Thursday, May 31, 2007
It´s kind of nice, but weird recovering from a hangover by the pool and shade is essential! I´ve been trying to muster up what to write for Relationship Rehab tomorrow but it´s hard with Michael Buble crooning in the background and making me feel sad. I´m melancholy and lonely and realise that as much as I want to stay single, simply to keep myself away from destructive men, I´m also desperate for some intimacy too. In EVERY sense of the word. I´ve been watching the old wrinklies by the pool and how they let it all hang out. They´re completely relaxed with each other and I imagine that they know each others bodies better than they know their own, and it makes me wonder whether I´ll ever be that relaxed with a man. I also wonder whether they´re as contented as they seem - or has their marriage been dogged with problems, extra maritals, gambling, celibacy... Who can ever tell? But they´re still together and relaxing in the sunshine, so whatever the compromise, it surely can´t be that bad, can it?
I´ve just sent an email to Delaney promising my poolside Relationship Rehab tomorrow.
I need to just lay back and tune back in to Michael Buble.
These dark glasses are great for hiding the tears, if only I could keep my mouth from pincing at the same time.....
Honestly - these are SO bad, they´re nearly good.
But only nearly...
Just when you thought it couldn´t get any worse....
Only 3 days left to go!
Wednesday, May 30, 2007
Playa del Ingles days are great for me, but then again I don´t have my heart and soul into this singles scene. I´ve spoken to Tam about what Adrian did and how much I hate this holiday and just when I´d listened to her pep talk and started to feel a little more positive, I get a text message from Ade telling me how sorry he is for all the mess. Then I get another text from Rob - what a nice guy. His message made me feel warm inside when I read it. I got 2 tingles - Adrian´s message gave me an initial (and unwated!) knicker twinge and then heartache, whilst Robs made me just feel warm and special. I´d love a brother like him - so supportive and kind, Tam is so lucky.
A combination of too much sangria (which is ESSENTIAL if I´m going to cope with these horrendous singles BBQs and GoKart evenings) and too much sun has given me a couple of problems too - a spot above my lip (which I always get in the sunshine!) and an intense horniness. The sunshine always makes me like this, and watching the fit guys around the pool along with the couples smooching is tough. I´d love to be here with that special guy. There´s a couple that I keep watching from behind my shades. She has the figure of Elle MacPherason and he´s decidedly lardy and we all join him pretending not to notice when she stretches and poses for a crowd of Geordie lads as she adjusts her bikini bottoms. Poor devil - we all really feel for him, and she thinks she´s being SO discreet. Why are we so wicked to each other!!
There´s another couple at the poolside that keep disappearing seperately, but both return about an hour later with smug smiles on their faces. It´s obvious what they´re up to and I´m intensely jealous! It´s made worse by the fact that my brazilian bikini wax is beginning to grow back and I´m fidgeting on my sun lounger, desperate not to scratch it. Honestly, I´m so frustrated that I think one touch of myself and I´ll be howling and going all Meg Ryan in When Harry Met Sally! Not a good look beside the pool eh?
As I lay with the sunshine making the insides of my eyelids orange and I feel my skin tingling with the heat my mind wanders and it frightens me. I really want to be single, but really want someone to share my life with too. It´d be lovely to share this all with somebody special and to have somebody to look out for me. I´m tired of fighting through as Miss Independent and it seems like I´m in a long haul marathon - there are the speedy bursts when I´m focussed and determined, which are punctuated with the down times - when I´m tired and worn out, desperate for someone to pick me up and run with me...
I wish I could feel hatred for Adrian, but I can´t. I don´t. It was a short lived ´relationship´(if you can even call it that), but it held so much chemistry and possibility and it´s gone in a flash. I´m disappointed, betrayed, but can´t quite muster the hatred thing. I liked him too much for that maybe?
All I can do now is continue to rub in the Factor 15 and look bloody ace for the Geezer photoshoot. The more I think about it the more I feel sick at the notion that Trevor Malone was obviously on a mission, but Adrian was in on it too! It´s too much to bear. This singles nightmare would be so much easier if there was at least one guy to take my mind off it all, even if for a few days, there are a couple who keep giving me cheeky grins, but I think I´m putting out an invisible radar which screams LEAVE ME ALONE!!!!!
(or should that be Leave Malone?) - there´s insight for you!!
Tuesday, May 29, 2007
Thankfully, on arrival, my hotel is nice and the welcome party isn´t until tomorrow, so I can´t wait to snatch my key and retreat to my room. It takes me all of 2 minutes to strip off, slather on some Factor 20 and slip into my red bikini. Poolside entertainment looks promising and my dark shades let me have a good look around without looking nosey!
As far as a singles holiday goes, it seems that there are crowds of singles here rather than singletons, as in I´m-On-My-Own-And-Single.
Looks like I´m going to be alone.
Fancy a postcard? Just send me your postal address to email@example.com (and thanks to everyone who has asked for one so far!! My postcard address list is embarrassingly short, so far consisting of Tamsin, Mum, Jennifer, Delaney and, oh, CAN´T forget to send one to those gross guys at Geezer.....
Monday, May 28, 2007
I want to send all my readers a postcard - and will still be posting my chapters throughout the week so stay tuned.
Please send me your postal address to firstname.lastname@example.org and I´d be delighted to send you a card (and a little extra update away from my usual blog postings too...)
Be back with some more tomorrow..
Wish me luck - reckon this is going to be dire... And I can´t stop thinking about Adrian.....
Sunday, May 27, 2007
I feel desperate. Betrayed, used and abused. I don’t let my guard down easily and yet Adrian, or Ade – as in Ade Gets Laid - as I’ve since found out, massaged me into a comfort zone. And I let it all out. And now I feel terrible. I don’t know why I trusted him, except for the fact that it all felt so right and natural. Maybe I’m just a stupid romantic – and maybe that’s why I should stay single – I’m not safe to be let out there into the whirlwind world of dating and relationships. I’m a fucking liability! What kind of an idiot falls for that trick? Except for a clown like me.
