Heaven Calling – Part 2 Fictional Series #Comedy #Marriage #Dating


Welcome to my weekly blog series – Heaven Calling.

This series is out every Thursday on BlondeWriteMore.

For part 1 please click here.

Recap: Camilla’s enjoyment of heaven life came to an abrupt end last week after she made a shocking discovery about her husband, Gerry. He’d decided to start dating after spending two years mourning her. Two years felt a little short to Camilla. In view of her amazing wife skills she was expecting Gerry to grieve for at least twenty years.

As she had a good working relationship with God and her team of angels, Camilla hoped they would be able to offer some assistance to her, in getting Gerry back to a state of mourning.

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The Diary of Roxy Collins – OMG He’s a Rat #romance #chicklit #MondayBlogs






8.45 A.M. Two things have come into my life; my ex-boyfriend Dan and my youngest son Toby’s new pet rat ‘Bob’.

I can’t say I am happy with the arrival of Bob and I can’t say my landlord Brian is thrilled either. However Bob has stopped Toby talking to his imaginary friend Malcolm. Big sigh of relief!

Brian, my 67 year old landlord, clutched his chest and went an odd grey colour at the sight of Toby’s new pet. I had no other choice but to leap into action and manoeuvre Brian out of the house before he thought too much about Bob. I promised him that Bob the rat will be properly cared for and will never be left unattended to roam free around the house.

Brian staggered off down the path muttering and shaking his head.

Just listening to Toby chat away to Bob in his cage. Its great for kids to have pets. Sigh!

8.47 A.M. I need to get a wriggle on and pack my overnight  case.

I am back with my ex Dan.

Jake and I were not really suited to each other. He seemed petrified of me the whole time. I never understood why. Dan is not scared. He likes my kind of crazy!

Dan is taking me away for the night to a fancy hotel. It is a chance for us to celebrate getting back together. Shaz, my best mate, says second time around relationships are great.

I am a bit nervous. I don’t know why but I always end up getting into some sort of drama at fancy hotels. In the past I have avoided them. Rob, my ex, refused to take me to a nice hotel as he said I would end up causing a scene.

Mystic Clive, my favourite astrologer, told me that I had to take a risk this week so I accepted Dan’s gift of a night away with him in a fancy hotel.

10.15 A.M. Still not packed my overnight case. Its lying open on the kitchen table, half full with an assortment of clothes and underwear. I can’t decide what to wear for a posh dinner in a fancy hotel so I am packing at least 4 outfits. Decision will be made later.

Arguing with Matilda, my teenage daughter, about her choice of outfit to the local shopping centre with her friends.

‘It looks like a belt [her skirt] Matilda!’ I shriek pointing in horror at the miniscule strip of denim around her waist.

‘Mam its called fashion!’ Matilda yells back at me.

‘You are NOT wearing THAT and those HUGE heels – NO!’ I scream back at her.

‘I HATE YOU RIGHT NOW!’ screeches Matilda.

‘Mam’ says Toby tugging at my arm.

‘Not now Toby’ I say striding after Matilda who is tottering towards the front door.

‘COME BACK HERE!’ I scream at her as she gives me a wink and opens the door.

‘Mam!’ urges Toby.

‘What?’ I snap, still glaring at Matilda.

‘Bob’s gone missing’ whispers Toby.

10.17 A.M. Time grinds to a halt as I flick my head to stare in horror at Toby.

‘Better dash Mam!’ says Matilda seizing her opportunity and slipping out of the door.

‘You promised me he wouldn’t escape’ I say to my nine year old.

‘He was anxious and needed a cuddle’ says Toby.

‘Toby he’s a RAT!’ I scream, ‘rats don’t suffer with anxiety!’

Speaking of anxiety here comes Brian, my landlord, up the path. OMG!

10.19 A.M. Brian has come to fix the loo.

‘How’s the pet Toby?’ he asks as he starts to climb the stairs.

‘He’s asleep in his cage’ I say quickly.

10.23 A.M. Toby and I are on our hands and knees searching the conservatory, whilst calling ‘Bob!’

10.32 A.M. Brian, the landlord wants to see Bob in his cage in the conservatory. My whole body is trembling. If he finds out there is a rat loose in the house the kids and I could be finding another place to rent.

Time for Roxy the actress to make an appearance!

‘Oh Brian I don’t feel very well’ I say putting my hand to my forehead.

‘You do look a bit peaky’ says Brian looking concerned.

‘Think I need to sit down’ I say slumping into a chair, whilst praying Brian will leave the kitchen and not go out into the conservatory to see the empty cage.

I place my head in my hands for maximum impact.

‘Good grief – what is that?’ exclaims Brian.

I can feel the blood drain from my face as I lift my head up, half expecting him to have found Bob the rat in the kitchen.

Brian is stood clutching his chest, looking an odd shade of grey and staring at my overnight case.

To my relief its just my choice of underwear hanging out of the case.

For the second time in a week I quietly manoeuvre my landlord out of my house and watch him walk down the path muttering and shaking his head.

11.10 A.M  Brian has left. We still haven’t found Bob the rat.

Toby is crying at the kitchen table.

Harry my other son is on the floor in the kitchen, waving bits of lettuce and shouting ‘BOB!’

2.00 P.M. Still no sign of Bob the rat.

We have been around the house shouting ‘Bob’. I haven’t even had chance to question whether rats answer to their name.

Toby and Harry are being led away snivelling by their father Rob.

3.00 P.M. Dan is outside in the car. I am off for a fancy night in a hotel.

As we pass Brian in his garden I give him a little wave and he looks away.

4.00 P.M. Whilst Dan is getting our room key I decide to head for the bar. I need a little glass of wine to take the edge off my frazzled mental state.

It has been an emotional day with Matilda’s skirt choices and the disappearance of Bob the rat.

I am also worried about my night in this beautiful hotel. It seems far too posh for me and there is always drama where I am concerned.

If anything goes wrong I will blame Mystic Clive.

4.10 P.M. Dan has joined me in the hotel bar. He gives me a kiss on the cheek and asks me whether there is anything wrong.

I explain that things never go right for me in posh hotels. Dan gives me a cuddle and tells me that we will have a wonderful night.

4.15 P.M. My phone bleeps. Its Rob, my ex, telling me that Toby is inconsolable about Bob the rat.

Here comes the mother guilt. I am sat drinking wine with handsome man whilst youngest son is having a breakdown about a lost pet!’

7.23 P.M. Doing my makeup in our hotel room. Dan has already commented how beautiful I look in my dress. He looks very handsome too.

I am stood in the bathroom trying to recreate Kim Kardashian’s contouring look but failing miserably.

‘Good grief what is that?’ screeches Dan from the bedroom.

I groan. What is it with men and my choice of underwear?

Why can’t a girl (woman in her thirties) have nice….colourful…tiny underwear garments?

I drop my makeup brush and race out of the bathroom. Dan is stood white faced by the door.

My eyes fall upon Bob the rat, sticking up out of my case and sniffing the air.

‘OMG it’s BOB!’ I scream!

‘What?? You know the RAT sticking it’s head out of your knickers ROXY?’ shrieks Dan.

I blame Mystic Clive for everything.


For more Roxy please click here


Things to Avoid Saying to a Reader After The Death of a Loved Character #reader #books

Things to Avoid Saying to a Reader Grieving After The Death of a Loved Character

It is terrible when a much loved fictional character dies in the book that you are reading. The grief that you go through can be painful, emotionally draining and can last a few chapters.

