Tuesday, 10 November 2009
Like Grandmama, Great Aunt Celine has an air of sophistication. She's beautiful and holds herself with grace and elegance.
That is where the similarity ends.
Grandmama is a homely woman. She's embraced family life, knows how to bake, knit and other grandmother-like things. Great Aunt Celine is slightly eccentric.
She was married. Several times.
Husband Number 1 was quite a few years older than she was. He was a soldier in WWII. His family at the time were based in a northern village in France, his wife and baby daughter. It's not quite clear what happened to his family, all I know is that he lost them in 1944.
For five years he lived alone in Paris, until Great Aunt Celine stumbled into his life.
The poor man was trying desperately to read his newspaper quietly in a cafe. Celine spotted the serious looking man in the corner and thought it would be fun to blow smoke at him to see how angry she could make him.
Apparently he "loved her" that very night... (ew!) and they got married a month later.
He was a wonderful husband, and would have probably made a good father, but Great Aunt Celine got bored with him quite soon after he slipped the ring on her finger, and she decided to keep a lover on the side.
Husband Number 2 was that lover. He was nearer to Celine's age and she felt more comfortable with him on a "social level". Husband Number 1 knew about Celine's lover, but chose to turn a blind eye to the situation. Celine preferred it that way and enjoyed the sneaking about.
Obviously Husband Number 1 got a little cheesed off with the situation and eventually divorced Celine, leaving her free to marry her lover.
Husband Number 2 was a fun husband. They went dancing together. They liked to smoke on the balcony and talk about poetry and the theatre. They were happy for over four years.
Until he found himself a mistress.
Husband Number 2 was an honorable man and told Celine that he intended to take a mistress before her actually did. He swore to Celine that they would always remain husband and wife and that nobody would ever take her place in his heart.
Celine played the dutiful wife and gracefully accepted his mistress. Husband Number 2 had fun with Claudette, and Celine transferred their savings to a personal account and moved out.
Husband Number 2 understood and gave her an easy divorce.
Husband Number 3 came a few years later. He was Celine's real love. They met through a mutual friend and became quick friends. Their friendship developed into love and they eventually swore to be with each other always.
They bought a beautiful home and decorated it themselves. It took them two months to paint the living room. Husband Number 3 painted a mural of a tree on one wall and he was adamant on getting the shade of each leaf perfect.
He left her the home they built together. There was nobody else. He left everything to her in his Will.
Not surprisingly, Great Aunt Celine has alot of stories to tell and advise to give.
"Elise, how is your sex life?" she asked me last night, in a serious tone.
What was I supposed to say? "Yes, my sex life is amazing. My orgasms are as strong as ever."
"Because, Cherie, you have only to ask and I will be happy to advise you."
No thanks! The last thing I need is my great aunt giving me that kind of advise.
She smiled wistfully "My second husband was very good with his mouth-"
"Stop! Oh my God! Stop!"
Sunday, 6 September 2009
The first two weeks were spent in a slump of depression. I mean actual depression.
Sister came to stay and we did nothing but lounge around in our pajamas staring into space. Occasionally one of us would speak.
"He doesn't know where the Lenor goes. How is he going to do his laundry? Should I call him? I should. I'm going to call him."
She didn't call. And I never answered her.
I was listening.
"How can the doctors say "it's just one of those things" and "it's nature's way"? What kind of bullshit answer is that? Their supposed to be scientists, but when it comes to something that they don't know it becomes "nature's way". What the fuck?!"
It worked both ways. She never answered. And in all honesty I don't think she was even listening.
But I needed her there. Just like she needed me.
Then of course Solicitor lost it with the both of us. Over a bowl of dry pasta and frozen garlic bread.
It wasn't the fact that I'd over boiled the pasta and completely forgot to cook some sauce. It wasn't even the fact that Sister forgot to switch the oven on to cook the pathetic roll of garlic bread. It was the fact that we'd spent over two hours preparing the meal.
Solicitor, like most men when they get back from work, was hungry. He was tired and slightly moody. He'd reached for a menu and I'd felt the first stirrings of guilt. I insisted that I'd cook. Sister numbly got up from the sofa to help.
Two hours later Solicitor stared at the breakfast bar and completely flipped out. Sister cried. For the first time in weeks. I sobbed my heart out. For the first time in weeks. Solicitor told us both that he'd book us both for an appointment if we didn't sort ourselves out.
British people don't go to doctors for those kind of problems. There's nothing ever wrong with us. Complain? Yes. Admit that it's affecting us? No way! We don't do psychological traumas. We don't have them.
So the next day Sister moved back home. Nephew missed her terribly and moving home got her back into a routine.
I signed up with an agency and began temping.
Temping is an odd world. Honestly, people assume that you're pretty thick if you're a temp.
"Can you staple these two documents together? Please make sure the pages are in order. It makes sense when they're in order."
You don't say!
It keeps me busy. And I meet new people.
I've started planning my wedding. Sometimes flower arrangements are so fascinating. Other times I toss the wedding magazines aside with zero interest and tell Solicitor that I think it would be better if we just eloped.
The last time I said that he actually scared me a little. He told me that he'd looked into a Vegas wedding at he'd really love to do the Elvis thing. I must have looked so shocked and freaked out that he laughed at me and handed me the new bride gown catalogue that I ordered. I haven't complained much since then...
Wednesday, 10 June 2009
Aimee has been known to stalk us once in a while, and when she's crying I can't help but try and help her.
Yesterday afternoon I was right to feel nervous.
"Oi Elise, como você é? parabéns!"
Oh shit! It was Solicitor's grandmother. She doesn't speak English and I don't speak Portugese. I could attempt to get by in Spanish.
"Hola, estoy bien. Cómo es usted?"
"Sou tão feliz para você. Depois que tudo que você foi por, merece alguma felicidade."
Um. What the fuck?
It's so much easier to communicate when you're in front of the person. You can get by on nods and hand gestures. How the hell was I supposed to do it over the phone?
"Um, hang on one second. Un momento."
I ran to the book shelve with the cordless phone and pulled open the Portugese dictionary.
I always see people in films getting by with a dictionary. That is a complete lie! I had no idea how to begin. Do I attempt to translate and then find a translation for my answer? That would take too long.
I pulled out my mobile and called Solicitor.
"You have to help me!" I whispered urgently. "I don't understand a word your grandmother is saying."
"She's there with you?" Solicitor sounded shocked.
Avó can barely walk. She's 4 foot nothing with extremely frail bones.
"She's on the phone!"
"Tell her you'll call her back. We'll speak to her when I get home."
"Say 'Posso telefoná-lo mais tarde esta noite?'"
I lifted the cordless
"Hello! Um Hola!"
"Olá. Costas bem-vindas. Onde foi?"
I lifted my mobile.
"She said 'Onde foi'?"
"Elise, just repeat what I said. I haven't got time to translate a female gossiping session."
"Okay. What did you say again?"
"Posso telefoná-lo mais tarde esta noite."
I lifted the cordless.
"Avó, Posso telefoná-lo mais tarde esta noite?"
"Naturalmente você pode telefonar me mais tarde. Acabo de querer felicitá-lo, mas esperarei até que meu neto volta para casa. Será melhor se traduz."
I lifted my mobile.
"She said 'se traduz'?"
Solicitor breathed in frustration.
"I've got a meeting in ten minutes. Say goodbye to her and I'll call her later."
He hung up on me! I lifted the cordless. All I have to do is say goodbye. Without sounding like a complete idiot.
"Hola Avó. Um. Hablaré con usted pronto. Adiós?"
"Tá bom. Falarei a você mais tarde. Tome cuidado. Bye."
Yes! I said goodbye without any help! Okay, it was in Spanish, but she obviously understood me.
I really should read the Portugese books that I bought. But to be fair, Solicitor's grandmother is the only one in his whole family that doesn't speak English.
They're all pretty fluent in their mother tongue though. Sometimes they all chatter in a mix of both English and Portugese. They flick between to two with ease, I'm almost jealous at times.
Grandmama used to tell me to learn other languages when I was growing up. I learnt the basics of French and Spanish. French, because Grandmama (and my mother) are originally from France, and Spanish because of my father. But I didn't learn them fluently. I speak enough to get by; "Can I get a taxi?" "I live in a semi-detached house." "How much is that red dress?"
After yesterday I have a new-found project. I am going to learn to speak Portugese fluently. I am also going to brush up on my French and Spanish.
I also want to learn Japanese. You never know when you'll need to use it.
Oh, and German. German is a good language to learn.
And Polish. There are lots of Polish people in London now. It'll help if I know what they're saying.
Okay, I'm going to need to prioritise. In order of importance:
Spanish (French and Spanish will be easy to brush up on, so really it won't take too long)
Japanese (in case I want to do business in Japan, which could happen)
German (good because... well its just good to know)
Polish (I want to get a new kitchen fitted soon)
Greek (I have a friend who lives in Cyprus. The last time I visited her the gardener was talking to me. He could have been chatting me up. Or he could have been asking me what I think of the new potatoes)
Maybe I should switch German and Polish. I'm more likely to need Polish before German right?
Right. I'm going to start. Tomorrow.
Not Tomorrow. Monday. Yes, Monday.
Monday, 8 June 2009
He brought an eighth, a bottle of Jack Daniels and a phone number.
I don't smoke weed, unless I'm in Amsterdam (three times a year). Stoner smokes all the time, and on Friday he strongly believed I should get stoned and drunk. I politely refused the green and graciously accepted the Jack Daniels.
Solicitor, Stoner and I filled our glasses and ordered pizza. It was nice of them to do that. Stoner's not the type to display too much sympathy, he helps by being normal. We set up ludo and ended up playing for hours.
At around 11 Stoner picked up his phone and made a call. He spoke briefly before handing me the phone.
It was Gay Boss! I couldn't believe it. He'd disappeared off the planet and I hadn't spoken to him in months. Just hearing his voice made me laugh. He's the most sarcastic, cynical person on the face of the earth.
