wasn’t exactly built with longevity in mind. It was built in the rush of the success of the town, and Lord Powell skipped a few steps in terms of making sure it would stand the test of time. It wasn’t likely to ever be condemned or anything, but as you can attest to, it had more than its fair share of problems.”
“And so just like, at the age of twenty-nine, a working class boy from a small town was now lord of the manor?”
“In so many words, yes, I now owned a manor house. I didn’t inherit a title or anything like that, and since the building was itself was sort of built on off the old foundations of a previous stately manor, it did not qualify under any national protection laws.”
“What was your reaction to all of this, did you feel a great sense of accomplishment? Of power?”
“Oh, by no means. I don’t know why my attitude had the entitlement of which it did. It just felt natural, he told me he was going to leave me something impressive in his will, so when it all happened, it was very much a ‘well, yeah, of course’. I was more impressed when I won £25 on a scratch card some years later!”
“Was there no suspicion? I mean, him dying in such a way, today at least, would look suspect, to me at least.”
“There was an investigation, and it was ruled that Lord Powell had died of Heart failure while taking a bath. Obviously, I had immediate concern upon discovering him, wondering if people would think that I had drowned him in order to get what was coming to me in the will. I am not ashamed to admit it had crossed my mind to just run away upon discovering the body, in case his ‘mysterious’ death could not be proved. But ultimately, the consideration of taking flight only lasted in the distance between the Bathroom, and the Office of which I made the call to the emergency services.”
“And when did things start to go awry at the Manor?”
“Almost immediately. There were clear problems with the tiling and insulation on the roof where the heat from the radiators and fireplaces would simply escape. Each passing storm seeming took a chunk out of the building. I had this strange attitude, probably the drink, that made it all seem so temporary; Like if a friend had let you borrow something, and was not in a rush to get it back. It was there, at my disposal, but it never felt like it belonged to me. The real trouble started in the next few months when the bills started coming in. Lord Powell had paid his utility bills, council tax, etcetera, some months in advance, and that time had elapsed. He had left me no money, as far as I could tell there was no money left to give. All of the finery was taken away in the divorce, so there was nothing left to even sell. I tried to sell the manor, even. But do to the condition of the building, the banks had decreed that it would not be able to be financed through a mortgage, since the repair work would out way the value of the property. So only a cash buyer would be eligible to purchase the building, and since the local amenities were small and getting smaller, and the abandoned mining facilities had scarred the landscape, there were never any serious offers.”
“Surely someone would take it off your hands, I mean, if the price was right? You came from nothing, so even if you only got ten percent of the value, it would have been life changing money for you, right?”
“Again, that unreasonable ego was kicking in. I knew that there was value in the building, and that I would live to regret letting the building go for less than a tidy sum. Its kind of like when you see someone with a motorboat parked in their driveway even though they live some distance from any body of water, they cant really use it, and the offers wouldn’t be great from people in the area, but at the end of the day, you still get to say that you own a boat.”
“And this is where the fostering comes in?”
“Yes, I was at the local job centre, looking at the various adverts, and I saw one about what you would get from fostering children. There was a lot of flowery language about the pride that you would get, knowing you did well by a child and the community, yadda-yadda, but I just saw those numbers, and my eyes widened.”
“Why not just get a job?”
“I could make an excuse and say it was down to my lack of qualifications. Like I mentioned I did not excel at school, no higher education, my only reference was dead, and people knew about the condition of the manor, so I could hardly point to building to say I took care of it. The truth was, I didn’t really want a job. I was, not happy, but content in what I had built for myself. I lived alone in a large space, I got to pour my alcohol into the fancy containers Lord Powell had left, and that was that. I was, in my own mind, a Lord of the manor.”
“Tell me about the foster application process.”