If loved ones don’t tread carefully with their remarks during this challenging time they could find themselves with a cold stare, a strop or even an emotional outburst.

This blog post is a list of the things NOT to say to a reader, who is distraught over the death of their much loved fictional character.

For noting: I have also added some thoughts from the reader on hearing these inflammatory comments. I tried to put myself in the reader’s shoes and jotted down my own responses.

The more I got into this role play the more irritated I felt by the end of this list. My poor loved one could not understand why I was a little prickly with him…sigh!

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The Diary of Roxy Collins – Tears In The Loo #romcom #Chicklit




3.16 P.M. I am creeping out of the ladies toilet with red puffy eyes and a handful of tissues.

Just had an emotional breakdown in the loo over:

  • Dan going back to Clara.
  • Being thirty something with three kids, two ex partners, living in a shabby rented house and no sign of Prince Charming.
  • My weight. My wobbly bits are getting bigger. No man is going to find me attractive  and no man is ever going to fall in love with me.
  • Coming to the conclusion that I am a lost cause.

3.18 P.M. Had to nip back into the toilet and go hide in a cubicle as the tears returned. I need to pull myself together. All this upset over a man, my life and my wobbly bits.

I believed Dan when he said Clara was out of his life. I took his word and in my head planned out a wonderful future for us. He betrayed me.

3. 20 P.M. I am once again creeping out of the toilets. By the time I get back to my desk upstairs my eyes will have gone back to normal and no one will know that I have been crying in a toilet.

Keep repeating ‘I must get a grip of myself!’

3. 21 P.M. Turn corner in corridor and bump smack bang into Marcus, my senior manager. The one who I kissed over a photocopying machine at a Christmas party last year and the one who saved me in the cinema from my vampire date, a few weeks ago.

Avert eyes to the floor.

‘Are you ok Roxy?’ he asks softly.

This is the worst thing anyone can say to me when I am trying to stop being emotional.

I can’t hold it back.

Here it comes. A huge wave of tears, loud sobbing, inability to get my breath and a runny nose.

3.24 P.M. Marcus has escorted me to a quiet area of the staff canteen. He’s cancelled his meeting and has gone to buy me a coffee.

I am sat telling myself to get a grip. Crying in front of senior management is basically like hailing a ‘career taxi!’

3.27 P.M. Marcus has amazing blue eyes. He’s talking to me and I am distracted. Why haven’t I noticed these before?

Oh yea – I was drunk at the Christmas party and we have both been avoiding each other ever since.

Make decision in head not to go into detail about the reason for my upset. I must remember he’s a senior manager and he doesn’t need to know about my problems.

3.31 P.M. Ok so I am now telling him everything. All the stuff with Dan comes out, my fears of being a spinster and my wobbly bits.

Oh God I have just told my senior manager I have wobbly bits that are getting bigger!

3.35 P.M. Marcus is being sweet. He says that I am bound to find someone else and that I need to stay positive.

3.36 P.M. Just asking him how his dating life is going. I think it’s fair that he gives me an update too.

All the females in the office know Marcus is on the dating apps. He is so attractive for an older man.

We all sit and talk about what we would do if someone like Marcus liked or winked at us on a dating app. The majority of single women in the office reckon they would wet themselves in shock and a small minority say that they would run out into the street screaming.

3.37 P.M. His dating life is not going very well. It hasn’t been doing that well for over a year he says, looking at me with those sparkling blue eyes.

3.38 P.M. He says there is someone he has his eye on but its complicated. There would have to be some changes in his life and he’s not sure whether that person feels the same way.

3.39 P.M. I watch his lips move as he tells me about his feelings for this person.

For a moment I am back against the office photocopier kissing him like crazy whilst printing out 100 stapled copies of some poor junior’s report.

3.45 P.M. Walking back to the office. Marcus has left me as he has a meeting.

As we parted in the corridor there was a weird silence between us. I can’t explain it but it was like he wanted to tell me something but couldn’t find the words.

I thanked him for the coffee and made no photocopying offers.

7.56 P.M. Having my hair done in my lounge by Wayne my mobile hairdresser.

I am sat eating a huge bar of chocolate whilst Wayne eradicates my grey hairs and makes me a brighter shade of red.

This is what you do after a relationship falls apart; dye your hair and eat chocolate.

My wobbly bits are a lost cause. I might as well enjoy myself.

‘So Roxy tell your Uncle Wayne everything!’ says Wayne, whilst performing some hair magic using some bits of foil and a foul smelling substance.

I download everything about Dan and I.

‘Nasty business. I wouldn’t have trusted him with that Clara woman’ says Wayne, shaking his head in disapproval.

‘Thanks Wayne’ I say, before wedging a huge chunk of chocolate into my mouth.

‘So when are you getting back on the dating apps?’ asks Wayne, grinning at me.

‘I don’t think I am destined to be with someone’ I say, letting out a sigh and reaching for more chocolate.

‘Rubbish Roxy!’ snaps Wayne, tapping me on the hand as though I am a naughty child stealing chocolate.

‘You are a beautiful and vivacious red head. It would be a waste, a travesty  if you were left on the shelf!’ he cries.

‘I don’t think I can face another relationship’ I moan, feeling tired at the thought of getting close to someone else and being heartbroken again.

‘Nonsense!’ barks Wayne. ‘Get out your phone now, log in and we can have a little nose at who is out there!’

‘No Wayne I can’t!’ I whimper, feeling tears prick my eyes.

Wayne stops fiddling about with my hair and bits of foil. He stands directly in front of me with his hands on the hips of his silver metallic jeans.

‘Excuse me Roxy!’ he screeches. ‘You are NOT giving up on love! Your hair is going to look amazeballs  and you are one hot lady!’

‘I am destined to be a spinster!’ I cry.

‘You will be if you don’t stop snivelling and get back out there Roxy, now come on where is your fighting spirit?’ cries Wayne, glaring at me.

I reach across to the coffee table and grab my phone.

Wayne squeals as I open up my favourite dating app.

Marcus is staring back at me from the dating app. His profile is on my list of suggested dates.

‘Whoa who is that hunk?’ asks Wayne staring over my shoulder. ‘My goodness he looks just like George Clooney!’

‘That’s …Marcus…my senior manager’ I say feeling an odd fluttery sensation inside my chest.

‘You are one lucky girl working for him!’ says Wayne before letting out a sigh.

I find myself gazing into Marcus’s eyes and wondering whether he remembers our kiss.


There will be more from Roxy next week.

She’ll be coming to an end soon as I need to turn her into a book and a podcast!!

Yes folks I have plans to make Roxy into a comedy podcast.

I will keep you all updated. 

Photo: Shutterstock


The Diary of Roxy Collins – Part 27 The Sign #chicklit #romance




8.15 P.M. Dan and I are on our hands and knees, trying to coax out my son Toby’s pet rat Bob from underneath the bed in our luxury hotel room.

My hopes of a romantic evening with Dan were dashed when my son’s pet rat decided to be a stowaway in my overnight case.

‘I think we’ll need to move the bed’ I say peering underneath it.

‘I’d forgotten how crazy life is with you Roxy!’ exclaims Dan, scratching his head.

‘I think I’m jinxed when it comes to posh hotels. I did warn you’ I say.

