An hour after the school bell dismisses the weans, I am fast approaching a pair walking through the Riverside scheme. One is a girl of ten, with a tangly ponytail and sequinned hairband set at the top of her forehead. She is wearing a tight cream t-shirt, encrusted with sparkles and tight cream leggings with fancy patent leather slippers set off with bows. The other is a boy of seven, ginger haired and freckly faced, not changed yet out of the school polo shirt and carrying a coupla ginger bottles.
They are accompanied by an elderly gent, old school, with a collar and tie and a bunnet on his head. He's only just taller than the girl and is peering over at her through black rimmed spectacles and saying in a hoarse whispering voice,
"That's the other wan died I telt you aboot. What'sisname? Aiden?"
and the girl's leaning over the wee boy into the man's face and saying, "Aye, Ah heard it."
"Aye, I told you aboot it," he's saying as I make up on them, balanced by my two heavy bags, one in each hand.
"It was drugs, one night after another."
You can hardly make out his wee, gravelly voice.
"Yous remember that and yous've not to take them."
A woman is walking towards them as I overtake and she says, nodding her head, "That's right, two nights in a row."
"See that," the old voice whispers, "Two of them, one after the other. Drugs."