Suffice to say the flight back over was not exactly carried out in the style to which I had become accustomed and being hastily bundled into the back of one of the big white vans with the blacked out windows seemed a far cry from being orally pleasured by Mia in her brother's limo.
But I was alive. In fact, in some ways, I felt more alive than ever. That's what people say who have near death experiences. Were it not for the fact that it looked like I would be spending the majority of what remained of my adult life behind bars, I would probably have vowed there and then to take up skydiving or potholing. Or both, but not at the same time ! lol, skyholing or potdiving !!
I was being sent to Wandsworth Prison. I was quietly chuffed, I think Wandsworth is probably the classiest of the London prisons. It's the largest, for starters, and in prisons, more than anywhere else, size matters. It's cat B, so that pegged me at a menace to society but not on the same level as a sex pest. I think that's fair really. The alumni of Wandsworth Prison includes Oscar Wilde, the two Ronnies (Kray and Biggs - as oppose to Corbett and Barker (everyone knows that Barker was sent to Slade)) and more recently Julian Assange (who is not a menace to society, but he might be a sex pest in Sweden). Best of all though, Wandsworth Prison is just a short bus ride away from Clapham Junction and quite close to a really nice pub called the County Arms, so I knew that I would get plenty of well fed visitors and thus look quite popular among the other residents.
Indeed, even before the funeral had even been organised I received my first visitor, Rosemary Forsyth. She was to be my brief for the case as appointed by Gary. I could see why he'd gone for her too, she was Rose by name and a rose by nature. Literally. A classic English beauty with a thorn sharp mind. She smelled quite nice too.
When I met Rose, I knew that my time at Wandsworth would be short lived. Not because she was possessed the sharpest legal mind in the country, but because she told me that Gary would be at the funeral, and when the guards let me into view my mother's body, he would spring me out of a window into a waiting van and have me on the continent via a private jet in a matter of hours.
I practically forgot about Mum being dead after Rose came to see me. I don't know if that makes me a bad son. I didn't really go out of the way to make any friends at Wandsworth, I couldn't see the point really, they'd just be like holiday romances wouldn't they? only without the moonlit walks on the beach. I tell you what though, people don't half moan about conditions inside British prisons, but compared to the Thai clink, Wandsworth really was more like Butlins.
The day of the funeral came and I was bundled into the back of a van for the long journey up north. When I arrived and came out into the autumn sun, the first person I saw was Gary. He was there standing next to the mush from Shepherd's Bush, as was Roger bloody Leache, Greta the Nazi, and all the other Leaches. Steve was there and Steve's dad, Steve, Dave the roofer had come over Edmonton with Gill and little baby Richard Barry the roofer.
Best of all though was seeing Tia though, she looked absolutely stunning. Seeing her made me realise that I had made the right choices all along. It's funny really readers, on the face of things, not much had actually gone that right, but that first night of our honeymoon had felt so, so, right and if something feels that right, how can it be wrong?
The guards kept a close watch over me and didn't really let me say much more than a quick "hello" with my fellow mourners. But then the moment came when I was allowed into a small, dimly lit room with close family only, and in this particular instance that meant Gary and Roger bloody Leache.
I couldn't quite believe it readers. In fact, I was a little bit incredulous. After everything he'd done to ruin by life, Roger bloody Leache was just about to cock up my escape. What a wanker. I think though that Gary could see the look of consternation on my face. He winked. Then in a whisper he mouthed "it's OK. He's OK. He knows."
I looked from Gary to Roger and from Roger to Gary. I was still a little stunned, but these days I'd learned how to roll with the punches!
We stood alone in silence, just the three of us. Well, the four of us really if you counted Mum. The proverbial elephant in the room. We'd been there for at least a minute and no one had said a word. I must admit, I was starting to get a bit fidgety. I didn't really want to be the one who brought it up, but in the end I had to.
"So, when do I get out then? I mean, shall we swap clothes now?" I said to Gary.
Roger wiped away a tear, or maybe he just had an itchy eye. "How could you be so incredibly stupid Barry?" he said. I wasn't sure whether he was talking about the escape plan or about the cocaine smuggling. Or about marrying a foreign transgender pre-op whose motives were as arguably dubious as her breasts. Roger was a Nazi after all and they're not famed for being that open-minded.
Roger spoke again: "You didn't seriously expect us to help you to abscond to Europe knowing what you know about our little organisation did you Barry? Things were going so smoothly until you started meddling. You won't be swapping clothes with Gary. You'll be clothes with your mother, she'll be the one that we push out of the window and into the van - the police will be giving chase to a corpse, meanwhile you'll have gone up in smoke!"
Well, I thought that this was especially outrageous since my mother had always said that she wanted to be buried. "Gary, can you talk some sense into your bloody idiot father?"
"Sorry Barry," said Gary, "I've not been entirely honest with you. Dad's right. We can't let you escape. We can't let you live either. We thought we'd be home and dry when you got caught. They don't, generally speaking, let people off in Thailand. But then your bloody mother croaked it and they bloody well let you come home. We needed to act fast. We'll ship your mother back for a decent Christian burial in the Fatherland."
"Do it then dad," said Gary again, and with that Roger punched Gary hard in the face. I couldn't quite believe what I was seeing, none of it made sense.
"I'll do the time for you," said Roger, "I'll say that I did it for the memory of your mother, I'll say I overpowered Gary and let you escape."
"Now," continued Roger pulling out a Luger and pointing it at me, "be a good little boy and help your mother out of her coffin. She's leaving."