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. She wants to find someone who will accept her chaotic life and crazy ways.
Lady luck has not been on Roxy’s side when it comes to men. Her first partner, Jon, informed her he was gay, whilst she was pregnant with their daughter, Matilda. Her second partner, Rob, father to Harry and Toby, ran off with the local barmaid, leaving Roxy 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 expensive side of town.
Last week Roxy struggled with pregnancy paranoia, her expanding waistline and Marcus’s tweet conversation with her attractive cousin, Mags.
Mystic Clive has just tweeted his Gemini horoscope.
‘You made a bad decision, Gemini. The Universe will send you a painful reminder today.
Yes, it will hurt but you are going to have to suck it up, buttercup!’
Marcus hands me a cup of tea as I frown at Mystic Clive’s tweet. “What has got into him?” I gasp, shaking my head at my phone.
“Are you talking about one of your ex’s?” Marcus asks, before sipping from his espresso.
I turn to Marcus. “It’s Mystic Clive. I’m not happy with his latest tweet.”
His eyebrows rise sharply. “Not Mystic Clive again?’
I roll my eyes. “Marcus, you know he’s my go to astrologer. Mystic Clive has a canny knack of predicting my day in one tweet.”
Marcus casts me a bewildered look as I flash him Mystic Clive’s Twitter profile.
“Is that a pink glittery suit he’s wearing?” Marcus raises his espresso cup to his lips.
I nod. “Did you know all his predictions come to him whilst he has a hot shower?”
Marcus chokes on his espresso. “The sign of a true professional.”
“He says I am going to be reminded of a bad decision today. I don’t make bad decisions so that’s wrong. Plus I am not his buttercup!”
I watch Marcus wearily rub his forehead and mutter something under his breath.
Matilda shuffles into the kitchen, scratching her mass of tangled bed hair and yawning. She’s wearing a minuscule night-shirt with the words, ‘SEXY GIRL’ emblazoned in gold across the front.
As she opens a cupboard I catch sight of the next door neighbour’s son, Freddy, trying to sneak out the front door.
“Freddy, what are you doing?” I shout, as he jumps out of his skin.
Matilda spins round to face me. “Mam, you said Freddy could stay as long as he wanted if we were studying.”
Marcus raises his eyebrows and goes back to reading his iPad.
I can feel irritation rising quickly inside of me. “That was last night, Matilda. I was overjoyed to see you doing some studying. I didn’t expect to see Freddy this morning. Where the hell did he sleep?”
Freddy comes to stand in the kitchen doorway, hunched over with hands stuffed in his pockets. He’s not raising his head. Something is wrong.”
“Freddy!” I bark, “look at me!”
He lifts his head to reveal a flushed face, messy hair and wonky black spectacles.
“What happened to your glasses, Freddy?” I gasp.
Matilda clears her throat. “I sat on them. We were excited about something and I sat on them.”
I take a large gulp of air and reassure myself with a ridiculous thought, this friendship between Matilda and Freddy is purely platonic.
“Mam, you said Freddy could stay as long as he wanted.”
“What was it your astrologer said about bad decisions, Roxy?” asks Marcus.
Marcus and I are going shopping for maternity clothes. It is time I stopped squeezing myself into non-maternity clothes. I am expanding at a horrifying rate.
“Why don’t you go check out the clothes you want and call me when you’re done?” Marcus says with a smile and gestures towards the cafe, across the road.
I hand the young woman on the fitting room my two pairs of maternity jeans and wait for my token.
She stops chewing her gum and studies me with two mascara clad green eyes. “You were on TV, on that singing show, weren’t you?”
A memory from my time on the TV Talent Show ‘Search For A Star’ comes rushing back. I am on stage and singing my heart out to the judges. This is quickly followed by a familiar ache from inside my chest.
I nod and try to bustle past her.
“The final is on tonight. Why aren’t you on it?”
I give her a puzzled look. “It didn’t feel right.”
She stares at me, before pulling out a long pink strand of gum and slowly wrapping it around her finger. “You were a good singer. I voted for you.”
Words fail me.
“Why did you drop out?”
I shift my weight from kitten heel to kitten heel and start to mumble. “I dropped out because my boyfriend…he umm….he didn’t like me….then I got pregnant.”
‘Dropping out was a big mistake!” says the shop assistant, handing me a pink token.
I hurry into the fitting room, muttering stuff about shop assistants poking their noses into customers business.
