Welcome to The Diary of Roxy Collins – The Serious Relationship Series.
This serialised story (out every Thursday) is about Roxy Collins and the entries from her diary.
You can read about her emotional highs and lows, her motherhood challenges and her new serious relationship with Marcus, the man of her dreams.
Marcus lives on the posh side of town, he drives a flash car, is solvent and doesn’t mind her three spirited (polite term for nightmare) kids or the wobbly bits on her hips and thighs.
Can Roxy make this relationship work?
Story so far:
Last week Roxy went on a drunken night out with her friends Shaz, Useful Kim and Orange Lorna.
In a moment of cocktail fuelled madness Roxy decided to get Marcus’s name tattooed on her shoulder. Unfortunately Useful Kim’s tattooist friend, Keith, got mixed up and tattooed on the wrong name.
8.23 A.M. My favourite astrologer ‘Mystic Clive’ has tweeted to say, if you are a Gemini there will be an unexpected ending to your day.
All I have to look forward to is another gloomy evening spent staring at the name of my line manager, Martin, tattooed on my right shoulder.
I have replied to Mystic Clive’s tweet with #nochance.
“So then, Patricia,” purrs Martin, clutching the phone receiver, with a trembling bony hand, “what would you say your key strengths are?”
Someone taps me on the shoulder, distracting me from watching Martin. I spin round to see Helen from Accounts.
She gestures towards Martin. “Is he recruiting?”
I lean over to her, “he’s interviewing women from the internet before he goes on a date with them.”
We both turn to watch Martin take out his handkerchief, wipe his damp forehead and grin. Pressing the receiver to his spittle clad lips he whispers, “Patricia, how would you approach a date with the new captain of the local badminton team?”
I can’t believe his name is tattooed onto my shoulder. Since my new tattoo Martin has cranked up his weirdness. This morning he rang his mother, from the office, to ask her advice on his mysterious thigh rash and whether or not he should buy some talcum powder at lunch to put on it. Then he launched into a lengthy telephone interview with naughty Patricia from Swindon.
Added to my pain, Marcus used to be Martin’s boss. How will he react to my tattoo?
Helen grimaces and turns back to me. “Have you heard the latest rumour about Mr Gorgeous?”
When Marcus worked at this company his nickname amongst the female staff was ‘Mr Gorgeous’. I find myself hiding a blush with my long red hair.
“He’s off the market!” hisses Helen. “Some lucky woman is dating Mr Gorgeous.”
I force myself to look shocked. “Oh my goodness, do you know who she is?”
Helen shrugs. “All I know is that he’s crazy about her.”
My heart breaks into a wild gallop. Marcus is crazy about me.
A dark feeling puts the brakes on my racing heart. Marcus might be mad about me now, but what happens when he finds out about my tattoo?
“Can you imagine waking up next to Marcus?” Helen says, with a dreamy expression to her face.
I haven’t had the pleasure of waking up next to him yet. We were going to take our relationship to the next level on Saturday evening but the tattoo put a stop to that. I was forced to feign a tummy bug.
Marcus sent me a huge bouquet of flowers, which made me cry. After working my way through a box of tissues I drove round to Useful Kim’s house, to complain about Keith – her friend who gave me the tattoo.
When I arrived Useful Kim and Orange Lorna were sat outside on deck chairs in the front garden.
“Do you know what Keith has done to me?” I shouted, after tottering up the path towards them both.
“Is it the size of the love heart tattoo?” asked Useful Kim, swinging her plump legs. “I thought it should have been bigger?”
I scowled. “No, he put the WRONG name on my shoulder!”
Both Useful Kim and Orange Lorna stared at me.
“Keith wrote ‘Martin’ instead of ‘Marcus,’ I hissed.
Useful Kim reached behind her deck chair and brought out a huge colourful cocktail, complete with mini umbrella and straw. “Yea, Keith does get confused a lot,” she says popping a dark red cherry into her mouth.