What a fool I am.
I wouldn’t mind, but I hadn’t really wanted to talk to him about all that stuff, but he’d kept on and on; his voice gentle and calming as we laid there in the early hours. He’d been stroking my cheek gently and I lost myself in the moment. He’d said that he wanted to know everything about me – what made me laugh, what made me sad, what made me angry and scared. And I hadn’t wanted to tell him, but he’d hugged me and said, “I know you’re freaked out about a relationship, but if you don’t tell me, if I don’t get to understand why you want to stay single, then you’ll run away. And then I’ll lose you.” And we simply don’t talk to each other like that on a day to day basis. None of us do. And now I can see how I fell for the oldest trick in the book – get the woman to talk about herself…
I need to get away from this. I can’t cope with the emotional bungee jump of launching myself from a height and now I’m left dangling hundreds of feet below. And I feel sick and disorientated and lost. I’m going straight into see Delaney about that singles holiday. Any excuse to escape for a few days!
OK - so here comes the sun.... Really, I’d been thinking more of a health spa, perhaps a European Chiva Som, but Delaney is delighted that I'm so willing to go. The problem is, she's booking me in for one of the singles holidays that are more resembling an 18-30’s brawl, but anything will do right now. I won’t tell Delaney that I have no intention of joining in with the drunken bar crawls or the intoxicated beach parties. I’m going for some time-out and a little recuperation. If I’m going to see this staying single idea out to the end, then I need to recharge my batteries. I obviously got a little lost on the way there – what with the Paul Ashkuri date, the relentless bouquets of flowers and then the mishap with Adrian. I can’t even bear to say his name. We’d been fantastic in bed together and I get a serious ache somewhere between my collar bones and my pelvis whenever I think of what he’s done to me. The lies are endless and the betrayal is too much to bear.
Tam came shopping with me after work and I started to get into the holiday spirit. I told her all about what happened with Adrian and she was really sympathetic, especially when I kept filling up with tears whenever I said his name. I feel so crap now that I couldn’t even muster some attitude when she said that she’s going to give Pete a second chance! How can he deserve a second chance? I don’t he should have even had a first chance! And with his wife pregnant too! It’s abso-fucking-lutely ridiculous, but I can’t continue to be Tam’s conscience. She’ll do what she wants anyway, and all I can do right now is be here as a sounding board – as much as it infuriates me that she’s happy to settle for second best. Anyway, I bought 4 bikinis and a gorgeous beach bag from Primark, along with a few pairs of flip flops too. Tam was dangling floaty tops and gypsy skirts at me every time I turned a corner, but I’m not interested. I’m determined to go with just the basics – a few bikinis, shorts and little else. I’m going to spend a week lying beside a pool. Even if I have to make up a few stories for Relationship Rehab this week – Delaney will never know! If Trevor Malone is organising a photo shoot for me to appear in Geezer, then I’m going to make sure I look shit hot for it – I’ll teach him and bloody Adrian to try and make a fool out of me!
Adrian hated himself. He had big feelings for Sophie and would have peeled the skin off his own arms for the opportunity to rewind a couple of days and to not have told Trevor about him and her. He should have known what a competitive bastard he was and now he’d ruined everything. He detested himself with such venom that he was embarrassed even to look in the mirror at his own reflection. But the damage had been done. He didn’t even have the nerve to try and call Sophie to apologise or to explain. And all the while Trevor was gloating that he’d been honest with Sophie Regan from the start, and that Ade should never have pretended that he worked for anything other than Geezer.
And now it was too late.
He felt like shit.Chapter Thirty Two Chapter Thirty Four
These are soooo bad they really shouldn't be here - but we'll give every one a fair chance.
What do you think? So bad, they're sad????
Pulling Power are still accepting your chat up lines or reasons for dumping that special/not-special person.
The response has been overwhelming and worldwide - so keep them coming and many thanks to everyone who has emailed in their lines so far. Very much appreciated!!
I had to miss a couple of days. Sorry I haven’t been around. Talk about highs and lows!
Firstly Tam called me on Saturday afternoon to say that Rob and I didn’t need to come around. She’d said that Rob had an urgent MOT booked in and it was a bigger job than he’d expected, so would be late anyway. But she was acting strangely. So I pinned her down with my super-sleuth line of questioning and you won’t believe what she said! She told me that Pete was going to see her and wanted to talk! Of course, I said that it was a bit late for talking – what with his wife being pregnant. I wasn’t sure which of those 2 words were the most cutting – the fact that he has a WIFE or that she is PREGNANT! I told her about a quiz she should do about dating married men - but she probably won't look at it! Anyway, I was shocked at her spinelessness and told her that she needed to toughen up a bit. But Tam does what she wants and who am I to stand in judgement. Especially after what happened to me on Saturday night.
I went on to meet Trevor Malone. He was predictably charming and cheeky and his interview questions loaded with innuendo and sexual hints! He’s going to organise a photo shoot too and I’ve told him I won’t be getting my bits and pieces out on camera. He just laughed at me. He has a wicked twinkle in his eye that’s really attractive, but he’s so not my kind of guy. So then, I was peeved. I’d cancelled Adrian and Tam had cancelled me! So I sat in front of the televisions for a couple of hours, itchy and fidgety. I really wanted to go out and everything had gone wrong. So I opened a bottle of wine and after 3 glasses everything looked so much more positive. So I did something outrageous. I slid on my jeans and white ribbed vest, slung my gypsy beads around my neck, pulled my hair up into a loose ponytail and mustered up the courage to go to the gig. In the hope that Adrian had gone anyway….
