8.45 A.M. I am staggering into work with the hangover from hell.
The security guard on the main office reception desk is busy chewing a pen, whilst studying a crossword. He lifts his head and catches sight of me. I watch the pen roll out of his mouth, as his jaws fall open.
“Morning!” I croak.
He can only manage a nod at me.
I step into the lift and gasp. I look like one of the undead; dark circles around eyes, ashen white face, red bloodshot eyes, mad red hair and a grim expression.
People at Halloween pay good money to look like this.
My head aches as I try to remember the events of last night. All I can remember is talking to various people from work so fairly tame for me.
The lift doors open and I am shuffling out in the direction of my desk.
As I reach my seat Martin rises from his chair and shakes his head.
“Nice of you to join us Roxy or should I call you Cher?” he says, with a smirk.
I cast him a puzzled look. Cher? I never sang because my family and Brian warned me against it.
“You remember taking over the karaoke booth Roxy?” asks Martin.
“But…I” I stammer.
“Memory failing you?” smirks Martin.
“Did I…sing?” I say, screwing up my face and crossing my fingers that its one of Martin’s jokes.
“Did I just do one number?” I say, in a little voice.
“You sang all of Cher’s songs!” says Martin.
“Tell me honestly, how was it?” I ask, bracing myself for ‘you are a pop star in the making Roxy!’
“It wasn’t your finest hour,” says Martin.
Ugh – my first silent scream of the day.
“I need a coffee!” I croak.
I am walking up to the coffee machine. For some strange reason Nick from Sales is hiding behind a pillar and clearly avoiding me. A strange man!.
The room is starting to spin. OMG this is bad!
I am leaning my head against the coffee machine and waiting for everything to stop moving.
My head is now thumping. I am going to rummage in my handbag for some tablets.
Oh I have a text on my phone. It is from Dan. He’s probably still texting me apologies for last weekend. For all I care he can carry on saying he’s sorry because I am not backing down.
We are finished! Over!
The text reads ‘I can’t wait to meet up with you a hotel’
Ok, so Dan and I are not over.
Another text arrives. It reads ‘I am so glad you called last night x’
Ok so I did phone him last night?
My black coffee is ready. I am hoping it will help with my memory.
Maybe Dan’s bluffing?
Check phone. Groan again. I called him at 11.24 P.M. last night.
My music idol Cher has a lot to answer for.
10.09 A.M. I am sat at my desk salivating at a fried sandwich which Martin has just bought me.
I can’t hold back any longer. Oh God this sandwich is amazing!
“Roxy you are making a mess!” says Martin pointing to the grease dripping onto my desk.
I ignore him and stuff more into my mouth.
“I think you will need these!” he says, handing me some anti bacterial wipes.
Without saying a word he passes me his pack of antibacterial wipes.
“Hello Roxy?” says a familiar voice just as I try to swallow a huge mouthful of sandwich.
I whirl round and see Marcus stood in front of me.
“Did you get home ok?” he asks.
I nod trying to not choke.
“Oh ok, just checking,” he says and walks away.
I watch him stride off and wonder why Marcus is checking I got home ok.
My phone bleeps. It is a text from Matilda. She is in love (lots of heart emojis) with a guy who likes to call himself ‘MC Raz’. He’s a rapper and according to Matilda is ‘sic’.
I haven’t even met MC Raz but already I feel bad about this new union.
Second text from Matilda informing me that she has decided to form a pop band with MC Raz.
She wants to leave school, not bother with her exams, audition for X Factor, become a global star and have millions in the bank for shoes.
I can’t text back NO fast enough.
“Roxy!” says Martin, “I need you to look at this” He is handing me a folder.
“Not now Martin!” I find myself saying. “I am in the middle of a family crisis and I have a bad hangover!”
“When are you not in the middle of a family crisis?” asks Martin.
Matilda texts back that she cannot understand why I won’t let her leave school, hook up with some rapper, form a band, audition for X Factor and take the music industry by storm.
“Oh Martin my daughter is making my head hurt!” I exclaim staring at my phone and feeling anger bubble inside me.
“And what has Matilda done now?” asks Martin sitting back down with his folder.
I shake my head and grip my phone. “She wants to leave school and form a band with her new boyfriend MC Raz. I have said ‘NO’ so she has just text back saying because my pop singer career never took off, it doesn’t mean she should be denied!’
Martin stares at me. “Does she sing like you?”
