by P T Saunders
Sample chapter from my book "Cupboard Boy" Available on Amazon
Little Paul's first Christmas
The Christmas of 1969 is a memorable one. Not because we all received lots of presents, played games, ate well and generally had fun like most of the families in our street.
We, the boys all woke up at about 5am in the morning. (Yes, for once Little Paul had been allowed to sleep in his bed for more than a week). We were excited at the thought of receiving a pressie or two and more importantly a chocolate selection box. Which we usually had to share between two.
Even though we had been awake for hours, we were not allowed downstairs until Roy and my mum got up. Which, on that day was at Half past eleven.
After being given the go-ahead, we all rushed downstairs and headed for the front room where are pressies were usually laid out in piles. The piles were not large by any stretch of the imagination, there was usually one main present and a few stocking fillers such as colouring books and pencils, socks and undies plus the ever-popular selection boxes.
I found my pile and frantically started to rip them open. As I was doing so I became aware of Little Paul stood in the middle of the room. I looked around and saw that there didn't seem to be a pile for him. I knew that this could not be the case, as I remembered his old foster parents dropping quite a few presents off for him the week before.
Little Paul looked at Roy and asked him where his presents were?
Roy replied that animals don't get presents and that he was lucky to be here at all.
I'll never forget the look of total dejection on Little Paul's face, it was absolutely heart-breaking to see. Feeling awful for him, I gave him one of my presents to open. He took the present from me and launched it at Roy calling him a bastard as he did so.
Roy flew across the room and knock him out cold before dragging him by the ankle out to the coal bunker.
When Roy came back into the front room he was ranting and raving about how ungrateful we were and that none of us deserved anything at all. He then sent us all to our rooms. It was twenty to twelve and our Christmas lasted the whole of ten minutes.
We never did get to open our presents, Roy through the toys, selection boxes in the bin and un-wrapped the clothing items himself.
Two hours later, the smell of roast turkey filled the air of our bedroom as Roy and my mum sat down to eat their Christmas dinner. We got nothing!
That afternoon I looked through my bedroom window down onto the street. It was full of our friends and neighbours wearing their new clothes, riding their new bikes and showing off their new toys.
"why had my mum put me in this situation? I bet Caren and Duncan were having a great Christmas"; I also remember thinking that no matter how long I lived, I would never forgive her selfishness. I never did nor did I go to her funeral either.
Even though it was the middle of winter and as cold as hell, Roy kept Little Paul in that bucker all night, with just a single smelly blanket to keep him warm. I remember letting him out the following day, he was almost blue with cold.
He only managed to stay indoors for about four hours before he once again got on Roy's bad side and ended up being thrown back in the coal bunker.