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“Hello and welcome to the James States show, today we have families in crisis. First, we have Greg; the man in the middle. And his son, Damon, who says his father has a god complex and since creating another family, has abandoned his original children and has completely disowned him. Greg, on the other hand, says that Damon is ‘the devil’ and does nothing but torment his family. That they, his other children are the ones with god complexes. What’s the truth? Join us today.”

The camera panned out. Showing a white-haired, strong-limbed, robust, muscular older man, with a beard coiffed into a perfect point. He looked like a country redneck Santa Claus; tattoos of angels and crosses climbed up from his arms and neck, he wore them well with a red plaid shirt folded to the elbow and fitted diesel jeans with the odd spot of oil on them. But his eyes were the darkest black, and his stare penetrated across the audience. Who sat motionless, transfixed. Next to him sat a leather and lace clad, pale man, with the clearest blue eyes.

“So, Damon. You called the show, tell us what has been going on.”

The leather-clad man shifted angrily and shot a look to Greg “That man is no father of mine” he spat “we had a happy family, then one day, he leaves” he gestured upwards with his hands “then we learn that he has started a family with trash” Damon spat those words as if venom in his mouth.

Greg cuts in “don’t call her that. She is the best thing to happen to me” he smiled towards the camera to an ashen looking Damon “you abandoned us. You destroyed mum” he got up suddenly, security rushed the stage, but Greg remained seated “your mother spoilt you all and was no wife to me” James States walked over to Damon “take a seat, if you hint of violence you will have to leave, and that won’t get your story out” Damon blinked and pulled his chair to the other side of the stage “my mother is a saint” he began “she put us first, always have, she did not deserve what you did…” Greg shot a pained look to Damon “you don’t know the half of it. She was no saint. In-fact she was violent” the audience gasped as if scripted. He knitted his eyebrows together “you know I was in the hospital due to her moods” Damon sneered “you deserved it”

James States cut in “that changes things. How was she violent to you” Greg sat back, and a pretty middle-aged lady dressed in a white cotton dress and sheep’s wool coat appeared at the side of the stage. She walked over to Greg and held his hands “…erm, and who are you?” James States asked “I’m his wife Valerie” she began “it’s okay Greg” she hushed him in soothing tones. Damon rolled his eyes “one, you are not his wife, dad didn’t even divorce mum and two, can’t you let dad do anything without you?” she shot him an annoyed look and James States interjected “as we did not ask you to come out, can you go take a seat or we will have to ask you to leave” she looked at Greg, who nodded and she kissed him on the head then walked off stage to the odd boo from the audience.

“How was she violent to you” James repeated. Greg looked straight at him “If she did not get her way, she would push, shove, scream, hit and if there was anything to hand, and I did not move quick enough out of there, well, let’s just say that she has landed me in hospital numerous times with everything from stab wounds to head injuries” the audience looked visibly shocked. “…and you say your mother was a saint” James turned to Damon “that is no act of a saint. No one deserves to be tortured. No person should put up with violence” Damon retorted “…and you think it was all one-sided? Mum used to cultivate rare plants, and he burned them all. He flooded her house! Not just that, but he emptied her bank account when he left! He left his children. If mum was so bad why would you leave us with her then? You’re sick.”

You could hear a pin drop with the silence.

“Your mother grew weed, not rare plants. That is how she made her money, but you knew that. I burned them because it was wrong of her to do that with you kids in the house. I accidentally flooded the house; I passed out from the fumes of the burning plants. I left you kids with her because she was never violent with you. She spoiled you. I left because if I stayed in that house, I would’ve been killed and where would that leave everyone? With nothing. I keep everything going. I pay for everything. Even when you lot hate me, you are as you are because I make sure you have everything you need. Yeah, I emptied her bank account, but I paid her back a thousand fold!”

James walked between the gaze of the two men “Your brother Jerry, son of your father and Valerie paints a completely different picture of your father. Here’s a statement “My father is not only a brilliant creator and artist, he is a kind, gentle, loving dad who misses his other kids and tries his best to get them to come around but they use him, abuse him and attack us constantly across social media and even by purchasing leaflets and sticking them up on lampposts” James raised his eyebrows “property has been damaged, tyres slashed and nasty graffiti was even painted across the front door, mum and dad are constantly hurt by Jill and their kids, then they play the poor me card to everyone who will listen, when they are the ones that have caused nothing but chaos” Wow, that is quite a statement. Yet you have to admit, Greg, your children, do feel abandoned by you.”

