Sienna is sitting on the edge of her bed, crying into the phone, whilst two of the other hostel residents look in at the door.
‘I’ve made too many mistakes,’ she sobs. ‘I just can’t cope anymore. I can’t cope.’
Along with a packet of tobacco and an asthma inhaler, there’s a neat mound of empty blister packs beside her.
When we’ve chatted to her for a while, calmed her down, established that yes, she will come with us to the hospital, Rae asks if she has everything she needs. Phone, keys, money for the taxi home?
‘Humphrey,’ says Sienna, reaching for a tatty owl that’s reclining on her pillow. She stuffs it in her handbag along with the rest of her medication.
I carry the bag and her coat so she has her hands free to support herself as she goes down the stairs.
The owl stares up at me from the bag as we descend.
Waiting with Sienna in the triage area of the A&E department.
Another crew comes in, pushing a young man in a wheelchair. He’s slumped forward over something; at first I think it’s a vomit bowl, then I see a little more of it and think it must be a furry hat, but when they park themselves next to us I can see that it’s actually a little toy fox. He moans slightly, and strokes the head of it.
When the triage nurse comes over to them, the attendant smiles and waves a little bundle of empty blister packets in the air.
Giles buzzes us into the flat. A twenty year old man, he has the bland and fleshy complexion of celery forced in the dark.
‘I took all my meds at once and went to sleep. I’m a bit disappointed I woke up, to be honest.’
Have you got everything you need to go to hospital, Giles? Phone, keys, money...?
He hands me a canvas bag whilst he pulls on a Slipknot hoodie.And yep, there in the bag, just visible beneath the headphones, the magazine, the drink bottle and cigarettes, a cuddly little toy hedgehog, staring up at me with an off-centre kind of smile, as if to say: Sssh! Don’t say anything. I’m hiding.