"What have you gone and done, Elise? I leave the country for a few months and you go and fuck up like that."
If any other person said what he said I would have cried. Instead I smiled and asked him where he was. He's in Miami. Not exactly his normal travelling destination.
"It's a different world out hear. I've never seen so many plastic people in my life. It's like walking into the Barbie mansion."
"You'd know wouldn't you? I thought you were in China."
"I was. I got bored."
"Yeah, the girl I was travelling with got yellow fever."
"Her words. She said she's got a bad case of yellow fever. Can't stop getting off on chinks."
Only Gay Boss can deliver a line like that with utmost seriousness.
"Decided to pack up and leave so she could move Wong in. Felt like a change anyway. Got bored of eating noodles and cat."
"You should have come home."
"Why? I like it here. I've already made five people cry."
"Wow. You're lagging behind."
"Five people, today."
"It's too easy. These people really take things personally. This one woman asked me if I was a football hooligan. I asked her if she was trying to look like a plastic slag. I think I might have upset her."
"She should have asked you if you like being a prick."
"I didn't mean to hurt her. I was genuinely interested. She didn't even bother to answer the question."
Gay Boss is seriously dry and deadpan. Most people cry around him.
We spoke for about half an hour. He spoke about himself. And I appreciated that. The last thing I wanted was to talk about it.
Stoner didn't stay long afterwards. He called a cab and left at around midnight. I sat on the sofa with Solicitor leaning on his shoulder. I felt pretty tipsy.
"I need to air out the house." I groaned. "It smells like weed."
"You need to start talking." Solicitor said back.
I slipped down and rested my head on his lap. He absently stroked my hair behind my ears. I love people playing with my hair, I find it so relaxing. I closed my eyes, wanting to sleep.
"Don't sleep. Talk."
"Lets wait until tomorrow."
"That's what you said yesterday."
"Can we forget about it?"
"I want to have a baby."
To be honest I didn't even think about having another one up until I said it. I opened my eyes, partly in surprise and partly because I wanted to see Solicitor's reaction.
He looked uncertain.
"We can't replace what we lost." He said finally. "Heal first."
"You don't want another one." I couldn't help feeling hurt about it. He was so happy when I told him I was pregnant. Maybe he didn't think he could trust me to look after another one. That I wasn't worthy.
"I want children with you. But not like this. Wait a little. We have other things to do."
"Like what? What else is there to do?"
My eyes filled with tears. I wasn't pregnant for too long, but already my world had changed. I couldn't imagine not having a baby on the way.
"Elise, I want us to get married first."
It wasn't the first time we spoke about marriage. We always assumed we'd always be together. But there was something different this time.
"I'm asking you to marry me."
Okay, not exactly the most romantic response, but I really needed to know. Was he asking so that we could try for another baby. Was he asking to 'heal' the pain?
"I'm asking because I love you, and I want you to be my wife. I've been planning on it for a long time."
He gently slid away from me and stood up. Reaching into his pocket he pulled out a tattered little box. Inside was a beautiful engagement ring. Aside from the large diamond in the middle, it has tiny encrusted ones all the way around the band.
Solicitor's grandfather proposed to his grandmother with that very ring. It was passed to Solicitor's father, the eldest son. And I guess to was passed to Solicitor. Solicitor slid it on my finger and told me that now it belongs to me.
"You didn't give it to Aimee?"
"No. I didn't want her to have it."
I did cry then. Buckets of tears. Tears of happiness.
I imagined being proposed to in so many situations.
I thought that when Billy proposed to Mo with alphabet spaghetti, it was really sweet. Marry Me written in the middle of a plate, after they had their fish fingers. Solicitor thought I was joking when I told him that I cried when I saw it. He teased me and asked me if I secretly wish I was a working class east-ender.
The proposition in Serendipity was nice too. A large boxed gift with lots of smaller boxes. The last one containing the ring. Solicitor agreed with me. It was pretty cute.
I never wanted to be proposed to with an audience. Some people love the idea of an entire restaurant witnessing, clapping and cheering. I knew I'd hate something like that. It had to be in private.
Solicitor has always been pretty intense and passionate (I guess the Mediterranean background accounts for that). I knew that whenever he asked, if he asked, it would be amazing and I wasn't wrong.
Thursday, 4 June 2009
My baby is gone and I don't know why. I keep thinking back to everything I did that day, everything I ate. I even listed the ingredients on the back of all the packages and googled the potential dangers.
Solicitor's worried. I don't mean to worry him, I just don't want to talk about it. I feel too guilty.
The day it happened was a day like any other. Solicitor was in the living room watching the evening news. The weather was so beautiful. We were going to go to the park for a walk. I went to change my shoes and go to the bathroom.
I didn't even feel any pain until I saw the blood.
I never thought it would happen. It sounds so selfish, but I truly believed that it would never happen to me.
I walked into the living. So calm. It was like it was someone else walking. I told Solicitor that I wanted to go to the hospital.
I wanted to drive. It sounds crazy, but I was so angry with him when he took the keys away from me. I didn't understand why he wouldn't let me, and I dissolved into sobs.
He's the greatest man in the world. He held me close when they told us and he never let me go.
He was upset too, I could see it in his eyes, but he stayed strong for me.
I wish he wasn't upset. It makes me feel worse knowing that he lost something too. I was supposed to look after our son, but I failed.
Its been a few days. I've spoken to lots of people. They're all very sorry. If I need anything, they're all there for me.
Grandmama spent yesterday with me. She made me hot chocolate. When I didn't drink it she poured me a whisky, my first drink in months. She packed away the baby stuff. I told her to throw it away but she said that she'd take it with her and save it for me.
Bimbo cried more than I did. I felt myself shaking when she called. I couldn't speak to her for long, it was too emotional.
Mother made me the most angry. She told me that it doesn't matter. It wasn't planned so it shouldn't be too much of a loss. I hung up on her and I refuse to speak to her.
Sister was the easiest to talk to. Misery likes company. Its a sad fact. I told her I didn't want to talk and she told me that she did. She cried because her marriage is over and I felt useful when I comforted her.
I shouldn't feel glad to hear her troubles. I love her and I truly wish she wasn't going through what she is. But she's the only one I can speak to over the phone. If she wasn't going through her own troubles I would have hung up on her too.
Wednesday, 27 May 2009
There's been little progress on CEO's claim. Obviously the police have to investigate every case that gets thrown their way, no matter how stupid it may seem.
Apparently it wasn't always like that. Before the "terror" attacks, the police would refuse to view cases if they didn't deem them as important. Now all cases are important. Talk about a waste of resources.
So last week the PO in charge of the case called me and asked me to come in for a friendly interview.
I said no.
He said if I refuse he'll have to come and collect me.
I was excited. I'd be one of those badass bitches. Maybe I could wear my leather jacket, some eyeliner...
"You mean you'll arrest me?!"
"It's not that dramatic."
"Will you cuff me?"
"Read me my rights?"
"Can we have the siren on?"
"This isn't a movie. And to be honest, the case is seriously minor."
In the end I drove down. They made me nice cup of ginger tea. (The metropolitan police budget includes Twinnings Special Tea! ps: Thanks Kitty, Crag and Angel for the tips) And they asked me a stream of questions.
I was there for about an hour. The PO looked like he was going to burst out laughing during the session. Believe me I held nothing back.
"This isn't the first time they've called the police." I told him. "CEO called the fraud squad once. Some one had a misspelling on their website."
That was a funny incident. They asked him how much money the company had lost because of it. CEO's attitude was "We didn't actually lose anything, but we could have lost money."
It's like leaving you're car door unlocked and calling the police the next day:
"Sir, you're car hasn't been stolen." "Yes, but the point is, it could have been."
How do people that stupid survive in the world? I hate the fact that they waltz through life without a fucking clue!
Tuesday, 19 May 2009
Sister and Nephew are still with us. They'll be going home soon. Nephew has school and although it's difficult for Brother-in-law and Sister, they have to bite the bullet and deal with it. They'll move back in and talk about the next steps.
Last night I got a call from CEO's new lawyer. I swore when I answered. It was a reflex action, I couldn't help it.
"Miss Secrets, I'm calling on behalf of my client, CEO."
"What the fuck do you want?"
To be fair, I did have my head down the toilet, again. The morning sickness hasn't gone anywhere. Sometimes it hits me with a vengeance.
There was a shocked silence on the other end of the phone. I'm guessing he didn't expect me to be so rude.
"I've emailed you some details concerning your breach of contract."
"Excuse me. What breach?"
Now, apparently CEO and New Guy have reason to believe I have breached my contract of employment and they are in the process of recovering losses.
As you can imagine, I didn't take too kindly to the allegation.
"Your client has nothing better to do with his time. Obviously he doesn't have a brain in his dense skull because in order to recover losses you need to have something called proof, and as a lawyer you should know this."
"Are you denying the allegations?"
"Are you listening to yourself? What am I supposed to have done?"
CEO has accused me of leaking trade secrets to a competitor under a false name.
There are many things wrong with this:
1. As far as I am aware, there are no trade secrets. Seriously, there are no secrets.
2. A false name? Hmm now if a false name was used, how can they be certain it was me?
3. Why would I do something so stupid?
In the end I told the lawyer to piss off and he told me that CEO has a right to apply for an injunction against me. I laughed and told him to go ahead. I'm not the one that's going to look like a total idiot.
I puked a little more after the phone call. And got a little emotional.
"Why won't they just leave me alone!"
"I haven't done-"
"What a bastard-"
Solicitor knocked on the door.
"Elise? Can I come in?"
"Tell them to fuck-"
Sister knocked on the door.
"Elise, let me in! Are you okay?"
"Aunt Elise! Are you going to die?"
I didn't answer. Instead I squeezed the largest amount of toothpaste onto my toothbrush and cleaned my teeth.
I told Solicitor about the phone call afterwards. He laughed and told me that I've got nothing to worry about. CEO's a complete idiot.
I got a phone call this morning from a police officer. He needs to follow up an attack on CEO's company security. I was pretty shocked. He told me that it's a standard follow up to any crime reported and that in his view it's pretty minor.