He looked bloody gorgeous. As I’d anticipated the small venue was hot and sweaty and the band was fabulous. Adrian’s eyes lit up when he saw me walking toward the bar and I was shocked as he hugged me, kissed me on the cheek and then grabbed my hips and pulled me toward him with a little growl. I melted on the spot. We were inseparable all night. We danced and drank together, finding it difficult to keep our hands off each other. It was all so natural and easy – I wasn’t making any efforts to be sexy/funny/cute and he wasn’t trying to be macho/cool/witty. It just worked. The chemistry clicked. At the end of the gig he asked me if I wanted to get some chips and curry dip from the chippy. I loved the idea – so much more ‘me’ than the posh restaurants that Paul Ashkuri and Trevor Malone had booked. So we walked in the light rain through the streets of London at 2.30am plucking damp chips from a soggy paper cone. I went back to his house and the inevitable kind of happened. But it sort of didn’t happen either. I knew I wanted desperately to sleep with him, but it wasn’t in just a sex-for-the-sake-of-it way. He really had got into my head and I would have done anything to spend more time with him – to slide him out of his wet clothes and share our bodies seemed the most natural thing in the world.
So we did. It wasn’t earth-shattering and I hadn’t expected it to be. It was as if we’d known each other forever. We laughed and giggled, we took our time to experiment with each other and it was a beautiful warm moment. I’m overwhelmed by how I feel about him and it’s scary. We didn’t sleep much. We lay there afterwards talking about everything. He told me all about his childhood and his twin brother that had died when he was 13. I didn’t want to talk about my life – it seemed so boring and angsty compared to his. But he cuddled me and stroked my face, kissing my eyelids and lips as he’d told me that he wanted to know me – to know what made me tick, made me cry, made me laugh. And so I began to let down the barriers. I told him about my Mum and her lifelong mission to shack up with the wrong man, I told him about my sister and her strange wannabe keep-up-with-the-Jones’s lifestyle. I told him about my string of failed relationships and how I feel about my future. It was hard at first. And then he asked me loads more questions and it was such fun – favourite band, best sex position, fave drink, school friend, animal, first pet, fave colour, birthday, how many partners I’d had, my greatest fear…. Nobody ever asks you these questions and when somebody that you feel close to does ask – then it’s amazing how close you become to them. And how quickly.
So I started the week on an immense high. I literally floated home from Adrian’s on Sunday – after he’d cooked me a fantastic Eggs Benedict for breakfast – his Hollandaise sauce was to die for! I’d showered and dressed. He’d dried my jeans and vest out on his radiators overnight – I hadn’t even noticed him pick them up from the floor. What a guy! I floated to my desk and even AJ’s scowl didn’t touch me. Talk about rose-coloured glasses – I had a bloody bouquet of roses on my desk. This time the name tag read ‘Adrian’ and my stomach flipped. I wasn’t sure how to keep this a secret and pondered again over whether I was breaking my promise to stay single. But I wasn’t about to compromise this potentially fulfilling relationship with Adrian all because of a stupid promise.
It all fell to pieces on Wednesday morning. I thought it was strange, the way that AJ plonked the new copy of Geezer magazine onto my desk. I looked up at her smirking face questioningly, but she said nothing except, “page 23.” I waited until she moved away before casually flicking through the pages screaming HOT HOLLYOAKS BABES and SKY'S HOT BABES - STUNT AWARDS STUNNERS until I reach Trevor Malone’s column. He’d named it ‘Reeling ‘Em In And Spitting ‘Em Out’. I read with disinterest his sexist comments about the best way to get a woman into bed is to ask her about herself. He’d listed a string of ridiculously flimsy chat up lines, including the ‘tell me about yourself’ one. And then the penny dropped. I felt sick and my face flushed as I read his work,
‘.. the oldest trick in the book guys, is to ask her about herself. The birds fall for it every time, without fail. It’s as easy as ‘OK babe, who’s your favourite singer, what’s your greatest fear, what’s your favourite colour…’ Subconsciously you’re getting the chicks to unpack their baggage in front of you and once that’s out of the way they’ll feel close enough to you mentally to get their kit off. Here in the Geezer offices, we’ve notched up more grooves on our bedposts from using these tactics. Email any of us with your best chat up lines.’
And then I’d seen the list of email addresses. But there was only one that jumped out at me – Ford, Adrian AFord@geezermag.com. That wasn’t my Adrian was it? I thought he worked for the Accountancy magazine.
I’ve been set up.
I feel sick.
I know that AJ laughed as I ran past her, holding my mouth as I headed for the toilets.
I am completely devastated.Chapter 31
Friday, May 25, 2007
Jennifer held her mobile in her hands, paranoid as she wondered whether to call Sophie or not. Generally she was a fabulous sister, if a little square on the men front, but Jen wasn’t sure how Sophie would react to her latest shenanigans. She felt like shit. It was taking her at least 4 days to recover lately and the thoughts of another weekend filled her with dread. She was caught in the spiral of taking so much coke that she didn’t care who the man was that she left with – as long as he was male – that’s where the criteria began and ended. Her perpetual runny nose was irritating her and she hated the way that she had to continually sniff! She looked down at her gel nails with their squared whitened tips and focussed on the backs of her hands. The fake tan had settled in darker lines in the maze of tiny diamond-shaped wrinkles that spanned her hands. She felt sick as she remembered how the backs of her hands were once as smooth as foie gras and resented the signs of age that were creeping up on her. She was tired of feeling ill and exhausted with the pretence that her life was one social whirl of dates, parties and beauty salon appointments. It didn’t help that her mother rang once a week from America and recounted numerous stories of her perfect life and perfect man and perfect perfect perfection! It reinforced her low self-esteem despite her pretending to clamber back up the helter skelter slide of self-worth – Jen hated herself and her life. She felt like a failure as a woman, as a daughter, as a lover and as a sister.
Trevor drove his car around to the mechanics garage. He’d booked it in for its MOT at 2.30 and was desperate to get it sorted. He figured that he couldn’t attract the women without his wheels and the mechanic he’d spoken to had assured him that he’d have his motor back by the end of the day. He was meeting Sophie in the afternoon and his interview with her would be the ultimate way to pass the couple of hours while he waited for the car. He had been fleetingly disappointed when she’d declined his request to go to dinner, but he hadn’t wasted time looking for a replacement. He was going to get laid tonight one way or the other – and there were plenty of women listed on his mobile. He’d have someone sitting in Sophie’s empty chair at the restaurant before the afternoon was out.