Greg shifted in his seat “I agree, and I have said I am sorry. I want a relationship with them and them to have a relationship with Jerry and the rest of the kids, I do. Damon please, can we just try” Damon’s eyes narrowed to slits “I hate you” Greg got up “this needs to stop!” he shouted. Damon got up. Security stood between them “what can I do to stop all this?!” Greg screamed. Damon laughed. James States stood between the two men “so there is no hope of reconciliation to your father” he pointedly asked Damon. Damon blinked “no, I will never forgive him” James pointed to the stage door, “then leave my stage” Damon stomped off not looking back to heavy boos from the audience. A sea of faces acting as one vehicle. Greg sat back in his seat, his head in his hands “I don’t know what else to do” he sadly sighed.

James patted him on the back “your ex-wife Jill is here” Greg suddenly sat straighter, his eyes went wide as a stunning blonde woman, in a sharp tailored, fitted suit walked out. Her nails were done to perfect points, and she wore high red heels, matching the colour of her lipsticks. She click-clacked onto the stage as a chair was placed by security, right next to Greg. She looked not much older than Damon and looked very slight compared to the man beside her. “Hello honey,” she purred, smiling. Greg swallowed hard “Jill” as his words left his lips, he swallowed uneasily.

James States walked over to her “You were violent to him” he pointed at Greg. She raised her eyebrows “yes, I was” she replied matter of fact “that is disgusting. And you wonder why he left. That took bravery. You are nothing but a coward. My audience may not agree with me talking to a woman like that, but I believe in equality. An abuser is an abuser. The lowest of the low. You owe him an apology” she leaned back “I am sorry for that. But you don’t know what it is like to live with him” the audience bristled, and booed her. She laughed “if I was so bad, why does he still want to be with me?” he shook his head, but his body language betrayed him, she made him nervous, but it was obvious that he was still attracted to her. She touched him, and he jumped up knocking his own chair over “I don’t want you, Jill.”

James States walked over “Jill provided us with texts that you sent last night” screenshots appeared on the screen behind them. The audience all cried out “ooooh.”

Jill remained seating and smiled. Whilst Greg started to sweat and shake.

James States read them out, pulling faces to each line.

“I miss you, Jill. I saw you in the lobby; I can’t believe how gorgeous you still are” Raised eyebrows.

“Thank you handsome” Smiling conspiratorially.

“I will always love you, you know” Confused face, pointed straight at Greg.

“I know. I love you too.” Looked to the ceiling then he added: “I think I know where this is going to go”… the audience laughed.

“I’d love to have one more night with you” He punctuated each word then added “oh my.”

“What would you do?” he started to laugh.

“Explore every inch of you with my mouth. Fill you. Get you pregnant.”

“You’re naughty” James States looked at Greg “yes you are naughty, Greg.”

“It’s just you. What you do to me. You make me into a bad man… I can’t help myself around you” he tipped his head to the side.

James States pointed to the screen and pulled a face to the audience “so Greg is the left blue bar and Jill is the right green bar, if you didn’t already realise” he began “get you pregnant?!” he whooped “that’s a new chat up line” the audience giggled “I would say put something on the end of it, but you shouldn’t be doing anything” the audience laughed hard on cue. “What on earth are you thinking?” Greg looked towards the floor “just look at her!” he gestured “I was stupid even contacting her, but she is a beautiful woman” James States looked to the ceiling “what about your wife, Valerie? Here she is…”

Valerie stormed on stage and straight up to Jill and slapped her. Jill just laughed whilst the security dragged her back “I told you V, that he would always be mine” she stepped towards Greg who pushed her away and went on his knees before Valerie “I’m sorry. I am so sorry. I love you not her” Valerie started to cry “I love you, Greg. I love you. You keep hurting me like this.”

James States caught those words “has Greg cheated on you?” he asked, head cocked to the side in mock sympathy. Valerie looked at him “yes, numerous women and even men” she shot a look back towards him “if it wasn’t for the kids…” she began, but Greg interrupted “no don’t say that” she sighed “you treat me no better than a lapdog. It’s over.” Jill looked triumphant behind them, with her arms crossed across her ample chest. Greg tried to hug Valerie, but she pushed him away. “He is the best father. But I am done. With him and her. I told him that if he did it again or even so much as messaged another woman, we would be done” Greg looked heartbroken “He will be in my bed tonight” Jill smiled. “He will come home.”

James stood in the middle of the stage “This is all a mess, yet no one has spoken about the kids that are in the middle of this. Stop acting out your teenage romantic dramas and grow up! These are two families in turmoil all due to the selfishness of one man. If you grow a pair, you wouldn’t be in this position in the first place” the audience whooped and cheered, numerous faces within the blanket of stares nodded in agreement.

“Maybe with our help, you can piece together your lives and work out a plan that will enable you all to be successful parents. Without you all blaming each other – he did this; she did that – because it is effecting your children. Throwing out jabs and then chasing each other has left at least one of your children damaged. You have all continued this point scoring for far too long. Take my help, and we will do our best to try and piece this all back together where you all can find a way to be amicable. And please, for the love of god, do not sleep with each other or get pregnant!”

The audience stood clapping as the scene faded to black.

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