Yes, it is pretty minor. But to me it's pretty major. CEO called the police, after I told his lawyer to piss off, and made up an attack on his security (whatever that's supposed to mean).
CEO has taken it too far. It's time to rally the troops. First things first, I need some advice from Gay Boss.
Thursday, 14 May 2009
I don't know what to believe, to be honest. Sister told me everything that night.
Sister was with Brother-in-law when Mother married Stepfather (Sister is my stepsister, but she's the only sibling I have. I love her). Anyway, Sister and Brother-in-law knew each other from school. They used to go camping together.
I don't understand the whole fuss about camping. You spend ages setting up a tent just so you can sit outside by a fire. You hardly sleep because there are so many insects around and you wake up smelly. Why not have a fire in the back garden? You can sit around in the grass and swap stories and get drunk. Once your all knackered you can stagger into a nice clean bed.
Anyway, Brother-in-law asked Sister to marry him on one of their group camping trips. Although she said yes, she later told Sean that she was unsure. She was a little drunk at the time. She shared a kiss with Sean behind one of the tents.
To be honest, when Sister told me that I was really pissed off. I told her everything that happened in my life, and she didn't trust me enough to tell me that she snogged her boyfriends best friend.
Anyway, Brother-in-law and Sister got married (obviously). I was maid of honour and Sean was best man. I remember he didn't look too happy that day. Then he tried to kiss me on the dance floor. It didn't work, I stepped on his toe with my heel. Besides I was young. Really young. What a perve!
He left for a job in Edinburgh not long afterwards. I didn't hear much about him after the wedding. I assumed he'd moved on with life.
A year or so into their marriage, Sean went to stay with Brother-in-law and Sister for a weekend. Now I'm pretty disgusted by this, but Sister slept with him. It was a one time thing, apparently.
I don't care that it was only one time. She was a bitch for doing it. Brother-in-law must have crossed her mind while it was happening. The fact that she didn't stop it just shows a lack of respect.
She told Brother-in-law. She couldn't keep it to herself. And he forgave her. He actually forgave her for sleeping with his best friend.
Sean showed up about six months ago and saw Brother-in-law, Sister and Nephew unloading the car. He must have got the wrong end of the stick because he rushed over and kept saying "Why didn't you tell me? Let me see my son."
Nephew is Brother-in-law's son. Brother-in-law went mad and told him to piss off out of their lives. And Sister thought that was the end of that.
Obviously not if she accidently got a text meant for some other woman.
I don't condone what Sister did, but that doesn't give Brother-in-law the right to cheat on her.
After Sister told me the full story I stared at her in shock. She wasn't the person I'd always thought she was. I'd always looked up to her. She was the one with high morality. She'd kept so much from me. When I lost my virginity she was the first person I called!
She was always so happy with Brother-in-law. They were the perfect, boring couple. Was that the problem? Was she bored with him? They could have spiced things up. Gone on holiday or something.
It's over. How are they going to work it out? How can you ever look at someone knowing that they've betrayed you?
Solicitor and I were lying in bed last night. I bit his shoulder gently and said "If you ever cheat on me, I'd never forgive you." He kissed me and said "Good. We're on the same page."
Wednesday, 13 May 2009
By Tuesday morning I was beginning to feel a little pissed off with everyone. Sister hadn't left the bedroom since Friday. I had to keep Nephew busy to stop him from wondering why his mother was lying in bed staring into space and why his father wasn't with them.
I snapped by Tuesday afternoon.
"Get up. You need to take a shower and you need to start talking."
It took a lot of energy, but I finally persuaded her to get up. While she was in the shower her phone rang. It was Brother-in-law! I didn't answer, I have a policy of never answering other peoples phones, but I couldn't resist calling him back.
I could practically hear Solicitor's voice of reason as I dialed Brother-in-laws number. "Leave it Elise. It's none of your business." Of course I ignored it.
Brother-in-law answered straight away.
"I need to speak to my wife."
"Really? It's taken you this long? I guess you sort of forgot she was your wife, huh?"
"You don't like me do you?"
"Did she tell you everything?"
"She didn't have to. I saw the text. Who is she?"
"Nobody. A mistake." Brother-in-law sighed "I went a bit crazy when Sean showed up."
"Sean? You see your old friend and suddenly you feel like cheating?"
What a prick? That doesn't even make sense!
"She didn't tell you did she?"
"Tell me what?"
"That Sean showed up and demanded to see Nephew."
"Why would he do that?"
Honestly Brother-in-law must have some messed up friends. Imagine me running over to Bimbo's demanding to see Baby Girl.
Brother-in-law was quiet for a while.
"I need to speak to my wife." He said finally. "Please, I know you're angry with me, but you don't know the full story."
He sounded upset. Not upset in a guilty way. I expected him to cry down the phone and beg, but he didn't. He sounded, well tired. I almost felt sorry for him. Almost.
"I'll tell her you called."
"Thank you. Elise, can I speak to my son?" Brother-in-law's voice broke a little.
I'm not a bitch. Of course he could speak to Nephew. I stood in the doorway while Nephew told him about the last few days. He'd beaten me and Solicitor on Wii Bowling. Grandmama had shown him how to paint 'properly'.
We they'd hung up I put Alvin and the Chipmunks on for Nephew and went in search of my sister.
I waited in the spare room for her to emerge from the shower. Half and hour later she walked in, looking like a drowned animal. Her hair dripped water everywhere. Instead of getting ready she flopped down on the bed and rolled over to her side. She looked depressed. Like a walking zombie.
"What's the deal with Sean?" I asked suddenly.
"Your husband called."
I heard a choking sound. Oh my God, she was... yes. Tears! Sister was crying.
Not just crying. Sobbing. Quietly at first. But then it got louder.
I threw my arms around her. He hair was soaking through my top, but I didn't care. After five days, she was finally letting go. The heeling could begin. Or the pain. Either way I was there.
She cried for a long time. Nephew came up while she was sobbing. He looked so worried, my heart almost broke.
"Why is mummy crying?" He asked curiously.
"Do you mind doing me a favour, babe? Can you take my camera and take some pictures of the garden?"
It was the first thing that came into my head! I told him that I needed at least a hundred photos of the plants and insects for my work. He didn't believe me, but he went anyway. I hope he didn't break the camera.
Once Sister had calmed down I told her again to call Brother-in-law. As much as I was dying to know the situation with Sean, Sister needed to speak with Brother-in-law.
Sean's probably some psychopath. You come across people like that all the time. They leave for years and come back demanding to restore a friendship.
I had a friend called Karen that did that to me once. We were best friends at 16 and her family moved to Enfield. She came back for a visit a few months later and got a bit pissed off because I invited Vicky too. She went mad and told me to go and spend my life with Vicky since I don't care about her anymore.
I didn't really speak to her much after that. I heard through the grapevine that she shaved her hair and started seeing a girl called Jen. Vicky told me she always thought Karen was in love with me.
Maybe Sean's gay. He might have tried it on with Brother-in-law and Brother-in-law had to try and prove how straight he was by sleeping with another woman. Maybe Sean left him no choice! Oh my God! Maybe the text was meant for Sean. That's horrible!
Monday, 11 May 2009
Solicitor called me at around 7pm on Friday. I was at Bimbo's planning our children's wedding (if one of us has a boy and the other has a girl they'll fall in love and get married).
"You have to come home. Now."
So I drove home. I was surprised to see a load of Tesco shopping bags piled up in the hallway. I looked at Solicitor questioningly and he shrugged. Nephew bounced out of the living room, as happy as punch, and threw himself into my arms.
"I'm staying here!" He squealed happily.
"She's upstairs in the spare room." Solicitor told me, referring to Sister. I dropped a quick kiss on Nephew's head and jogged upstairs.
Sister was lying in the fetus position. Staring. My heart dropped. Had something happened to Mother? Or Stepfather? Sister was in complete shock, I'd never seen her like this before.
I carefully sat on the bed, preparing myself for some awful news.
"I've left him." She quietly whispered.
Left Brother-in-law?? That's ridiculous. Sister and Brother-in-law were like apples and pears. Actually Sister is like an apple, she's practical, appealing, and healthy. Brother-in-law is a pear. The type of fruit you forget is in the fruit bowl. Not the crunchy type of pear, the soft weird tasting pear.
Brother-in-law is boring. I forget that he's even in the room sometimes. He's not exactly the heart of a party. But Sister loves him. They wear matching anoraks and they go on nature walks together. They plant herbs in the garden. Why on earth would she leave him? He's so.... reliable.
Sister didn't say anything for a long time after she told me she'd left him. She's not the type of person to gush out all of her feelings. She'd prefer to think first. So I decided to unpack her suitcase.
The spare room is normally my dress room. The closet is full of beautiful I've-only-worn-this-once dresses. I pushed my gorgeous gowns across the rail and began hanging up Sister's clothes. Her clothes look the same. Shapeless, colourless. I swear Sister thinks the only reason for clothes is to keep warm and protect modesty.
I've tried to help her but she just smiles and says "I can't be bothered with looking nice. It's not practical." True. That's what happens when you chose to live in the country. But you can get all sorts of wellington boots nowadays. I bought her a pair of red ones with white spots. She nearly had a heart attack. She thought they looked slutty!
So, I hung up her two pairs of blue BHS jeans and folded up her pastel T-shirts. Other than that she had a bunch of underwear which I'd stuffed into the top draw. I'd just started unpacking Nephew's clothes, when she spoke again.
"He's seeing someone else."
I dropped Nephew's Sponge-Bob pajamas. How the hell could Brother-in-law be seeing someone? I'm surprised someone even noticed him. Maybe Sister got it wrong. There's no way he has the guts to speak to another woman let alone cheat.
"I was loading the car in the Tesco car park when he text me a message that was meant for her."
That explains the Tesco bags. I climbed onto the bed and laced my hand through hers.
"I picked up Nephew and packed. I didn't know what else to do." She gripped my hand. "Can I stay here?"
