tagNovels and NovellasNo Future Ch. 50

No Future Ch. 50



Foreign Shores



Although Alex had no doubt that he'd deserved it many times before in his life, this was the first time that he'd actually been slapped across the face.

And fuck! It really stung.

"You're a bastard!" said Lakeisha vehemently. "You're as bad as my fucking husband."

Alex pressed his fingers against his cheek and hoped that he wouldn't actually release the tears that were an automatic response to this punishment. It was bad enough to be in the wrong. It would be worse still to be seen to cry like a baby.

"It was only the one time," said Alex, knowing full well that this excuse was highly unlikely to assuage his guilt.

"That's just what my husband would say. And he was always whoring. Isn't one woman enough for you? You have to fuck some slut as well."

"She was an ex-lover of mine..."

"Clearly she's not an ex-lover any more. You cheat on your wife and now you cheat on me. What have you got to say for yourself?"

"Nothing," said Alex who genuinely couldn't think of a fitting rejoinder. Lakeisha was right. He'd cheated on her just as he'd cheated on Isobel. And with the same woman. "I just hope you can forgive me for having slipped up so badly just this one time."

"I don't believe you, Alex," said Lakeisha whose eyes were drier than Alex's. In fact, they flamed with a fiery passion that he recognised from their lovemaking but this time the flame was lit by anger rather than lust. "I wouldn't be surprised to discover that you and this student floozy have been fucking together the whole time we've been together. I just don't trust either of you."

Lakeisha was right not to trust Karen. She was the sort of woman who'd pay no more notice of the sanctity of a relationship whether it was formalised by law or simply by custom. It was also Alex's fault for thinking that no one would be harmed if he succumbed to Karen's open attitudes on those occasions she'd texted or e-mailed him with an invitation to meet. And with Karen, every encounter involved sex. Alex had simply got careless. He should have been more thorough when he tried to tidy up after Karen's last visit, but he'd not noticed the lipstick marks on the rim of a cup, the indentations on the sofa and the unmistakeable aroma of sex on the sheets. There was also, of course, a record of recent phone calls on his carelessly discarded mobile phone. All this left a trail that Lakeisha was able to follow with absolutely no difficulty.

"Karen," she announced when Alex returned from work to the flat where she'd been waiting for him. "Who the fuck is Karen? And how long have you been fucking her?"

Alex hadn't expected Lakeisha to return quite so promptly from her visit to Leicester, so he was surprised not only to see his beloved waiting for him but also to discover that she would probably not be his beloved for very much longer.

"Isn't there a way we can sort this out amicably?" asked Alex as he watched Lakeisha pile her clothes and possessions into a suitcase.

"It's a good thing I can stay with my friend Laura," said Lakeisha, "or I'd have to stay in a hotel for the night."

"You could just stay here," said Alex. "I'm sure we can work it out."

"Again just like my husband," said Lakeisha who didn't pause at all in sorting out her possessions. "There is no possible way we can work it out. You've fucked up, Alex. You've fucked up good and proper. I should have known that a man who'd got divorced because of his infidelity wasn't going to stay faithful for long. All men are bastards and you're no exception. I don't think I want anything to do with men ever again in my life."

"You can't mean that," pleaded Alex. "I'm sure we can get past this."

"I'm not like your English sluts, Alex. I have standards. I'm not going to tolerate you picking and choosing who you're going to fuck at your own convenience. All I've ever asked from you is to be someone I could trust. I was foolish, of course. You can be trusted. Like all men you can be absolutely trusted. You can be trusted, that is, to be a complete and utter bastard." Lakeisha looked at the suitcase she'd thrown onto the bed. "Have I got everything?"

"I'm not sure."

"I'll keep the key in case I need to come back and collect anything I've forgotten."

Alex then made a mental note to himself to change the lock in case what she decided to do was to come back and trash the place. The hostility and fury in her eyes didn't bode well for restraint.

"Please don't go," pleaded Alex as Lakeisha stormed out of the door.

She didn't bother to reply.


Normally, Alex would have helped Lakeisha carry the two suitcases she dragged behind her and the laptop slung across her bosom. Or at the very least he would have called a taxi. However, it was fairly obvious from her haste and evident anger that anything that would delay her departure was not going to be welcome.

Alex watched Lakeisha walk out the entrance to the block of flats from the bedroom window in the vague hope that she would turn her head round as she left and possibly give him a reassuring smile. However, she gave him no such satisfaction. If she did show regret about leaving the apartment where she'd lived for so many months she wasn't going to do it where Alex could see. She was soon round the street corner and gone.

Shit! Shit! Shit!

So he'd done it again. He'd fucked it up with his wife. He'd fucked it up with his partner. Was there nothing he touched that he wouldn't fuck up?

Alex looked around the bedroom.

