Everyone in the block who was occupying a squat received a letter a month ago, the letter stated that the case was going to court on the 30th of October. Everyone thought that after the 30th there would have been another 2 weeks and everyone would have to go, either rent or open other squats.
The council used to send letters with a time and place to leave the squat, but no one had received such letter yet. On this day Patrick and I hadn’t heard the alarm and we only woke up at 8. Sean came in and told us the police was on the 14th floor, kicking everyone out. Denise and Robinson were on the 14th floor that morning because their flat was without a door (I will tell you why later) and that flat was one of the first ones to go. All we knew was the police was three floors above us. Then Felipe turns up saying the police had taken Robinson, handcuffed, and that he was going to be deported! He was in England illegally… I was in shock.
Twenty minutes later the police arrived at Patrick’s flat saying that if we didn’t leave there and then we’d be arrested for not paying for electricity. They had a judicial order. So us two, Zeno and Sean packed everything in 10 minutes and left it on the corridor.
I went to the 14th floor to see Denise and she was shaky, but holding it together. I had to go to work with a lump on my throat. Patrick stayed to take his things to a friend’s squat in another building.
Letitia was in Paris, and I had been working full time in the shop on Portobello Road since Tuesday. On that day a drunk walked in the shop and started being a nuisance, I nearly hit him after he grabbed a cigarette off my hand. I started crying. I was so worried about Robinson. I got home and Patrick turned up. Driving a car! I knew he was going to buy one, as he’s just passed his test, but didn’t realise it was so soon. They had found a potential squat nearby, but they took a better look and it’s not a council house, so they would end up in prison if they broke in.
We went to Seven Sisters to see how things were, and to try and buy a squat from Billy. Denise and Felipe were there trying to buy one too. Denise had been to visit Robinson in prison and was calmer. Robinson will be in prison until they find him a flight home, could be tomorrow or in two months. And he asked Denise to marry him!
THE END!!!! (but there’s a little bit more)
Robinson was deported a few weeks later and Denise went with him. When she left I ‘inherited’ her clients, she worked as a cleaner of private houses, earning relatively good money. Patrick and I stayed together on and off until I was 23 years old and started going to university to study Computer Science! Sadly it turned out that Patrick was an alcoholic and things got very bad for him before they got better and eventually I couldn’t cope with his condition.
Last I heard from him in ‘98, he had been going to AA meetings for a while and was back living in his home town.
Letitia found love with the guy who worked next door to the clothes shop on Portobello Road, in the record shop, the handsome Jean Pierre, and they moved to Paris. We visited them once but lost touch eventually. Shame really, but such is life.