Orange Lorna reached down behind her deck chair and took out a large bottle of tanning cream. “I know a good brand of fake tan which would cover it up,” she beamed. “On the bottle it promises a light summer glow but I can no longer see my moles or stretch marks….or anything for that matter.” She stopped to inspect her arms.
My eyes swept over her heavily bronzed face and limbs. “I think I will pass on the tan, thanks.”
“Listen, Roxy, I am sure this new bloke of yours won’t mind a tattoo, just say it was an old flame,” advised Useful Kim. “I have a couple of names on my back.”
Orange Lorna squealed with laughter. “A couple of names LOL! Your back has so many names it looks like a war memorial.”
It was then I realised I was not going to get much sense from them. I drove home, stuffed my face with chocolate and lay on the sofa, listening to soothing whale music.
Helen from Accounts coughs. “Have you heard about that TV programme – Search For A Star?”
I shake my head and try to block out Martin’s pervy snigger at one of Patricia’s answers.
“They are going to be holding singing auditions here in town. All you need to do is send them a video clip of you singing.” Helen takes out her phone to show me.
The headline on the website reads ‘The Nation’s Favourite Talent Show Is Back!’ My eyes linger over the prize; £100K and your own single professionally made in a recording studio with a top music producer. The thought of winning a TV competition and getting my own single makes me sit up straighter in my chair. Singing has always given me a buzz.
“Are you going to enter?” I ask Helen, recalling the last time the office went to a karaoke bar. After a few cocktails Helen and I got competitive and tried to out sing each other. I got more claps and cheers from our office colleagues, which Helen has never forgiven me for.
Helen grins. “I might do. What about you?”
The tattoo on my shoulder appears in my mind, quickly followed my Marcus’s handsome face. I shake my head. “I got too much on my mind right now.”
Marcus is my Prince Charming. I have been waiting such a long time for someone like him. Somehow I have to find a way of sorting out this tattoo mess. My singing career will have to wait.
Helen shrugs and catches sight of her friend Bev. “Catch you later, Roxy!”
Marcus has just text me. It reads, ‘Can I come and see u tonight? I can’t stop thinking about u xxxx’
His handsome face appears in my mind, those twinkling blue eyes of his release a swarm of butterflies into my chest. Damn it – I need to find someway of allowing him to seduce me with my right shoulder covered up.
Whilst Martin goes to get some drinks from the machine I search Google on my phone for ‘sexy lingerie tops with sleeves.’
Matilda is sat at the kitchen table, glued to her phone. “Mam, have you heard about that Search For A Star TV programme?” she asks. “They are going to be holding auditions in town.”
I look up from my miserable plate of lettuce leaves and beetroot. There is no culinary fun to be had with my latest diet. “Yea, Helen at work was telling me about it.”
My daughter stares at me. “You are not going to enter – are you?” she demands. “I would have to go live with Dad if you did that to me.”
The back door to our house crashes open and in strides Shaz, clutching her baby son, Little Spike.
Useful Kim and Orange Lorna are behind them.
“Roxy, finish your tea!” cries Shaz, “we have a singing audition video to make.” She passes Little Spike to Matilda. “You will thank for me this important baby practice when you are older.”
Shaz stands in front of me, hands on hips. “Roxy Collins, we’re forming a girl band and you are our third member.”
Matilda struggles to calm Little Spike who starts to grizzle in her arms.
“What?” I snap.
Shaz grins. “You, me and her..” She points at Orange Lorna, “are entering the ‘Search For A Star’ competition.’
Air gets trapped in my throat.
Useful Kim puts her hand on my shoulder. “Roxy, as you know I have spent a few months inside,” she explains. “So, I am the new band’s manager and head of merchandise.”
“No Shaz, No!” I say, flapping my arms at my best mate. “We’re not forming a girl band. For goodness sake I am thirty-six, you are thirty-seven and she is….” My voice fades away as all eyes settle on Orange Lorna. She smiles and gushes, “early forties.”
