When Push Comes To Shove

A blog by Tom Gale Jul ’22

Firstly I want to precid what I’m about to tell you. There’s no way to sugar this pill. I was assaulted, about a month ago. As you can see I’ve lived to tell the tale. There is no cause for concern. Thanks to the work of two Police Officers from the Greater Manchester Police Force who came to the premises taking swift and decisive action. To apprehend the culprit and escort them from the premises. 

Here’s the kicker though. Brace yourselves. The culprit was the partner of a good friend. Someone that I had known for the better part of three years. Someone with whom I have laughed and cried. We’ve gone clubbing together in our local danceteria until the wee hours. We’ve even shared a bed together. Only because neither of us had the strength to move a muscle having collapsed with exhaustion, still giggling from memories of a fun packed evening. 

So how did my friend’s partner become the perpetrator of an assault?  Funny you should ask. I was about to tell you. It’ll take a while but you should be used to that by now. After all, that isn’t why you are here. 

As this was a “common assault” Common assault is when an individual inflicts violence or (interestingly) makes them think they are going to be attacked. This is referred to as a “battery” so strictly speaking I was battered. Which is something I remember was in the vernacular of Niddrie. Where I was brought up in Edinburgh. My brother or sister often using the phrase “Oh you’re going to get battered.” Having once more come up with a lie to get me in trouble with my mum and dad. 

So my friend’s partner could have been charged with “assault by beating” This does not mean however that I was actually beaten up, or even hit or kicked. It can mean that the victim (yours truly) was pushed, grabbed or spat at. 

We’d been having a great catch up. It was lovely to see my friends again. Particularly after everything that happened with my partner and I splitting up. My friend has surprised me with a present. A pair of Andrew Christian briefs. Pink with yellow trim. They fitted perfectly. In fact I’ll go so far as to say I’ve never had a pair of underpants that fitted so well. My friend decided that he would do a ‘shoot’ to mark the occasion. We had such a hoot as he was posing in many ways while he clicked away with the camera. 

We were having such a great time we decided to keep it going and go into town. All three of us. My friend looked fit as,  so I told him so. Considering the last time I’d seen him he looked like death warmed over. He was gaunt and his skin had a rather unbecoming grey palour. 

We went to one of our favourite bars. A men only establishment in the Gay Village. It was busy but we managed to find a booth and settled with our drinks. The conversation flowed easily and we reminisced and had each other in stitches whilst also flirting outrageously. My friend had caught the attention of a rather rugged and muscled guy with kind eyes. So I got him to come join us. My friends decided to take him home with them and invited me. He had too much to drink though and he didn’t last long before falling asleep. We didn’t let it spoil our fun though and we kept the party going into the wee hours. 

His partner had also gone to bed as he was working the next day. They left together in the morning. I made coffee.

“I noticed last night that (let’s call him K) K didn’t buy a round all night nor did he put anything or even offer anything towards the taxi fares.”

“He doesn’t get paid for another couple of weeks.”

“Ah right. I see.”

“But you know what I do pay for quite a lot.” Said (let’s call him M) M.

“And you gave him money for the bus.” 

M’s eyebrow lifted as he took a sip of his coffee. 

“I don’t do it all the time.” M replied. Which, reading between the lines meant that he did. 

“But he’s working and you’re on benefits?” 

“Yeah but it’s fine. It’s not an issue.”

An awkward silence ensued for a few moments which felt much longer. I shouldn’t have said anything. God me and my big mouth. Why don’t you see if you can open it wider and fit both feet in. I thought, chastising my inappropriateness. 

“I shouldn’t have brought it up. It’s none of my business.” 

“Don’t be daft. If our friendship can’t withstand a little probing out of concern for my welfare then it doesn’t say much about the friendship.” replied M. 

“I’d been looking forward to a bit of probing all weekend.”

We laughed and M almost choked on the coffee which sputtered onto the table. I got up to get some paper towels from the kitchen. 

“Aw thank you. You are so thoughtful.” said M. “I did have a wicked thought though.” he continued. 

“Do tell.” I encouraged. 

“We should teach him a lesson.” 

“In what way.”

“Well I could tell him that we’re keeping the party going and we’ve been on the apps and planning to have some extra curricular activities.”