I hugged her, expecting her to cry. She didn't. She stiffened her body and carried on staring.
"Do you want to see the message?" She pulled her phone out of her pocket.
Hey Sexy, I need to see you. I miss you. Same place tonight?xox
I felt anger rise in me. How could he do this to her? What a fucking loser. If I was in her position I would be plotting his murder, screaming at him, demanding to know every little detail.
But Sister's not like me. She'd rather bottle up all of her feelings. She didn't know anything about the other woman, only that she existed. I offered to track her down and 'take care of her', after all that's what family is for. Sister smiled. A small smile, but it was there. She shook her head and asked for some Nytol.
"Why didn't I see it happening?" She whispered as she dropped off. Tears stung my eyes. My big sister was hurting so much and I didn't know what to do to help her. I got into bed with her and held her until I was sure she was asleep.
I went downstairs and made some decaf tea. Solicitor and I spoke quietly in the kitchen. Although Nephew was asleep on the sofa, we couldn't take any chances of him hearing us.
Solicitor came home from work and found Sister sitting in her car staring. He managed to get her to come into the house and he unloaded the car. The frozen food had completely thawed out and needed to be thrown away. Apparently she stood in the living room doorway for a long time in complete shock. He's surprised she managed to drive down.
Neither of us can believe that Brother-in-law could do that to her. They seemed so happy. The worse thing was that he hadn't even bothered to call her. He didn't have the guts. The spineless piece of shit.
I cried. I'm not sure why exactly. Sister should be the one crying. But I couldn't bare the pain that she was going through.
It's now Monday. Solicitor and I decided that Sister should stay as long as she needs to. I called Nephew's school and told them that he'd be absent for the remainder of the week. We'll sort something out by then. Sister hasn't moved from the spare room since Friday. She hasn't cried yet.
Shitface hasn't even called yet. I'm inches away from grabbing my car keys and driving up to see him. Ask him what the fuck he thinks he's doing to his wife and child. Ask him why he hasn't called.
Thursday, 7 May 2009
Last night I hadn't bothered cooking. I'd spent all day curled on the sofa reading a Sidney Sheldon book that I bought years ago but never had the time to read. It was only when I heard Solicitor's key in the front door that I stood up and thought "Crap!"
Before he opened the front door a made a quick run for the stairs. I didn't have time to choose and outfit so I simply stripped down to my thong and slipped into a pair of heels.
"Elise?" He called.
"I'm up here." I called back.
"What are we having for dinner? I'm starving."
"Come up." I call again.
"No I'll wait down here."
Crap. It's not going to work this time.
"Come up, I've missed you."
"You haven't cooked have you?"
"I was thinking we should work up an appetite first." I stepped down the stairs and grinned at him. "But if you're not in the mood, I'll go and cook."
"Yeah, I'm pretty hungry." He ran a gently hand down my cheek (I'm not telling you which one). "What are you planning on cooking?"
"Whatever you want."
He nodded. "I was kind of hoping for stake." He dropped a quick kiss on my forehead. "Thanks babe." And he casually walked up the stairs.
Okay. It wasn't working this time. I was hoping he'd say something on the lines of "Let's order in." or "Oh since you haven't started cooking, let's go out." But noooo. My darling partner can resist a naked woman in heels and a thong.
Let's see for how long.
I poured him a cold beer and placed it so very nicely on the kitchen counter, and slipped on my apron. I love my apron, it's cotton 50's style with printed strawberries. Hopefully Solicitor will like it too. After all, the colour and trimming is perfect for a naked woman....
Right. Dinner. I began peeling the potatoes. I completely engrossed myself in cooking. Once I get started I quite like it. I didn't even hear Solicitor enter the kitchen.
"Carling?" He said sipping the beer.
I jumped and gave a little yelp.
"You snuck up on me!" I cried.
Solicitor laughed. "No I didn't. You just remembered how much you like cooking for your man."
"Uh huh. And that's the only thing I'm going to be doing for my man tonight." I huffed.
I jumped again when he walked behind me and slid his hand up my back. His hand was cold from the beer glass and I gasped.
"Is that a fact?" He kissed my bare shoulder. I dropped my potato peeler and leaned back onto him.
Sigh. Sometimes I'm shocked that I ended up with him. That he chose to be with me. He's absolutely gorgeous. And sexy. And I love the way he bites my neck like that. Right at my pulse. And-
"Do you mind making an apple crumble for dessert?"
Hold on. What?
No. No, that wasn't supposed to happen.
Solicitor leaned against the counter casually and sipped his beer.
"Chelsea, Barcelona tonight. Think you can be done by kick off?"
Hold on. The football? He's talking about football. There's absolutely no way I'm making an apple crumble for him. How dare he?
He absently trailed his fingers over my hips. I wonder if we have any cinnamon...? No Stop! Get a grip.
"Do you want to have sex?"
Oh my God! Why was I asking him? He was supposed to ask me! That was the plan.
"Sure. After the game." He sipped his beer and grinned. "And if the crumble's good enough of course."
Tuesday, 5 May 2009
Solicitor was at a football match with his brother and cousin. I'm not one to come between a man and his sport. I was more than happy to stay at home and sing at the top of my lungs while cleaning.
Hours later I filled all of the tea cups and coffee mugs with boiling water and lemon to bleach them and I went for a well deserved bath. I was seriously tired and planned to spend the remainder of the day watching Disney's Pixar set with a nice cup of hot chocolate. When I finally emerged from the bathroom I had a shock of my life.
There was somebody else in the house with me. I heard shuffling around downstairs. It couldn't be Solicitor. His mother would never have used her spare key. She has it for emergencies only.
"Hello?" I called.
I almost fell down the stairs when Aimee emerged from the kitchen with a big smile on her face.
"What are you doing?"
"I knocked, but you didn't answer." She explained shrugging.
"How did you get in?" I slowly descended the stairs.
"Key." She held up her keyring.
"We changed the locks."
"Yeah I know. You didn't change the back door ones though."
I felt a shiver run through my body. What the hell was she doing sneaking into the house through the back door?
"Wow I haven't been here in so long." She said looking around with interest. "You've changed a lot."
"Why are you here?" I tried again.
"You didn't answer my calls." She smiled. "I called so many times. You changed your landline. I guess both of you blocked me from your mobiles."
Yeah for a fucking good reason! I wanted to scream.
"You look awful." She frowned. "Are you ill?"
"Aimee, you can't just walk into this house."
"Yes I can. It belongs to my ex husband. He bought it before he met you."
Aimee has always been a messed up druggy. I've never known her to be bitchy. I was seriously taken back by her comment, and for once, I didn't know what to say. What she said hurt. It was my home. Aimee had never lived in it.
I gripped the banister and suppressed my urge to cry.
"You have to leave." I told her firmly.
She looked at me with bright hurt eyes. "I need your help." She said quietly. "I wouldn't have come otherwise. I need some money."
What? She owns a bloody place opposite Battersea Park for crying out loud! Her address says "Mansions" in it.
I told her, as politely as I could, to leave. She didn't. She insisted that she would wait for Solicitor. She strolled back into the living room as if she owned the house. She looked around with interest.
"Why have you got a pair of booties on the mantelpiece?" She asked.
I didn't answer.
"Oh I see."
She picked them up and traced the lace on the with her fingertips. I wanted to grab them from her. She had no right to touch them.
"Has he proposed yet?" She asked searching my hand with her eyes. "He proposed to me as soon as he found out I was pregnant."
My head spun wildly and I slowly sank into the sofa. She's just trying to make you feel jealous, I told myself.
"Funny. Has he even mentioned marriage?" She laughed. "I guess not. Wow you must feel like you're second best."
This isn't like her. She's normally a nice person. Why is she saying those things?
Suppressing tears is hard when you're pregnant. It take a lot of energy.
"Leave." I told her again. "Leave or I'll call the police."
She looked at me for a while. "I guess you need to be alone." She nodded sympathetically. "I'll come back later."
"Give me your key."
"No. It's my key. I thought you were a nice person Elise, I really did. We could have been really good friends. But friends don't cut each other off. Friends don't try and take people away from each other. Do you have any idea how many times I tried to call? He used to answer. He used to be there for me. When he stopped you acted like you cared. But you only did it so you could slowly pull away didn't you?"
I started crying. I did care about her. I went every time she called me and told me that she'd taken something and that she thought she was going to die. I cleaned up her puke. I flushed all of her drugs. How could she say I didn't care.
"You're so bloody selfish! Both of you."
Yes. We were selfish. We wanted a normal life. Where Aimee didn't exist.
I looked at the thin beautiful woman in front of me and realised that she felt betrayed. That she snuck into the house through desperation. That she was too desperate to leave us alone. And that even if she left now she would come back.
She did leave. After a long outburst and an accusing speech, she left me alone. I curled up on the sofa and cried myself to sleep.
Solicitor woke me up later. It was dark outside. I must have been asleep for a good six hours. He looked concerned. He told me that I felt hot and that I needed to wake up and drink some water.
The memory of Aimee came flooding back. I stayed where I was, too upset to move, and told him about her letting herself into the house. Solicitor was furious. He called a locksmith straight away and then called Aimee. He stalked about as he told her never to pull a stupid stunt like that again. I didn't quiet register the converstaion. It began to sound blurry after a while.
I felt a mild cramp in my stomach while he was on the phone followed by an intense dizzy spell. I sat incredibly still and prayed that it would go away. It didn't. I felt a sharp stab and screwed my hands into tight fists, feeling absolutely terrified.
"I don't feel good." I said when he finally hung up. Solicitor froze when he saw my face. He looked as scared as I felt. I stood up slowly. The last thing I remembered was feeling my legs crumple beneath me.
I was dehydrated and over stressed. I was lucky. I don't care how upset I am, in future I will make sure that I look after myself. I should have drunk some water. In fact I don't actually remember drinking anything besides a glass of orange juice that morning. I would never have forgiven myself if anything happened to the baby through my own stupidity.