I’ve emailed Adrian to say that I can’t go to the gig. I’m really gutted that I can’t go, but Tamsin needs me tonight. I can just see the slogan ‘missed opportunity’ written all over this, but friends have to come first, don’t they? I’m on my way to meet Trevor Malone and give him the interview he wants; I’m expecting him to be very cheeky and naughty with his questions, so I’m prepared….
Tamsin knew that Rob and Soph would scream at her, but she had to cancel them coming around tonight. She hated the fact that she was going to have to lie to them both, but in the light that she’d actually told them both that Pete was married, and his wife was now pregnant, she suspected that they’d both crucify her if they knew that she’d arranged to meet him tonight.
Just to talk.
Just for a while.
Chapter Thirty Two
Thursday, May 24, 2007
So what am I going to do? I’ve got too many decisions to make now. I think I’ll email Trevor and agree to his interview, but I’ll decline the dinner invitation. If I suggest that we meet for coffee in the afternoon, maybe around 3, then I’ll have plenty of time to spread myself thinly and be there for Tam in the evening too. It does seem strange though, that he wants to interview me outside of office hours and include a lush restaurant meal, but then again, the guy obviously has ulterior motives – what with the endless supply of flowers! I’ve donated 4 bouquets this week to the London Hospital – they think I’m weird; giving away these gorgeous bouquets, but I don’t know the guys sending them, so they don’t mean anything to me! Ha – listen to me! Talk about blasé! Not bad for a girl who’s trying to stay single, eh?
The troublesome choice for me is what to do with Adrian. Don’t be fooled, I know exactly what I’d really love to do with Adrian, but we’re only on friendly terms, but just the thoughts of him get me all hot and bothered and tingly down below. I’d love to go to the gig with him too. It’s a long time since I’ve been to a London gig and I can just imagine the low ceilings and sweaty bodies and the condensation dripping down on me! These hearts-and-flowers and romantic meals are great, but it all feels fake! If I’m honest I’m finding it difficult to determine what is fake and what isn’t. Paul Ashkuri left me a voice mail apologising for his behaviour last week and asked if I’d see him again. As gorgeous as he is, I won’t risk another night like that. My nerves were shattered with every camera that flashed in my face and I couldn’t relax after that. Thankfully the newspapers have been divided on their story angle – some of them sided with Ashkuri, commenting that a magazine features writer who wanted to remain single wasn’t quite up to his L.A. standards anyway, but others had published the images where he was pushing me away. In fact, a couple of the red-tops have been really complimentary to me, running headlines like Arsehole Ashkuri and With Men Like These, Why Don’t We All Stay Single? – (which I actually thought was excellent!) Needless to say though, I won’t be seeing him again. I hear he’s flying back to L.A next month, so it won’t be like I’ll be bumping into him. Adrian was really nice about it all – I saw him the lift this morning and he gave me the sexiest wink and said that he thought I was too good for Ashkuri anyway.
I nearly melted….
And now I have to tell him that I can’t go to the gig. I’ll tell him in the morning.
Typical of my luck!
Rob made an effort to get into work extra early on Saturday morning as he hoped to make a quick getaway this evening, to call in and pick up some comedy DVD’s and some food, ready to take around to Tamsin’s later on, for this evening. He’d stopped at the bakery and had bought himself 2 huge bacon and egg baguettes, and was still tucking into the first one as he unlocked the garage. As usual he flicked the ‘on’ button to boil up some water for a hot and strong mug of tea as he checked his appointment book –
- Finish Don Fletchers exhaust
- Mrs Wheelers brakes + service
- Trevor Malone – 2.30 – MOT
With any luck he was sure he’d be away by 4 ‘o’clock.
I’m tired. It’s another scorching morning, but the difference today is that I don’t need to rush up and out for work. I can hear that the street is already busy, the rumble of wheelie bins being moved and the shuffle of flip flops on the move. It was extra hot night last night and I had trouble sleeping. The weather has been adorable but the nights are equally as hot – there’s no reprieve. Despite opening my bedroom window, the air was still and thick, which meant I lay naked, with my duvet kicked to my ankles, as I starfished on my bed. And still I was clammy and hot. And it got me thinking. About who I really would love to have there beside me. In the heat my skin was tingling, my breasts were puckered with goose pimples and my nipples were rock hard – despite the intense blanket of heat. I felt myself gasp for breath as I thought about Adrian and how I’m becoming rather obsessed with him. I’ve managed to keep a lid on it, satisfying myself with a quick ‘hello’ in the lift or ‘thanks’ when he hands me a brown Starbucks bag. But his sexy blue eyes and boyish good looks are printed on the inside of my eyelids and I can’t help but think of the way his shirt always seems slightly strained at the chest. It amuses me that he works for a publication as straight as Accountancy Age, or whatever one it is that he writes for, because he looks so damn hot and trendy. But in another way, I think I like that about him – it suggests a degree of balance and reliability – something that has been intensely lacking in every guy that I’ve been romantically linked with. I know that I’m doing The Most Dangerous Thing – which I always do – which is to build an imaginary personality and character to Adrian based on a few stray scraps of information. And this really is The Most Dangerous Thing – because no man has ever lived up to my expectations. I could feel my pulse beating in my neck and banging in my chest, the moody sounds of a growl as a car drove past in the thick night air, somehow making me more aware of my senses. At one point I was finding it difficult to breathe as I slid my hand across my chest, brushing my hard nipples, and then slowly pushing downward to that tingling spot between my legs.
I so would have loved to have Adrian there with me at that moment.
Boy, I could do that guy some serious damage…..
Chapter Twenty Nine
Chapter Thirty One
Wednesday, May 23, 2007
We gravitated toward there last week and it's a really chilled venue with loads of music and dancing.
Come along - it's weird - but it's fun too!!!!!
Don't have Second Life - download it! It's FREE at www.secondlife.com
“I’ve kind of made things complicated, haven’t I, Tam? By not defining what staying single actually means?”
