Get to know Nicola Gharibpour-Power

I am a 63 year old, English woman and I was born in South London in 1958. I was brought up in interesting times; we made friends with everyone when I was young. My mother was an Irish Catholic and my father was an English alcoholic, South-Londoner. I have two, older brothers: David the oldest is living near Leeds and Brian is in New York.

I started writing stories at school and at home when I was about 8. I am a TEFL/TESOL and Functional Skills English and basic Maths teacher. I am unemployed and living on Universal Credit. I cannot make up my mind whether I want to retire and write or whether I want to work at the moment.

I live in Tottenham in sheltered housing after having a brain tumour removed. I certainly would not have got a council flat these days if I was not so ill. I have been homeless three times in my life, I have travelled, and have had relationships with men from other countries. I am lucky that I have many life stories to write and to base my writing on.

I was told about Giovanna Iozzi’s Life Writing courses by a friend that I met at a local food bank. I wrote to Kate Pemberton at Writing Room and I got a Steve Thompson Bursary Place on a course last year. I have since done four courses with Writing Room, all on bursary places. I was on group therapy for depression but I gave it up because writing and talking about writing is more therapeutic than counselling.

An Older Woman

Avril had noticed the young man’s admiring glances.

“As your girlfriend is not here, do you want to go somewhere?”
“Do you want to go somewhere?”
“We can go to a hotel. I realise that you’re a lot younger than me.”
“I… don’t… really know.”
“I haven’t got all day. Remember it’s my birthday. Do you want to know how old I am today?”  
“Well, if I get what you’re suggesting, no, I don’t want to know.”
“So you’re considering it? There’s a nice hotel across the road.”

She got up and left the café. She walked across the road. She didn’t have to try very hard to be sexy. She imagined that she was Marilyn Monroe and the high heels and her curves did the rest. The young man followed her after a few minutes.  

When he arrived at the hotel she was sitting in the lobby drinking a glass of Southern Comfort. He booked a double room and showed her the key number, room 316. She said she would follow him in a few minutes.

After she finished her drink, she cleaned the glass with a tissue and an alcohol wipe which she put back in her bag. She checked the hallway; there was no one around. Her long heels sank into the carpet outside room 316 and she imagined her shoes sinking into a grassy swamp. She reached into her bag and put on disposable gloves, then put the silencer on. She had had six months of training, so that she could do this. She opened the door.

He was in his underpants sitting on the bed. He looked up like a deer. She shot him in his third eye and under his left pectoral muscle. While he breathed his last breath, she took a couple of photos on her mobile and sent them to ‘Disposals’.

She put the “Do not disturb” sign on the door. She left the hotel, and slipped onto the coach waiting outside the hotel to London, Victoria.

She checked her account. The money was there: £50,000.