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Chapter IV.
Chapter 1 


The models, the young girls hoping to get a least a decent meal at the Witchery and maybe some decent drugs and a good story to tell the girls at the Scotmid counter, the socialites finding sexual novelty in the short, scruffy haired, rough multi-billionaire techno-genius; never mind the many, many escorts that cost more a night than most men earned in a year. The collective of women forming Rab’s sexual history was large enough to have warranted a phone directory, if not more. Yet out of all of them, the endless line of vaginas all desperate to please him for whatever goal they sought, he had only ever had one woman’s name on his mind.

Not a morning, nor a night went past when he did not reach out for her, finding, to his disappointment, just a girl his daughter’s own age, with a perfect body and, perhaps, a top ten single or two. Each of these women had been some voodoo replacement, to fool himself for just that moment that he was either better, or beyond, or that it actually was… it actually was her.

Katrika… he muttered under his breath, every day. The longing, the need… He thought about Jack and his four marriages, each convenient, each dissolved with the same dispassion they had been formed. Jacks’ eight children, that he loved more than anything and, Paula, his first wife, who tended to Jack and his life as much today as when they had been married, despite their union, whether sexual or loving or whatever it had been, now dissolved in the eyes of the law.

“Katrika…” he muttered again. However love worked for other people, he knew that he could only love one person, had only ever loved one person, and only ever would love one person. And she had left him, and she did not love him. And there was nothing in his life that he would not give up or swap to spend just one day in her company… in her love. And despite not having seen her for, maybe over five years, despite her just better than average looks, and the decades toll, with her slaving as a social worker; attempting to help kids with little more than a golden ticket from a chocolate wrapper that was to take them straight to Saughton or Barlinnie via Polmont for the rest of their lives; she was the most beautiful thing he had ever encountered.

As a low paid coder, with her civil service salary, they had had a comfortable enough life in their early twenties. Living in a run-down tenement flat in one of the worse parts of Dundee, that they had been able to afford to buy outright, no need for a mortgage, they had what they needed to be happy: each other. Of course, he had not been to college, and had left school at 16, unlike her with her university education; something that made him feel inferior, as if he did not have the right to have an opinion around her friends. Despite him being smart, almost invariably smarter than most if not all in the room, he felt like the schemie well-to-do ‘get-lucky’ that they largely saw him as. And this had been the first wedge between them. Her parents, owners of a successful chip shop that had expanded to four outlets, and now sold kebabs and pizza, affirming them as a business of culture, had never really taken to him, hoping that their daughter would meet a man with a solid middle class future – perhaps a tax inspector, or a teacher.

The night it had happened; the night he thought about every day of his life, he still could not fully understand. Him sitting in the flat, rolling the first pre-work joint of the night, and sitting back, looking forward to the final of Robot Wars, where Battle-Turtle (designed by a father and son team), a simple round robot with a single spike that span around and around had defeated all challengers, was tos face off against VOLTaire, designed by a team of post-grads from Oxford University, had neural network based machine learning AI, and a control system that would not be out of place on a space shuttle. She came in the door in tears. In immediate alarm, he ran to her… “Wha’s… wha…’s wrong… Kat… wha’s happened… tell me… Ka’..!”

She had collapsed backwards against the door. “Rab… I… I… I…” she breathed, the tears steaming up her glasses, took a breath and said what she had been practising, again and again.

“I don’t want to be with you any more.” she howled. The shock, the unexpected shock ran through Rab like electricity. Him unable to take it fully in. Just looking at her.

And she looked at him, the indescribable pain between two human beings being more than possible for her to bare, and she turned around and ran out the door. And despite the many kickings he had taken, the loss of his mother as a child, the many people who had actually wanted to hurt him, Rab knew for the first time in his life what true pain meant.

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