“I have! Because now it’s like open bloody season! And I don’t know where I stand anymore. With anybody! I know it sounds awful, but I’m getting flowers from people I don’t even know and the Paul Ashkuri incident still makes me cringe. What do you think, Tam? Do you think he really liked me for me or was I small cog in his huge wheel of male ego?”
The silence is deafening and for a split second I think she’s gone.
“Tam? You there?”
“Yeah,” and she sniffs, which turns into a sob and suddenly Tamsin is crying.
“Tam? What’s going on?”
“I can’t tell you, Soph. You’ll go bananas.”
“You can tell me anything. What is it?”
She wails and blurts, “It’sPeteHe’sMarriedAndILoveHimAndHisWifeIsPregnant!”
Great – all the time I’ve been banging the drum about the foibles of married men; my best friend is hooked up with one!
“I’ll be over straight after work!”
I hate this. I am so tired and confused! AJ is being strangely nice – which in itself is bizarre, and I have looked at my web page to see hundreds of messages – either from women championing my decision to stay single, or from men convinced that they can change my mind. This is ludicrous and I’m tired of the game-playing. On checking my work email I have a message from Geezer magazine and a message from Adrian Ford’s personal email account - talk about spoiled for choice. Trevor from Geezer was charming and called me cute but Ade is sexy and good-looking, kind and funny – I feel really comfortable with him. Let me see what they say:
RE: Interview and Guest Column with GEEZER magazine
Malone, Trevor <TMalone@geezermag.com>
To: Sophie Regan
Morning sexy – Hope you’re liking the flowers – nothing but the best for a cute chick like you. Loving your column and I’d like to invite you to write a guest column for Geezer next week. I’d appreciate an interview too – perhaps to run concurrently with your guest column – but have to insist that you let me take you to the most sexy Italian restaurant for dinner afterwards. Go on – you know you want to. Promise you’ll love it…
I’ve taken the liberty of booking the best table for the Saturday night – so how about we meet at around 5pm and then we can go on for dinner afterwards.
Can’t wait to see you.
Can’t stop thinking about you.
I have to give it to him – he’s cute and charming. The other email is from Adrian. I feel my stomach flip and a pulse in my neck as I open his mail:
RE: Dinner? Please?? Need to see you!
To: Sophie Regan
Sophie. Sorry to do this by email, but I have to see you. There are things I need to say to you and they can’t wait. I know that you’re busy – Paul Ashkuri eh? Wow – bet he’s mad about you already – although I bet you weren’t too impressed with the photographs in the national papers. You don’t deserve all this aggro. But I need to talk to you! Please will you meet me for dinner? How are you fixed for Saturday night? There’s a gig on in Lambeth – new band called Ben’s Brother – really good. Fancy coming? We could grab some pasta or tapas first maybe? Please let me know – would love to have some fun with you!
Anyway – waiting to hear your reply.
Wow – so now what! Looks like I have some decisions to make for Saturday night…
After work I head straight for Tamsin’s. As I approach her front door I take a last bite from my apple and chuck the core into a wheelie bin. I’m trying to decide what to say to her. She knows my lowly opinions of married guys who cheat and it’s going to be difficult to be compassionate and sympathetic to her. I truly believe that anybody who goes with a married person is equally as bad as the married one! But it’s Tamsin and she’s devastated, so I’m going to have to be nice about this.
I knock on her door, picking a small shard of apple from between my front teeth and jump when Rob opens the door.
“Oh, you’re here.”
“Yeah,” his face looks pained and as I step in over the doorstep I can already hear Tamsin wailing.
“Not good…” he whispers to me.
“Oh dear. What we gonna do?”
He shrugs and puts his hand on my shoulders, directing me toward Tam’s bedroom, stopping me before we get there.
“We’re gonna have to help pull her out of this, Sophie.”
“Of course we are!”
“No,” he whispers, “she’s really broken. We need to be here to support her. What you doing Saturday night? Thought maybe we could get out some funny DVDs and spend the evening here with her.”
3 dates for Saturday night.
And how do I choose?
The suave charmer who sends me flowers and calls me cute – the best table in the poshest restaurant?
The guy who I really fancy who wants to grab some tapas and see Ben’s Brother gig – (that’s the one I really really want to do)
Or rush to the aid of my best friend and her trusty brother in her time of need.
There really is no choice. One look at Tam’s huge swollen eyes and red face tells me that she really needs me right now….
Chapter Twenty Eight
Monday, May 21, 2007
Relationship Rehab – week 5
This week has been a crash course on the male ego – with the emphasis on the word ‘crash’! It’s an unpleasant experience, publicising the car crash of your life, but it’s considerably worse when men add to your dilemma! It’s all been a little like the carousel at the fair, the colours blur into primary stripes as it spins, but change to faded, tarnished, tired paint jobs as it grinds to a halt. In terms of my relationship rehab, I’m now only marginally more disillusioned than I was six weeks ago. It sounds like a girls dream to receive flowers from secret admirers on a daily basis and to have to struggle over the dilemma of whether one date constitutes a break in my promise to remain single. But that was the week that was. As I’m sure anybody who reads one of the red-tops knows – I went on a date with the gorgeous Paul Ashkuri, but spent the rest of the week wondering why he hasn’t contacted me again and even whether he was genuine or not. It has been a truly ‘Toblerone week’ – the highs tasting great and the lows kind of hard to out from between your teeth! I was meant to test out a singles quiz night – but just couldn’t bring myself to enter that social cess pit. But I’m recovering slowly and will be out and about next week with a new update on how promising to stay single is really enhancing my life!!!?
Oh, and I’ve been asked to do a photo shoot and interview for Geezer magazine – so keep an eye out for that too.
