Shaz has just given birth to a beautiful baby boy.
We are both red-faced, sweaty and tearful. “I am a mummy Roxy!” weeps Shaz, watching a mid wife wrapping up her baby in a white blanket.
‘He’s adorable Shaz!” I blubber, wiping away tears. ‘Just think he’s made entirely out of Snickers bars!’
‘Thanks Roxy,” says Shaz stroking her baby’s soft black hair. “I know I said some bad stuff whilst I was pushing him out and I want to say sorry.”
I let out a chuckle. “I understand. It’s not the first time you have lectured me on my love life.”
Shaz grins. “I was in labour Roxy, I feel terrible now.”
I give her shoulder a reassuring squeeze. “I do make silly decisions when it comes to love, I know that and I promise you Dan is not in my life anymore.”
Shaz leans her head against my arm. “I also said some stuff about Useful Kim.”
I can’t help but smile. “I can’t believe she got you a cot which was held together with masking tape.”
The midwife casts us both a worried glance.
I hear Shaz exhale loudly. “Yes it was. She claims it got damaged when she shipped it over from China.”
The baby starts to stir.
“Did she really ship it from China?” I ask, stroking the baby’s tiny hand.
Shaz turns to roll her eyes at me. “Croydon more like! Useless Kim’s son Trevor told me by mistake.”
I wipe my sweaty brow. “Why do you still buy stuff from her?”
Shaz shakes her head. “I am always desperate Roxy. I swear to myself I will never use her but its like the universe conspires against me and forces me to text Useful Kim.”
After letting out a yawn I plonk myself in the chair next to Shaz as she whips out her breast for the baby. “Is she still wearing the tag?”
The midwife comes over to help Shaz place the baby correctly on her breast.
“Yes she’s still got her tag on, she claims it doesn’t affect her trading.”
“What did she do again?” I ask, trying to remember what Useful Kim was sent down for.
Shaz shakes her head. “No one really knows but as she says it wasn’t serious as she was only inside for eighteen months.”
I rise from my chair. “I am going to go get some rest.”
Shaz stares up at me with tear filled eyes. “Thanks for being here Roxy!”
I smile. “Thats what best mates do! Listen what are you going to call him?”
The midwife gives us both a warm smile. “He’s a real cutie love!” she says to Shaz.
Beaming with pride Shaz announces, “his name is Spike.”
I find myself repeating what she has just said. “Spike?”
Shaz nods. “He’s named after my first boyfriend.”
“OMG not the one you went out with in year 9 of secondary school?” I gasp, recalling the bean pole like lad who used to walk round with Shaz at break times.
She nods. “He was a bit special and I loved his name.”
“What about the post man, doesn’t he have a say in the naming of your son?” I ask.
Shaz shakes her head. “He says I can call him what I like. Before I went into labour I sent Spike a friend request on Facebook.”
“Why? You havent seen him since secondary school?”
Shaz lets out a sigh. “Useful Kim told me Spike is on ‘Plenty of Fish In The Sea’ dating site. He’s divorced for a third time.”
“How does she know?” I ask.
Shaz gives me an awkward look. “She went on a date with him.”
“Useful Kim is dating?” I gasp.
The midwife gives Shaz and I another worried look.
“She told me her and Spike didn’t do much. When she mentioned my name he was really keen to get in contact again.”
I find myself sitting down again. “What did Useful Kim mean when she said she didn’t do much with him?”
Shaz shrugs. “She says they didn’t take their clothes off.”
I scratch my head. “I am really tired, I’m going to get off now.”
“Bring my frilly knickers when you come in later.” instructs Shaz.
I stagger out of the delivery room to find Brian, asleep on a row of waiting chairs. I give him a nudge and he wakes looking startled.
When he heard that Shaz had gone into labour he and his wife Patricia leapt into action. Patricia sorted out my kids and Brian headed to the hospital. Even though he moans about me and my kids I think deep down Brian does care about me. He knows how important Shaz is to me.
“Well?” he asks.
“A baby boy!” I squeal.
“All well?” he asks.
