I was up with the birds this morning, sat on the cliff top looking out to sea once again. My foot gently tapped the ground, impatience now a big part of my life. Now I was committed to doing this, I needed to get it going. The last few days had been a mental and emotional rollercoaster.
The death of Prez and Ahlaam had got out to the British press. Officially the government were dubbing them terrorists, enemies of the state killed whilst they attacked a government facility. They even rolled out images of the dead bodies in the hut we'd visited, saying that terrorists had killed these innocent people in their attempts to wreak havoc. At first there was outrage at our actions, but slowly the message was being got out that we were the victims, video had been leaked of the attack, showing how we'd been gunned down. The groundswell of opinion was moving our way. Demonstrations had happened in many city centres around the country. In Paris and Washington over a million people had marched through the streets. Placards of the fallen Sinead, Prez and Ahlaam displayed by the angry crowds urging their governments to do something about the human rights crisis in the UK.
in Britain GS goons had clashed violently with crowds when they tried to disperse the peaceful rallies. Jacqueline had been in touch and we'd recorded a message that was to be played at the funerals of Prez and Ahlaam. It had been a highly emotional time planning what we were to say. We'd all put a bit in and spent the evening huddled together reminiscing about our short time together. To coincide with the funerals, huge protests and demonstrations were planned all over Britain. We'd been told under no circumstances to go to any of the memorial services and protests as the GS were after us more than ever. We planned our own service later today at the same time, just the four of us.
I'd spent time talking to Jacqueline alone explaining what I wanted to do. At first she'd tried to talk me out of it, but when she saw that I was determined to do it without her help, she relented. An ideal window of opportunity had opened up on the day after the funerals. That would give me a couple of days to say my goodbyes. I arranged as much as I could and said I'd be in touch.
Yesterday we'd headed for Scarborough. We wanted to get some clothes and a few other items that were needed. I'd been a little disappointed when Crissy and Lily had wandered off to look around and left Zee and I to go off alone. Since that night on the Brigg, Crissy and Lily seemed to be leaving Zee and I alone more and more. We arranged to meet up in an hour’s time. It was a wonderful hour wandering around the shops hand in hand, stopping occasionally to browse. Zee had never been to an English seaside place before and was fascinated by the little shops full of junky items that we took for granted.
At a charity shop she'd looked wistfully into the window at an acoustic guitar hung there. Zee was a creative person and I knew she liked to play and sing songs. On impulse I went in and appeared a few minutes later with it. I always like giving gifts and seeing the expressions on people's faces, far better than receiving. She threw he arms around me as thanks before looking delightedly at the instrument.
We met up with the other two for some dinner in a little café down a side street. Selecting some clothes for the memorial followed a quick snack. Although we couldn't go we were determined to dress up for the occasion. The afternoon had been spent on the front wandering around the amusements. It was one of the best times we'd spent as a group. The seaside atmosphere was really infectious and we were soon laughing and joking with each other. We ate far too much ice cream, had too many chips and laughed at times until it came back down our noses.
At night we sat outside the tent looking out to sea, the atmosphere from the day still prevalent. Zee entertained us playing the guitar making up silly songs and having us in hysterics at times.
It was almost time for going to sleep and the girls went off to the toilet one last time. They were gone for a while. I wandered over to the cliff path and stood looking out at the dark sky.
I heard the others come back from their ablutions and turned round smiling.
I felt a hard fist to my face and then fists started to fly at my body, each time they connected I felt pain.
'You b**tard Tom, you complete and utter b**tard' Zee yelled as she continued to aim her fists in my direction. I tried to protect my body but the next one landed on the side of my nose; I heard a crack, felt an intense pain in the middle of my face and a warm liquid spilling down my face. I dropped to my knees but still Zee continued to hit me until the others pulled her off. They held her back and as I looked up I saw rage and raw anger in her face, tears running down her cheeks.
I pulled my t-shirt off and tried to stop the blood flowing down my face. I kept my eye warily in Zee's direction. The anger was still there in her eyes, the loathing. I felt disturbed, as I couldn't for the life of me think why she'd attacked me.
'Crissy's told us what you intend doing' Lily said anger evident in her tone.
I looked at Crissy and she met my gaze with defiance.
'I had to tell them Squonk, they have a right to know where you're going and what you intend to do' Crissy said.
'How could you even think of doing this,' Lily carried on, 'don't you realise that we're a group. You can't do things like this without it affecting us.'
'She's right Squonk,' Crissy said, 'you shouldn't be planning this on your own. We're a group and we want to know exactly what you're planning'
'I'm sorry, but I didn't want to get you all involved in this' I mumbled through the t-shirt the blood almost stopping now. I pulled it away from my face and tried to touch my nose. I winced at the pain.
Lily examined it.
'I think you ought to go to the hospital Squonk' she said
I gently shook my head.
'Can't, we're wanted aren't we'
'I'll tidy it up for you, sit down' she said
I sat on the floor. Crissy fetched some water and Lily gingerly managed to wipe as much blood away from the nose as she could. Every time she touched I winced, at one stage yelling out in pain.
Zee sat down beside me, the look of anger had turned to concern.
'I'm sorry Squonk but you shouldn't keep me, well us out of the loop with things. What you have planned is just madness' Zee said
'Maybe you're too headstrong' Crissy said, 'we want to know all the plan now though'
'Crissy was right to tell us about this. We'd all miss you. It's not fair on us'
I sat and explained what I intended to do. This time I explained in more detail where and how I was going to make the impact.
'But why?' asked Zee I smiled and put my arm around her pulling her closer.
'For Prez, for Ahlaam and mostly for Sinead and the baby' I said, 'if it works then they'll sit up and listen to us. Already the movement is getting stronger. If I can strike at their heart then maybe all the death and suffering can come to an end, maybe we'll all be free.'
'I'm coming with you,' said Zee, ‘I’ve come too far with you to let you leave now.’
'Are you sure? You know what the consequences are?' I asked
She nodded and smiled. I leant down and kissed her. I was really pleased I didn't have to be alone for this, the selfish bit in me surfacing.
'Me too,' said Lily suddenly, 'you're my brother, well I think you are. I'm ready for this. Without you two I don't think I could carry on anyway. Losing Ahlaam was bad enough but...'
I held out my other arm and she moved to the side. I hugged her tight kissing her hair.
'Well I guess that together we'll be invincible. I'm in too' Crissy said.
She placed her arms around Lily and Zee and sat facing me in the huddle.
'After all, left to your own you may cock it up' she continued smiling at me from close range.