Monday, June 11, 2007

Chapter Forty - A Woman Scorned

I’m on the phone to Jennifer and I’m shocked at what she’s telling me. Don’t get me wrong - I’m a woman of the world, I know what goes on, but my own sister!! She sounds dreadful, whimpering and broken. Nothing like the feisty bossy older sister that I know and, kind of, love.
“Ah jesus, Soph, I’m in a mess. The bottom line? I can’t get away from the marching powder, Soph. It’s taking at least 3 lines just to get me out of bed in the mornings. My life is a complete sham. A lie. I’m doing all the wrong things with all the wrong men and telling my secrets and lies to women who only pretend to be my friends. I’m a mess. Help me Sophie.”

I close my eyes and take a deep breath, aware that Delaney is waiting for me in her office and I know that I’m about to say something that I’ll regret. But... She is my sister - as materialistic and shallow as that is...
“Jen. Come and stay with me for a while. Get away from Dublin and all that scene. But on one condition, Jennifer. No drugs. You come here? You leave all that behind you. Deal?”
Her voice is thick with emotion as she whispers,
“Deal. Sophie?”
“Thank you.”


Jennifer spent about 5 minutes feeling relieved that Sophie had rushed to her rescue, and then spent the next hour whooping and squealing around her bedroom, flinging her designer clothes into her Louis Vuitton suitcase between dusting out a few shabby lines of white powder for herself. The Dublin social scene had been getting her down for a while now and the pretence of keeping up her appearances was a burden on her shoulders. She’d slept with too many husbands and inappropriate men over the last few weeks and she was desperate for an excuse to get away from it all. She was ecstatic at the thoughts of telling her ‘friends’ that she’s going to stay with her ‘celebrity’ sister for a few weeks in London!
“Yeah!” she practised her pouted, blase expression in the mirror in preparation, “she’s the Sophie Regan. Yeah, the one who promised to stay single for a year and is now flooded with the most gorgeous eligible bachelors. I mean,” she smirked at her reflection, “it’d be rude not to go and help her out, wouldn’t it?”


I had a row with AJ today and it’s shaken me right up. I knew she was a weasely bitch, but had no idea of the true extent of her hatred for me! I gave as good as I got, but I have to admit, from the comfort of my sofa I can reflect on how she really took my breath away. And all I can think of doing is calling Rob. Not even Tamsin? But Rob! How ridiculous! Why am I thinking about him so much lately? He’s completely inappropriate for me, lives in his overalls, is always dirty and unshaven and doesn’t have time for a social life! I’ve been introduced and chased by some of the most fanciable males to walk the earth and I’m thinking about Rob?
Anyway, AJ. You won’t believe it when I tell you. She’s poison. I wish she was really short - then I could call her the poisoned dwarf, but even that won’t work out considering she’s about five-nine. She’s a tall tower of nastiness!
I went into the kitchen to grab a mug of green tea before going in to see Delaney and walked straight into her and Victoria Harris whispering by the water cooler. It was so obvious that they’d been discussing me. The air was frozen with their sniping words that hung like daggers above me as I grabbed my mug from the dishwasher. I was certain I’d heard her say ‘Ben Scott’s number’ as I’d walked in and I couldn’t help but ask her.
“What did you just say?” I’d asked, as nicely as I could and with a little friendly smile. I knew I was right when AJ blushed like a beetroot and stammered,
“Em, I was talking about Den’s new plumber.”
“Ha ha!” I’d boomed, “bullshit.”
“What’s that supposed to mean?” AJ had snapped, a dangerous glint in her eye.
“Nothing.” I’d shrugged, ready to leave the kitchen. But I hadn’t been prepared for what was to follow.
“OK!” AJ spat, raising her voice, “I’ll tell you what I was talking about. I’ll tell you the bloody truth!” She walked toward me aggressively, swinging her arms and baring her teeth. I couldn’t help but notice that she went a little boss eyed and for a split second I was desperate to laugh, she looked a little like something I’d seen on Dr Who at the weekend. Anyway, she continued to rant, Victoria Harris smirking in the background.
“I’m gonna push your stupid, conceited arse out of here. Ever since you arrived you’ve been swanning around like you own the fucking place! I’m gonna show you for what you really are. A fake, pretentious publicity seeker who would do anything to get in the headlines. Who the fuck did you think you were stuck on the pages of Geezer magazine? You and your pathetic fat arse, airbrushed to make yourself look like somebody you’re SO not! And you know what? The Geezer guys think you’re fucking prize! Literally! You’re a prize arse, and a prize embarrassment, but most of all Sophie Regan - you were their fucking prize! Oh, you didn’t know about the bet between Malone and Ford? Woops, deary me, I’ve let it slip! Just be ready for it Sophie - cos I’m gonna unleash all of your shit and knock you off that ridiculous perch you’ve tried to build for yourself. You, Sophie-freaking-Regan, will be well and truly embarrassed! So be ready for it!”