Dan’s phone bleeps. He reaches in his trouser pocket and checks it.

Bob the rat starts squeaking from underneath the bed.

‘Well come out then you silly rat!’ I exclaim in my shrill mother voice which works well on children and ex-partners, never tried it on furry creatures, until now.

Dan is still looking at his phone.

‘Why don’t you search Google for ideas on how we can catch a rat in a hotel room?’ I suggest.

Dan seems preoccupied and continues staring at the screen of his phone.

I go back to calling  ‘Bob….here Bob….come to Roxy!’

8.20 P.M. Bob the rat makes a run for it. I shriek at Dan. ‘Get him!’

Dan jumps out of his skin at the sight of Bob scurrying across the floor.

Sometimes in life a woman has to step in because her man is backed up against a wall trembling in fright.

Grabbing my white hotel towel robe, which is lying on the bed, I chuck it over Bob and then quickly scoop him up in it.

‘What are you going to do now?’ shrieks Dan, pointing at the wriggling rat in my towel robe.

‘We need to get him home’ I say. ‘Grab your car keys and lets go!’

‘Are you serious?’ cries Dan. ‘He’ll escape in my sports car!’

‘Trust me I am used to dealing with rats!’ I say, securing my grip on Bob, who has calmed down in my arms.

‘How  are we going to get out of the hotel with a rat?’ shrieks Dan, running his hands through his hair.

‘Empty my case quick!’ I say gesturing towards the bed.

Dan makes some odd faces at my underwear selection as he places my stuff onto the bed.

I place Bob in my pink fluffy overnight case, leaving the zip open a bit so he can breathe.

Dan and I then leave our room and head for the car.

8.45 P.M. Pull up outside my house. Grab pink fluffy suitcase with rat inside and totter into house at speed.

Open Bob’s cage and place him inside. Lock the cage and wipe brow.

Sometimes I amaze myself at the situations I get out of.

8.47 P.M. Dan is stood in my kitchen checking his phone.

I thought I checked my phone a lot. Must be football related.

‘Right shall we go back to the hotel?’ I ask checking my silver dress from River Island still looks amazing.

Now that Bob the rat is back home I can get on with having some romance.

Dan seems engrossed with his phone.

He looks so handsome in his smart grey suit, standing with his back against the fridge freezer.

8.48 P.M.  Just imagining Dan stood at the church waiting for me on our wedding day.

I can feel a little burst of happiness shoot through me. We are back together and we will probably get married, move into some posh house and make some beautiful babies.

Hang on I already have three older babies and he has two older babies.

8.49 P.M. Still gawping at Dan and debating (in my head) whether we will have kids together.

Make decision to stop thinking about having more kids.

There has been no mention of Clara, Dan’s best friend, who I have assumed is nearly married by now. Dan has been telling me how much she’s changed with her new man.

All my previous worries and insecurities about Clara have gone.   Dan chose me.

This feels too good to be true but I am going to go with it.

Roxy Collins is finally in a relationship! Yay!

Roxy Collins is going back to a fancy hotel for the night with her man! Yay!

Roxy Collins will soon be married! Yay!

Bob squeaks from his cage.

‘You can keep quiet!’ I whisper to Bob. ‘You nearly ruined my night of passion!’

‘Dan?’ I say.

Bob continues to squeak at me. I smile to myself as I recall Toby telling me the other night that Bob gives him secret messages via squeaks.

When I probed further into this communication with his pet rat it became apparent that Bob mainly tells him to fight his brother Harry, hide his sister Matilda’s make-up and refuse to eat vegetables at dinner time.

Toby insists that Bob the rat can communicate. I glance at Bob squeaking like mad at me from his cage.

‘Dan’ I say a bit louder. I wish he would put that phone away as I am going stir crazy thinking about our future children and whether my son’s rat can communicate with humans.

I need a drink and some romance!

Dan nods. We leave the kitchen and I can still hear Bob squeaking like mad.

‘What’s wrong with the rat?’ asks Dan.

‘Toby swears the rat gives him secret messages’ I chuckle. ‘Ignore him. Now drive me back to that hotel for some romance!’ I say taking Dan by the arm.

He opens the front door for me and cries ‘come on Clara! Let me get you back to our hotel!’

8.53 P.M. Time has stopped. I am rooted to the spot, mouth open, staring at Dan.

‘What’s the matter?’ he asks holding open the door.

‘You called me Clara!’ I snap, feeling blood start to sizzle in my veins.

‘I didn’t!’ he cries.

‘You did Dan!’ It’s amazing how fast tears can well up in my eyes.

‘Roxy I didn’t say Clara!’ he says, his voice tinged with irritation.

His phone bleeps again.

‘Is that Clara?’ I demand as the penny drops inside my head.

He looks away.

‘Dan what’s going on? You have been odd since we got in the hotel room.’ I demand, sensing trouble.

I watch as he rubs his face and looks away.

I can feel the blood draining from my face.

Bob is still squeaking from his cage.

‘I’m sorry I can’t do this Roxy….. I’m so sorry’ whispers Dan, avoiding my gaze and looking down at his shoes. ‘I thought Clara and I were just best friends but…..she’s been texting me tonight and she says….’

‘GET OUT!’ I scream. I knew it was too good to be true.

That woman Clara has her claws dug so deep into him.

I wish he’d never come back into my life.

Tears are streaming down my face as I shove him out.

9.56 P.M. I am sat in the conservatory with a bottle of red wine, a large glass, a box of tissues and a squeaking rat, sat in his cage.

Dan brought my suitcase from the hotel. He tried to explain on my doorstep about how she’s messed with his head. I ignored him and closed the door.

‘Oh Bob!’ I sob. ‘I should never have gone back with Dan!’

Bob squeaks in agreement.

‘Ex boyfriends are bad for my health!’ I cry wiping away hot tears.

Bob squeaks in agreement.

‘I am going to be a sad and lonely old spinster!’ I sob.

Bob stops squeaking. I think this means something.

Loud wail followed by huge slurp of wine.

For more Roxy please click here

The Diary of Roxy Collins – Part 25 The Ex-Boyfriend #ChickLit #comedy



6.54 P.M. I have summoned a ‘Dating Council of War.’ My new relationship with Jake is on my mind.

Shaz and I are sat on my sofa, working our way through a box of Cadbury’s Milk Tray whilst assessing my dating predicament.

‘Jake seems petrified of me’ I say, recalling our last date where I practically forced him to hold my hand and kiss me.

I turn to Shaz who is devouring a Strawberry temptation chocolate. ‘Are you listening to me?’

She nods with a mouthful of chocolate. ‘Jake’s lovely looking, wears decent clothes and he seems nice but every time we are together he has this ‘rabbit caught in headlights’ sort of look.’

Shaz frowns before saying, ‘I can’t think why he’d be scared of you Roxy. Maybe he just wants to take things slow.’

I roll my eyes at her. ‘We have been on three dates and we’ve only given each other a peck on the lips. Nothing else!  There has been no passionate snogging and no sweaty fumbling.’

Shaz turns to me, her eyes widening. “You have had your third date and there has been no sweaty fumbling?  Sorry Roxy, I didn’t realise things were so bad. Crikey this is new territory for you.’

I take a Fudge Duet from the Milk Tray box. ‘Ok so I admit on our first date Matilda went missing and things got a bit stressful. On our second date he arrived when both Jon and Rob were collecting the kids. Rob made a joke about Jake being lucky number three, which no one found funny. But on the third date everything was fine…well almost fine.’