Lakeisha had done a comprehensive job of extracting her clothes and other belongings from the cupboards and wardrobes, not that she'd had much in the way of possessions to begin with. These were mostly books, clothes and a few miscellaneous items of personal significance. And now all of that was gone and Alex was left with only his own clutter to be bothered with.

He sat on the side of the bed and nursed a cheek that even now was stinging from Lakeisha's slap. In a sense, he'd done well not to have got worse than that. Unlike Isobel, Lakeisha had no recourse to the law for compensation. This was one blessing resulting from her immigration status. She wouldn't do anything in the current intolerant atmosphere that would alert her presence to the authorities. The worst she could do was take revenge by non-legal means.

Alex would definitely have to contact the locksmith in the morning. It was a risk not worth taking. If Lakeisha had left anything behind—and he was sure she hadn't—she'd have to arrange to come round when he was there.

What could he do now?

Well, he couldn't leave the flat. What would happen if Lakeisha did return? It would be suicide if she returned in her current rage and found the apartment empty. So, Alex's initial inclination which was to walk to the nearest pub for a drink to ruminate on his sudden and unanticipated change of relationship status was not at all advisable. He'd have to see what beer he had in the fridge and sit with it in front of the television. This was the only way he knew of by which he might try and settle his chaotic thoughts. Perhaps doing so would also arrest the pounding in his chest and the occasional rush of perspiration on his brow every time his thoughts focused too vividly on recent events.

Alex pulled open the ring-pull on a can of Czech beer and switched on the television. As always it was tuned to Fox News UK which was currently broadcasting a debate about immigration. Typical! It would be that. Just when a light and frothy story about the Royal Family or some pop group he'd never heard of before would have been much more welcome.

It was the usual sort of debate that before he'd had a relationship with Lakeisha he'd probably have been nodding to in solemn agreement. There was an obvious equation. There were only so many jobs available and those who ought to be filling those jobs should be British citizens. Immigration provided cheap labour that lowered the rates of pay for British professionals and other workers. No one could blame immigrants for wanting to come and live in England's green and pleasant land, but it was the duty of the government to protect the interests of British citizens first. It should never let a flood of foreigners come in, lower the wages of honest British workers, generate unemployment and dilute British identity.

It was the last of these evils that most aggravated the panel of experts on the Amanda Littlejohn show, although the principal justification for their arguments was always a set of simple economic facts. Alex was no longer so sure about all this after having lived so long with Lakeisha. She was an immigrant but one who was paying her way. In pure economic terms she represented a net gain for Britain's wealth. She was paying for her education with African money and when she graduated she had no intention of working for anything less than a British doctor would earn. And anyway it was so difficult these days for immigrants to enter the country and find legal employment that only the truly desperate would ever try to do so.

On the other hand, there was much cause for desperation. The wars and famines in Africa were showing no sign of abatement, any more than did the rate of population growth. How many people were there in the world? Was it eight or nine billion people? If there hadn't been enough for the five or six billion people who shared the planet when Alex was at school, how could there be enough for the extra billion or two that there were now? It didn't take too much of a grasp of basic arithmetic to identify a problem that could only get worse.

Amanda Littlejohn had no doubt at all about where the Conservative government's duties lay and how much they were hampered from the execution of their necessary duties by the plague of political correctness and a lack of political will. Unless stern uncompromising measures were taken soon there would only be disaster. The salary of the British working man and woman would be further reduced. The British way of life would come to its inexorable end. There would be rivers of blood through the cities of London, Lincoln and Leeds.

Alex switched channels.

The woefully underfunded BBC News was showing some feature about growing racial intolerance which was the sort of programme that Fox News UK would never show. Alex only had half an ear to the programme, but he wasn't sure whether he agreed. So many of his colleagues at work were Black, Asian or Indian. What was the problem? Where was the prejudice?

Mind you, right to the very end, Alex had been reluctant to introduce Lakeisha to his colleagues. Was it because she was younger than him and that made it seem like he was only interested in her for sex? Or was it because she was black? And if it was the latter, was it his work-colleagues' attitude to miscegenation that bothered him?

Alex wasn't sure. He was convinced that he wasn't racist. He'd loved Lakeisha at least as much as he had any of his other girlfriends and probably more than he ever had the ex-wife who was now bleeding him dry. It was only his uncertainty about what other people thought about such a relationship that had inhibited him.

But it was over now. A change in the door lock and a new message on the answer phone and Alex could carry on with his life as before. He would be newly single and he'd have to start prowling the internet dating sites again; but he'd survive.

So what could he do now?

Well, he could stop watching the BBC News and the financially strapped quality of its news coverage. He flicked through the satellite channels until he found a documentary channel that was showing a film about one of London's railway stations. The general theme was how trains were becoming ever more important as fuel prices continued to rise. As Alex was also a rail commuter, he allowed this programme wash over him while, despite his best intentions, his mind continued to flicker back to the disastrous circumstances of his latest separation and the series of foolish mistakes that had precipitated it.

Could he really be certain that he'd never be so stupid again?

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