Welcome to the Diary of Roxy Collins – The Serious Relationship Series.
Every Thursday you can read Roxy’s latest diary entry.
What has happened so far?
Roxy, a thirty something, single mother of three spirited children, is looking for love and wants to find someone who will accept her chaotic life and crazy ways.
She’s not had much luck with men. Her first partner, Jon, informed her he was gay, whilst she was pregnant with Matilda. Her second partner, Rob, father to Harry and Toby, ran off with the local barmaid, leaving her destitute with three children. Luckily Brian, her 68-year-old landlord and emotional rock in life let her rent his late mother’s house.
Roxy is currently pregnant with her fourth child to boyfriend, Marcus. They finally got together after a series of communication mishaps and situations fuelled by Roxy’s runaway emotions. Roxy and her kids have moved into Marcus’s big house on the posh side of town.
My favourite astrologer, Mystic Clive has just tweeted his latest Gemini horoscope. It reads:
The universe will send you several important signs today, Gemini. Don’t ignore them!
I shake my head with disapproval at his tweet. All this universe mumbo jumbo Mystic Clive tweets about irritates me. The universe has never attempted to communicate with me and I can’t see it starting today.
After wiping a layer of sweat from my brow and putting down my phone, I return to lying on my bedroom floor, wrestling with my work trousers. They are refusing to be flexible over my three month pregnancy belly.
“You have to cut me a bit of slack here, trousers!” I gasp, rolling onto my side and heaving them up over my hips.
Thrashing my legs about gives me some valuable wriggle room.
“I will know when the time is right to buy maternity clothes!” I shriek.
Yanking my trousers together and cutting off my blood supply I mutter, “I am ONLY three months pregnant for goodness sake. No one buys maternity clothes at three months!”
I am stood at the mirror staring in horror at my reflection.
“This is ridiculous! Marcus’s washing machine must be shrinking my clothes,” I snap struggling to do up several buttons on my shirt.
“Today is going to be renamed, limited body movement day,” I say, with a smile to my reflection.
Sometimes I surprise myself at the good ideas I come up with. If I don’t make any sudden movements; stretch out my limbs or bend down, my clothes will stay in one piece. No one at work will guess I am pregnant.
“I have decided not to tell work yet about being pregnant,” I say, shuffling into the kitchen, as Marcus and the kids devour their breakfast. “I mean its not like I look pregnant – is it?”
Marcus chokes on his scrambled egg and Matilda takes one look at me before erupting into a coughing fit.
“Wow, Mam, so many safety pins?” Toby turns round to point at the army of pins holding in my swollen belly.
One of my favourite Wham songs comes on the radio and in a bid to forget about the clothing trauma I have just been through I find myself breaking into an impromptu dance.
Marcus points at my shirt and coughs.
I look down and groan. My red lacy bra is waving to me through a huge gap in my shirt.
Repeat mental note. Today is limited body movement day.
“I am so pleased with the hair cut you gave me,” says Marcus, rubbing the back of his shaved head. “I didn’t know you could do magic with hair clippers.”
A proud smile spreads across my face. “It’s what you have to do when you have kids and there is no money for hairdressers.”
Marcus leans over to plant a kiss on my cheek. “You have a talent, Roxy. Do you have any other magic tricks I don’t know about it?”
I let out a contented sigh and get up from my chair to turn over my six sausages, cooking under the grill.
“Do you really need to eat that many sausages?” asks Marcus, popping his plate into the dishwasher.
“Its a craving,” I say, with a goofy happy expression on my face, “I have been dreaming about sausages all night.”
Marcus gives me an odd look and leaves the kitchen.
Bev, the woman who sits next to me in the office, grins as I sit down at my desk.
Whilst I act like I have nothing to hide (rearrange my two staplers and make a pattern on my desk with coloured paper clips), Bev stuffs a huge orange segment into her mouth.
Halfway through eating the segment and with a mouthful of orange, Bev decides to tell me what’s on her mind. “You got something to tell us, Roxy?”
Before I shake my head, I wipe away a layer of orange debris from my desk. “No, I don’t, Beverly.”
“You always play with your paper clips when something is going on.”
There’s no way I am telling Bev about my pregnancy. I will tell everyone at work when the time is right. I turn away quickly and rise up from my chair. Martin my boss is on the phone. He glances at me and then does a double take.
“Mother, I have to go, there’s a pressing staff issue I need to sort out.”
“Morning, Martin,” I say, sweetly.
His beady snake eyes are fixated on my shirt. I let out an inner groan and look down. Once again my red lacy bra is saying hello.
