Welcome to The Diary of Roxy Collins – The Serious Relationship Series.
Every Thursday you can read Roxy’s diary entries. They record the emotional highs and lows of her new serious relationship with Marcus, the man of her dreams. He lives on the posh side of town, drives a flash car and doesn’t mind her wild kids or the wobbly bits on her hips and thighs. Has Roxy finally found true love?
How will their new relationship survive when Roxy enters the TV talent show ‘Search For a Star’? Will Roxy be a hit in the Over 25’s singing category?
It’s lunchtime. Bev and I are having a chat at our desks, whilst we eat our homemade salads. She works next to me in the office.
“You out tonight Roxy?” Bev asks, before stuffing a huge tomato into her tiny mouth.
I cast her a mischievous smile. “Girls night in.”
A grin spreads across Bev’s face as she munches on her tomato.
“We haven’t had a good catch up in ages,” I explain, checking my phone to see whether Useful Kim has replied to our WhatsApp group messages.
Bev picks up another massive tomato, before saying, “what’s been going on with you all then – any drama?”
I roll my eyes. “Useful Kim is dating a new bloke called Doug, Orange Lorna is trying out a new online dating site called ‘Plenty of Fish in the Sea’ and Shaz is having some issues with Big Spike.”
Bev gasps before shoving a second gigantic tomato into her mouth.
My phone bleeps with another WhatsApp message. Useful Kim has uploaded a photo of a burly man’s face, complete with bald head, a sinister looking scar down his left cheek and an eyebrow piercing. The sight of him makes me take a sharp intake of breath. Useful Kim follows it with #Doug #FIT #DreamMan
I flash Doug’s photo at Bev, who chokes in shock. Her hand fails to reach her mouth and she sprays her keyboard with tomato bits. I hand her some tissues.,
“It’s nice to have a good night in with the girls isn’t it?” croaks Bev, mopping up her mess. “The trouble with life nowadays is that we are all so busy we never get to catch up with friends.”
“Oh I agree Bev,” I sigh. “I mean we talk all the time on WhatsApp, but we still are in desperate need of some girlie chat.”
I send an array of hand clapping emojis to Useful Kim. Even though Doug looks like someone I would rather not bump into on a dark night, I have to support my friend.
Shaz replies to the WhatsApp group message with a series of love heart emojis. Orange Lorna responds with a large thumbs up emoji. Useful Kim uploads another photo of her and Doug kissing each other.
“Are you lot drinking tonight?”
I look up, feeling a bit sick at the sight of Useful Kim’s serpent like tongue . “Silly question Bev – yes!”
Bev puts away her salad box and takes out a large chocolate cookie. “Balanced diet,” she says, noticing me gazing longingly at it. “You heard anymore from that singing competition you entered?”
I shake my head. “Not a peep, but looking back now I don’t think I sounded that great.”
Bev’s eyes widen in surprise. “Roxy, you are the queen of karaoke, I don’t think I have ever heard you sing something bad.”
I let out a sigh.
“No lies. You sound just like Cher, Roxy!” Bev points to the photo pinned above my office desk.
“I’m not hearing Cher in my voice when I sing though,” I say, staring at my music idol and recalling my dreadful singing during the audition clip. Thank goodness I had Shaz and Orange Lorna singing their hearts out beside me. “Do you think Cher ever doubted herself Bev?”
Loud munching sounds fill the air. Bev is working her way through the cookie. In between bites she shakes her head, “Roxy, you don’t doubt your singing voice if you’re Cher.”
I nod. “Yea good point.”
Bev gives my arm a reassuring squeeze. “You’ll hear Cher soon. Stay calm, Roxy.”
I am busy tidying up the living room, plumping up cushions, lighting some pretty candles and dousing the room with my new floral room scent spray.
“OMG you’re actually tidying,” exclaims Matilda, from the doorway. I roll my eyes at her.
Frank the dog whines at us from his basket. “Will you take Frank out for a walk, as its my girlie night in tonight?”
Matilda shakes her head. “Sorry, no, Matt’s coming over and dog walking is not on our list of things to do.”