“You would be horrified at how simple it was! I have looked on the internet these days, just out of curiosity, and the rules and protections that have been put in place; I swear, if these rules were in place back when I was fostering, my pens wouldn’t have been able to get ink on the paper! It was really all down to the mines, you see, there were a lot of accidental deaths, and a lot of unhappy families. There was such an abundance of orphans, or children coming from problematic households, that the local governments were having to pour money into the social care system. They were seeing real trouble in nearby cities where the children were almost forming roaming gangs, it was like ‘Lord of the Flies’ or ‘Children of the Corn’ even. I simply took the number down, freephone, naturally, and made an appointment to see then that very day. In fact the building was just next door, so I killed an hour or two in the Library, and headed in. When I got there, it was almost like a library in itself, bookshelf after bookshelf full of ledgers, and papers strewn all over the desks, spilling on to the floor. The funny thing was, even though it looked so chaotic, it was deadly silent. There was little bits of chatter between the workers, but no-one else seemed to be interested in taking the service up on its facilities. The woman who I came to see was very friendly, in that desperate ‘only customer in the store all week’ sort of way, and drove straight into the pitch on the benefits of taking care of children. The question of income came up, I explained I had none, but I did have more than adequate shelter and time to take care of children; she never even paused. She asked what my outgoings where, luckily I had brought all of my debt letters with me, in case I needed proof of address for any jobs I applied for, and she quickly started making some notes in her ledger. She was muttering, calculating as she went on, how much the electric was, how much the electric would be with a child in the house, that sort of thing. She finished and gave me a budget sheet of what the prospective costs would be of me and child, food, clothing, utilities, and so on, and at the bottom, there was the amount £300 circled. ‘That,’ she said to me, ‘would be how much you would be left with after all the budget costs have been spent’. My reaction was simply: and how much for two children?”
A rather dishevelled looking thin woman with long brown curly hair sat in the chair. The crew began fixing up her microphone, careful not to brush up against the thickly applied make-up, for fear it would smudge on to there clothes. They dispersed, and she was sat already looking rather fed up.
“The camera is already rolling,” Claudia smiled, “but we don’t need to dive straight in to anything. How are Magda?”
“He was a piece of shit!” Magda snarled. “An absolute shovel of shit, that’s all I really have to say about the prick!”
“Maybe we can start with you introducing yourself first of all?” Claudia replied, sheepishly.
“Hello folks at home, my name is Magdalene Chalmers. People say it’s a fancy name, I say there is nothing fancy about me, so I just go by Magda, or Maggie if we are friends. I am forty-eight years old, and I have been invited to this show, because I was Clives first foster child. Well, me and my younger Sister Kelly, we were the first foster children together. Alright?”
“Yes, thank you, that’s great. Just tell us about how you got there and your experiences growing up.”
“Well, I was ten, and Kelly was eight. Our Mother was never really in the scene, even to this day. If you are watching this, Mom, fuck you! Can I swear on this?”
“We would bleep out any swear words. As a rule of thumb its best not to, it can really paint a negative picture of yourself, its what I’ve noticed at least when in comes to reactions to interview subjects in this kind of setting.”
“I am what I am, and if people don’t like me for who I am, there’s the Bus Stop, jog on mate. But I will try and temper my words a little bit. I am only here to show how much of a scumbag that prick really is. Shame on you for trying to lionise him.”
“Look, that’s the reason I wanted to do this documentary. I know that there was a life, many lives before me, and he wasn’t the same man any of us.”
“Fair enough. Fair enough. So, anyway, our Mum was never in the picture, and our Dad had died in the mines a the previous year. The gutting thing was, this was long after the mines had closed down, and it was basically him and his mates pissing around in the abandoned work site and he was crushed by rumble. He had a habit of disappearing for days on end, getting brought back by the Police, this time it was the Police coming alone and taking us away. After that we were both just in the orphanage in the neighbouring town of Pepperton. We had no idea was foster care really was, it was always just sold to us like you were being adopted, but that the person didn’t necessarily want to be stuck with you. Keeping hold of the receipt, just in case.”
“What was your experience like in the orphanage? How comforting was it having your Sister with you going through the whole process?”
“It was like a rainbow. No, it was awful. The whole thing was just awful. Erm, we were in the orphanage for about three months before Clive took us in. It was all a whirlwind. We were young and stupid enough to believe in the fairy tales that some long lost relative would whisk us away, or that some benevolent Prince would swoop in a choose us. You can imagine the confusion that went into our minds when Clive appeared, seemingly the Lord of a manor, a dream come true. Of course, we should known by the look in his eyes, the tone of his voice, that something wasn’t right.”
