Welcome to The Diary of Roxy Collins – The Serious Relationship Series.
Read Roxy’s diary entries, recording the emotional highs and lows of her new serious relationship with Marcus, the man of her dreams, who lives on the posh side of town, drives a flash car, is solvent and doesn’t mind the wobbly bits on her hips and thighs.
Can Roxy make this serious relationship work?
Thursday 5.10 P.M.
Matilda and I are stood arguing on the side of the motorway.
“You were supposed to remind me about my petrol light!” I shout, as a large lorry roars past us.
My teenage daughter rolls her eyes. “I was too busy listening to you rattle on about how great Marcus is!”
Every time someone mentions Marcus’s name I can’t help but let out a sigh. I am dating Marcus, who is crazy about me. He’s handsome, solvent and lives on the posh side of town.
As he no longer works in our office I can’t wait to drop it into the conversation with moody Helen from Accounts that I am dating Mr Gorgeous a.k.a Marcus.
Since Marcus and I got together (last week) I have worried 765 times about the following:
- Why is posh Marcus wanting to date a fiery red-head who lives in a run down rented house on the worst housing estate ever, who has three spirited (polite term for nightmare) kids and thinks she could get a recording contract after a few glasses of wine?
- What happens if he comes to his senses and finds someone more suited to him like a supermodel?
- What happens if he undresses me and is shocked at the size of the wobbly bits on my hips and thighs? Have I told you that my thighs are now the size of sandbags? In a flood situation my thighs could hold back a significant amount of water. On Saturday he will see me in all my glory for the first time – what happens if he changes his mind about my wobbly bits?
- What happens if I mess things up?
I chew my thumb nail and go back to my current predicament – being stuck on the side of the motorway with no petrol.
“I could get fined for this, Matilda. Why didn’t you remind me as I came onto the motorway that my petrol light had been on since…”
“We set off,” interrupts Matilda, flicking her long brown hair. She stares at her phone screen. “As well as listening to you I had snapchat drama to sort out.”
A van gives us a honk on the horn and someone screams something at us. We both ignore them.
“What am I going to do?” I exclaim, as tears prick my eyes. “I am supposed to be going out tonight!”
Me and Shaz are going on a girlie night out. She only gave birth last week which does worry me. However I have been assured by Shaz that her mother is great with newborns and is looking forward to spending the entire night with Little Spike.
Matilda is engrossed with something on her phone. “Phone the AA, Mam?”
I let out a frustrated shriek. “How can I phone the AA when I don’t belong to the AA!”
Matilda looks up and shrugs. “Phone Brian?”
I stamp my foot with frustration. “I can’t phone Brian and tell him his car has run out of petrol on the M4 because he hasn’t forgiven me for scratching it the other week in the supermarket.”
Matilda leans against the bonnet of Brian’s old ford fiesta. “I guess you are screwed then!”
I glare at her. “Don’t be cheeky! I was doing you a favour girlie, taking you to cheerleading practice session.”
My daughter quickly averts her eyes to the ground.
I survey her skinny jeans, cropped top and pink stilettos. “You don’t look like you are going to a cheerleading practice.”
Matilda gives me an awkward smile. “I’m just watching tonight, Mam.”
I recall the documentary Shaz and I watched on cheerleaders the other week. “How do you cope with being flipped up in the air?” I ask, remembering Shaz and I wincing as one poor girl got chucked up into the air a few times. What shocked Shaz and I was whilst her team mates waited for her to return to Earth they gossiped about their boyfriends.
Matilda fumbles with her phone. “I am the one they all stand on.”
I don’t know why but I can’t see Matilda being a cheerleader. She’s spent her entire school life trying to get out of PE and now all of a sudden is desperate to be part of an energetic cheerleading team.
“Can you do a cart-wheel?” I ask, watching my daughter turn away from me.
Matilda rubs her arms. “BRRR its getting cold Mam, shouldn’t you be trying to get us rescued?”
“I hope you are not lying to me, Matilda,” I say, unable to take my eyes off her pink stilettos.
She turns back round and flaps her arms. “Mam – I would never lie to you?”
Why do I get the feeling my teenage daughter is lying to me? I make a mental note to return to giving this suspicious cheerleading activity some more thought at a later date. For now it is time to go back to feeling emotional about being stuck on a motorway with no petrol.
A police patrol car pulls onto the hard shoulder and approaches us.
“Oh my God, Matilda, look!” I screech, hopping from one red stiletto to the other. “I am going to get fined!”