Shaz gestured for me to go on.

‘I tried to devour him in his car, which he didn’t like and one of his neighbours knocked on the window as she thought he was being attacked.’

I watch as Shaz shakes her head. ‘That doesn’t sound good. Listen have you had the conversation yet Roxy?’

The conversation is a key dating stage and one that I dread. Basically you ask your date whether you are officially an item.

If they agree, then you both close down your dating apps,  spend at least three nights a week with them and update your status on Facebook.

In my experience when I have asked the question to my dates, about whether we are an item they usually respond in one of the following ways:

  • I receive a nod (very rare!)
  • I receive a blank look and a noncommittal shrug.
  • They make a swift change of subject and avoid eye contact.
  • All texts from them stop as well as all other forms of communication. (Sadly very common)

This conversation screams ‘I want commitment!’ and can send them running for the hills.

‘Do you want your relationship with Jake to turn into something more serious?’ asks Shaz, licking chocolate from her fingers.

I sink into the sofa. ‘He’s got lovely big hands, he drives a large estate car and he’s got no female best friends. I also think he’ll love the kids, once he gets over his fear of them.’

Shaz casts me a puzzled look. ‘He’s scared of your kids too?’

I nod. “He refers to them as wild.’

Shaz grins. ‘Yes he’s got a point.’ She picks out another chocolate. ‘Maybe this shy thing is a sexy ploy and on your next date he’ll suddenly turn into that bloke out of Fifty Shades.’

I pop an Orange Truffle into my mouth and consider Shaz’s suggestion. ‘I should be so lucky! Have you ever been out with a shy man?’

Shaz shakes her head. ‘Roxy – can you imagine me dating a shy man?’

I can see her point. ‘Maybe if I have the conversation with him and confirm our couple status he might change?’

Matilda, comes to join us in the lounge.

‘Matilda should your Mam have the conversation with Jake?’ asks Shaz.

‘Dunno. He’s a bit quiet for Mam’ says Matilda, flicking through one of her glossy fashion magazines.

‘Your Mam thinks he’s scared of her’ laughs Shaz.

‘Boys are scared of me’ says Matilda, letting out a sigh. ‘It must run in the family!’

I give Matilda and a knowing look. ‘Tim, your sixth form friend doesn’t seem scared of you’ I say, remembering catching sight of Matilda kissing him on the doorstep the other night. I had to restrain myself from chucking a bowl of cold water over both of them and yelling at Tim to leave my angel like  teenage daughter alone.

‘Oh he was Mam!’ she gushes. ‘He took a lot of persuading’ she sighed.

‘TO DO WHAT?’ I shriek glaring at her.

In my head I reassure myself by saying ‘all teenagers exaggerate!’

‘Must dash, homework calling!’ Matilda says scooting upstairs.

7.56 P.M. A message suddenly appears in my Facebook messenger app. I gasp and Shaz, in a panic, reaches for a bag of wine gums.

‘OMG it’s from Dan!’ I say with a look of surprise.

Dan. The handsome guy who I met in Greece whilst trying to persuade my hell raising cousin Maggie to return home.

Our romance came to an abrupt end shortly after I was introduced to his beautiful, but evil, best friend, Clara

‘He says he is in the area Friday night and wants to meet up’ I say casting Shaz a worried glance.

Shaz glares at me. ‘Stay away from that rat!’

‘He says he misses me’ I mumble.

Shaz snatches the phone out of my hands. ‘Roxy, Dan was a total rat to you. He messed you around so much you had to shove a cake in his best friend’s face.’

I take my phone back from her. ‘I know but…..’   Shaz waves her hand at me. ‘No buts Roxy, you cannot get back together with Dan. No!’

‘He says he’s changed!’ I groan, staring at his second text.

Shaz raises her hands in exasperation. ‘They all say they have changed. It’s the postman’s favourite line when he comes knocking at me door with my gas bill. I know he says that because the blonde on the new housing estate found out I was expecting his baby and kicked him out.’

I can’t stop the happy memories of Dan and I in Greece flood my mind. ‘He deserves a second chance.’

Shaz grabs hold of my arm. You have the conversation with Jake ASAP!’


‘Once you have the conversation with Jake everything will fall into place’ Shaz says. ‘You will be in a relationship and away from that loser.’

I think about what Shaz has just said. ‘You are right. If Jake says we are a couple I will not see Dan.’ I try to ignore the way my heart starts to gallop at the mention of his name.

8. 13 P.M. Shaz is urging me to call Jake and have the dreaded conversation. She can sense I am wavering. A couple of times she’s caught me staring at Dan’s texts.

‘Do you think it’s too early to have the conversation?’ I ask.

Shaz gives me one of her scary best friend faces. ‘DO IT!”  ‘It’s never to early Roxy!’

Dan sends me another text making me jump. ‘Oh he says he can’t stop thinking about my wobbly bits.’

I hear my best friend let out a cry of frustration. ‘The postman tells me he can’t stop thinking about my Beyonce walk into the bedroom but I know he’s just creeping back because he has nowhere to live.’

‘Your Beyonce walk into the bedroom?’ I raise my eyebrows.

Shaz smiles. ‘I put on some heels and strut my stuff just like Beyonce did in that ‘Crazy in Love’ song. I look like I mean business.’

I scratch my head. ‘Maybe I should try that on Jake?’

Shaz places her hand on my arm. ‘Let’s get over the shy bit first.’


1.25 P.M. Jake and I finally speak on the phone. I am feeling brave so I ask him.

Would you say we are a couple now Jake?’ I ask casually, crossing my fingers and toes.

He goes silent on me and then changes the subject. The phone call ends shortly afterwards.


12.34 P.M. Jake is acting odd.

Communication has broken down between us.

12.35 P.M. Dan sends me a flurry of texts telling me what he’d like to do to me if we were alone together. Sweaty fumbling is guaranteed.

12.45 P.M. Start dating discussion with half the office in the canteen at lunch. I am swayed by Julie from Accounts, she explains how she went back to her ex boyfriend, married him and now lives in a fancy four bed roomed house on the nice side of town.

Under the table I text back and agree to a date with Dan.


7.45 P.M. I am on my way to meet Dan. Earlier I lied to Shaz and told her I was going to meet Jake. This is the first time I have lied to her about a man. I guess I am desperate for a four bedroomed house on the posh side of town and a sweaty fumble.

There has been no word from Jake. Once again having the conversation has ruined my dating life.

I grip the bus seat in front. Who wouldn’t want commitment with me? I am a fiery redhead with a big heart, a love of singing Cher songs, three kids and some wobbly bits.

8.20 P.M. Dan looks hotter than ever in a fitted navy shirt and blue jeans. He’s been working out as his arms look thicker and muscular. I can’t stop staring into his eyes and that boyish smile of his making me feel hot. Oh my goodness what a stunner!

I have just drained my glass of wine and reminded myself that he’s my ex-boyfriend who broke my heart.

8.24 P.M. He says he’s really missed me and wants me to be his girlfriend again.

Order second glass of wine.

Dan clears up the old issue immediately by announcing that Clara is in a serious relationship and he hardly sees her.

8.36 P.M. Dan smells divine. I am struggling to stop leaning into him.

Must regain control of myself.

