2.05 A.M. My best friend Shaz has just given birth to a beautiful baby boy.
We are both in tears watching him being wrapped up in a white towel by a mid wife.
“He’s adorable Shaz,” I whisper, wiping away tears. “Just think he’s made entirely out of Snickers bars!”
“Thanks Roxy for being here with me,”says Shaz stroking her baby’s soft black hair.
“Hey that’s what best mates do,” I say, giving Shaz’s shoulder a squeeze.
“I don’t know what I would do without you!” croaks Shaz ,staring up at me with tear filled eyes.
Tears start to pour down our faces and a Midwife hands us a box of tissues.
2.56 A.M. I stagger out of the delivery room to find Brian, my landlord, 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, as 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 my ex Dan. I gasp.
It reads ‘I I have made a big mistake Roxy, I love you!’
One is from Marcus. It reads “We need to talk. Hope Shaz and baby are ok!”
Stew over both texts in car on the way home.
9.05 A.M. Sat in work, in a dazed, almost surreal state.
Martin, my line manager, is on the phone to his mother as her bowel condition has flared up again.
I try to block out the details of Martin’s mother’s bowel condition and think about Marcus. He left the hospital shortly after we entered the Maternity building. Everything felt awkward. Plus Shaz was screaming in pain.
I can’t get his 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.
10.05 A.M. 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?
3.50 P.M. 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.
5.56 P.M. Lying on my sofa listening to Matilda tell 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 can I go sleep at his house tonight then?” she asks, whilst filing her nails.
“No Matilda!” I say, before letting out a sigh. Sometimes I wish we could talk about something which doesn’t end in me saying ‘no’ a number of different ways.
“Why not?” she asks.
“Because you are not old enough to sleep over at a boyfriend’s house!” I say.
“But he’s such a caring person,” says Matilda, placing down her leopard print nail file to glare at me.
“If you told me he walks on water in his spare time it would still be no!” I say.
“He’s not interested in doing anything with me Mam if that’s what you are worried about!” shrieks Matilda. “He’s different! He just wants to read me romantic poetry!”
“No!” I say, placing a cushion over my head, hoping she’ll go upstairs.
I have had enough of this conversation and my teenage daughter.
7. 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 stubborness 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 so sorry Roxy,” he says.
“What?” is all I can say. 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.
“Please take me back Roxy! I will move down here and forget Clara” he begs.
“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 you 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 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.
“But I have kids and wobbly bits” I say.
“I don’t care, I just want to be with you Roxy Collins!”
9.08 P.M. Lying on sofa with Marcus. Happy. I have finally found my prince.
To be continued…