Tony hadn’t been back in Spain very long when he phoned to say that the people he had been staying with had had enough they had thrown him and his children out. Would I help him?
I couldn't say no I felt sorry for his kids, they had been passed from pillar to post for years and had witnessed their own mother and various subsequent girlfriends of their father abused. At this point I had received in the post his new bank card. Tony asked if I would book them flights home. I did what I could and managed to organise them flights home within 24 hours which bearing in mind it was the beginning of July is no mean feat.
I had said that I wouldn't pick them up from the airport, I didn’t want anything to do with them, but I would meet him to hand over various things that belonged to him, his bank card being one.
I'm sure you can see were this is leading, I gave in and gave them a lift back. I didn't though at this point have any more to do with them.
Over the next day or so the phone calls and text messages started. I ignored them so Tony changed his tack. He needed various pieces of paperwork that he had left at my house to enable to get housing etc. I met him a few days later and handed them over. He wanted to see the children.
I cautiously agreed but arranged to meet somewhere public. The children were so excited to see their dad. They had the hugest smiles, my eldest burst into floods of tears. I couldn't live with guilt I couldn't be responsible for preventing them having a relationship.
It turned out the accommodation that Tony had secured for him and his other children was in a homeless hostel. I think they stayed once maybe twice. They were spending most of their days at mine with our children. Tony had been looking for more permanent housing and had been successful. All the paperwork was signed he had the keys, he was just organising furniture, that would only take a week at most.
I suggested that they stay with me for the week. It meant that all the kids had time together and he had time with our children, also it gave me a bit of down time even if all I did was do the shopping in piece.
Saturday I was due to go out, but it was cancelled at the last minute. Tony suggested that we had an hour out to talk. Discuss how things were going to work between us going forward. Seemed reasonable, even sensible. Not long before we were due to go there was a small altercation between his two children. Tony as always attacked the elder with no knowledge of the actual event. I made this my business, I don’t know why. Seeing his eldest child in floods of tears certainly had something to do with it.
We had a pretty decent night in all fairness, there were no cross words, we chatted to others and generally had a laugh.
When we got home I decided that it was a good time to ask him why he had sprung to the defense of his younger child who was clearly in the wrong.
That’s when it began. Over three hours of the most excruciatingly painful and without doubt the most frightening night of my life, and what I believed at the time was to be the last night of my life.