Wednesday, 29 April 2009
Every so often she invites the whole family over for dinner; Mother & Stepfather, Father & Lady-Friend, Sister, Brother-in-law and Nephew, Solicitor and Me. In most cases some of us can't make it.
Mother and Stepfather tend to cancel more than the others. I don't think Mother's quite gotten over the fact that Grandmama loves my Father like her own son, and that she never took sides during my parents divorce.
Sunday was a rare occasion when we were all present. Solicitor thought it would be an ideal opportunity to tell everybody about the baby. In theory, it's ideal. In practice... well...
"I've got something that I want to say to everyone." I said smiling.
"You're pregnant." Grandmama stated. "I know, darling, it's quite obvious." She smiled across the table and nodded knowingly.
It wasn't so obvious to my mother. The shock, followed by mortification, was so apparent.
"My God!" She glared at me furiously. "How can you embarrass yourself like that?"
"Have you no shame, Elise? Pregnant out of wedlock!"
"Please." My Father cut in rather dryly. "You have no right to talk about shame."
"And what's that supposed to mean?" Mother shot back at him.
"You actually want me to talk about it then?" Father raised his eyebrows.
"Enough!" Grandmama slammed down her wine glass.
A few moments of silence passed.
"Congratulations." Brother-in-law supplied awkwardly.
Sister leaned across the table and gripped my hand.
Another few moments of silence.
"I can't believe you just blurted it out without even speaking to me first!" Mother hissed.
I felt my cheeks flush with rage.
"With you?" I asked incredulously. "You're the last person I would have told if I decided to tell everyone separately."
Mother clanged down her cutlery.
"Elise..." Sister whispered, half warning, half pleading.
"It's not like you've been a model mother." I carried on spitefully. It was childish but she made me so angry.
"I did what I thought was right." Mother said stiffly.
"Having an affair and pissing off?" Father nodded thoughtfully. "Yep, sounds like you thought about it."
The entire table stilled. I suddenly felt cold.
"That's enough!" Grandmama shouted standing up. "It's in the past." She glared at Mother and Father. "In the past!" She repeated with emphasis. She slowly and gracefully sat down.
A few moments of reflective silence passed. Grandmama was right. It was so far back in the past it shouldn't have ever been brought up.
"Are you having a baby, Aunt Elise?" Nephew asked curiously.
"Yes, babe." I answered smiling, thinking of the little person inside.
"Why is everyone angry?"
"Eat your carrots." Sister snapped.
"I don't like carrots!" Nephew moaned. "Dad, do I have to eat the carrots?"
"No, eat what you can." Brother-in-law said kindly.
"Thanks." Sister said sarcastically. "You're supposed to back me up."
"What do you want me to do?" Brother-in-law whispered. Sister threw him a look. "Fine! You're mother told you to eat you're carrots."
Nephew sat back in him chair. "No."
"Wonderful!" Sister glared at Brother-in-law. "You deal with him."
"So how did you know Elise was pregnant?" Stepfather asked Grandmama suddenly. He bit his lip as soon as te words left his mouth. It was obvious he was trying to make conversation but said the wrong thing.
"She's got a glow." Lady-Friend smiled warmly. "I thought there was something new about her."
"And how many pregnant women do you know?" Mother snapped.
"I don't want my carrots!" Nephew yelled.
I buried my face in my hands.
"Do you want ice-cream?" Solicitor asked Nephew. "Eat your carrots first and you can come and help me dish it out."
"The first logical thing I've heard all night." Grandmama beamed at Solicitor. "Top up my glass, dear boy. It looks like it's going to be a long day."
Friday, 24 April 2009
My hand slipped and I accidentally cut the palm of my hand with the knife.
"Hi honey, why don't you try that again. Maybe next time I'll sever my wrist." I sarcastically drawled. The cut was pretty minimal but it stung like hell.
"Sorry. I need to talk to you."
I silently held my bleeding hand under cold water. Whatever he had to say could wait a couple of minutes. I was still pretty angry with him for blowing up about the meeting in Riyadh.
"Yes, I'm coming! Give me a second to stop my hand from bleeding will you."
He stalked out of the kitchen. There was definitely something bothering him. I pressed a sheet of kitchen town into my hand and followed him into the living room.
"What's up?" I asked casually.
The cat chose that moment to spring up onto Solicitor's arm. Solicitor instinctively shook his arm free and sent the cat flying off.
"What the hell is wrong with the cat?!"
Oh yeah. I forgot.
"I haven't fed her."
"I can't open her tin of cat food without puking." I explained. It's such an odd feeling. As soon as I get a whiff of her food, my body seems to go into hyper rejection. "So what did you want to talk about?"
The cat trotted back to Solicitor and rubbed her face against his ankle. She moaned and yelped desperately.
The fire alarm suddenly shrilled loudly. Crap! The grill!
I ran towards the kitchen and pulled open the door. The smoke from the grill fogged the room in a haze and the smell hit me like a bullet. I turned and smacked straight into Solicitor.
"I'm going to be sick!" I moaned.
I knew I wouldn't make the bathroom so I turned and swiftly unlocked the back door. I ran towards across the patio and coughed into the flower bed. I felt so weak and tired and so damn pissed off that I couldn't control it.
Solicitor joined me a few minutes later with a cool wet towel. He pressed it against my forehead and I leaned back on him. So tried.
"I've thrown dinner out. I guess we'll be ordering in tonight." He kissed the top of my head. "You okay?"
He helped me back into the house and up to the bathroom. The nice thing about Solicitor is that he knows what to do to make me feel better. He always has. He switched the shower onto a cooler setting and left me alone.
An hour later, feeling much better, I found him sitting on the sofa watching television.
"What did you want to talk about?" I asked as I snuggled up to him.
The doorbell rang. I pulled my robe tightly around my body. Who could that-
"Pizza." Solicitor sprang up and reached for his wallet.
The smell of pepperoni made my stomach churn. Before Solicitor had even brought the boxes into the living room, I bolted up to the bathroom.
Isn't morning sickness supposed to be in the morning?!
I couldn't make it back downstairs. I cleaned my teeth for the thousandth time and crawled into bed. I pretty much fell asleep as soon as my head hit the pillow.
Hours later I was woken by Solicitor slipping into bed beside me. I snuggled up to him.
"I'm sorry." I whispered. "What did you want to talk about?"
He kissed me head.
"It doesn't matter. Go to sleep and we'll talk tomorrow."
"Is it bad?" I asked, suddenly worried.
"No babe. It's not bad."
"Is it about Riyadh?" I asked hopefully.
"We'll talk tomorrow."
I wonder what it is. I've been bouncing about all day today. I've called him seven times and I've sent him a few emails (about fifteen). He's not letting on. Maybe he's found a cure for morning sickness! I would love him forever if he did.
Wednesday, 22 April 2009
Trust me I'm not hormonal, I'm just angry.
Yesterday morning I got in touch with an old business associate. Now this guy is a genius, and if I could associate myself with his company it would definitely kick start my slow starting business.
As you can imagine, I switched on my sweet professional voice and convinced him to agree to a meeting.
The only problem is that he doesn't live in the UK. He lives somewhere I have never ventured to before.
A quick weekend trip didn't seem like a bad idea. It doesn't take too long to fly there, it's out of Europe so I could stock up on duty free... There was one problem.
When Solicitor returned from work I sat down with him and told him that I wanted to ask him something.
"I've got a new business meeting. A really good prospect."
"That's good. Who with?"
"An old associate. The thing is... I'm going to have to travel abroad to see him."
Have you ever felt icy coldness run down your spine? Solicitor froze. I could practically feel the ice that ran through his blood. His reaction was expected. I sat still, feeling very much like a child asking her parent if it's okay to take drugs.
Solicitor shook his head, clenching his fists.
"No fucking way."
He sprang up from the sofa, blazing in fury.
"What kind of a business associate invites a woman to Saudi? You're not going. There's no fucking way you're going there alone."
"That's what I wanted to ask you. I'm not allowed to travel alone out there. I think it's against the law. I need you to come with me."
"We are not going to Saudi. They'll take one look at our passports, see we're not married and God knows what will happen to you. I'm not risking it."
"Don't be so dramatic."
"You think I'm being dramatic?" He began pacing the room. "Okay. You do know that you're not allowed to have any flesh what so ever on display there don't you?"
"That's including your face, your hands."
"You're not permitted to go anywhere without a male escort."
"That's why I wanted you to-"
"You're not allowed to wear a fucking seat belt in a car! I will not have you risking your life for a fucking business meeting with some shithead."
"Reasonable?! Are you taking the piss? You think it's reasonable to be lashed as part of punishment? Because trust me, Elise, you step one foot wrong and they will not hesitate to do something like that."
"So I won't do anything wrong."
Solicitor laughed bitterly.
"Okay, what happens if you get ill, huh? Something goes wrong. You're pregnant for fucks sake."
"I'm sure there are doctors-"
"Darling, you won't be able to see one without a permission slip signed by, let me see, a male member of your family. And before you try to say something, I don't count!"
He ranted for hours. He flung out reasons why the plan was so damn off the mark, I must have some kind of mental issue for even considering it. He paced about swearing at the business associate who must be some kind of sick twisted fuck for expecting me to go there.
I retaliated. I told him that my one chance of a break would be on hold because he's too damn set in his way to even bother to listen. That I'd travelled to the middle east before. I'd been to Bahrain, Dubai, Damascus and the human rights laws are deeply exaggerated by the media.
In the end he won. He's a lawyer. He calmed down and pulled up evidence for his cause, including a list of laws and punishments. Did you know that a male can murder any female member of his family and get away with it out there? A woman can not drive. She can not go anywhere without an escort.
I think it's bollocks. It's illegal to do many things, but is it truly put into practice? If you do your best to follow the law I don't see how it could be "dangerous" to go there. People live there for crying out loud!
I resorted to calling my father. I explained the situation slowly and calmly.
Okay that was a lie. I spilled everything out as fast as I could and begged and pleaded with him to come with me. I was desperate.
