Friday 31st January 2014.
The fountains splash out on to the paving turning the grey to black, the smell of the water wafts through the air. Three friends in their late teens walk closer to the fountain, as a little girl and her mum walk off after throwing in coins. Their nudges turn to pushes and shouts to swearing. Their voices loud and aggressive, one boy pushes the other who trips and falls into the fountain, the guy’s tracksuit becomes heavier as it soaks in the water. The friends laugh, they are dry, but not for long. Adam, the boy in the fountain, stands up and kicks water at them, a coin falls out onto the pavement. The friends all look at each other for a second, then start scooping the money out with their hands, putting everything they can in their pockets. A couple walking by looking, the woman shouts at them.
“Hey!” The guys laugh at her. The man speaks up, “Right I’m calling the police”. He gets his phone out and starts punching numbers in to the keypad, the guys quickly stop.
“Shit!” one of them says.
“Let’s get outta here.” says another, the boys scarper, the coins in their pockets rattle and jingle as they run away.
The woman shouts to them to put the money back, but they keep running, her voice echoes and continues until they run out of sight.
Saturday 1st February 2014.
The boy Adam walks in to the bank, looking slightly smarter dressed. Jeans not tracksuit, no hoody or baseball cap but combed hair. He goes to the counter and speaks to the woman behind the clear glass. “I wanna put some money in my account.” he says in a dull voice.
“How much would you like to put in?” she smiles.
He gets his wallet out of his pocket, so full it’s close to bursting. He empties the contents of the wallet on to the tray in-between him and the cashier. Dozens and dozens of coins fall out, mostly copper, but also some 10s and 20ps.
“That’s how much.” He replies looking to the coins then back to her.
She looks puzzled for a moment but then starts reaching for the coins, organizing them neatly in piles. “Let’s see what we have here then. OK that’s eleven pounds and 56 pence.”
He puts his card in to the machine, enters his pin number and it’s done.
She passes him the receipt and says, “Have a nice day”
He replies, “I already have.” As he walks away smiling, the chain attached to the counter swings freely, he puts a pen in his pocket and leaves.
Monday 3rd February 2014.
A 24-year-old woman walks away from the bank putting her money in her purse. Her perfectly straightened blonde hair starts to dampen as one raindrop after another lands on her head. She looks up as dark clouds start to fill the sky, she shakes the windblown hair out of her face, her eyes glisten as she smiles and puts her umbrella up and carries on walking down the high street. She’s still smiling as she walks into a shopping centre café and sees friends sitting down at a table.
One friend asks, “What you so happy about Bex?”
Becky replies, “Why not Katie, it’s a Monday?”
“Yeah I know, so why you happy?”
She removes her brown leather jacket and places it on the back of her chair. “Well I have nothing to complain about so why not.”
Gemma speaks up, “We’re ready to order, do you know what you wanna get?”
“Erm yeah, actually no, you go up and I’ll look through the menu and get some money out.”
“Ok no probs.” Gemma replies then walks to the counter with Katie.
Becky skims her finger down the menu and stops when she reaches chocolate croissants. She gets her purse out and starts picking out coins, she places a £2 and £1 coin on the table and holds a 10p in her hand as she reaches in for more money just a little bit more she says to herself as she digs her fingers to the corners of the purse. Her eyes start to glisten as they did earlier on, but this time a tear starts to roll down her cheek. She stops what she’s doing when she feels the warm drop on her skin; she wipes it away, confused.
Gemma comes over and asks, “What’s wrong?”
Becky replies “I don’t know” The smile fades and her lip starts to quiver. She gets a tissue out and dabs around her eyes trying not to smudge her makeup. Katie walks over with the drinks and puts them down on the table.
“What’s the matter with her?” she asks Gemma.
Gemma looks to Katie and shrugs her shoulders.
Katie sits down next to Becky and places her hand on her back. “You ok hun?”
Becky sits up and tries composing herself but more tears start to roll down her cheeks. “I don’t know, I don’t know why I’m crying, why am I upset?” She starts to think of her mum and gets more and more upset. “Mum, I need to speak to my mum.”
“Do you want me to call her?” asks Katie.
Becky looks up at her friends. “I need to I need to make sure she’s ok.” Becky grabs her bag and puts it on her lap as she rummages through it to find her phone. “Oh where is it?” She tips her bag upside down on to the table in front of her, emptying the contents everywhere, some fall on the floor.
A woman and her daughter at the counter turn round to look at Becky, the little girl tugs on her mums sleeve, “Mummy, what’s she doing?” the mother replies, “I don’t know sweetheart, she’s just a bit unstable.”
Becky carries on going through her bag, oblivious to the attention she’s getting.