In my bank account I have the grand total of £87 which is to last me until a week Thursday and some of that is already ear marked for a night out. There is no way I will be able to find money to pay a fine for running out of petrol on the motorway.
“This is so embarrassing!” yells Matilda, as we watch a police officer get out of his car and stride purposefully towards us.
A red saloon car pulls in behind the police car. “Oh my god people are coming to watch me get fined!” I say, in a panic, as a tall man gets out of the red car.
The police officer reaches us first. “Everything ok ladies?” he asks.
Before I can say anything Matilda takes control of the situation. “Mam felt sick so we had to stop.”
The police officer looks at me. I can feel his beady brown eyes scanning my face. I place the back of my hand to my forehead and let out a whimper.
“She thinks she’s pregnant AGAIN!” says Matilda, rolling her eyes. “With her latest boyfriend’s child!”
I glare at my daughter.
The police officer nods and glances at the car. The driver’s door is open and the flashing red petrol light is winking at me. Gasp. I am seconds away from a fine.
“Everything ok Roxy?” says a familiar voice. I look up to see Martin, my line manager. Inside of me I let out an inner groan. He will give me so many lectures across the desks after this. My last speeding fine saw him take me in a meeting room and outline the key points of the Highway Code to me.
The police officer turns round to greet Martin.
“This woman says she feels unwell,” says the officer, as I slide myself in front of the driver’s door, strategically blocking the flashing petrol light with my sandbag thighs.
“I work with this lady, officer. She has a lot of time off for sickness.”
I glare at Martin, although secretly I agree with him, I do have a lot of time off.
The officer glances at each of us as his radio starts to crackle and pop. A voice tells him there is an accident further down the motorway. “As long as you are ok ma’am,” he says, nodding at me before walking back to his patrol car.
Relief washes over me. I have been saved from a fine by Martin.
“Oh martin, you’re my hero!” I exclaim.
Martin, my line manager is not the greatest at managing people. He spends half an hour each morning ringing his mother, from his desk, to check up on her bowel condition and reprimands me for things like not having enough staples in my stapler. He wears trousers which are too short for his spindly legs, he hasn’t bought himself a new shirt in years and his badminton match stories send me to sleep. He is a very dull man but tonight he is my hero.
He stares at Matilda who refuses to look up from her phone.
“We’ve run out of petrol!” I whisper.
Martin rolls his eyes. “Oh Roxy!” he groans. “When you are next in the office we will have a chat about keeping tabs on your petrol usage.”
I give him my best sugary smile. “I can’t wait for that, Martin. Will you help us?”
Shaz and I are tottering at speed into a bar in town. We have both squeezed ourselves into minuscule dresses and gigantic heels. My mass of flame red hair has been back combed like crazy and Shaz’s black hair has had the life straightened out of it.
I am in a good mood after Martin’s rescue. He took us to a petrol station and then drove us back to help get Brian’s car started again.
I tried to hug him afterwards but he reminded me that he was my line manager and HR would not deem a hug appropriate for a member of staff.
He never knew about what Marcus and I did at the staff Xmas party last year, I don’t think HR would deem our drunken antics appropriate either. I struggled to do any photocopying for months and the office junior, who found a hundred photocopies of my large jean clad bottom, the next morning, still to this day, cannot face being in the same lift as me.
Shaz orders a bottle of wine and grins. “Lets go wet Little Spike’s head!” she cries.
We’ve been joined by some other women from our social group. Useful Kim and Orange Lorna. More wine has been ordered.
Orange Lorna is telling us about her latest dating failure. “As he left my flat in the morning he said tanned women were not for him.”
Shaz casts Orange Lorna a sympathetic look.
Orange Lorna sweeps back her platinum blonde hair and takes a swig of wine. “I told him this was not a tan, but a light summer glow.”
We all stare at Orange Lorna’s heavily bronzed face, arms and legs.
“Useful Kim got me this stuff from Paris,” explains Orange Lorna, her green eyes twinkling.
Useful Kim nods with a smug look on her round face.
Orange Lorna beams. “It went on like a dream!”
Useful Kim and Orange Lorna high five each other.
I whisper to Shaz, “that’s NOT a light summer glow!”
“She’s got mahogany coloured legs!” I hiss.
“Useful Kim is trying to break into the tanning industry. Don’t tell Orange Lorna but the stuff came from Preston not Paris,” explains Shaz.
I roll my eyes and promise myself to never buy my fake bakes from Useful Kim.
“You still wearing your tag?” Orange Lorna asks Useful Kim. “I thought there was a curfew when you wore a tag.”
Useful Kim gives us a wink. “Had it removed this morning.”