“A dog walk can be a romantic activity,” I say, replaying in my head last night’s dog walk with Marcus. We went to the park, hand in hand with Frank, who happily trotted along beside us.
In the park I got this sudden urge to kiss Marcus like crazy. He looked so handsome with his grey quiff and soft pink lips. Picking up on my romantic vibes he pulled me behind a large tree. Marcus and I did so much kissing behind the tree, afterwards we were in desperate need of my soothing Aloe Vera lip balm.
I come back to reality to watch Matilda screwing up her face in disgust. “I saw your red sweaty face when you came back from your dog walk last night, Mam. There is no way Matt and I are going on some energetic dog hike. How many miles did you walk?”
My cheeks start to heat up. I look away quickly. Marcus and I walked up the street, turned into the park, kissed behind a tree for a good hour and staggered home again. Matilda does not need to know this.
The doorbell rings out. I can hear squeals of laughter outside. “My friends are here, can you go ask Harry or Toby to take Frank out?”
Matilda glides upstairs, whilst I open the door.
Useful Kim is the first to enter wearing a black biker jacket, tight-fitting black leather trousers and a low-cut white top. She holds aloft a bottle of Cava. “I hope you realise the sacrifice I have made to come here tonight,” she says.
I cast her a puzzled look.
“My new man, Doug. We had other things planned for tonight,” she gushes, giving me a wink. “I am hoping he is still awake when your soiree finishes.”
Orange Lorna pushes Useful Kim along. “Are you still going to help me with my online dating profile pic, Roxy?”
I nod and try not to look surprised at the colour of her latest false tan. Tangerine is the colour which springs to mind.
Shaz comes in behind them and closes the door. “Still not heard anything about our ‘Search For a Star’ entry,” she groans. “After checking my bank account tonight I could do with becoming a famous pop star.”
We all head into the living room.
Useful Kim settles herself on the sofa and takes out her phone. She lets out a sigh and starts to tap away on it. “Doug has such a way with words.”
Orange Lorna sits down beside Useful Kim and grabs her phone from her handbag. After checking how she looks in the camera she starts to take some selfies of herself.
Shaz flops into the armchair and slides out her phone from her jacket. She takes one look at it and rolls her eyes. “Big Spike has been liking that woman’s Facebook posts again.”
I grab my tray of wine glasses and open Useful Kim’s bottle of Cava.
“Which woman?” asks Orange Lorna, smearing on a layer of lip gloss before taking a new selfie.
Shaz shakes her head. “The one I told you about on WhatsApp this morning.”
Useful Kim grabs her glass of Cava. “Just ignore it, she’s probably some woman from work. A like on Facebook doesn’t mean anything.” She takes a swig of wine. “I met Doug through Facebook.”
Orange Lorna stops taking selfies and stares at Useful Kim. “He liked your photo of you sunbathing didn’t he?”
“I won’t lie, he liked what he saw of me in the back garden,” Useful Kim explains, running her hand through her tight black perm, whilst staring into space with a dreamy expression on her face.
“Wasn’t he seeing someone else last week…when he liked your Facebook photo?” enquired Orange Lorna, going back to taking selfies of herself.
Shaz chokes on her Cava. “What?”
We need to quickly change the subject. “So let’s do this photo?” I say, looking at Orange Lorna.
She grins, gets to her feet and passes me her phone. “I want to go for the travel blogger look, Roxy.”
After glancing at Shaz and then at Useful Kim, who both shrug their shoulders I turn back to Orange Lorna. “You’re not a travel blogger?”
Orange Lorna smiles. “I might have become one…overnight.”
We all gasp.
Revelling in the attention Orange Lorna lets out an excited giggle. “I have started a travel blog.”
Useful Kim snorts with laughter. “You only travel to the pub and tanning salon.”
“No one will know I don’t physically travel,” sighs Orange Lorna. “My profile pic will confirm their thinking. All travel bloggers are beautiful and tanned.”
Shaz shakes her head in bewilderment. “So, what do you blog about then?”