8.45 P.M. I can’t stop looking into Dan’s eyes. Why do ex boyfriends do this?

Decide to hold back and assess the situation tomorrow in the cold light of day. The thing with Jake is still on my mind. I am going to resist hunky Dan. Yes – good idea Roxy!

Order a third glass of wine to reward myself for my sensible thought process.

8.47 P.M. I am kissing Dan like crazy. I hate making dating decisions that I cannot stick too.

11.15 P.M. Just enjoyed a sweaty fumble in a taxi with Dan. He wants to see me again and is going to book us a fancy hotel.

Feel a twinge of guilt for Jake.

11.16 P.M. I am tottering up my garden path and my phone has just bleeped. It’s a text from Jake:

‘Yes I do want you to be my girlfriend x’

Silent scream!

The Promise #romance #blogbattle #flashfiction


You have made a promise to me; at the end of the summer we will be a couple. I will be your boyfriend and you will be my girlfriend. My heart quickens at the mention of your promise.

The radio is on. It’s late afternoon. We are lying together in my garden working on your college project. The sun is beating down, making the skin on the back of my neck prickle. 

I ask you what it will be like for us to be boyfriend and girlfriend. As you know I have never had a relationship or been friendly with a girl before so I am curious.

You cast me a mischievous smile and I watch your eyes twinkle. You lean over and whisper to me all the things we will do as a couple. My mouth has gone dry and my palms sweaty.

You pull back and explain why you cannot be my girlfriend, just yet. Apparently it’s complicated between you and your swimming captain boyfriend. He has a lot of competitions. Ending your relationship with him might cause unnecessary upset, which could result in him losing races.

I reassure you. I understand. Good things come to those who wait.

You are telling me about your swimming captain boyfriend’s latest win in the pool. If I am honest I am not really interested in hearing about his triumphs. 

I am distracted. I have allowed my eyes to wander over your face, taking in your exquisite features, finally settling upon your plump pink lips. I wonder what it will be like to kiss them, at the end of the summer.

You reach for something in the pocket of your denim shorts. I  watch as you smear on cherry smelling lip balm, whilst holding my gaze. There is no escape for me.

It was nice of you to ask me to help with your college project. People say I can be a bit dull and get straight A’s a lot of the time, but you don’t seem to mind. You tell me that I get better grades than your swimming captain boyfriend. My heart has just skipped a beat.

I ask when I will see you once the college project, we are working on, is finished. You ask me whether I want to help paint your Dad’s garden fencing. It’s your summer job and one which you know you will struggle to do on your own.

It will be nice to spend some time together painting. I make a joke about wearing some old embarrassing clothes to paint in. 

You sit up to stretch, forcing me to stare at your tiny bikini top and minuscule denim shorts. Reading my mind you tell me that you will probably wear what you have on to paint your Dad’s fences. 

I watch you let out a cute little yawn. There was a party last night and you danced the night away. I have never met someone like you who can be so tired and yet look so beautiful.

I suggest that you go inside and have a sleep, whilst I carry on and complete your project for you. It’s the least I can do.

You smile and remind me of your promise. My heart starts to ache. 

I ask you whether you keep your promises. You giggle, put your hand over your lips and whisper that I will find out at the end of the summer.

The weather forecasters on the radio are forecasting an Indian summer.

I now wish you had not made that promise. 

Indian summers last forever.

This was my entry into this week’s blog battle contest run by Rachael Ritchey (author of the Twelve Realms series). If you want to read more entries or take part please click here. 

This week’s word was Indian.

Genre: Romance.

photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/8757741@N04/2594156702″>Just Another Summer Day</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/”>(license)</a&gt;

The Diary of Roxy Collins – Part 17 – The Hangover #chicklit #comedy


8.45 A.M. I am staggering into work with the hangover from hell.

The security guard on the main office reception desk is busy chewing a pen, whilst studying a crossword. He lifts his head and catches sight of me. I watch the pen roll out of his mouth, as his jaws fall open.

“Morning!” I croak.

He can only manage a nod at me.

I step into the lift and gasp. I look like one of the undead; dark circles around eyes, ashen white face, red bloodshot eyes, mad red hair and a grim expression.

People at Halloween pay good money to look like this.

My head aches as I try to remember the events of last night. All I can remember is talking to various people from work so fairly tame for me.

The lift doors open and I am shuffling out in the direction of my desk.

As I reach my seat Martin rises from his chair and shakes his head.

“Nice of you to join us Roxy or should I call you Cher?” he says, with a smirk.

I cast him a puzzled look. Cher? I never sang because my family and Brian warned me against it.

“You remember taking over the karaoke booth Roxy?” asks Martin.

“But…I” I stammer.

“Memory failing you?” smirks Martin.

“Did I…sing?” I say, screwing up my face and crossing my fingers that its one of Martin’s jokes.

He nods.

“Did I just do one number?” I say, in a little voice.

“You sang all of Cher’s songs!” says Martin.

“Tell me honestly, how was it?” I ask, bracing myself for ‘you are a pop star in the making Roxy!’

“It wasn’t your finest hour,” says Martin.

Ugh – my first silent scream of the day.

“I need a coffee!” I croak.

I am walking up to the coffee machine. For some strange reason Nick from Sales is hiding behind a pillar and clearly avoiding me. A strange man!.

The room is starting to spin. OMG this is bad!

I am leaning my head against the coffee machine and waiting for everything to stop moving.

My head is now thumping. I am going to rummage in my handbag for some tablets.

Oh I have a text on my phone. It is from Dan. He’s probably still texting me apologies for last weekend. For all I care he can carry on saying he’s sorry because I am not backing down.

We are finished! Over!

The text reads ‘I can’t wait to meet up with you a hotel’

Ok, so Dan and I are not over.

Another text arrives. It reads ‘I am so glad you called last night x’

Ok so I did phone him last night?

My black coffee is ready. I am hoping it will help with my memory.

Maybe Dan’s bluffing?

Check phone. Groan again. I called him at 11.24 P.M. last night.

My music idol Cher has a lot to answer for.

10.09 A.M. I am sat at my desk salivating at a fried sandwich which Martin has just bought me.

I can’t hold back any longer. Oh God this sandwich is amazing!

“Roxy you are making a mess!” says Martin pointing to the grease dripping onto my desk.

I ignore him and stuff more into my mouth.

“I think you will need these!” he says, handing me some anti bacterial wipes.

Without saying a word he passes me his pack of antibacterial wipes.

“Hello Roxy?” says a familiar voice just as I try to swallow a huge mouthful of sandwich.

I whirl round and see Marcus stood in front of me.

“Did you get home ok?” he asks.

I nod trying to not choke.

“Oh ok, just checking,” he says and walks away.

I watch him stride off and wonder why Marcus is checking I got home ok.

My phone bleeps. It is a text from Matilda. She is in love (lots of heart emojis) with a guy who likes to call himself ‘MC Raz’. He’s a rapper and according to Matilda is ‘sic’.

I haven’t even met MC Raz but already I feel bad about this new union.

Second text from Matilda informing me that she has decided to form a pop band with MC Raz.

She wants to leave school, not bother with her exams, audition for X Factor, become a global star and have millions in the bank for shoes.

I can’t text back NO fast enough.

“Roxy!” says Martin, “I need you to look at this” He is handing me a folder.

“Not now Martin!” I find myself saying. “I am in the middle of a family crisis and I have a bad hangover!”

