Making his way down St. Mary’s Street in Cardiff’s piss-poor excuse for a city centre, Rich checked his watch, rubbing at the rain that splattered it. Twenty minutes—he could stroll it. He passed McDonald’s and the chavs propping up the windows, disaffected youth in fake designer gear and gold-looking chains. He clocked three of them who he’d seen on the unsolved boards in the office. Petty theft, possession of a negligible amount of cocaine, school arson. What a gallon of twats.
Speaking of twats… Rich became aware of a skinhead coming up behind him on the street, and automatically pulled his jacket closer. He subtly checked him out in the reflection of the shop window: a tall, broad twenty-something with a light coating of stubble on his cheeks. He wore a nice leather jacket—looked vintage, but you could buy that crap from the indoor market for a pittance. Cheap Chinese crap that kids thought made them look cool.
This boy didn’t look like the usual breed of neo-Nazi scum, but DI Hesketh had been wittering on about an increased presence of English Defence League—or was that Welsh Defence League?—hooligans on their streets. They were supposed to be on the lookout for racially motivated crimes, but Rich had never been keen to police what was going on in someone’s head. And if the Welsh bastards wanted to keep Wales for themselves, they were welcome to it.
Yet this kid made him antsy precisely because he didn’t fit the bill. He had his shoulders hunched down and was walking at a pace that his long legs could easily have exceeded. Why was he walking so damn slowly?
Rich suddenly felt a deep sense of unease, the hairs on the back of his neck rising up. Had he done something to piss off the boys down in grubby Splott? Had they sent a friend to take care of him? He regretted leaving his badge at home.
It wasn’t yet nine o’clock but the streets were dark and quiet, falling into the lull between the day’s shoppers heading home and the nightlife coming out to play. There were barely twenty people the entire length of the street and no one close to them. The skinhead could easily come up behind him, slide a knife between his ribs, and that would be him done. Nobody would even know until Rich spilled his lifeblood on the ground, spreading pink in the rainwater gutters of the street.
See the other titles featured in the Carina Press Mystery Week Blitz by clicking HERE. Enjoy!
Women earn 57% of bachelor’s degrees, 63% of master’s degrees and 53% of doctorates. They constitute the majority of the U.S. workforce and the majority of managers. Single women without kids earn 8% more than single men without childrenin most cities. Women make up almost half of medical school applicants and nearly 80% of veterinary school enrollees. Maybe we need a #sheforhe hashtage to…
We’ve all been there. Someone asks you to do something and you just don’t want to get involved. I’m not talking about revising for exams, or giving to charity; I mean those times when you’re just not 100% sure you want to say “yes”.
When Jasmine was in two minds about going to Ellie’s party she struggled to say no. So, how do you say without sounding like a loser and losing face in front of your friends? Arm yourself with some of the points below and remain in control of the situation:
1) The deflection. ‘I’m good thanks’ or ‘I’m fine’ is more relaxed than a definite no. You’re making your choice clear- not this time- but you’re not making a fuss or a scene. If this doesn’t work first time, try repeating it in different ways like, ‘I’m ok’ or ‘no, you’re alright.’
2) The sarky. My favourite gently sarcastic response is ‘I can’t tonight, I’m sorting out my sock drawer.’ You don’t have to confess that you have to be back home at a certain time or you’re babysitting your little brother. Say it with a shrug and a smile and remain forever mysterious.
3) The yeah but no but. Try something like, ‘I’d like to but I can’t.’ You don’t need to explain why but if pressed go for number 2 as a follow up. Top tip: don’t try this on a teacher when they ask you to do something. They’ll freak out.
4) The timeout. Buy yourself some time and space to think with a response like, ‘not right now but I’ll think about it.’ Don’t say this unless you really are going to think about it and give the person a time they can expect your response: ‘I’ll What’s App you later this evening’ or ‘I’ll call you on Wednesday’. Buy yourself some space, mull it over and if the answer is still no, go for number 1 or 3.