I shake my head. “Gosh no! She’s tone deaf!”
My phone bleeps. It a text from Matilda’s. Apparently MC Raz is unhappy with me too.
He has decided to rap on her YouTube video about the pain his girl is going through with her cruel mother.
“Martin” I say. “I have just fulfilled a life goal– someone is going to rap about me.”
I think Martin has just let out a whimper.
3.10 P.M. I am sat staring at photo of Clara.
I cannot compete with her on looks, fashion sense and overall sophistication. I also cannot cope with being so far away from Dan.
Tears are rolling down my cheeks. Martin passes me his box of tissues and says nothing.
5.45 P.M. I am being introduced to MC Raz, the hooded spotty youth sat on my sofa.
‘Yo Till’s Momma!’ he says, lifting his jewellery clad arm and making some weird hand gesture.
“Mam!” squeals Matilda, jumping up and down. “We are going to perform our debut single!”
“No!” I cry out. “You are not doing this pop star business!” I say, staggering towards the sofa, as I still feel rough.
“Relax Till’s Momma!” says MC Raz. “Chill babe!”
“Yea Mam relax, this record deal will be piece of cake!” pipes up Matilda.
“Oh babe I am loving your positivity” says MC Raz.
“Shall we do this?” asks Matilda standing in front of the fireplace with a water bottle in her hand, ready to be her microphone.
Their debut single is called ‘Babelicious’
5.59 P.M. MC Raz is still rapping. Matilda has got bored and is on her phone. MC Rapp has a lot say on the track ‘Babelicious’
I take a copy of a glossy magazine from coffee table and have a flick through.
6.03 P.M. He is still rapping in the corner.
6.07 P.M. Still listening to MC Raz. I like the way he has weaved his tough childhood growing up in a wealthy part of town and going to a private school into his rap. Matilda has gone upstairs.
6.31 P.M. Matilda and I having a heated discussion about her new pop career.
MC Raz has gone home for his tea. His mother is cooking his favourite lamb casserole.
“Education is more important than a pop career” I say, washing up some cups.
“You are just jealous!” she screams.
“What?” I exclaim, removing my hands from the soapy liquid.
“I am a better singer than you!” she shouts.
“You only sang a few lines and then you were too busy on Snapchat!” I snap.
“I hate you at times!” she screams.
“Go to your room!” I bark.
“Fine!” she snaps. “My YouTube following will hear about this!” She stomps out of the kitchen.
7.50 P.M. I am Lying on sofa listening to some soothing whale music with a cold flannel over my head.
I am feeling emotional for the following reasons:
1. My Hangover – I still don’t feel my best.
2. Love – the situation with Dan is on my mind, it’s not going to work. I have to end it. I think I might be a spinster for the rest of my life.
3. Kids. My teenage daughter hates me because I won’t let her follow her dreams with no qualifications.
7.56 P.M. Whale music reaches a crescendo and I start crying.
8.00 P.M. In walks Brian, my landlord, to repair my loo, which is blocked again.
“Brian!” I shout as he tries to shoot upstairs.
“What is it now?” he asks.
“I need a hug!” I say, rising off my sofa and holding open my arms to him.
“I don’t think that’s a good idea!” he says gesturing towards the back door.
“Rubbish!” I say. “I am emotional and I need a hug!”
I embrace Brian just as I hear his wife Patricia’s voice “Brian what on earth are you doing?”
I gasp and step away. Brian has lost the colour in his face.
Patricia storms into my living room wearing her complicated floral apron.
“I knew it!” she cries. “You are having an affair with your tenant!”
“Don’t be so ridiculous!” says Brian. “I couldn’t have an affair with Roxy, she’d send me to an early grave!”
I smile and nod.
“I knew you and her were up to something!” she cries.
“Patricia get a grip of yourself, I am not having an affair with Roxy!” pleads Brian.
“I saw you telling Roxy something before you both hug!” cries Patricia.
“Absolute rubbish!” says Brian and storms upstairs with his bucket.
8.14 p.m. I am enjoying an awkward silence with Patricia, whilst Brian unblocks my loo upstairs.
My phone bleeps. It is a text from Dan. He has fallen in love with me. I groan. A decision needs to be made and quick. I look across at Patricia. She looks sensible and grounded. I will ask her.
“Patricia” I say, making her stare at me. “How do you break up with someone who has just revealed he loved you?”