The weekend really was horrendous and it’s knocked my self esteem hugely. Rob had called around in the afternoon on Saturday, whilst I was still prancing about in my pyjamas, trying to decide what to wear. He said he’d called in to check that the paint job was OK, which I thought was strange, but I was grateful for somebody to help me decide what to wear. He was great – listening to me fluff about, watching me try on numerous outfits in succession and he really helped me feel better about my concerns over Paul Ashkuri. I have to admit, and I don’t mean it in a big headed way, but I had been suspicious about his intentions and Rob helped me to see that someone like Ashkuri really didn’t need to be seen with someone like me. We’d laughed that I was an intensely small ripple in a huge media pond. Rob listened as I ranted about not trusting men’s motives lately and how guys who I’d once not noticed were sending me emails and flowers! Trevor Malone from Geezer has sent me flowers four times in the last week, which is nice but now becoming tiresome, especially as I hadn't even met the guy this time last week – and as for the remarks and invitations on my website? This is all a bit full-on and we’d made loads of jokes about it. He’s such easy company, but I noticed that he changed his tone and went kind of weird when I emerged wearing my new Coast dress. He made a quick exit and disappeared, mumbling something about needing to get back to work.
A couple of hours later Paul texted to say that he was outside, and I asked him in - determined to keep him waiting for a few minutes. He came in and waited patiently on my sofa, whilst I disappeared to the bedroom and pretended to finish getting ready. In reality I was sitting on the edge of my bed nervously trying not to pick my French manicure off – but he didn’t need to know that! He was the perfect gentlemen – telling me I looked gorgeous and helping me with my coat. I felt a million dollars and my thighs are still bruised from where I’d had to continually keep pinching myself. So we left the house and walked straight into an overwhelming firework display. Camera flashes were going off all over the place and I was totally blinded. I knew that I was pulling one of those open–mouthed-gasping-for-air faces that you make after too long under water, but I was completely disorientated. I waited for Paul to clutch my arm tightly and guide me toward his waiting car, in the way that Rob had done the other week when I was afraid that the photographers were waiting. But he didn’t. Far from it. Paul Ashkuri shook my arm from his as if it were on fire and pushed me sideways away from him. I stumbled toward his car, estranged shouts of ‘Miss Regan!’ and ‘so how does this mean that you’re staying single, Sophie?’ ringing through my ears. By the time I fell into the passenger seat of his car I felt as though I’d done five rounds with Tyson.
The evening was strained after that. I found it hard to believe his flimsy claims that he was always on edge when he travelled without a bodyguard and that he’d had some serious run-ins with paparazzi before. My food was sticking in my throat as I couldn’t help but think that Rob would never have treated me like that. And also the come down that as much as I was being spoiled with male attention, someone like Paul Ashkuri seemed embarrassed to be with me – or was it that he was pretending to be embarrassed. Nothing is what it seems anymore.
Ade was depressed. He’d gone ahead at the weekend and had booked a limo and top table at the restaurant for next week, but still hadn’t mustered the nerve to ask Sophie to go with him. It had cost him the best part of £300 and he felt sick at the thoughts that she might say no. It wasn’t helping that Trevor Malone insisted on sending her bouquets every couple of days, and when Ade had seen the photos of Sophie and celebrity Paul Ashkuri in all of the national newspapers and magazines he realised that he wasn’t the only guy after her. He’d heard the guys down the pub making jokes about how they’d soon sort her out and make her decide not to stay single. He was already desperately regretting his bet with Trevor. He hated his Ade Gets Laid persona now and really felt it was time to grow up and meet that special lady. It tormented him, the way that he liked Sophie. He constantly tried to ignore the fact that she’d gotten under his skin, but it was difficult to. A ‘new message’ alert flashed on his computer. It was from Trevor. Ade’s stomach flipped with anger and he surprised himself at how annoyed he felt on reading how Trevor had emailed Sophie Regan, asking her to do a photo shoot and interview for Geezer magazine….
Tamsin hadn’t got out of bed for 4 days. Her weekend away with Pete had gone disastrously wrong and she couldn’t pull herself together. She’d intended to put him on the spot about his marital situation but she hadn’t got the chance to. They’d had some mind-blowing sex again – she loved the way he ripped at her clothes and growled a little when he got his hands on her. It turned her on immensely and she really couldn’t get enough of him. They’d spent hours exploring and then re-exploring each others bodies until they’d both lain, wet and exhausted beside each other in the early hours. She’d been afraid to breathe for fear of breaking the stillness and the intimate moment but after a couple of minutes Pete had reached down and pulled his mobile phone from the floor. She detested that. Every time, without fail, that she made love to Peter, he had to check his phone afterwards. It was as if he was checking in – and it made her feel ill. She was beginning to feel that she only ever really had every last cell, every last fragment of Pete during their love making, as afterwards he always had to check his phone. And this time, it was worse than ever. She had lay beside him, deliberately not making eye contact, but aware that he’d jerked into a seated position whilst pressing the buttons on his mobile.
“What is it?” she’d asked, her voice light and still slightly panting,
“Oh.” Her voice hung in the warm air and she felt cold and empty as he hopped from the bed, and paced into the bathroom to make a call.
She could hear his voice, the concern and tenderness that she was so used to, and it was sickening listening to him talk to somebody else that same way too. When he emerged a few minutes later his face was white and his glorious body already seemed as if it no longer belonged to her.
“It’s my wife,” he’d said in low tones, “she’s had a fall. She’s been rushed to hospital. I have to go Tamsin. I have to get home.” And then he’d stopped, the realisation of what he was about to say suddenly hitting him. “She’s pregnant, Tam.”
Chapter Twenty Nine
Saturday, May 19, 2007
6pm on a Saturday evening is one of those in-between times. It’s no longer day and yet it’s not quite evening. It’s a kind of twilight zone between the two, and I’m utilising my time to its full potential.
I’ve exfoliated and fake tanned, I’ve varnished my nails and straightened my hair, pencilled my lips and painted my cheeks. And I’ve tried on about 50,000 different outfits and still can’t find one that’s ‘right’ for my date with Paul tonight.
And I’ve only got an hour to decide!
As Sophie added to the huge pile of clothes on her bed, discarding them with an irritated ‘Grrrrrr’ as she listened to her Motown collection at top volume she had no concern for what her friends and family were doing at that exact time……
Tamsin and Pete were buried beneath the duvet in a swish hotel room in Brighton, oblivious to his mobile which flashed and buzzed on ‘silent’ in his jeans pocket, which lay crumpled on the floor….
