Wednesday, February 04, 2004

Phillipa – thanks!

She is one of the most intimidating people I have met. In fact I am scared of her. There is an unpredictability about her. She could do anything, break a bottle in your face, pull out a dirty needle even a large kitchen knife.

The first time I met her was 2am one morning; half-naked, eyes rolling screaming obscenities at me because she was locked out of her flat. A drug user with severe mental health issues - Philippa represents an intense issue.

Then there was the time she single handedly sent our congregation cowering as she cackled and abused us all. Families left as she threw her crutches at anyone who moved as she completely lost it. Bethan my daughter was scared for months to go to church in case Philippa was there – actually so was I! As she left that day she shook my hand and thanked me for a lovely service!

Then there was the time she breathed venom in my face and told me coldly that she was going to stab me and my family. All because I’d seen through her schemes to rob Patrick blind.

I haven’t seen her for several years. Now as I lock the gate at the hall, I’m aware that Phillippa is stood next to me. Her gold tooth shining brightly contrasting with her black African skin. I’m more aware of her nose piercing as it is too close to my face. My heart beats faster, my legs feel weaker, palms clammy – I’m trapped, no one in sight. Just me and Phillippa. “Hello” I offer weakly. She smiles and says “thanks”. “Thanks for not banning me, for always letting me come back, for giving me another chance - I’m sorry I scared your children, I’m better now…” She smiles again and she is gone.

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