“Perfect!” I say. Brian holds open his arms and gives me a hug.
“Come on,” he says, “lets get you home.”
As we head towards Brian’s car I check my phone. Two texts are waiting for me.
One is from Dan. I gasp. It reads ‘I think I have made a big mistake Roxy, I think I love you!’
One is from Marcus. It reads ‘We need to talk. Hope Shaz is ok’
Sat in work in a dazed, almost surreal state.
I can’t get Marcus’s words ‘I like rescuing you’ out of my head.
I glance up to see his office down the corridor and I can see him sat at his desk.
My phone bleeps. Its Dan telling me how sorry he is and how confused he’s been over Clara and I.
Apparently he’s finally made his choice and its me. My heart sinks.
Marcus has left the office to go work from home. I casually overheard one of the personal assistants on the phone to someone.
I go back to his text. Maybe I should text him or phone him?
Martin let me leave early as I was struggling to stay awake at the desk.
Shaz’s labour was long and exhausting, not just for her but for me as well. Today I am feeling both physically and mentally drained. Plus my mind is full of romance issues.
Still no word from Marcus and I have made no attempt to contact him.
Lying on my sofa, sipping a large gin and tonic.
Visiting Shaz was an experience as she had baby Spike in her arms, the postman, baby Spike’s father on one side of her bed and Spike her childhood sweetheart on the other side. In the end I left them all to it.
Matilda is telling me about how in love she is with this new boyfriend Matt. They have been friends for years although I have never heard her mention his name before. Apparently in his spare time he does a lot of charity work, cares for sick animals, visits lonely old people in nursing homes and he has never had a proper girlfriend before. I am amazed that she’s found someone so….saintly.
“So you’d be ok if I had sex with him?’ she asks, whilst filing her nails.
I choke on my gin and tonic. “NO!” I croak.
“Why not?” she asks.
“Because you are not old enough to have sex!” I gasp.
“But he’s such a caring person,” says Matilda, placing down her leopard print nail file to glare at me.
“I don’t care if you tell me he walks on water in his spare time. No means no!” I say.
8. 10 P.M.
There is a knock at my front door. Matilda and I are screaming at each other in the kitchen and the person at the door has to knock at a second time. My daughter doesn’t give up on things. Once she gets an idea in her head she’s a nightmare.
I blame Jon, her father. Obviously this stubbornness is nothing to do with me.
I storm off to the door and yank it open.
Stood on the doorstep is Dan clutching a huge bouquet of flowers and chocolates.
“I’m sorry Roxy,” he says.
“What?” I stare at him.
“I made a silly mistake in that hotel room and I should never have let you go. Clara means nothing to me. I love you Roxy!” he says.
“But I don’t…..” I start to say.
“Roxy!” says a voice behind Dan. I look up to see Marcus coming up the path.
“Marcus!” I say with relief.
“I told you I like rescuing you,” he says. cheerfully.
Dan’s face falls and he stares at Marcus and then at me.
“I’m sorry Dan,” I say. “I’m not interested. Say hi to Clara for me won’t you? Come in Marcus.”
I close the door on Dan and stand looking at Marcus. My little hallway is a bit of a squeeze at the best of times but it feels even smaller tonight.
“I came to tell you that….” says Marcus and pauses.
“What?” I say, my heart thudding.
“I never recovered from that kiss by the photocopier a year ago. It was quite a kiss and I have not been able to get you out of my mind,” admits Marcus, reaching out to stroke my cheek.
“Really?” I ask.
“When I saw in the cinema I realised that I somehow had to be with you Roxy’ he whispers. ‘I quit my job because I wanted to be with you!”
I throw my arms around him and our lips come together.
“OMG that is gross!” shrieks Matilda from the kitchen.
Marcus grins and I sink into him.
“I think I am in love with you Roxy Collins,” he says, stroking my hair.
“I never forgot about that kiss either,” I say, gazing longingly into his sea-blue eyes.
“You are quite a kisser!” he whispers, nuzzling my neck.
“But I have kids and wobbly bits,” I say.
“I don’t care, I just want to be with you Roxy Collins!