“When are you not in the middle of a family crisis?” asks Martin.

Matilda texts back that she cannot understand why I won’t let her leave school, hook up with some rapper, form a band, audition for X Factor and take the music industry by storm.

“Oh Martin my daughter is making my head hurt!” I exclaim staring at my phone and feeling anger bubble inside me.

“And what has Matilda done now?” asks Martin sitting back down with his folder.

I shake my head and grip my phone. “She wants to leave school and form a band with her new boyfriend MC Raz. I have said ‘NO’ so she has just text back saying because my pop singer career never took off, it doesn’t mean she should be denied!’

Martin stares at me. “Does she sing like you?”

I shake my head. “Gosh no! She’s tone deaf!”

My phone bleeps. It a text from Matilda’s. Apparently MC Raz is unhappy with me too.

He has decided to rap on her YouTube video about the pain his girl is going through with her cruel mother.

“Martin” I say. “I have just fulfilled a life goal– someone is going to rap about me.”

I think Martin has just let out a whimper.

3.10 P.M. I am sat staring at photo of Clara.

I cannot compete with her on looks, fashion sense and overall sophistication. I also cannot cope with being so far away from Dan.

Tears are rolling down my cheeks. Martin passes me his box of tissues and says nothing.

5.45 P.M. I am being introduced to MC Raz, the hooded spotty youth sat on my sofa.

‘Yo Till’s Momma!’ he says, lifting his jewellery clad arm and making some weird hand gesture.

“Mam!” squeals Matilda, jumping up and down. “We are going to perform our debut single!”

“No!” I cry out. “You are not doing this pop star business!” I say, staggering towards the sofa, as I still feel rough.

“Relax Till’s Momma!” says MC Raz. “Chill babe!”

“Yea Mam relax, this record deal will be piece of cake!” pipes up Matilda.

“Oh babe I am loving your positivity” says MC Raz.

“Shall we do this?” asks Matilda standing in front of the fireplace with a water bottle in her hand, ready to be her microphone.

Their debut single is called ‘Babelicious’

5.59 P.M. MC Raz is still rapping. Matilda has got bored and is on her phone. MC Rapp has a lot say on the track ‘Babelicious’

I take a copy of a glossy magazine from coffee table and have a flick through.

6.03 P.M. He is still rapping in the corner.

6.07 P.M. Still listening to MC Raz. I like the way he has weaved his tough childhood growing up in a wealthy part of town and going to a private school into his rap. Matilda has gone upstairs.

6.31 P.M. Matilda and I having a heated discussion about her new pop career.

MC Raz has gone home for his tea. His mother is cooking his favourite lamb casserole.

“Education is more important than a pop career” I say, washing up some cups.

“You are just jealous!” she screams.

“What?” I exclaim, removing my hands from the soapy liquid.

“I am a better singer than you!” she shouts.

“You only sang a few lines and then you were too busy on Snapchat!” I snap.

“I hate you at times!” she screams.

“Go to your room!” I bark.

“Fine!” she snaps. “My YouTube following will hear about this!” She stomps out of the kitchen.

7.50 P.M. I am Lying on sofa listening to some soothing whale music with a cold flannel over my head.

I am feeling emotional for the following reasons:

1. My Hangover – I still don’t feel my best.

2. Love – the situation with Dan is on my mind, it’s not going to work. I have to end it. I think I might be a spinster for the rest of my life.

3. Kids. My teenage daughter hates me because I won’t let her follow her dreams with no qualifications.

7.56 P.M. Whale music reaches a crescendo and I start crying.

8.00 P.M. In walks Brian, my landlord, to repair my loo, which is blocked again.

“Brian!” I shout as he tries to shoot upstairs.

“What is it now?” he asks.

“I need a hug!” I say, rising off my sofa and holding open my arms to him.

“I don’t think that’s a good idea!” he says gesturing towards the back door.

“Rubbish!” I say. “I am emotional and I need a hug!”

I embrace Brian just as I hear his wife Patricia’s voice “Brian what on earth are you doing?”

I gasp and step away. Brian has lost the colour in his face.

Patricia storms into my living room wearing her complicated floral apron.

“I knew it!” she cries. “You are having an affair with your tenant!”

“Don’t be so ridiculous!” says Brian. “I couldn’t have an affair with Roxy, she’d send me to an early grave!”

I smile and nod.

“I knew you and her were up to something!” she cries.

“Patricia get a grip of yourself, I am not having an affair with Roxy!” pleads Brian.

“I saw you telling Roxy something before you both hug!” cries Patricia.

“Absolute rubbish!” says Brian and storms upstairs with his bucket.

8.14 p.m. I am enjoying an awkward silence with Patricia, whilst Brian unblocks my loo upstairs.

My phone bleeps. It is a text from Dan. He has fallen in love with me. I groan. A decision needs to be made and quick. I look across at Patricia. She looks sensible and grounded. I will ask her.

“Patricia” I say, making her stare at me. “How do you break up with someone who has just revealed he loved you?”


The Diary of Roxy Collins – Part 16 Blame Cher! #comedy #chicklit #romance


5.45 P.M. I am getting ready to go to my office party, which is being held at a local hotel. Normally I would be struggling to contain my excitement at the prospect of a good hotel buffet, a disco and a karaoke booth. Tonight I am miserable and a little grumpy.

Matilda is doing my make-up at the kitchen table and her best friend Lou is filming us. They are using my makeover as the subject for Matilda’s latest YouTube video.

Lou is holding the camera in one hand and eating a King size Mars Bar in the other.

I don’t know why I agreed to this, I guess I have been weakened by Dan.

Matilda has turned to the camera and is talking to her followers:

“Hi there Till Fans!” she squeals, giving them a little wave.

“I have a treat for you beauty babes out there. Today I am going to be showing you how can knock 5 years (minimum people!) off your face using a fab new makeup technique!”

She turns to me and gives me a sugary smile. “For this special tutorial I needed to find someone with old skin so that I can show how much impact this technique can have!”

“Less of the old!” I mumble.

“So let me introduce my Mam to all you Till fans….isn’t she sweet?” Matilda squeals, smiling at the camera whilst giving me a hug.

I try to force out a smile at the camera.

“Mam’s off out tonight so she’s asked me to transform her so she can pull a nice rich fella?” says Matilda, dabbing at some palette with a brush.

“Do we have to mention my love life?” I whisper as my daughter starts to pat my face with a sponge.

My phone bleeps. Its Dan’s 35th of the day text apologising for last weekend.

I look down at my phone.

He is upset that things ended badly for us and I was forced to shove a cream cake in Clara’s face.

A fat tear rolls down my cheek, as this text is quickly followed by his 36th of the days which says that he cannot stop thinking about me, he is having trouble sleeping, eating and going to the gym.

“Errr Till your Mam’s weeping!” says Lou from behind the video camera.

Matilda takes one look at me and groans. She turns to the camera. “Mam’s a bit emoc – she had to split with a fella last week because he was all over another woman!”

“Love this family link up” Lou mumbles..

“Once the fellas see what I am going to do to your eyes and brows you will be inundated with offers!” exclaims Matilda.

I try to forget about Dan as Matilda layers on the makeup and gives her fans a running commentary.

“Ok – what do you think?’ asks Matilda giving me a mirror. “I have given you some amazeballs cheekbones and your eyes are BOSS!”

“OMG your Mam looks ACE!” says Lou.