"No! Solicitor is right. You are not going. I don't care if I have to tie you down myself"
"I'll take away your passport if I have to!"
What the fuck?! Saudi was supposed to have the human rights issues. Not Solicitor and my Father. Maybe its just men in general. Stupid men.
I called my associate this morning and told him that my partner can not accompany me so we'll have to make other arrangements. I didn't say much more than that be he knew what had happened.
"Elise, Riyadh is not as bad as people think." He sighed. "I understand you're dilemma, I really do. We'll have to put our meeting on hold until the Autumn if you can not fly here. I'll return to the UK then and we can rearrange a time."
Great. Just great. I can kiss goodbye to my glimmer of hope. I feel like crying! Am I being hormonal? Do the guys in my life have a point? Or was I completely cheated?
Monday, 20 April 2009
"Yeah, it's perfect."
I smiled and began wrapping the box. I'm not great with wrapping presents. For some reason I always manage to rip the corners. Sellotape is used liberally, and one ends always ends up with more wrapping paper than the other. I have to make an extra fold to stick it down.
"Don't tell Bimbo." I whispered glancing up at the door to make sure she hadn't arrived. "She'll start crying or do something else dramatic. In fact, don't tell anyone."
Saturday afternoon was bright and sunny. I invited Stoner and Bimbo over for the day. Solicitor went to the pub with a few of his friends to watch the football. Stoner arrived first. I purposely asked him to be there early because I had something to show him and I needed his advice.
"Holy shit!" was pretty much his reaction.
I felt a flutter of nerves.
"This is big isn't it?" I asked him
When a big moment takes place in life it often makes people think of the bigger picture. When you graduate from education you suddenly realise that the world is you oyster. That there are many different career paths. That you are now a fully qualified adult.
I tend to think of stupid little things. When I graduated from university the first thing I realised was "I won't get discount at HMV anymore."
Because of my warped mind I needed a logical friend to give me some logical advice. Stoner is my pillar of logic. The voice of reason. The one person that I can rely on to say something that will bring perspective.
"I don't know what to say."
Oh my God! That's it. It was a bad idea.
"You think he'll hate the idea."
Stoner's eyes widened in surprise. "It's only an idea?!"
"The present." I said patiently. "The actual meaning is real. Don't you think it's cute?"
"Right..." He slowly nodded.
"Yeah, it's a good idea." He paused. "Cute."
"Check out the colours." I said enthusiastically. "You like?"
He leaned over the coffee table and peered into the box.
"Yeah, it's perfect."
Solicitor arrived home later that night to a candle lit dinner for two. I'd changed into the little black dress that he loves and I stood by the table nervously biting my bottom lip. He smiled when he saw my efforts.
"Wow. Something smells good."
"Thai." I said as he gently kissed me.
My knees buckled slightly as he nuzzled at my neck.
"I've got a present for you." I told him pointing at the badly wrapped box on the table.
"Did I forget some kind of anniversary?" He asked.
"Just open it."
When he picked up the box I sank into my chair. He took his time peeling off the sellotape. Why couldn't he just rip the wrapping paper? I wanted to scream in frustration.
When he finally peeled off enough tape to open one side of the wrapping, I panicked and jumped to my feet. My arm clumsily knocked my glass of orange juice onto the floor.
My fingers shook as I bent down to pick up the glass.
"What's wrong with you?" Solicitor asked squatting beside me holding my wrists.
"Just open the present, will you!" I snapped back.
He pulled the wrapping off and stared. Silently. God, please say something, I begged.
I nodded again.
He placed the box of tiny baby booties on the table and pulled me into his arms.
Thursday, 9 April 2009
Solicitor and I are on speaking terms. Last night I cooked him a nice meal and apologised as soon as he walked through the door. He didn't say much, he just nodded. Things aren't right yet, but they will be. I will speak to him properly tonight and tell him what happened and why.
We decided to spend Easter weekend separately. Mother and Stepfather invited me and Sister to their home. It's the first time in years that we'd be there at the same time.
It takes me back to the days when I was in my late teens and Sister was planning her wedding. Mother, Sister and I picked out hundreds of pictures of dresses, cakes, flowers etc and presented them to Stepfather along with price tags. His hair practically fell out during that weekend!
Solicitor planned to spend the weekend with his very large and loud family. His mother was of course upset that her "new daughter in law" wasn't coming. I love that about his family. They welcomed me into their arms with no questions. When I pointed out that Solicitor and I are not married or even engaged, his mother laughed and said "You don't need a piece of paper or a ring to prove that you are man and wife, I can see it in your hearts."
This morning, Mother called.
"Hi Elise, I've got some news."
Please don't say something sick like your pregnant.... That would be awful!
"Well you remember my cousin Tommy, don't you?"
"Well Tommy's daughter Marlene is getting married and we're invited to the engagement party."
"Okay. Should I bring a formal dress with me?"
"Darling, you haven't been invited."
"Oh okay. What day is it?"
"It's a weekend thing... In Scotland."
"You and Stepfather going to Scotland?"
"I'm sorry darling, I know you and your sister were looking forward to this weekend."
"Honestly, Mother it's fine. Have a good time."
When I hung up I felt like crying. It sounds so stupid, but I felt so angry at her. Angry because I miss her. Ever since I was young I was always craving her attention. She left me to live with Grandmama when I was 13 and moved out of the city with Stepfather. I spent all of my weekends with them but it wasn't the same.
For a few moments I sat on the sofa cradling the phone in my hands. I could spend the weekend with Solicitor I suppose. Or I could call Sister and we could do something together.
I called Father.
"What's wrong?" He answered.
I've only ever called him during emergencies.
"Nothing. I just felt like talking."
"What are you doing this weekend?"
"You're mother cancelled on you."
I felt a giant lump in my throat.
"Do you fancy spending some time with me? Lady-Friend wants to get to know you better."
"I don't want to impose."
"Elise, I wanted you to be with me this weekend. You're mother got there first."
"Yes. Why don't you come by tomorrow night and we can have dinner and talk. Just the two of us."
"What about Lady-Friend?"
"I'll ask her to wait until Saturday. I need some alone time with you."
"I love you."
Wednesday, 8 April 2009
Brother-In-Law dropped by last night with his new girlfriend. She's great. Swift thinking with a sharp wit. We got on like a house on fire.
Brother-In-Law brought up the conversation about bulimia. He'd seen a thin girl purchasing three boxes of laxatives and couldn't believe the shop attendant sold them to her without questioning her.
"A shop attendant can't question someone about their purchases." Girlfriend laughed. "If some guy bought three bottles of lube the guy wouldn't question him about his personal habits. This is no different."
"Yes it is." Brother-In-Law argued. "Laxatives are dangerous. Lube isn't."
We argued about the moral obligation of the shop attendant for a while before the subject shifted to the actual eating disorder.
"I don't understand why someone would do that to themselves." Brother-In-Law said shaking his head in disgust. "You don't even lose weight doing it."
"It's not about losing weight." I argued. "It's about feeling that you have."
Solicitor and Brother-In-Law looked skeptical. Girlfriend nodded.
"I think I understand what your saying." She said slowly. "Some days you feel fatter than others, regardless of how much you weigh."
"Exactly. Laxatives just makes you feel good." I paused. "I'm assuming." I added.
The conversation soon shifted onto another subject.
When Brother-In-Law and Girlfriend left Solicitor studied me seriously.
"I didn't realise you had an eating disorder." He said quietly.
"I don't." I retorted. "Why the hell would you think that? Have I ever said no to food?"
"I didn't say you have, I said you had."
"You don't know what your talking about. Just because I understand the other side of the fence, it doesn't mean I've been there." I argued angrily. "I have an A-level in psychology, remember? I learnt a little about the disorder."
Solicitor was quiet for a while.
"You want to tell me what happened?"
I lost my temper.
"I don't have a problem and I never have had one!" I shouted. "What's you're problem? Just because your ex wife is fucked up it doesn't mean that I am."
"Aimee has got nothing to do with this." He bit out angrily. "This is about you."
I shouldn't have mentioned Aimee. I could tell that I hit a nerve and I should have stopped there.
"Are you sure this isn't about you?" I said defiantly. "You're marriage failed because she was a smack head. Looking for a problem with me?"
Solicitor lost his temper and slammed his fist against the door frame.
"What the fuck is the matter with you?" he yelled
"Nothing!" I screamed "What the hell is wrong with you?"
"I asked you one fucking question and you've lost your mind! You're acting like a psychopath."
"Leave me alone." I shouted slamming the bedroom door in his face.
He left me alone. He slept in the spare room. I didn't sleep all night. I kept staring at the door hoping that he would come back. But he never did.
This morning I heard him get up for work. Instead of waking up and making him breakfast I kept my eyes closed and pretended to be asleep.
I haven't called him all day and now I can't stop thinking about it.
I'm not angry at him, I'm angry at me. I said some horrible things. He was right I acted like a psychopath.
I don't have a problem. I have enough self confidence and I'm actually happy with my image. But when I was 14 it was a different story. It wasn't that serious. I didn't make myself terribly ill. I'd call it a phase that I went through, a way of dealing with some things.
I haven't told Solicitor about it. I guess deep down I'm really afraid. I know it's against all logical thought, but I'm worried that he'll think I'm like Aimee.
He'll be late home today. He text me earlier:
Got a meeting at 6. Be home after that.
I guess he's still angry. He normally leaves a kiss at the end of texts.
Monday, 6 April 2009
Bimbo and I decided to do some window shopping. Bimbo loves taking Baby Girl out shopping, she can hook all of her shopping bags on the handles of the pram.
We've changed our usual routine. Bimbo and I used to spend hours trying on clothes in TopShop but now we stop, look and grab. Having a baby around expands the shopping world even further. We now spend time in every department at John Lewis, Women's Clothes and Shoes (for obvious reasons), Men's Clothes (gifts for Solicitor and Pierce), Home and Furniture (you never know what you'll find! It's like disneyland!), and the Children Section (for darling Baby Girl).