And I was so stunned that I brushed past her and let the kitchen door swing closed behind me. I have to admit that I wondered what the hell she was talking about.
Am I a publicity seeker?
And it’s got me thinking - about how everyone else sees me too?
And the bet?
I knew that Adrian and Trevor were playing me off between them, but as a bet! My confidence and self esteem are shattered and I feel about ten stone heavier than I am as I sob uncontrollably into my wet hands.
I only ever wanted to stay single to help get my life back on track and look what I’ve done.
Made a complete fool of myself for the world to see.
Rob ponders on the step outside Sophie’s front door, putting one foot up on the step and then bringing it back down to the path again. He glances to see whether there are any paparazzi tonight and he’s thankful to find it’s quiet. He slouches, hunching his shoulders with indecision. Mumbling to himself, he checks his watch. It’s still only early-ish. 9.35pm isn’t late by his standards, he’d only finished work an hour earlier and had seen through his plan to go home for a shower and clean up before making tracks to Sophie’s. And now he’s there, he’s nervous.
“C’mon Rob,” he wills himself as he steps up to the front door and rings the bell.
“It’s only Sophie.”
My sobs are so loud and guttural that for a split second I think I can hear the doorbell. Then I realise that it’s the sounds of me moaning and crying and the blood coursing around my head. It’s rather liberating, being able to cry from the bottom of your heart. I know I’m making animalistic noises, like the actresses on television when their husband/child/parent has been savagely killed, and it’s a little scary to hear what I’m capable of. So for another split second I stop. The silence rushes around me as I feel myself well up with more raw emotions. I’m now crying for everything that ever happened to me. I’m crying for losing my mother to a fake life in L.A, I’m crying for my coke-head sister who’s coming to stay, I’m crying for all the men that ever told me “it’s not you, it’s me,” when it quite clearly was me. I’m crying for losing Ben Scott, and Danny-the-chav. I’m crying for waiting to lose my virginity until I was 19 when I so might has well have been screwing around before then. It’s not as if it actually got me anywhere - waiting. I’m still now in my early thirties and positively bloody lonely!!!!
Hang on. There’s that buzz again.
My god.
It is the doorbell.
And look at me! My face is smeared with tears and snot and my eyes are like pickled onions in swollen pink sockets.
The digital clock on the DVD player is flashing 21.39 so who could it be this time of night?
What if it’s the paps? They’d be delighted with a picture of me looking like this. Ha! That’d give AJ something to gripe about - what with her saying that I love myself and all that!
I turn all Nick-Nolte-in-Cape-Fear, as I sidestep toward the window and sneakily tug at the curtain to see who’s at the front door.
A slice of light shines down Rob’s left side and he turns to face me immediately.
It must be Tam.
Something’s happened to her.
And so, forgetting all about my slippery face, I rush to the front door and fling it open.
Before I can catch my breath his mouth is on mine, his tongue gently probing between my lips as he nibbles and bites my mouth. Holding my head in his hands I fight for my breath as he slowly entwines his fingers through my hair, close to my scalp at the back of my head and he groans deep and low as I feel the full strength of his emotions in that one, long kiss.

Chapter Thirty Nine
Chapter Forty One

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