Thirteenth Stone: Alone

At the end of a pleasant evening at the Royal Festival Hall listening to poetry, we are walking down the road, chatting. The subject of conversation; modest swimwear of our youth. On a doorstep, a young woman sits, her head hanging forward, talking into a mobile ‘phone. Her hands are covered in blood. We pause, look at her, at each other. In a slurred voice she thanks us, but refuses our offers of help. Someone is coming she says. She lifts her head, and through the curtain of bleached blond hair her face is bloody. We wish her a safe goodnight, head for the flat and find the number for Safer Southwark.

C gives the details. It is her ‘phone, her flat. The men are in another room watching sport. She gives the details and is assured that someone will come and find the young woman. S watches out of the window and reports that she is on her feet and moving towards the main road. When I leave, moments later, there is no sign of her, other than the spots of blood that show clearly in the lamplight. I hope she spends tonight with people who look after her, that there are people, other than the professionals, in this world who love her and will care for her. But I do not know.


14 thoughts on “Thirteenth Stone: Alone

  1. It troubles me that there are so many people who are subjected to violence every day but are invisible. They make themselves invisible out of fear and shame. My heart goes out to them. It sounds like it shook you up quite badly. I don’t like seeing this when I don’t know what to do or there is nothing I can do.

    • No I don’t think we shall. I had a message from C today to say no one had called her back, but whether that means the young woman was found and looked after, I don’t know.
      She must be someone’s daughter, or sister. She just seemed so utterly alone.

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