So, Bimbo and I were trying out Furniture at John Lewis (Bimbo was feeding Baby Girl her milk on one of the large sofas), when a sales guy decides to offer his advice.
Blah blah blah Money Back Guarantee blah blah blah Three Years Interest Free blah blah blah If you purchase today you'll receive Free Insurance
Bimbo stared up at him, her large blue eyes filling up with tears.
"I'm sorry, there's just nowhere to feed her!"
The sales guy stopped and stared.
"I can't buy the sofa!" Bimbo cried "That's what you want, don't you? You think I've used it don't you?"
I open my mouth.
And then shut it again.
The sales guy did the same.
"I'm sorry, I thought you needed help with buying." He stammered. He shot me a quick look of apology before practically running away.
I put a gentle arm around Bimbo and asked her what was wrong.
I'm used to Bimbo crying. She does it quite often when she's facing huge issues. Like the time that she had a sip of wine when she was pregnant and she thought she was a bad mother. And the time that she accidentally posted a letter without checking to see if she had the right amount of stamps on it.
"So... um... are you okay?"
"No I'm not!" She cried. The couple checking out the big red sofa looked up at us in surprise. They looked away swiftly and gave each other a look.
Bimbo carried on, oblivious to the attention that she's caught.
"I can't handle it. I've only shaved one leg and I can't sleep!"
Baby Girl choked on her milk and started wailing. A high pitched baby scream.
"Okay." I said quietly, taking Baby Girl into my arms. "It's okay. Let's go and... and... get out of here. Let's go get some coffee."
"I can't!" Bimbo whispered, tears running down her cheek. "I'm breast feeding. I'm not allowed coffee."
"Okay you can have hot chocolate." I said desperately. "You like hot chocolate."
Bimbo gulped. "Okay."
"Okay, good, lets go."
She can't sleep because she only shaved one leg??
We settled down in Costa with a Hot Chocolate and a Cappuccino. Bimbo's eyes had dried and she looked at me sheepishly.
"I'm sorry, I just couldn't handle it." She took a small sip of her drink and wiped the milk off of her lips with a napkin. "Baby Girl keeps me up all night. I can't even have a shower with the door closed anymore. I have to shave my legs in shifts. Every time she drifts off to sleep I can't sleep in case she stops breathing. I just can't, I just can't!"
Bimbo pulled the napkin to her eyes and began breathing jerkily. I reached out and gripped her hand.
"It's okay." I soothed. "It happens to all new parents. I'm sure Pierce's life has changed too."
"Yes but he goes to work. He only has a few hours of it." Bimbo's voice lowered dramatically. "I have to be awake all the time!"
"I'm home all the time. Just call me and I'll come over and help you." I smiled at her. "I'm here."
"I know." She blew her nose. "I was okay. Honestly I was fine. But now... What am I going to do with two?!"
I stared at her stunned.
"Oh my God! You're pregnant?"
Bimbo started crying... again.
"Yes. Pierce can't wait. He told me that the news has made him the happiest person."
I started laughing.
Solicitor was busy watching football on Sky Sports when I got home. I flopped down on the sofa with armfuls of shopping bags.
"Anything nice?" he asked absently.
"What's the score?" I asked in response.
He smiled and kissed my forehead.
"Bimbo's having another baby." I told him.
Solicitor paused. "That's good news." He said finally.
I nodded. "Yeah."
We watched the television for a few minutes.
"We should get our skates on if you want our kids to play with theirs." He said finally.
I laughed as he pulled me into his arms.
Monday, 30 March 2009
"Why do women make an extra effort to look good when they know they'll be in the company of other women?"
The question arose on Saturday night. We were meeting for dinner with a few of Solicitor's old university friends. Before getting ready I asked him if they were bringing their girlfriends.
"What difference does it make?"
It makes a big difference to the way I dress. For some strange reason I feel that I should make more of an effort if I'm going to be around women.
I should point out that I am not a lesbian.
But it did get me thinking. Do I make the extra effort due to the competitive side of my personality?
I don't think so. I don't spend longer on my make-up and choosing a dress so that I can look better than the other women. I don't get a buzz out of standing out amongst them. (Well not much of one anyway!)
Actually I feel the opposite. I feel better when I see that they too have made an extra effort. It's nice to see them dressed to please. It's nice to see evidence of a flawless hand in applying make-up.
When I see an unusual item of jewellery I compliment them. In fact many women compliment others within the first few seconds of meeting them.
Whilst we were out with Solicitor's friends and their girlfriends I brought up the subject.
One of the women flicked back her extra straight silky blond hair and said "Women are extraordinary creatures. We can blatantly look and admire each other. Being admired by a women is worth more than being admired by a man. And it works both ways. A woman's attraction to another woman is stronger than her attraction to another man."
The more I think about it, the more I can see the sense in what she said.
I have decorated my blog with pictures of Marlene Dietrich the 'original femme fatale'. Although I love Film Noir I didn't upload pictures of Humphrey Bogart or any other male actor. In fact I realised that the reason I love watching black and white films is because the women of that time period were classic, sexual, beauties. When watching them I feel a pull towards them. More than sexual. It's almost hypnotic.
Perhaps women who dress up for other women do it because they are seeking that kind of admiration. Perhaps that's why women can look at a picture of Angelina Jolie and not only understand that men find her attractive, but find her attractive themselves.
Friday, 27 March 2009
"Does my bum look big in this dress?"
I knew it! But Solicitor's truthful answer made me want to fling things at him.
My lip trembled and I gazed at him with wide eyes.
Please say no. I won't believe you, but it will make me feel better.
"Yes. It looks... Juicy."
"Juicy! You're saying I'm fat, aren't you? Admit it, you think I'm fat!"
Solicitor smiled and watched me parade around the room in distress.
"You're sexy when you're angry."
"Stop it!" I flung open the wardrobe. "Oh my God! I've got nothing to wear!"
I pulled out a series of dresses and discarded them on the floor.
"Just wear what you're wearing."
"You said my butt looks.... JUICY!!!"
"Yeah, in a good way. Sexy."
"No it makes it look big!"
"In a good way." He repeated
He stood up and walked behind me and grabbed my hips.
"Let's have sex."
He kissed my neck. I always get turned on when he kisses my neck.
"The dress is perfect."
I shuddered as his hands moved up my skirt.
And half an hour later I pulled the skirt of the dress back down and quietly began applying my make-up.
"Don't bother doing your hair. We've got hours" He said casually unbuttoning his shirt. "Did I ever tell you that you have juicy breasts?"
I love this honesty thing!
Monday, 23 March 2009
In addition to his main company, he has shares and investments in other companies. So when it comes to starting my own company Brother-In-Law's advice is a great way to start.
I took my business plans along with me.
"Elise, this isn't going to be easy." He warned as he flicked through my perfectly arranged folder. "As far as industries go, this one has suffered the most in the current financial climate."
I nodded. I'm aware of the current situation. Solicitor trades with stocks and shares on a daily basis.
"The question is, do you enjoy this?" He asked.
"It's not about enjoying it, it's about believing in it."
I enjoy writing, but I don't believe that I will ever make a successful career from it.
"You hit the nail on the head."
We sat down with steamy mugs of tea.
"Do you have enough contacts? It's not what you know, it's who you know."
"I've got a database of over 1500." Carefully collected over the past year.
"New business model plans?"
"Yep, I've got 6." Narrowed down from 21.
"A nice suit?"
"Are you joking?" I have about 15.
"A male business partner?"
"A male business partner?"
"You can't be serious!"
"I'm very serious."
My mouth hung open.
"Elise, this isn't some media company. The industry your planning to embark on is dominated by men."
"Isn't every industry?"
"Ninety-Nine percent is pretty high. Higher than the average industry." He sighed. "You need a male partner. I'm not being sexist but there's no way you can break into it without a man with you."
"That's not fair!"
"I know. I'm sorry. I know you're more than capable, but in my honest opinion they won't take you seriously."
I almost cried.
"But the plans are perfect!"
"I know. But you'll need a man to speak to the men."
"How many of the database are women?"
"Elise, how many-"
I'd never even thought about it.
"Maybe we should talk some more. Go over some options."
"I can do it." I told him defiantly. "I have contacts."
He shook his head.
"It won't matter. Trust me I know what I'm talking about."
He gave examples. Lots of examples.
A man would rather have a male mechanic fix his car.
A male stock broker is more trusted than a female broker.
Male sports commentators
Male IT consultants
Bottom line. I need a male partner.
On my way home I went through all the possible candidates.
Good Points: um... I like him..
Bad Points: He's stoned. He hates waking up early. He dresses like a student. He's not business minded.
Good Points: He's logical. He's business minded. We can have sex during lunch times.
Bad Points: His career is pretty much sorted.
Good Points: He looks and sounds like a typical man. He even uses the phrase "What's up with you? Are you on your period or something?". He's logical. He's business minded.
Bad Points: We'd argue too much and eventually kill each other.
Good Points: He knows the industry. He's a successful business man. He's logical. We get on well.
Bad Points: I can't actually think of any....
But I don't want to share!
Friday, 20 March 2009
The company has only been established for a year and believe me it shows.
They've rented a loft space above a Costa Coffee in the heart of Soho. Let me break this down further.
Soho in London = clubs, bars, gay-clubs, gay-bars, prostitution and crazy tourists with cameras.
If your going to base your company in London, don't choose London's sex ridden backstreets. It's more professional to be based in a nice area. Preferably a nice area where you can drive in and park your car...
Most multi-national companies are based in business parks all over the UK. It brings a sense of calmness. Business associates can drive to your offices for meetings. You can work late without worrying about using piss stained public transport to get home.
This is how I know that the company is run by people who have migrated to London.
I've lived in London all my life. The excitement of using the tube to get to places died when I was 3 years old. The sight of a person wearing a banner promoting theatre tickets fills me with pity, not interest. I don't give a shit about the latest club opening on Tottenham Court Road. I don't buy fashionable hats. I don't get excited about restaurants on Shaftsbury Avenue. There are better ones in West London and the staff speak English.
