Money: a considerable sum, sat in Bella’s bank account, proceeds from the house sale, proceeds from the marriage that never was.

We took her to a new housing estate, a prestige one at that. Showed her a house on a plan, not yet built. She chose bathrooms, kitchen cupboards, the tiles to go in all. Put a small holding deposit to secure the deal.

We were pleased with the investment.

She worked hard at being a nurse, enjoyed her role in the hospital.

We came home early one evening, Bella was in bed, an early shift the next day. I popped my head round her door, she asked for a glass of fresh orange, and gulped it in one. We chatted a while. She told me of the beer festival she had been to with The Big I Am.

Next day a tale came our way: Bella at the beer festival was paralytic. I confronted her, asked whether this was true?

‘No, you saw me that evening, did I seem drunk to you?

I dismissed the tale, an act of jealousy. The same person saw The Big I Am walking in a direction that made no sense.

I think of the orange juice, the need to drink in one. I think of The Big I Am, and the direction his womanising took.

I look back and I wonder, what was fact? What was fiction?

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I am the mother of two adult daughters, both much loved and cared for. The eldest thought she could handle social drinking and party drugs, she could not. There is a journey addicts relate to - their journey. As a mother I have healed through the written word. This is my journey.

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