Whilst we were parked up in our little lay-by, it was generally quiet at night. There was the noise of one of the main roads nearby, but that became quite soothing after a while.
Every now and then a car would pull up nearby and we’d lie there in the car quiet as mice trying not to draw attention to ourselves.
It was always worrying that the next car to come round the corner would be another visit from the police, but there was also the added worry of it just being someone that wanted to cause trouble.
One night I’d been day dreaming and had my head pressed up against the window. I was wrapped up in the duvet and was totally zoned out, when a young couple walked out of the alley and saw me. They both shrieked and dodged the car completely, before the guy saying ‘ That is fucking wierd!‘..
I could see why once they’d gone, I just looked like an actual head in the car, and I’d been so zoned out my eyes must’ve been totally glazed over and my mouth was hanging open too. It would have freaked me out!
Next to the Tesco there was a Dominoes being built. I didn’t expect it to be finished for a while but it did and so it brought a lot more people to our little area. They’d go and take advantage of the ‘Open Day’ offers and come and park up to scoff the lot. It used to pain me so much being able to smell the fresh dough and enticing smell of pizzas being baked, knowing I couldn’t afford one.
So until about 11pm, there would be a few cars coming and going. It didn’t matter how many there were, each one made us both feel on edge. We were just waiting for a group of them to get bored with their food, and come and bother us. So we would try and keep our heads down.
Some of the cars would beep at us and flash their lights, assuming we were up to no good. And a few would park up right behind us. It was so intimidating, and embarrassing. If they could see in they were looking at our whole life. To them though, it was just a joke. Something fun to do before they went home themselves. Obviously most of them didn’t realise we would put up with the same thing every night from someone different – they all assumed they were the only ones.
Then came a little moped crew. These ones were total dicks and I hated them on sight. They’d Rev their little bikes and skid about behind our car on them. They’d shout and whoop at each other. They’d beep their irritating horns and laugh at us. It was annoying and each night would get a little bit more worrying, as they’d want to get a bigger laugh from their mates for going near our car.
We started hanging out towels across the windows for some privacy, and to keep the streetlights from lighting up the car but this Moped crew took that as a way of getting even closer without us knowing.
It was horrible feeling trapped in a tiny little tin can with a gang of twats knocking the windows, or banging on the roof. They ripped one of the towels off one night and flung it in the bushes. Exposing us – they laughed right in my worried face.
But what could we do ? If we retaliated they would be getting the reaction they wanted, and they’d only do worse. If we ignored them they simply tried harder to annoy us. It was like being trapped inside a mob riot, and not being able to go anywhere or do anything about it.
I cried to Ryan one evening about it, and he drove us up to the Moors for the night. It was pitch black up there, and we slept so well. In the morning the wild ponies came to say hello and licked sugar off the side of the car. I wanted to stay up there permanently but we weren’t allowed. We’d be noticed and moved on quicker than you could say ‘ Dominoes Pizza’.
After that night though, the yobs didn’t come round for a week or two, and although we remained on edge, it was nice to not have anyone taking our things or banging on the car.
We would wind the chairs back every evening, and lie on top of the duvet until it got cold. Then each of us in our respective seats, we’d chat about everything. Chatting with Ryan at night was the one thing I really enjoyed, I didn’t feel so worried then, and we didn’t feel the way we did with everyone else – like we were on display. We knew each other and could talk about anything, we didn’t feel that we had to explain ourselves to each other – the way we felt with everyone else.
‘ That old guy, John – he said ‘ I don’t know how it gets here at night’ so I told him about it, and he said ‘ yeah I can imagine-‘ I began, but ryan interrupted.
‘ No he can’t. No one can really imagine it. The cold creeping in at 3am. Having to sleep in a chair. The draught around our feet. The constant paranoia.’
‘ The streetlights going off suddenly at 2am. The cars turning around in this corner. Not being able to go to sleep cuddling….’ I added.
My mind flicked back to the night we’d spent at Mount Edgcumbe months before. It was a warm evening, July still. We’d pitched our tent and got the air mattress out. The whole night we’d spent cuddling. I woke up in the exact position is gone to sleep in. Ryans arm must have been dead as fuck, so that was probably why he hadn’t moved. But he didn’t care. There’s no comfort like having someone right next to you while you sleep.
‘ Exactly.’ Ryan said ‘ They don’t know’
I guess not.