“What look and tone was that?”
“That he didn’t want to be there. Like he was under duress. That we were the best of a bad situation. Obviously it came to light not long after that he was taking us in for financial gain, and I imagine that he in the back of his mind, he would get the foster money simply by being that ‘good of a guy’ that people wouldn’t even take him up on the caring part and just reward him with a prize for the gesture.”
“What was your first day like in the manor.”
“Not going to lie, there was that feeling of magic in the air. Like I said, the idea of fairy tales was running through our minds. This big old spooky house with rooms that might not have been touched for decades. Who knows what kinds of treasures await under old tarps, what was behind the panels of the wardrobes, what pathways on the grounds would take us to secret gardens. It was honestly a few weeks before the shine wore off. It was like me and my Sister were just waiting to understand the reason why we were there. There had to be a purpose, why were we taken in by this sullen man who had the choice, take in these girls, or don’t. It was very frustrating to be honest.”
“How long did you live there?”
“Six years, then on and off for two more years with my Sister. To be honest I was hardly ever in the house, he didn’t even notice that we were there most of the time. He never came around looking for us, he just kind of sulked around and drank.”
“How much did you try and engage with him, or what did he do to try and engage with him?”
“From him? It was easy, it was only in the early days that he spoke to us, and he only did that to teach us how to cook. I say cook, most like prepare cold meals, like sandwiches. And they weren’t even for him! They were for us! He wanted us to self sufficient so that he didn’t have to bother making us meals or anything. We eventually taught ourselves how to cook hot food in secret, that was when he paid the gas bills and we could use the ovens. I doubt he knew how to cook hot meals himself, and if he did, he probably didn’t want us getting cocky and end up burning the house down. We tried making things for him to eat, I honestly don’t know what he ate, because the food would often just pile up next to his chair, getting mouldy and used as an ashtray to stub out cigarettes. He said thank you at least, or grunted something like it.”
“Did you ever feel like you were in danger? Any sort of harm?”
“Well that feels like a loaded question. Just because we were never in danger of harm from him, does not mean that he is free from the criticism I have of him being a piece of shit!”
“Could you expand on that, please?”
“I really hope you aren’t toying with me now, girl. I really hope you are not. Don’t you dare try and psychoanalyse me!”
“Oh god, no I’m not. I am building a picture, these are your words, your space to do so.”
“Look, I’ll put it this way. A child needs to be nurtured. Children need to know that they are being taken care of, that someone is looking out for them, and that some one gives a damn about them. When you are in an orphanage, you kind of get what the situation is there. You know that you are in a place where there is no one to take care of you, that the adults in your life are doing it as a job. But there is organisation there, they spin a lot a plates in the form of a lot of kids, but they do their best. Clive, people like Clive, they take you out of the system for the promise of a better life, and instead leave you to your own devices. Its like taking a puppy out of a kennel, and dropping it off alone in a field somewhere. On paper the dog is no longer in captivity, but on the other side of things, no one is there to take care of it and raise it. Its alone and frightened in a big scary world. I wish that we had been left in the orphanage, I really do. Sure there was some sketchy people that visited there, and some sketchy people that worked there even; but I would have happily rolled the dice one more time for me and my Sister to either land in loving household, or at least stay in the orphanage where we could grow up in an environment where there was structure.”
“Do you want to tell the audience about what happened to Kelly?”
“Killed herself. Sorry, let me do that so its easier to clip into the show. My Sister Kelly killed herself when she was twenty-two. She had her demons. Life was never easy, and to her, she just couldn’t see her tomorrows getting better.”
“I’m so sorry, and that would have been six years after leaving the house? Did she leave when she was sixteen?”
“We had to. When you turn sixteen, that’s when the money stops isn’t it? Like I said, I stuck around in and out from sixteen to eighteen, crashing in her room in between places to stay. He only really noticed when she turned sixteen, it was like some internal calendar, where the alarm went off, and he knew he had drain the last bit of money out of us.”
“Can you take us back to how he asked you to leave?”