So anyway, back to the actual company.
I was interviewed by a young woman and a young boy. The boy was barely out of university. He
wore Rupert trousers for crying out loud. I don't care what anybody says. They are not fashionable!
They were nice people. They smiled a lot. Asked a lot of questions.
Can somebody please tell people, that speaking in complicated sentences makes them sound like bullshitters!
I'm a pretty straight forward person. If somebody asked me what I used the Internet for I would tell them the truth. I obtain information and connect with people. Simple.
The boy said: "The essence itself is dependant on the argument for, not against, the need for a higher understanding of organisations, or such, that use and distribution of certain information for the sole use of the user...."
What the fuck?
He had no idea what he was talking about. I had no idea what he was talking about. But the woman nodded with an interested look pasted on her face.
They liked me.
I would rather kill myself then work for a bunch of bullshitting idiots who love working behind a Stringfellows Strip Bar.
It confirmed it. If they can make it in the business world, there's no reason why I can't. The hard work starts on Monday.
Wednesday, 18 March 2009
Let me start from the beginning.
Grandmama invited my father, his new lady-friend, and Solicitor and I over for dinner. Grandmama is my mother's mother but for some odd reason she loves my father like he's her own son. She wanted to get to know Lady-Friend after I gave her an update over the phone after meeting her on Friday. Grandmama is a curious as I am. She was desperate to see her 'dear boy's new sweetheart'.
So it was supposed to just be the five of us. A quiet event, so we could all get to know each other. But things never work out the way they're planned.
Cousin called me during the day and told me that he and his sister were in London for the week. Cousin and his sister live in a village way up north. They're not really my cousins, they're Step-Father's niece and nephew.
Now, since I'm a stupid idiot who can't keep her mouth shut, I accidentally invited them both to Grandmama's. Grandmama didn't mind at all. She doesn't really know Step-Father's family too well and she was eager to meet them both properly.
Cousin (Girl), is the biggest Wag-Wannabe in the whole world. I've never seen anyone who looks so orange, blond and fake in all of my life. She doesn't say much, but I can sense bitchy thoughts.
Cousin (Boy), on the other hand, is extremely friendly. He calls and emails regularly and is always quick to invite me to all of his parties. To be honest, I've never gone to any of his parties. He lives too far away, and he can be very annoying at times.
So, while we were sitting at Grandmama's large dinner table, I noticed that Cousin (Girl) was giving Solicitor 'the look'. You know the look I'm talking about. She fluttered her fake eye lashes, pouted her orange lips. I almost smacked her in the face.
While I was busy focused on Cousin (Girl), I didn't notice how much Cousin (Boy) was drinking. Cousin (Boy) was sitting directly next to me talking a mile a minute. I wasn't listening and I occasionally nodded out of politeness.
I suddenly sprung up when I felt his hand sliding up my leg. I couldn't believe his nerve! Everybody stared at me as I stumbled to my feet.
"I need to make a quick call." I gasped hurrying out of the room.
Solicitor followed me.
"What the hell just happened?" He asked.
I told him. He looked ready to kill. (God he looks so sexy when he's angry!)
I obviously had to calm him down. We paced around the kitchen for couple of moments before rejoining everyone in the dining room. As we settled down, Solicitor flashed my father a look.
After the main course my father stood up casually and stretched.
"It's a nice night. Maybe we should leave the girls to gossip."
Solicitor followed suit, and the two of them coaxed Cousin (Boy) into going outside with them.
Alarm bells went off in my head. I really should have followed them, but I didn't. I settled down next to Lady-Friend and asked her what she did for a living.
While Lady-Friend, Grandmama and I sat back chatting, Cousin (Girl) sulked at the other end of the table and played with her hair extensions, swishing them around, fiddling with the ends. I did my best to include her in the conversation but she just shrugged and stared at the table with a frown. What the hell did she have up her ass?
"What's going on outside?" Cousin (Girl) suddenly asked staring out of the window.
We all stood up and walked to the window. Solicitor and my father had Cousin (Boy) kneeling on the floor in front of them. Cousin (Boy) was clearly drunk. He seemed to be pleading with them.
As funny as it looked I darted out of the room and jogged outside.
"What are you doing?" I asked in disbelief.
Father turned and smiled.
"You want to say something to my daughter?" He asked Cousin (Boy) in a fake friendly voice.
Cousin (Boy) looked at me apologetically.
"I'm sorry, Elise. I will never touch you again."
God, he looked pathetic.
"What did you do to him?" I asked Solicitor and my father angrily.
The both looked at me innocently.
Lady-Friend, Grandmama and Cousin (Girl) stepped outside of the house in question. My father shrugged.
"We're just talking." He said casually.
Solicitor grabbed Cousin (Boy) by the scruff of his shirt and hauled him to his feet.
"Yeah, we're just having a chat."
Both Cousin's left quite soon afterwards. I doubt Cousin (Boy) will call for a while. Poor Guy.
Monday, 16 March 2009
Solicitor went out to a Stag weekend on Friday. One of his old friends is about to tie the knot and organised a weekend in Liverpool. (I know! We live in London and the guy wants to go out in Liverpool??) So, I had the house to myself and I intended to make the most of it.
I started the night by cranking up the volume and playing some old favourites while I applied a homemade banana hair mask. I picked up my microphone (hair brush) and slid around the wooden floor in baby pink socks and matching underwear. (The curtains were closed. Nobody saw.)
I didn't hear the phone ringing, I was too involved with being Diana Ross, but when I went to change the track I saw the red flashing light on the answer machine. I wish I'd left it, there was a nice bottle of white wine cooling in the fridge and line up of Brad-Pitt-In-The-Nude films, but I couldn't resist listening.
It was Aimee. I groaned when I heard her voice.
"It's me. I know you're busy but I need you. Please, please come and get me. Please."
Her voice was thick with tears and she sounded so lost and panicked.
The message was left for Solicitor. She probably tried to call his mobile but had no luck.
The problem with Aimee is that she won't go away. It hurts knowing that Solicitor had a life and a wife before me. Aimee calls every so often and reminds me of it. I'm not jealous, I just have this ache. Regret is probably a better word.
A large part of me wanted to delete the message and continue with my night in. My earlier excitement came to a crashing halt, and instead of deleting the message I replayed it. Twice. And then I called her back.
She sounded terrified. It took me 15 minutes to wash my hair and head out of the door.
When I arrived she was so wide eyed and skitty. Paranoid would be the best way to describe how she was. Her eyes were dilated and I knew in seconds that she had taken something.
I cautiously walked into the hallway and through to the living room. There were clothes everywhere. Aimee had darted across the room and was staring out of the window.
"I know he was here." She whispered.
"Who?" I asked whispering back. There was nobody else there, I have no idea why I even bothered whispering.
"That man." She gasped.
Before I could find out more, she ran from the room and locked herself in the bathroom. It was like being with an over imaginative child. She wouldn't open the door despite my gentle voice, despite my pounding.
I finally stepped out onto the balcony and attempted to call Solicitor. His phone was switched off. I was on my own. I gave up smoking a long time ago, but at that point I really needed a cigarette. I dug around my handbag hoping I still had an emergency one. I wept with frustration when I found that I hadn't.
After ten minutes of pacing around the large living room, I called Stoner.
"I'm with Aimee and she locked herself in the bathroom. What should I do?"
Although Stoner was, well, stoned. He snapped to action.
"Check the whole place. Look for empty packets, white powder, anything you can find."
I immediately began rummaging around. I told him about her state of mind.
"It sounds like she's done a hell of a lot of coke. Probably mixed with something."
Sure enough, there was white powder on the kitchen counter and in her en suite bathroom. I found a bag of pills with smiley faces on them and a packet of some kind of hard brown rock (It wasn't hash, I still have no idea what it was). I flushed everything that I found.
Once I was sure that I'd taken care of everything, (I'd even flushed the OTC medication) I began pounding on the bathroom door where Aimee was still hiding. I completely lost my temper.
"You selfish fucking bitch! What the fuck do you think your playing at? Get out here right now or I'm kicking this door in."
She didn't reply. At first I thought she was unconscious but then I heard a faint sob. True to my word, I put all my force behind kicking the door. I managed to dent it, but it didn't budge. I was more angry than worried at that point, until I heard her puking.
I almost called 999. Almost. Then I remembered that I knew somebody who lives quiet near to Battersea, someone I could trust.
My father lives in Chelsea, just over the bridge. I hesitated before calling. He answered on the first ring.
"Elise? What's happened?"
I hardly ever call him unless I really need to. I almost regretted it as soon as I heard his voice. I gave him directs and told him that I needed him.
He arrived in 15 mins. I pointed to the bathroom door and told him that Aimee was inside high on drugs and she wouldn't open the door. He bolted into the door and it crashed open easily. How come it didn't work when I tried it?
Aimee was lying on the floor with vomit all over her. She clearly missed the toilet. She was just about conscious and was sobbing uncontrollably. It was disgusting.
We lifted her and dragged her to the shower cubical. My father left me to undress and shower her. I called him back in after I'd cleaned and dressed her in a bathrobe and he carried her to bed.
It was only after we'd put her to bed that I realised that there was another woman standing around in the living room. She was quite a pretty middle aged woman dressed in smart clothes. She smiled warmly.
"I'm so sorry." I said, blinking away tears. I'd ruined their night.
The woman shook her head and gave me a hug. "Don't be silly. It's a good thing you called. You needed someone here with you."
They stayed with me for a few hours, making sure that we wouldn't need to take Aimee to hospital. She slept like a baby. I stayed with her the whole night, just making sure she was okay. Part of my wanted to smack her on the face and let her know that I was angry.
I can't keep doing this. Aimee can't keep scaring me like this. I just want her to disappear.
Solicitor was furious when I told him about it the following day over the phone. I don't know what he's said to her but she called to apologise and to tell me that I don't have to worry, she won't be calling again.
I want to be relieved but now I'm going out of my mind with worry. What if she does it again and there's nobody there to help her?