We all stare at Orange Lorna in disbelief. She exhales loudly and then rolls her eyes. “I know…I know what you’re all thinking…a tan makes me look a lot younger – right?”
An awkward silence descends upon my kitchen.
Orange Lorna nudges Useful Kim. “They say television makes you look a couple of shades lighter.” She stretches out her dark brown arms. “Think I will need to tan up for the live shows.”
Matilda and Little Spike both cast Orange Lorna a horrified look.
“Look Shaz,” I say, rising from my chair, “I’m sorry but I need to concentrate on sorting out this tattoo mess with Marcus. ”
Shaz mutters something under her breath. “Roxy, how many times have I told you? Be honest with Marcus.” Both Useful Kim and Orange Lorna nod. Shaz continues. “Tell him you got drunk and got a tattoo. It happens to the best of us.”
“I can’t do that. Marcus is a quality bloke, who wants a classy lady. If I explained Friday to him he’d never see me again.”
Useful Kim drapes her arm over my shoulder. “When you are rich and famous he won’t care who is tattooed on your shoulder.”
I release myself from Useful Kim. “All pop stars nowadays are skinny, young…”
Orange Lorna interrupts me with a smile. “And tanned.”
Shaz claps her hands. “Ladies, what the music industry needs right now is a group of women in their late thirties, who look hot and like to sing some classic pop tunes from back in the day.”
Orange Lorna performs a little jig on the spot. “Genius Sharon!”
“We can’t sing!” I exclaim. “Yes, we do karaoke a lot, but singing on live TV is a different matter.”
Shaz tries to calm me down by changing the subject. “Do you want to know what our new girl band is going to be called?”
I give her a puzzled stare.
A huge grin spreads across Shaz’s face. “Everyone place their hands on the kitchen table.”
Orange Lorna is the first to place her bronzed hands on the table, followed by Useful Kim, Shaz and then me.
“The name of the band has something to do with our hands,” explains Shaz. “What do we all have in common?”
“Fake tan marks,” pipes up Matilda. “Old looking hands?”
Shaz shakes her head, casting my daughter a scowl.
Orange Lorna lets out a high-pitched squeal. “Are we going to be called the ‘Acrylic Sisters?’
“Nope,” says Shaz. “We are going to be called The Diamante Girls.’
We all stare at each other’s diamante clad nails. I am the first to speak. “This is madness. We don’t know any songs or dance moves.”
Useful Kim turns to me, “I have some useful contacts in showbiz.” She runs a hand through her tightly permed short hair. “When I was inside I shared a cell with a famous dance choreographer called Raunchy Rita. She’ll work on the band’s dance moves.”
“Raunchy Rita?” I query.
Useful Kim nods. “She told me all the famous people have used her at some point.”
“Roxy,” announces Shaz. “We need to practice. Can we use your living room?”
Matilda rises from her chair carrying Little Spike. “Mam, don’t do this. Think of your kids!” she pleads.
“Don’t worry we won’t get a proper audition,” I say, before hurrying into the lounge.
“She sounds like a fella,” I hiss to Shaz as Orange Lorna belts out a song none of us have ever heard of.
Useful Kim claps her hands to silence Orange Lorna. “Right then Diamante Girls, it is time to practice together as a girl band”
After our 3rd rendition of The Weather Girls classic hit ‘It’s Raining Men’, I open the front door to a bewildered looking Marcus.
“I won’t ask what you are doing in there,” he gasps, wiping his brow. “But you can hear that racket from half way down the street!”
Just tweeted Mystic Clive with #youwererightagain (thumbs emoji) and #unexpectedevents.
He tweeted back with @RoxyCollins ‘Can you share with us?’
I tweeted #InANewGirlBand. There was no response from Mystic Clive. Obviously busy writing tomorrow’s horoscopes.
I left out the bit about kissing Marcus like crazy….in the dark once the rehearsal had finished.
There will be more from Roxy next Thursday.