Ade was cracking open a cold can of beer, slouched on his black sofa, his laptop perched on his knees as he Google’d for something that would knock Sophie Regan off of her pretty feet…..
Rob had enjoyed a relaxing day and was standing in his kitchen, throwing together a seafood stir-fry and looking forward to a relaxing evening and a chance to catch up on the pile of DVD’s that stood like a stalagmite beside his television.
Trevor was stressed. His car had failed its MOT this afternoon and he was aggravated and flicking through the telephone book to find a decent mechanic to get his car through for a decent price…..
Jennifer was ready to go out into Dublin for the night. She was overly made-up and her clothes were far more New York than Dundalk – but that was Jen all over. Checking her watch she leaned forward to greet the fat line of white powder that she’d neatly chopped into place on her kitchen worktop. It was going to be another great night…..
None of them were aware of the small cluster of photographers that were gathering on the street outside of Sophie’s home…Chapter Twenty Six
Chapter Twenty Eight
Friday, May 18, 2007
I can’t sleep tonight. I’m all churned up and anxious. I can’t get Paul Ashkuri out of my head and feel confused and suspicious about Trevor Malone too. He’d appeared from nowhere – both in my life and at The Dorchester and I’m puzzled at his sudden interest. Geezer magazine isn’t a great read – full of male ego and topless ‘babes’ – hardly the intelligent read of the year! My bed is warm and crumpled, uncomfortable now after being in it for the last 2 hours. I fling the covers back and stand up, grabbing the duvet and turning it – so that the hot side is now out side, and slide back between the sheets. I wish I could turn my head off. And just as I begin to relax, my phone bleeps. It’s Paul Ashkuri! Telling me how hot and horny he’s feeling!
HEY GORGEOUSSSS – IN BED AT DORCH FEELNG HOT N HORNY THINKNG OF U. XX
And how am I supposed to sleep after that! It makes me realise how I miss a man’s body in bed beside me, someone to snuggle up to, someone to touch their bare skin, their warmth and that great feminine feeling of sexual power. I lay there for a while, my eyes closed, remembering how great it had been for a while between Ben and I, and how he’d really been the one that had switched me on in bed. Before I know it I’m getting all hot and sweaty, until I can’t wait any longer before opening the drawer of my bedside cabinet and pulling out my newest buzzing buddy, thinking of how Ben used to gently pull my hair as he kissed me, soft and hard. It’s been way, way too long….
I must have fallen asleep mid flow! I wake up to hear a slow and intermittent buzz, convinced that a bee has flown into my bedroom and is tired and stuck somewhere. Something shakes on the top of my thigh and I leap from my bed and shriek. Then I see my Rampant Rabbit flailing, like a fish that’s been out of water too long, on my bare sheets. It’s on its last legs battery-wise and is barely limping along on last reserves. I grab it and switch it off, discarding it to the floor. It’s 4.15am and I have no chance of getting back to sleep now. Desperate to try, I get back into bed, staring at the insides of my eyelids as I worry how large the black bags will be beneath my eyes, just ready for my date with Paul Ashkuri later today! Typical! I must try and get some more sleep…
Thankfully I managed to get another few hours in, but one of the first things I’ve had to do this morning is talk to Tamsin. I ring her repeatedly as I curl up on my sofa, the cool leather sticking to my bare legs as I hold a cereal bowl to my face and spoon in huge mounds of Frosties and milk. Tam isn’t picking up; she’s obviously ‘busy’ with Pete. I can catch up with her later, but in the meantime I have to talk to somebody. I call Jennifer, against my better judgement.
“What the hell are you doing? Calling before 10 on a Saturday morning? Don’t you know I have yoga in half an hour and then I’m busy at the beauty salon all afternoon?”
“Sorry. Listen, I just need to run something by you.”
“OK, but make it quick. Or call me back on my mobile.”
“No,” I realise I’ve made a mistake even thinking that she’ll have anything positive to add to my confusion. “It’s alright, I’ll call you later.”
“Just tell me now, Sophie. What’s wrong?”
I steam in, “Well you know my deal about staying single?”
“Yes. Absolutely fucking ridiculous, but go on.”
“Well, what is single? If I go on a date have I broken my promise to stay single? Or do I only break it if I sleep with him? Or do I not even break it then? Not until I continue to see him as a ‘boyfriend’ on a regular basis?” I hear her huffing at the other end, “The bottom line is Jen, at what point in a relationship are you single and what point not!”
“This whole thing is insane. What are you trying to prove? Just go and get your brains banged out girl. Stop taking everything so seriously.”
There’s a moments pause before she adds, “Anyway – who is it?”
I can’t keep the smile from my voice, “Paul Ashkuri! Honest!”
“As in Paul Ashkuri and Keira Knightley?”
“Fuck off! You! How?”
“I interviewed him yesterday and he asked me to join him for dinner tonight.”
“Jesus, Sophie! You gotta go for that! Don’t even hesitate. Fuck the promise or whatever it is!”
“But don’t you think it’s all a bit weird? I mean, I’m not stupid Jen. I make this public ‘promise’ and all of a sudden I have the likes of movie stars asking me out! I’m not daft!”
“Who gives a shit, Soph. Go with it. Go with him. Make him fall in love with you.”
I should have realised she’d react this way. She’s so shallow – it wouldn’t matter about a guy’s personality or hygiene or integrity. As long as he was loaded – that’s all that my sister wants. To marry a bank account.
Rob was having a lay-in. He was sick of being up early 7 days a week, spending his life under car bonnets and oiled up to the neck. Tamsin had called in quickly last night to drop in the DVD of Sophie on the chat show. She’d kissed him on the cheek as she’d ran out the front door and he’d gone to the window, noticing Pete sitting in the driving seat of his Audi TT Coupe, his fingers drumming on the steering wheel as he waited. They were off for another weekend away and as Rob watched his sister get into the car he wondered what on earth she was doing tangled up in a situation like that.
