Hugh's opinion on jail cells had been much improved by his brief time spent in one at his local police station. After his cell mate had been taken away to some place much more harsh and cruel, the place had become almost comfortable.
He had been in this cell overnight and, though the attempt at a bed was hardly comfortable, it did mean that, instead of sleeping, he'd been able to sit up and knock 'Born To Be Wild' into the wall opposite.
It was the highlight of an otherwise dull night.
They came for him before long, though he had no idea how long since they had taken away his mobile phone. It was the same policeman, so his shift hadn't ended. He was still amused.
"Turns out your friend doesn't want to press charges against you," he told Hugh.
"What?" asked Hugh, perplexed, "the rape guy who was in here earlier?"
The amusement died down a little from the policeman's eyes. "No," he said, "the one whose car you smashed up. He told his father the car was stolen by the sounds of it, but by this point he'd already refused to press charges. His dad wasn't happy, but that's neither here nor there. Either way, you're off the hook, for now."
"Only for now?"
"Yes, only for now. You can have another phone call now, but make sure it's for somebody to come and pick you up this time."
The hint there was not hard to miss. His solitary phone call had not been used well. He had dialled in the number of Jimmy's house, asked for his friend by name, then proceeded to chant abuse down the phone until the phone itself had been siezed and removed from his custody. He had not been permitted another opportunity to reach out to the world beyond the walls.
Thinking about it, that likely meant that nobody in the world actually knew where he was, or if he'd ever see them again. This, to Hugh, was cause for a giggle. The policeman looked at him with an expression that came close to concern, but for his mental wellbeing of course.
He was taken in to one of the quiet little offices belonging to one of the on-duty officers and offered the phone. For a moment, he was tempted to hit the horrendously inviting redial button, but that seemed like it would end up going badly. He glared at the handset for a little while, wondering who would actually respond well to a call from him.
Who would be nice enough to come and get him, and maybe hide him from his family a little while longer. They probably knew he was here, but thought it was a good place to leave him for a little. He could call them, but then there would be bitching, and whining, and complaining about his behaviour. Hugh was just not in the mood.
The answer was an easy one. Jane Moon, an old friend, had a car of her own.
She was waiting in front of her car as he left the police station. As it turned out, it was early in the morning now, and yet she was still immaculately groomed and dressed, as though she never bothered sleeping anymore. The freshly risen sun was gleaming against her sunglasses. She had lost weight again, but the stern look, the red highlights in her hair and the tight-fitting jeans still made her look stunning.
"Haven't missed you, Hugh," she told him as he approached her. "I half expect you to have some half-baked plan. I'd like to do whatever you're planning to do and then go home again."
"Oh, come on, you hate that house and you're glad to be out of it," replied Hugh, with absolute confidence. Aiming the most winning smile he could muster in her direction, he moved around her car and let himself in, as usual.
She'd been smoking again. It was a constant fight with her, involving a lot of self-hatred and a stronger amount of addiction. She let herself back into the driver's seat and, before she even left the scene of his not so incredible torment, she turned to regard him with a curious eyebrow.
"Oh, right," said Hugh, realising that he hadn't bothered to explain his plan. "Well, first I need to go and see David. We were supposed to be playing a gig tonight and I've been, you know, in jail."
"Fine," Jane responded as she put her foot down onto the accelerator.
As luck would have it, David wasn't long awake himself when Hugh called him from his mobile. They made a quick plan to meet up with everybody in one of the music practice rooms before school started. Avoiding the rest of the school day was one of the most important things on Hugh's agenda.
Jane, aware of this plan, parked up in the school car park, lit up a cigarette, then told Hugh to get out of the car. Hugh accepted this without question, slipped around the back of the building, and got David to let him in.
"Police haven't caught you yet then?" asked David with a smirk as Hugh slid inside.
"Been in a cell since I last saw you," announced Hugh with a wicked smile. Not wanting to wait long, but rather just tell them all that, as a fugutive, he was on the run and couldn't perform with them, he walked past David as quickly as he could and into the practice room half way down the corridor.
There he was greeted with something of a surprise. There was somebody else there, holding a guitar and plugged in.
Hugh narrowed his eyes. "Who the-"
"Hugh, this is Joe," Martin told him, with a huge grin.
As a bassist, Martin was the same as he was as a person: an utter cock.