“If only he wasn’t stuck at work…” I mocked gently. 

“If only.” echoed M. 

At which point we both broke down in laughter.

“You do realise that this could potentially blow up in your face.” I cautioned. 

“Yeah but it’ll giggle.”

“Well if you’re sure then you know I’m in.” 

We didn’t get very far as I noticed that M was beginning to lose steam and went for a lie down. So we didn’t really get very far with our ruse. Or at least that’s what I thought. In the next few minutes there was a flurry of messages from K. Mainly about money. It was the final one that got me. In it were the security pass code of M’s mobile. 

“Just go into M’s phone. Then go into xxxx app using these details. (security details of the app) and then send my three pounds.”  I couldn’t believe my eyes. I was shocked and stunned. This was not a wind up. He was serious.

My reply was short and to the point.

“No K I won’t be doing that because what you are asking is fraud and by asking me you are encouraging me to commit fraud. Which in the eyes of the law is a very serious offence.”

“Tom I am tired…I need to get home after work. I am not going to walk home my legs are in pain. This morning M promised to send me money. Sorry for upsetting you.” 

I got M up from his nap and had to break the horrible news to him. He was in bits. 

He continued to message. 

“I am getting worried now. You’ve upset my feelings. It was rude of you to cut me off. If my bf has collapsed you have to call an ambulance.”

“He hasn’t collapsed, I just spoke to him. He won’t let me in the room. He’s devastated.”

“You lost your bf and we’ve put you up. You should go home before I come back from work. I want to be with my bf. Nothing personal but almost three days. It’s a bit long. You need to rest Tom.”

“Funny, those are almost the same words that my ex used on me. Thanks for the advice. I’m not emotional. I’m appalled at the disgraceful way you have treated M.”

“I think you should calm down and let me speak with M. I never thought that you would imprison M in his own home and not let him speak to me.”

“I’m here for my friend M. He is not a prisoner. He is devastated that you would try to steal from him behind his back.” 

As M was at this point sobbing his heart out in the bedroom. I decided to call a close personal friend of both M and I. Let’s call her B. 

She was shocked and stunned when I explained what had happened and she got in a cab and came straight over.  For the next hour or so she consoled M.  He could barely speak through the tears and sobbing. 

He made his wishes clear that he didn’t want K back in the house. I told him I would handle it. I found a piece of wood to wedge the door closed. Sent a message to K asking him to call when he was downstairs and I would come down with a change of clothes. 

He didn’t call. He came straight to the door. Caught me off guard and forced his way into the apartment. M was in the room behind me being comforted by B and yelling that he didn’t want him there. I stood between them. 

He pushed me. I resisted him. He pushed again. This time with a force that took me by surprise. The next moment I was laying on the floor and my shoulder was in pain as it had struck the door frame and scraped it when I was thrust down to the ground. He then stepped over me to get to M and B. It was at that point that I called the police and went downstairs to wait. Reeling from the shock of what had just happened. 

As I said earlier the officers took quick and decisive action. When I came in K and one officer were in one of the bedrooms. M, B and the other office were in the living room and I joined them. The officer asked me a few questions then asked if I wanted to press charges. Explaining that I could take up to a month. To make up my mind fully and didn’t have to commit to anything there and then. I chose to do that. My head just wasn’t in the right place to make that decision. 

B gave me some good advice. “You need to get some distance between M and K for a little while and let the dust settle.”  

After everything that I had been through with my ex and now this. I only knew one thing that I will not have anything more to do with that man.  There are few things that I have a zero tolerance for. Physical violence is one of them. 

So there you go. The harrowing tale of how my friend’s bf battered me. All for the sake of a few pounds. 

2 responses to “When Push Comes To Shove”

  1. A lesson to be learnt by all. Shame they are the sort of things that happen once and the whole scenario may not ever rear it’s head again (hopefully). Lessons like this are hard to be basis for how to react in general. Maybe the lesson is just felt by all. Some more than others.

    Interesting story Tom.
    Thank you for sharing

    1. Hello Rods thank you for your comment. For me the lesson is it isn’t what happens to you that matters. What matters is how you respond to what happens to you. That will determine your character. Which will be different for each of us. Glad you found it interesting.

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