An hour later he was still in bed and watching the Sophie DVD. He thought she was great; as natural and charming on camera as she was at home, although he preferred the at-home Sophie. He watched as hints of that Sophie, the one that had got under his skin with her great laugh and easy conversation as he’d painted her kitchen, shone through on his television screen. As he watched her recounting her horrendous dating stories and explaining why she’d decided to stay single, he thought how unjust it was that she’d been treated so badly. Women like her should be looked after and loved.
Chapter Twenty Five
Chapter Twenty Seven
“Two hundred quid says I get Sophie before you do.”
Trev clapped his hands and laughed before stretching out his large hand and shaking Ade’s,
“Candy from a baby, dude.”
I tell you what - The Dorchester was awesome. I’m lying on my sofa in my underwear, the cool breeze buffeting my curtains and washing over my bare skin. I arrived home slightly hot and bothered and my head is spinning! I just can’t believe what happened there this afternoon! Simply getting out of the cab onto Park Lane made me feel great and I willed my legs to remain straight and to not show that my knees were shaking as I breezed through the revolving doors at the entrance. I made my way toward Ashkuri’s suite and sat obediently on one of the seats in a row, checking my watch and reading through my notes, along with another 4 journalists. I had 10 minutes before my interview time and was determined to be prepared. Paul Ashkuri was charm personified. He’d flown in from Miami last night and, according to the journalists that went in, and then out, before me – he’d been tired. It was made a little tougher in the knowledge that AJ would have killed for this interview – I wanted to get answers to questions that no other journo would think of! Prepared to the max, I was on a mission to make the most of my paltry 5 minutes. But I wasn’t expecting the reaction that I’d got!
I had tiptoed into the executive suite – which was bigger than my entire house – and sank immediately knee-deep into the carpet. Ashkuri looked fabulous; the combo of his South London attitude with a Californian tan was knockout. My shaky knees buckled when he’d turned to face me and spoke,
He was gorgeous in a Jonny Lee Miller kind of way – relaxed and chilled out whilst also being polite and charming. I had quaked and lowered myself into an enormous leather armchair, my note pad resting on my lap. I noticed him check out my legs appreciatively, and by the time his gaze had reached my face it was significantly redder than usual. I had struggled to begin with my questions, but he’d unnerved me by shifting in his chair to face me, leaning forward and smiling as he’d stared at me.
“OK, em, Paul, em Mr Ashkuri,” I hadn’t been able to concentrate! He had been scanning my scarlet face, a mischievous dance in his eyes as he soaked in the entire ‘look’ of me. I forced myself to get started, “right, how do you feel now about your career? Had you anticipated this meteoric rise to stardom?” He’d continued to smile at me. God, at that rate you’d think he’d fancied me or something?
His accent had been broad and a little rough, but knicker-melting too,
“Call me Paul.”
“Right. OK, so I have the usual notes on your career to date, so how about a few different ones?”
He leaned forward and rubbed my arm,
“Right,” I know that I kept nervously clearing my throat, “So, in your latest movie Keira Knightley is your leading lady. If you could choose a leading lady in your real life, who would she be? What kind of woman do you go for?”
I sat, pen poised for his answer.
I looked up, wondering who he was talking to. He continued to stare at me, smiling.
Then he had reached out and had taken my hand gently. I’d been certain that he could feel it tingling as I could.
“You’re gorgeous. Please. Come out with me tomorrow night.”
“Pardon?” I hadn’t believed what I was hearing.
“Serious. I’ll send a car to collect you at 8.” Then he’d slid the pen from my hand, slipping the notepad from my lap,
“So?” he’d smiled as my heart had banged in my chest, “your address?”
Crazy as it sounds now, I just sat there and blurted my address and telephone number. I wasn’t sure whether I’d felt sick or overwhelmed with lust – but something had been going on – and still was, 2 hours later! Whatever about the 5 minute interview curfew, I had sat in his suite in The Dorchester for over 20 minutes and he’d been fantastic; telling me everything I needed and a whole lot more. Then, as I’d floated out of the hotel, I bumped straight into Geezer magazine’s Trevor.
I think he’d been waiting for me – weird as that sounds. He’d whipped out a deep red rose from behind his back and handed it to me, “How did the Ashkuri interview go? Summer Lawson was great.” And he’d looked to the floor as he’d added, “Not as cute as you, though.”
Which is why, when I finally arrived home, I had to strip off and lay in the cool breeze. I had to lose the confines of the day in order for my head to relax and think, think, think! Trevor Malone handed me his business card with GEEZER emblazoned across the front of it. I still don’t believe it, but he went on to ask me out for dinner tonight! When I told him that I was busy he looked disappointed, pulling out his mobile and asking if I was free tomorrow night. I didn’t tell him that Paul Ashkuri was hoping to take me out tomorrow night –as I still didn’t quite believe it myself. I was already wondering how many more of the female journalists he’d hit on with his disarming interview style and request to add to his address book.
My head is in an excited spin.
And I’m feeling rather sexy right now.
Rob raised his hand and wiped his wet face, smearing more oil across his sweating forehead. He wished he worked in one of those garages on the television – the ones like on EastEnders or Coronation Street where they never get dirty and spend a few minutes tinkering under a bonnet when somebody arrives with a more pressing dilemma – working under bonnet of car again. Since starting up on his own he’d been inundated with work and knew he shouldn’t complain, but it was another Friday evening and he was nowhere near finished. He’d enjoyed spending time with Sophie last week and it made him realise how non-existent his social life was. Tam was always moaning at him to take more time off for him, but it was easy for her to say. He was trying to build a business and letting clients down or turning cars away wasn’t the way forward.
Tam mentioned that Sophie had been on the television during the week and he’d been disappointed to miss it, although his sister had recorded the interview. Digging into his overalls pocket for his mobile he unlocked the keypad and texted Tamsin,
TAM ANY CHANCE U CLD DROP SOPHIE DVD IN 2NITE? THX XX
Chapter Twenty Four
Chapter Twenty Six