David came in just behind him and launched into explanation. "We couldn't get in touch with you," he told Hugh, "and we haven't had a chance to practice with you, so we though the right thing to do would be to get somebody in to fillin while you were wherever you were. Now you're back though, I'm sure Joe-"
"You utter bastards," Hugh shouted at everybody in the room.
"No, dude, let me-" began this new guy, with his muscles and his tan and his just rolled out of bed hair.
"F--k off, the lot of you, I am this band!" continued Hugh, not sure as to why it suddenly mattered to him that he look like the wronged party here. "I'm arrested for one night and you go ahead and just-"
"Hugh, it's not like that," David attempted again. "It was planned to be entirely temporary so that if you-"
"You hear that new guy? Temporary. That means you're going to be out too soon."
Joe narrowed his eyes, then raised an eyebrow.
"I hate you all, and hope you die horrible deaths," Hugh told them.
"Well, that's harsh," replied Martin, still smiling.
Completely forgetting that he had come in here to tell them that he couldn't perform with them, Hugh had ended up feeling incredibly frustrated that he had so easily gotten what he wanted without having to put it any sort of work. While David continued to try and explain what his thought process was, Hugh just stopped listening and started walking instead, back outside of a school that he suspected he would simply never bother with again.
"Am I supposed to get depressed or am I supposed to create an awesome metal backing band better than anything the world has ever known?" he asked Jane afterwards.
"Neither," she told him, without reservation. "The ideal plan right now is to get drunk, but it happens to be many, many hours before you're going to find an open pub."
"You know, together, we could form an utterly awesome-"
"Piss off, Hugh, I don't play guitar anymore," said Jane. There was no room for debate of explanation.
Hugh sighed. "My friends are all being a bit shit."
"How very sorry we all must be to be friends with you," countered Jane.
This earned a bit of a laugh from Hugh. Jane had turned into a very cruel woman of late; he missed her crude and entirely tasteless side, but that had been brief.
Slowly, a sense of blame settled in. Hugh knew who's fault this was, deep down where he didn't want to admit it. It always had to be somebody he really liked who was at fault, after all, and one of the only people who could actually be the difference in his life.
"You know," he started, "this is all Greg's fault."
This earned him a laugh from Jane.
They'd been just driving around for a while now, aimlessly if he admitted it, and she'd made no mention of his lack of attention, or conversation, or anything. Stoic as ever, she was just there to one side with him while he got pissed off at the world. He admired this.
"Can I assume that your diabolical plan is about to rear it's ugly head?" she asked, smirking on one side of her mouth.
Yes. Perhaps it was.
It wasn't even nine 'o' clock when Hugh and Jane found themselves at the back door of Greg's music shop. This was the exact same door from which he had thrown Hugh out. As far as Hugh was concerned, this man was now the cause and the target for his problems.
Letting himself in was easy. Greg habitually forgot that this door existed, and used it only when it was late at night and he desperately needed to piss somewhere. To Jane, it must have seemed as though Hugh had a key, which was a nice touch.
Greg wasn't about, which was very lucky.
While Jane waited in the back room, Hugh made a point of using the electronic tuners to tune as many guitars as he could to GAEGAE, then set to carefully and meticulously moving everything around. For other people, theft and damage might be the ways, but this was Greg that he was dealing with. When he walked into his own music store, and saw everything in the wrong place, he would think that he'd done it, and a careful examination of just what he'd done that night would undoubtedly end badly.
Hugh would be out of a job, but, as he carefully stuck every joint he could find between the strings of the re-tuned guitars, he wondered just how mad Greg would be when he noticed that his pot was gone and completely missed the fact that it was under his nose until it had all been stolen, his merchandise insulted and the swastikas painted in pink paint on his walls questioned.
Greg would have a bad day.
To his surprise, he heard a police siren going off in one of the accompanying streets and, as was his new custom, bolted out of the back door as quickly as he could, with pink paint still on his fingers. Jane followed, confused, but knowing when running at top speed is the right move.
As the siren died off, and the two of them dived into Jane's car and made their getaway, Hugh realised something that he hadn't noticed until just now.
Turning to Jane, he said: "you know, I have completely f--ked up my life, and I love it."
Less than ten minutes later, his phone started to ring, and Greg's name appeared on the screen. Laughing to himself, he hung up on any chance of ever fixing his father's car. Hugh Gee was a screw-up, and he was blissfully happy with that.
For Season Two At Least