We all raise our glasses. This was a good time to set some team ground rules for the night. “Ladies!” I say, tapping the table. “No unsavoury men and no drunken life changing decisions!”
“I think I love Marcus!” I say, hanging onto Shaz as we head for another bar. “I think I really LOVE him!”
Shaz nods. “He’s so fit for an older man Roxy!”
I find myself thinking about how handsome Marcus is. “Oh the things I want to do to him Shaz!”
Shaz lets out a shriek of laughter. “Stop it Roxy, you will make me start dreaming about Big Spike!”
This is Shaz’s latest boyfriend and the one she named her baby son after.
Big Spike and Shaz used to date at school. They got back together after Useful Kim had gone on a date with him.
Useful Kim claims her and Spike didn’t do much together on the first date. According to her they did stuff, but kept their clothes on, as her son Trevor was downstairs cleaning his motorbike and she had her tag on.
“I love Marcus so much,” I drunkenly whisper into Shaz’s ear.
Shaz and I are trying to dance, whilst Useful Kim belts out a Bonnie Tyler hit in the Karaoke bar.
“I think I will mess it up with Marcus,” I say, trying to remain upright by grabbing hold of Shaz.
She shakes her head. “He loves you Roxy, I saw it in his eyes whilst you were both pushing me in the wheelchair into the hospital maternity suite.”
In a drunken stupor I place a wet kiss on Shaz’s cheek, “thanks best bestie ever!”
“Listen up,” says Shaz. “I think I am going to get a tattoo!”
“What?” I shriek, staggering towards the table where Orange Lorna is sat inspecting her tan. This is big news.
Shaz grins and follows. “I want Spike’s name on my chest.”
“Arrrr thats so nice having your baby’s name as a tattoo!” I say, picking up my wine glass and draining it.
Shaz shakes her head. “It is more for Big Spike. A tattoo tells him this is a permanent thing between us.”
Tears prick my eyes. “That’s so beautiful, Shaz, getting your man’s name on your chest!”
Orange Lorna casts Shaz a puzzled look. “You’ve only been going out with him for a week or so.”
Shaz nods. “This thing between Spike and me is serious. He says once his third divorce comes through we will get married.”
I stare at Shaz, my eyes widening. “You are talking about marriage already?”
A grin spreads across Shaz’s glossy pink lips. “I am gonna need some fit bridesmaids!”
Orange Lorna and I raise our glasses in celebration.
“Where are you going to get the tattoo done?” I slur.
Shaz points to Useful Kim, who has returned from singing. “She knows just the man!”
I cast Shaz a puzzled look. “Useful Kim?”
Useful Kim links her arm through Shaz’s. “He’s excellent, this bloke,” she explains. “He does all my tattoos, my son Trevor’s, my Mam’s and old Nana’s.”
I start to feel dizzy. My drunken brain is trying to process this situation, something doesn’t feel right.
“Drink this!” orders Orange Lorna handing me a whiskey shot. “Useful Kim always sorts us out!”
We are sat in a tattoo parlour. Useful Kim is tucking into a tray of chips, Shaz is admiring her new ‘Spike’ tattoo, Orange Lorna is taking selfies of herself and I am sat in the tattooist’s chair.
Keith – Useful Kim’s friend is getting ready to tattoo my shoulder with the name ‘Marcus’.
In my drunken state I have decided that even though Marcus and I have only been together for a few days its time to make things permanent.
I made the announcement to the girls after a few more shots and a dance. They all cheered and said Marcus would get emotional at the sight of my tattoo. Shaz put her arm around me and said we could get our tattoos done together at the end of the night. Like proper besties! We then had a cry and sang ‘Sisters Are Doing It For Themselves.’
I am busy telling Orange Lorna all about my motorway incident and how Martin, my line manager, saved the day.
“Martin was my hero!” I exclaim.
Orange Lorna puts down her phone and raises one pencil sketched eyebrow. “Your boss is a hero? The weird one?”
I nod. “Yes the odd looking one.”
Orange Lorna shakes her head in disbelief and goes back to pouting into her phone.
I break away. “Ladies let us all raise our plastic cups of wine to Martin! If he hadn’t turned up and spoke to the police officer I would not have been able to hide the flashing petrol light with my sandbag thighs.”
Keith mumbles something which I can’t quite hear. “Martin is my hero!” I shriek, before passing out.
My relaxing day off has come to an abrupt end. I have woken up with a thumping head ache, breath like a wild dog, blood shot eyes and the name ‘Martin’ tattooed across my shoulder, alongside a pink heart.