Repeat mental note. Today is limited body movement day.
“Roxy, do I need to call HR?” Martin grips his phone receiver, as the colour drains away from his face. “I have a steady girlfriend and your situation at home…well…I’m not sure I could put up with all those kids and..”
I do up my shirt, grab some safety pins from my drawer and make a dash for the ladies loo.
Bev is staring at me with an odd expression. Once again I have resorted to making a pattern out of paper clips.
Martin shakes a piece of paper at me. “Roxy, Mary from Accounts is having a buffet on the first floor for her birthday. She asked me whether you wanted to nip up there?”
“A buffet?” I murmur, rising quickly from my seat, to the sound of several shirt buttons popping with buffet excitement.
Martin lets out a wail. “Roxy, for goodness sake I am not interested! I am your line manager and Linda is the ladies badminton captain at the sports centre. She also likes the way I cook Toad in the Hole.”
Repeat mental note three times. Today is limited body movement day.
“You did some damage to that buffet,” says Bev, whilst peeling her fifth orange of the day.
I let out a nervous laugh, wipe some crumbs still lingering around my mouth and turn back to my computer screen.
“Helen, from Accounts claims at one point you were seen stuffing three sausage rolls into your mouth. Mary wasn’t that impressed. She only had slim pickings from her own buffet.”
I shake my head. “Helen would say that, she’s jealous of me living with Marcus.”
“Have you got anything to tell me, Roxy?”
My mobile rings. Its my best friend, Shaz.
“Great Aunt Maud has died.”
“Oh, Shaz, I am so sorry,” I gush, trying to remember whether Shaz has ever mentioned Great Aunt Maud.
“Its okay, Roxy. Great Aunt Maud was over a hundred and she died whilst having her nails done.”
I gasp. “Really? What a way to go – eh?”
“She wanted to go during a French manicure and she got her wish. Her beautician said Great Aunt Maud looked like she’d fallen asleep during the final top coat. Apparently it was a beautiful moment in the salon as the lights were dimmed and they had whale music playing.”
“Wow, what a way to pass over!”
“She’s left all her money to me,” Shaz squeaks down the phone.
“What?” I gasp.
“Yea I was the only one in the family who visited in her in the nursing home. We’re talking big money, Roxy!” Shaz cries. “Great Aunt Maud was minted. My money worries are over.”
Tears of happiness for Shaz well up in my eyes. “Oh Shaz, that is amazing!”
“Guess what, Roxy?”
I take a breath.
“I am buying Bab’s Hair and Beauty Salon from her!”
Shaz has been working for Babs in her salon, however a month ago Babs decided to move to America to be with her boyfriend. If Great Aunt Maud’s inheritance had not come through Shaz would have been unemployed.
“OMG that’s amazing!” I gush, imagining Shaz’s beauty salon. A pang of jealousy goes through me. Here am I stuck in this dreary office, pregnant with my fourth child, sat next to Bev who has an addiction to oranges and opposite Martin, who keeps looking at my chest to see if anymore buttons have come undone.
“Do you fancy coming to work for me, Roxy?”
Shaz giggles down the phone. “Yea, you. This could be our project, together.”
“But, what would I do?” I ask, scratching my head.
“Be on reception, sort out my marketing, balance my books and use your Search For a Star fame to help promote my business?”
I let out a groan at the mention of the TV talent show. “Shaz, I have pulled out of it.”
“WHAT?” Shaz’s voice is so loud I have to take the phone away from my ear.
“Marcus didn’t like me doing it so I emailed the TV producers.”
Shaz exhales loudly. “You should never give up on your dreams for a man, Roxy. That was a silly mistake. You will regret that. Now – are you going to come and work for me?”
There’s no way I can work for Shaz. She wouldn’t be able to pay me the wages I get here and I need my salary to pay for the kids. Plus I have a baby on the way and a new man to care for.
On the other hand the thought of working with Shaz in our own salon makes me feel a bit excited. Going to work wouldn’t be such a chore.
“Think about it, Roxy,” says Shaz.
I hang up, feeling deflated.
Martin has taken me into a meeting room as he needs to have a private chat with me.
I am sat praying this is not about my clothing situation.
As he shuffles some bits of paper I recall Mystic Clive’s tweet from earlier about signs from the universe. What a load of mumbo jumbo! I haven’t had any signs today from the universe. To be honest I am not sure what a sign from the universe looks like. I wonder whether there is a trumpet fanfare before the sign appears.
“Roxy, bad news,” informs Martin. “The company are relocating, up to Scotland.”
There will be more from Roxy next week.