Orange Lorna grins. “I make stuff up and photoshop some of my Mam’s holiday snaps from Marbs. Come on take my photo quick, Roxy!”
“Will this go down well on your dating site?” asks Useful Kim. “You being a travel blogger?”
“Men flock to travel bloggers on dating sites,” explains Orange Lorna. “I will be very popular soon.”
Useful Kim gulps back a mouthful of Cava. “Why do you think men like the sound of a travel blogger?”
Orange Lorna shrugs. “We’re tanned, we travel a lot and we’re interesting. Plus there’s always the possibility of a free holiday.”
I take several shots of Orange Lorna who pulls a variety of poses.
My phone bleeps as Orange Lorna and Useful Kim inspect the photos. “You look very creative on that one,” gushes Useful Kim.
It’s Marcus. I gasp. “He wants to take me to a swanky hotel next weekend.” The thought of having some ‘naughty time’ (as Marcus calls it) in a plush hotel with no kids or dogs makes my heart accelerate. The hotel he has chosen is one of the best in town.
Shaz groans, staring at her phone. “I wish Big Spike would stop liking that woman’s photos and take me to a posh hotel.”
“But…what about the tattoo?” I whimper, clutching my right shoulder, where the name of my line manager Martin is tattooed onto my shoulder. Tears prick my eyes, so I quickly drain my glass of Cava.
Shaz’s phone bleeps as I start to have an emotional break down about my tattoo. She lets out a shriek. “OMG we have an audition!”
We all gasp.
“The Diamanté Girls have an audition on the ‘Search For a Star’ show. OMG we are going to be famous!” shouts Shaz.
Useful Kim and Orange Lorna squeal and rise to their feet.
“When is our audition?” I ask.
“Weekend after this one,” replies Shaz.
I stare at Marcus’s text. “But I am supposed to be going away with Marcus for a romantic weekend.”
Useful Kim comes over and places her hand on my shoulder. “Nothing more romantic than watching your girlfriend and her pop group audition on ‘Search For a Star.’
Orange Lorna nods whilst typing something into her phone. “Just updating my dating profile, not only am I a successful travel blogger but I am also about to sign a recording contract.”
“Blimey there’ll be no more fish in the sea by the time she (points to Orange Lorna) has launched her dating profile,” squeals Useful Kim.
“We need more wine!” cries Shaz.
I race into my kitchen and grab a bottle of Pinot Grigio. “This is all I have, once this has gone, there will only be sherry left,” I gasp once back in the living room.
Useful Kim nods. “Sherry is what this new pop band needs.”
Matilda bursts into the living room. “Don’t let Mam sing Cher!” she cries. “Only bad things happen when Mam sings Cher hits.”
Useful Kim shakes her head. “Your Mam’s warming up by herself,” she explains, pointing to me, stood on the sofa, swaying and singing. “The Diamanté Girls will not be covering any Cher hits.”
Orange Lorna pours us all another glass of sherry.
“Roxy, you…sound…A.M.A.Z…” Useful Kim hiccups and scratches her black perm, as she thinks about how the rest of the word should be spelt. She drains her glass of sherry.
Orange Lorna’s loud snores fill the living room. I glance over at her, lying on her back between the coffee table and Frank’s dog basket.
“The travel blogger’s taxi is here,” mutters Shaz, picking up Orange Lorna’s tangerine coloured ankles and dragging her across the floor, towards the front door. Useful Kim and I watch Orange Lorna’s large body slide past us.
“There goes one of the Diamanté Girls,” observes Useful Kim, “obviously overcome with excitement about her new pop career.”
I place a hand on Useful Kim’s shoulder and try to steady myself, as my living room starts to sway. “Such a big moment for me,” I slur. “I am starting to sound like Cher.”
Useful Kim grins. “This girl band is coming together.”
There will be more from Roxy next week. I feel so blessed to have a character entering a TV talent show. Thank you Blonde Writer Muse for giving me this wonderful opportunity to live through the eyes of my character, Roxy. You are the best!
For more parts please click here.