“So because a child is born it means that you give up your friendship is that it. Well I won’t do it Shirley, not for you or no one.’
“Where are you going?’
“I’m going out.’
“Your going to Mickey’s house aren’t you?’
“There are worse places that I could be; I could be sitting in a boozer night after night Shirley.’
Tom threw on his hat and coat and walked along to his friend’s house.’
“When Tom knocked on the door Mickey answered; He was covered in paint.’
“Have you been painting asked Tom?’
“Aye the hoose won’t decorate its self yer na.’
Come on let’s go for a pint I cannot stand the smell of paint you know that.’
“Giz five minutes to put the lid back on the tin of gloss
“What’s up wi ye like?’
“I’ve had a row wi Shirley Tom shouted down the passage as Mickey cleaned himself with an old rag with some turps then washed them in soapy water. he put on his coat and hat and closed the door.’
“I tell you what mate since Jeffery has come on the scene Shirley is changing.’
What do you mean?’
“She is becoming more and more demanding and possessive. They crossed the road and crossed the park at Dockwray Square then headed down the long flight of steps and onto the fish quay.
The boats were returning as they walked along the quayside and the lights from the fish stores were shining as darkness lit up the cobbled road. The market was beginning in the gut as they made their way to the Dolphin.
“It will be postnatal depression man; loads of women suffer from it when they’ve just had a kid.’
“You never heard what she said Mickey.’
Tom pushed the door open to the pub and went inside.
Lorraine Johnson asked what they would like to drink and Tom told her that they would have two pints of McEwan’s best scotch.
Tom paid for the drinks then carried them over to a table out of the way.
Fishermen were playing cards and dominoes and paid little attention to them as Tom went about telling him what Shirley had said.’
Mickey said the same as he had done.’
“Women are a strange breed aren’t they mate said Mickey as he drank almost half a pint of his beer.’
“Has Alison ever tried to put the block on you seeing me?’
“Whey aye; but I told her where to go mate.’
“Shirley says that you will change when you have kids.’
“Like hell will it.’
“We have been mates since we were four years old Tom; nothing or no one will split us up.’
Shirley says that she doesn’t want to split us up; she just wants to see more of me and for me to spend more time with her and Jeffery.’
“Aye that’s how it starts mate and before you know it we will only get to go out once a week if we’re lucky.’
“Bugger that said Tom, I work hard to put food on the table. I deserve to spend time with my friends.’
“Another pint said Mickey as he went to the bar.’