5) Just say no! There was an anti-drugs campaign in the 1980s with a really terrible song performed by the cast of Grange Hill (look up the video on Youtube, it’s truly cringeworthy). It didn’t do much to discourage teens taking drugs but it did put a whole generation off saying a plain and simple no without doing that flapping thing with their hands. The bottom line is that sometimes only a no will do. If you’re uncomfortable or unhappy with a situation it’s better to say no and look like a loser than get in over your head. Look the person in the eye, say it clearly and don’t get defensive if your decision is criticised. It’s your decision after all!
BIO: By day Sian Rowland trains teachers in how to teach better sex and relationship education but by night she writes plays. Follow @Sian_Rowland on for random tweets about education, writing, music and cake. Check out her blog, HERE.
Breakups suck no matter what age you are, but I’ve often wondered why people disregard teen heartbreak as mere ‘kids stuff’. If anything, it can be more traumatic than adult breakups when you first feel that gut-wrenching emotional horror fest of having your heart gouged out of your chest for the first time.
But don’t worry, while the first cut might be the deepest, bouncing back from teen heartbreak can also be a chance to re-emerge better and stronger.
Like Lizzie and Jasmine in the Decision Book Series, we each have a choice on how we react to the situations in our lives. If you are in a ‘heartbreak situation’ here are some Breakup Hacks to get you on the right tracks:
#Hack1: Surround yourself with a posy of good friends.
The buddies that have your best interests at heart, who will listen to your weepy tales of breakup hell, and, ideally, will bring you cookies, are the sorta people you need in your life right now.
Why is this important? Because when you are hurting, you need people to give you support and remind you how awesome you are.
Remember: friends are for life, not just for breakups. They are the family you choose so DON’T take them for granted. Cherish them and remember to return the favour when they need a shoulder to cry on.
#Hack2: Protect your heart on social media.
There is no shame in blocking your bloke on social media if you need some space. Let’s just call it a lil’ relationship detox, shall we? Why is this important? Because virtual activity does not reflect reality.
By giving yourself space you are allowing yourself the opportunity to step back and gain some perspective.
DO NOT use social media as a weapon to humiliate, retaliate and ridicule your ex, even if he hurt you. Why? Because it will make YOU look bad in the long term and damage YOUR credibility, not the other way round.
#Hack3: Let your emotion out.
Write it out, talk it out, cry it out, or hell, why not sing it out!?
It’s much better to let your emotion out than carry it around with you as extra baggage. This is actually more damaging in the long run. So go through your situation, suss out what happened and give yourself time to process your breakup…
#Hack4: Don’t take it out on the next.
If you have had a bad relationship experience it’s important to remember that not everyone is going to hurt you. Some people will, but not everybody. Such is life!
If your ex has treated you badly, made you feel insecure about yourself or left you doubting whether you can trust anyone again, you need to know this does not represent a healthy relationship.
As mother Teresa once said:
‘Some people come in our life as blessings. Some come in your life as lessons.’
When it comes to breakups, it’s important to recognize who is a lesson and who is a blessing.
#Hack5: Keep busy.
Trust me on this, fill up that diary girl!
Exercising and being active after a breakup is pivotal to breakup recovery. Being active will not only make you feel good about yourself but will also aid the release of feel good hormones in the brain and help alleviate stress. Win!
#Hack6: Know you are NOT alone.
We’ve all been there (or will go there). Heartbreak is a part of life but it is important we deal with it.
Talk to someone who has been though a breakup already and you will find that while every relationship is unique, you are not alone in your situation.
#Hack7: Finally, the MOST IMPORTANT HACK OF ALL: Understand there is no rush to find love.
When you first go through a horrendous breakup you might fool yourself into thinking that love will never happen again. EVER!
Reality check: Chill out Miss Hasty, why the rush!?
A relationship does not define you. A relationship does not make you popular, nor does it make you desirable and attractive. You are defined by your own actions and attitude. Popularity, desirability and attractiveness are all down to you!
When it comes to relationships - you attract what you are. So use these golden years to work on yourself, have fun and pursue your dreams. When you are maximizing your life you attract like-minded people.
If you find a partner you can grow with, by all means go for it. But if you don’t find Mr. Right at this point in your life, don’t sweat. Do your own thing. It’s much better to glow solo than walk in the shadow of a relationship that holds you back!
Written by Yazmin Joy Vigus Tweet! @yazminjoy or check out her blog at www.aliljoy.com - don’t get down, join Yazmin for a lil’ joy!