I stare at my new sculptured eyebrows, smoky eyes, high cheekbones and plump pink glossy lips.

‘Its…um.. different Matilda’ I mumble, wondering whether my own office will recognise me.

Matilda turns to the camera and points to me “check out my transformed new Mam! She definitely looks under forty now!”

“I am thirty-six!” I screech.

“Are you really?” asks Lou.

“You look stunning!” says Matilda, packing away her makeup. ‘Its not easy transforming someone at your age’.

“Can we stop the recording now?” I say rising from the chair.

“Hang on!” says Lou, whispering something to Matilda.

They both frown at my dress.

“Mam what are you wearing?'” she says, pointing at my dress and shaking her head in disapproval. “It looks like something from a museum!”

I catch sight of my sensible flowery calf length dress.

“I know!” I say, slumping back down on the chair. ‘ I don’t feel like having a good time!”

Matilda turns to the camera. “Till fans – you know I will never let my love life impact my fashion choices!”

“Please can we stop this now?” I urge.

“There is no way I am letting my Mam here go out in that outfit!” Matilda barks. “She might be old but she can dress like a Till babe!”

“This is a great video!” says Lou still holding up the camera.

“You need to show the world that you are over that loser!’ barks Matilda with fiery eyes and a look of determination.

I shrug my shoulders.

Matilda talks to the camera. “Ok Till fans I am going to take Mam here upstairs and transform her! Back soon!”

I am marched upstairs and ordered to change into something more exciting. In my daughter’s book this means figure hugging, short and covered in sequins.

As I get to the top of the stairs Matilda shouts “no karaoke Mam!”

“What?” I shriek. Singing is one of my favourite pastimes.

“Listen to me Mam, no karaoke and definitely no Cher!” says Matilda.

“Matilda you know I love Cher”I say, feeling hurt that my own daughter has banned me from singing my music idol’s songs.

“Her songs bring you nothing but trouble!” warns Matilda.

“What about Bonnie Tyler?” I ask with desperation in my voice. “Can I sing Bonnie’s hits?”

“What happened last year Mam?” asks Matilda, folding her arms and shaking her head at me.

“I snogged Marcus over a photocopier!” I snap.

“What had you been singing beforehand?” asks Matilda.

I let out a howl of frustration.

“SAY IT!” barks Matilda.

“I had sung Bonnie’s pop classic ‘I need a hero!” I mumble.

“Exactly – now squeeze into this dress Mam!” orders Matilda.

“I can hardly breathe!” I gasp.

“Think of the fellas! OMG you look amazing!”

6.34 p.m. I am being paraded in front of the camera for Matilda to do her wrap up.

“Hi there Till Fans!” she squeals. “I know you have all been dying to see my Mam’s transformation”

“How do you know they have been dying to see this?” I ask Lou, standing off camera.

“A lot of tweets!” says Lou.

“Oh no Matilda hasn’t tweeted this has she?” I groan.

“Your video has already been Tweeted, pinned and posted” says Lou.

“Here is my Mam!” shouts Matilda, gesturing for me to come into view.

I walk in front of the camera.

“Doesn’t she look amazing?” speeches Matilda.

“She looks sic!” shouts Lou, making some bizarre hand movement.

“Till Fans I can read your minds – you are now thinking I am a #miracleworker!” screeches Matilda.

Lou whispers something to Matilda.

“Ok Till Fans – the question I am posing for you on Snapchat is – is my Mam hot or not?”

I groan and curse Dan.

7.02 P.M. Great Aunt Vera is on the phone to my son, Harry about his latest football trophy. I love the way Great Aunt Vera keeps a keen interest in my little family.

“MAM’ shouts Harry. “Great Aunt Vera says that you mustn’t sing or drink wine tonight!”

7.05 P.M. Brian, my 67-year-old land lord and emotional rock in life, is driving me to the office Christmas party. He is giving me one of his lectures.

“Roxy, listen to me. Don’t drink too much wine, don’t get emotional and whatever you do please don’t go near that singing machine!”

“I think you are being spoil sports!” I snap, looking out of the car window.

“It’s like you become someone else!” explains Brian.

“I enjoy myself you mean!” I say, as the hotel comes into view.

7.10 P.M. I am tottering into the hotel lobby wearing gigantic heels and minuscule dress.

“Hi everyone!” I cry out.

Silence descends the lobby as my office stare with big eyes and open mouths at my dress and makeup.

I let out a giggle and grab a champagne flute from a passing waiter.

As I bring it to buy lips I catch sight of Marcus, my senior manager. He holds my gaze for a little longer than necessary and then scans my outfit.

I must say he looks hot tonight with his fitted black suit and crisp white shirt. Must not think about photocopiers.

This champagne has already gone to my head as I feel a bit tingly. Better have another!

8.34 P.M. I am fighting the urge to sing.

Drink more wine and talk nonsense to work colleagues.

No one else sings like me. This is torture.

I am going to drown my sorrows, drink more wine, dance and pester DJ to put Cher on.

10.05 P.M. Consider my options of not singing tonight.

1. There could be a record producer staying at the hotel. This karaoke booth could be the platform that launches my glittering singing career.

2. Life is too short.

3. I may look back in years to come and regret not singing.

4. My family are tone deaf!

I think I will order another cocktail. There is someone hogging the bar area. I am just going to push past them and get myself a drink. “Excuse me barman – can I have a sex on the beach please!”

“Hello Roxy!” says a familiar voice.

“Oh Marcus!” I say, jumping in fright. I can’t believe I have just shoved Marcus out of the way.

“Are you having a nice time?” he asks, giving me an awkward look.

“I am struggling to make a decision!” I announce, taking my cocktail from the barman.

“Let me help!” says Marcus patting the stool next to him.

“Did you hear me sing last year?” I ask him.

He raises his eyebrows at me. “How can I forget you singing?” he replies.

“I really want to sing but my family say that I shouldn’t do it as I always get into trouble after Karaoke!” I say, sipping on my straw.

“Erm…welll…” says Marcus, shifting about on his stool.

I look away, feeling my cheeks start to heat up. Maybe I should slow down on the booze?

Maybe not?

Cher is calling me.

11.14 P.M. I have taken over the karaoke booth and I am belting out my favourite Cher hit ‘Love and Understanding’.

I have transformed into a red-headed, younger version of Cher.

It is a topical Cher number for me. All I can think about is my failed relationship with Dan.

Maybe there should have been more love and understanding between us?

Maybe I was quick to finish it?

Maybe I should have been more understanding?

It’s like Cher is trying to tell me something.

I am mid-song and have broken down into flood of tears.

I still manage to finish the song. This, I feel, is what sets me apart from other amateur singers. I always finish a song!

Nick from Accounts appears. Apparently it is his turn. He tries to take the microphone away from me.

I drunkenly snatch it back and switch on Cher’s hit ‘If I could turn back time’.

People around me have their hands over their ears. My voice sounds amazing. If I auditioned for X Factor they would put me straight through to the finals.

I am putting all my heart and soul into the song now.

Yes! Out comes the female pop star in me. I am making some elaborate hand movements, shaking my head a lot and closing my eyes whilst singing my heart out.

If only Dan and I could turn back time?

Cher is doing it again – sending me messages through her hit records.

11.21 P.M. I am refusing to let my work colleagues have a go of the karaoke.

I have just switched on Cher’s ‘Believe’ number and I am doing a great job.