“I did not make a mistake!” I say to my reflection in the fitting room cubicle mirror after swishing the curtain across. “I pulled out of that singing show because I wanted to make my relationship with Marcus work. My singing dreams can wait!”
There’s a noise in the fitting room cubicle next to mine. “That doesn’t sound like a good decision,” says a concerned female voice.
I leave the fitting room in a hurry, cursing Mystic Clive.
Why do Mystic Clive’s tweets always mean something?
Why does a large, balding man from Birmingham, who wears a pink glittery suit in his Twitter profile and claims to come up with his predictions during a hot shower have so much hold over me?
Repeat: “I do not make bad decisions”
Marcus and I have dropped by Shaz’s new beauty salon to see how the renovation project is going.
Babs, the previous owner and Shaz’s old boss left the salon in a bit of a run down state so Shaz has decided to give the place a makeover.
Eventually this will be my new place of work.
As we enter the half decorated salon we can hear the sounds of drunken women giggling. At the back of the salon are Shaz, Useful Kim and Orange Lorna, all huddled over several bottles of wine and takeaway trays of kebab meat.
“Roxy!” they all slur in unison, as Marcus and I make their towards them.
Shaz hiccups. “We are having a little office party, Roxy.”
Marcus frowns and shakes his head whilst a large grin spreads across my face.
“We’re all going to be working here!” yells Useful Kim, raising aloft her wine glass. “Shaz wants me to sell my knock off tanning products.”
“Roxy, we will have such a laugh all working here,” shouts Orange Lorna. “It will be one long tanning and drinking session.”
Marcus leans in and whispers. “do you think you’ve made the right decision by agreeing to work here?”
I scowl at him. “I don’t make bad decisions.”
“This is not a serious business venture,” hisses Marcus. “You lot will just mess around turning innocent souls orange and waxing off men’s chest hair.”
I take him aside. “Please let me do this. I have a good feeling about this place.”
Marcus and I are sat watching the final of ‘Search For a Star’. The ache in my chest has returned. I thought it would be easy to watch but it isn’t.
All I can think about is how I could have been on that stage, wearing an amazing outfit and singing my heart out.
It has just hit me how close I came to the final. I could have got through to the final.
My friend from the show, Ritu, is singing her final song, ‘The Power of Love,’ by Jennifer Rush. Her dress is mesmerizing; a gold sequin studded maxi dress which accentuates her slim figure perfectly.
I am suddenly transported back to being a little girl, parading around my mother’s bedroom, wearing her red high heels and singing my heart out into a plastic bottle. My mother has just asked me what I want to be when I grow up. I’ve stopped singing, smiled and said, “a famous singer.”
“She’ll win this,” says Marcus, raising his bottle of beer at the TV screen.
Tears sting my eyes as I watch Ritu reach her song’s crescendo. “That could have been me,” I say in a croaky voice.
He places a warm hand on my arm. “We talked about this. You dropped out of that show for us. Since you stopped doing the show performances our relationship has gone from strength to strength.”
I put down my mug of peppermint tea and grab a handful of tissues. “It still hurts. All I have ever wanted is to be a singer.”
Marcus puts his arm around me. “We’re having a baby, Roxy. You couldn’t have gone through all those shows in your condition.”
I glare at him. “Being pregnant does not stop you from doing stuff like winning singing competitions.”
“Roxy, come on. This is getting silly. That TV programme split us up on several occasions. I couldn’t bear to watch you flirt with that celebrity judge.”
I hang my head.
“It is time to put your dreams on hold and be a mother, Roxy. Our baby needs you and so do your other three children. You also have a handsome partner who loves you.”
He strokes my cheek.
In the background I can hear the crowd cheering for Ritu.
“Kiss me, Roxy,” he whispers, massaging my shoulder. Marcus thinks a bit of romance on the sofa can solve all of life’s issues.
I am lying in bed, wide awake. Marcus is snoring gently beside me.
I tried to take my mind off the ‘Search For a Star’ final whilst we were locked in a passionate embrace on his sofa.
I struggled to stop imagining singing in the final, whist he was peppering my neck with kisses, but the day-dream was too strong.
He gave up on romance and went to sleep in a mood.
Mystic Clive was right. I made a bad decision.
I wonder what Ritu is doing now with her sparkling new record contract and legion of adoring fans on social media.
I let out a long stream of breath. Bad decisions are rubbish.
Mystic Clive is right. I have to suck it up and get on with my new life.
Wipe away tears in the darkness and like Mystic Clive’s tweet.
There will be more Roxy next week.