The woman grabs two drinks from the man behind the counter and tells him, “Some right nutters round here hey?” The man nods his head up slightly and forces a half smile out. The woman leaves. A man on the phone in the corner of the café looks up at Becky he talks to the person on the other end of the call, “I don’t even know, just looks like some dumb bimbo looking for some lippy.” He listens, “Ha ha yeah I know. She scatters everything out so nothing overlaps and finds her phone among the rest of her belongings, quickly scans through the contacts to find her mum’s number. Her hands shake. She finds the contact and puts the phone to her ear and it starts ringing. One ring passes by, “Come on pick up” Becky says out loud. Another ring, “Why’s she not picking up?” Another unanswered ring and Becky starts to worry. “Oh my god, something’s happened.” She starts to breathe heavily in and out. Finally the rings stop to a voice at the other end of the phone “Hello” Becky’s tense body relaxes slightly. “Mum?”
“Yes love, are you ok?”
Becky combs her hand through her hand. “Oh thank god you’re ok, you are ok, aren’t you?” she asks.
“Yes I’m ok, what’s wrong sweetie?”
“I just had a feeling about something, are you sure everything’s ok, even it’s small, you’re not hurt are you, you might not think it’s anything, but if something’s happened, mum you still there, why you not talking, something’s happened hasn’t it?”
Becky’s mum interrupts Becky’s speed talking, “No, nothings happened I’m fine.”
“Well why were you just silent?” Becky asks.
“Well if you let me get a word in edgeways I would have been able to tell you I was fine.”
Becky spins the 10p coin she still has in her hand on the table a few times, then it falls on to the floor so she just taps her fingers on the table instead. Her breathing becomes normal and tears stop flowing. Becky calmly speaks to her mum, “As long as everything ok, I’m ok, I’ll see ya later, bye Mum.” Her friends stay looking at her as she hangs up the phone. Becky smiles, “Sorry about that, guess I got a bit, you know, blubbery.”
Wednesday 8th January 2014.
A young man, walks up to the fountain and sits on the edge. He’s smartly dressed in a black suit, his eyes red, he’s been crying. He takes his phone out and looks at the picture of his mum on the screen. The shops are starting to close, a couple of people walk away in the distance. The man speaks to the picture on his phone “I miss you mum, I don’t know how I got through today, I don’t know how I’ll get through tomorrow, I hope I can live a life than would have made you proud.” He takes a 10 pence coin out of his pocket, he clenches it in his hand and rests his chin on his hand, a tear flows down his cheek and lands on the coin. “I wish you weren’t dead mum” he takes a deep breath in and throws the coin over his shoulder in to the fountain.
Wednesday 5th February 2014
A man in his early 30’s, walks out of the bank, rattling change in his pocket, he walks by, passing the shops. He walks forward towards a men’s clothes store with suits in the window, but then turns and walks in to the sweet shop next door. He carries on turning the coins in his pocket. He starts creating a pick ‘n’ mix in a paper bag, gumballs, fudge, chocolate button, he takes it to the till, grabbing a few lollipops on the way. The woman behind the counter smiles and asks “Is that all?”
The man bites his thumb nail and thinks, “Erm, no erm.” he grabs a sparkly, flashing light pen from the side of the front desk and places it with the rest of his purchases. He pays and walks out of the shop.
Friday 31st January 2014
A little girl walks up to the fountain with her mum. She rests her knee on the side and peers in. “Can I make a wish mummy, please?” the mother gives her a 10 pence coin, the girl closes her eyes and talks to herself, “I wish for, some sweeties, the new Barbie and one of those flashy light pens.” she throws the coin in and her and her mum walk off as they see a group of boys walking towards them.
Thursday 6th February 2014
Adam walks on his own through the busy streets of the city centre, he pays for a drink in a shop and takes the change. The one pence coin in his hand shines as the shop lights reflect on it. He starts to feel strange, he sits down on a bench and thinks, overwhelmed with guilt and upset.
Thursday 23rd January 2014.
Adam walks to the fountain holding a coin, reluctant to speak. He finally manages to get some words out. “I wish, I wish you hadn’t got cancer Jess, I hope you get better little sis.” He throws the coin in and walks off quickly.
Thursday 6th February 2014.
Adam remembers back to the time he made that wish. He starts to feel bad for everyone else’s wishes that he stole when him and his friends took the money from the fountain. He walks round the corner straight in to the bank, goes to the cashiers desk and asks to take out £11.56. Adam asks the man behind the desk to put the money in the charity money box behind the till. The man behind the desk nods and smiles, “Yes sir, anything else I can do for you?”
Adam replies, “No thanks, that’s all.”
The cashier smiles, “Have a nice day.”
Adam walks away and the cashier starts to write using a flashing light pen.