Tears are rolling down my cheeks. I have to believe in Dan! Yes!

This, I feel, sets me apart from other amateur singers, I can multi-task – cry and sing at the same time.

The song has ended and so has my singing marathon. Some strong arms help me out of the karaoke booth and steady me as my legs have gone wobbly.

I look up and see that its Marcus.

“Are you ok Roxy?” he asks.

“I am fine!” I slur. I push him out of the way and reach in my clutch bag for my phone.

“Do you want me to call you a taxi?” asks Marcus.

“I have to call Dan!” I slur, trying to press Dan’s number.

“Oh” says Marcus.

“He hurt me!” I say.

“I would never hurt you!” mumbles Marcus, holding my gaze again.

“I think I love him though!” I slur.

Marcus looks hurt. I don’t understand. He nods, giving me a serious expression and walks away.

“Dan!” I shout into my phone.

“You’re talking to me!” exclaims a happy sounding Dan.

“I have to tell you that there is not enough love and understanding in the world and that I believe in us!” I announce.

“I believe in us too!” says Dan.

“I want to see you with no kids and no best friends!” I say.

“Oh Roxy that would be amazing – yes! Just like Greece!” he replies.

I hiccup loudly. “We should get together soon!” I say.

“I really like you Roxy!” confesses Dan, sending a rush of excitement up my spine.

After telling Dan all the things I want to do to him once I get him alone I stagger back to the karaoke booth.

I grab hold of a shocked Nick from Accounts, who is chatting up some girl and select Meat Loaf and Cher’s ‘Dead Ringer For Love’.

“What are you doing?” asks Nick, as the girl gives me a filthy look from hauling her potential date into the karaoke booth.

“You are Meat Loaf and I am Cher – now sing!” I command.

Nick and I are rocking our duet.

I don’t think Meat Loaf looked as terrified as Nick currently does.

Whilst singing I catch sight of Marcus who takes one look at me and leaves the hotel.

12.08 a.m. Brian is helping me up my garden path. I can hardly walk. He is muttering to himself. ‘Cher has a lot to answer for!”


The Diary of Roxy Collins – Part 14 – The Female Best Friend #comedy #romance




4.55 P.M. I have spent the day giving Dan one word responses to his texts. It has only taken 15 texts for him to work out something is wrong.

I love the power of the word ‘fine’.

5.05 P.M. I am on my way home from work. My bus is packed full of commuters. There are no spare seats and I am sat squashed up against my bus journey friend Mr Patel.

We have been using the same bus for years and after a few smiles we started sitting next to each other when it got busy. He is happily married with three angelic daughters and a wife who cannot stop cleaning. His home life sounds so different to mine.

My phone is ringing. It is Dan. All the regular commuters, like Mr Patel, are used to listening to my life dramas. I think I brighten up their journey on their way home from work.

Over the last two years they have all listened to my emotional calls about:

My painful split with Rob

Rob and the blonde barmaid.

My series of dating disasters.

Matilda’s love life

“Hello” I say quietly.

“Are you going to tell me what’s wrong?” asks Dan.

“There is nothing wrong, I am fine” I say.

Mr Patel looks at me and shakes his head. Even he can tell there is something very wrong with me.

“Come on Roxy tell me what’s on your mind?” Dan sighs.

“I caught sight of a photo on Facebook of you and another woman…” my voice tails off, as Mr Patel puts his head into his hands and makes groaning sounds.

“Clara you mean” he interrupts me.

“Yes the pretty one with the glasses” I say.

“Do you think I am secretly seeing Clara?” he asks.

“I might do!” I say.

“Well I am not!” he laughs. “She’s a good friend of mine!”

I place my hand over my phone and say to Mr Patel “its ok she’s just a friend!”

Mr Patel has lifted his head and a look of relief is passing over his face.

“Roxy – are you still there?” asks Dan.

“Yes I am!” I say with a huge smile. In my head I am celebrating. Hurrah! He’s not having an affair with the attractive woman, wearing glasses, in the photo on Facebook.

“Phew!” says Dan. “Actually if you must know Clara is my best friend!”

“She’s your best friend” I repeat, sending Mr Patel’s head back into his hands.

My smile has evaporated. Mr Patel is fidgeting anxiously in his seat and loosening his tie.

“Listen Roxy I have to go” says Dan. “Call you later!” and he hangs up.

Feeling the need to talk to someone I turn to Mr Patel. “I’ve never dated anyone with a female best friend before” I mumble.

Mr Patel gives me a blank look. He opens his mouth and then closes it again.

“They must be close” I say aloud as the words ‘best friend’ ping around my brain.

“I am sure everything will be ok Roxy” says Mr Patel giving my hand a reassuring pat.

“It wouldn’t be so bad if Clara didn’t look like a model fresh from a glossy clothes magazines. I could cope with a rough looking female best friend.” I say, making Mr Patel give me a worrying frown.

I take out my phone and show him a photo.

“Mr Patel – how do I compete when Clara is pencil thin, beautiful, looks sane and knows my new boyfriend inside out?” I ask.

Mr Patel shakes his head. “I don’t know Roxy”

“Perhaps I give Dan the impression that I am totally cool with his attractive female best friend” I say, searching Mr Patel’s face for a glimmer of hope.

Someone taps me on the shoulder from the seat behind. Its Polly, the young receptionist who sometimes sits next to me when Mr Patel is on holiday.

“I know I am butting in here but in my experience acting chilled about stuff is the best way of handling any dating situation” she says. “They soon learn!” she snaps. Polly recently split up with her boyfriend after he started flirting with one of the girls at her work. She continues. “You want to watch this best friend of his!” she warns.

Frank, the postman, sat in the seat next to her, shakes his head with disapproval. “Naaa that is not a good approach. Just be honest with him Roxy!” Frank advises. “Ask him some questions about this…” he voice tails off.

“Clara!” interrupts Steve, the bar man from two seats behind.

“Oh yea Clara” says Frank.

My phone is ringing again. It is Dan.

“Its him!” I exclaim and everyone goes quiet.

“Hello Dan” I say.

“Roxy, I just want to say that we can make this work” he states. “We just need to have a bit of trust!”

I place my hand over the receiver and say “he says we just need some trust!”

Polly shrieks with laughter, Mr Patel shakes his head, Frank shrugs and Steve mumbles something I can’t hear.

“Get some info on this girl!” urges Frank.

I return to my call. “I am sure we can make this work Dan….so then how old is she?!”

I am going to try not to go overboard on the questions. Don’t want to give him the impression that I am interrogating him.

“Thirty five” replies Dan.

“How long have you known her?” I ask.

“All my life. Our parents are good friends.”

“Does she have a husband or a boyfriend?” I ask, noticing that Frank has crossed his fingers and is holding them aloft.

7.45 P.M. Dan’s answers to my twenty two questions sent me and the commuters on my bus into a spin.

I was forced to get off a stop early, dash into supermarket and buy emergency bottle of cheap wine.

I am holding a ‘Female Council of War Meeting’ with Shaz, and Matilda, in my kitchen.

“This is Clara” I say, flashing them the photo from Dan’s Facebook profile.

Shaz’s immediate reaction to Clara is “OMG SHE IS STUNNING!” – if I am honest that is not what I was looking for.

“Pretty lady” remarks Matilda. Again not what I am looking for.

7.46 P.M. “So what do you know about this Clara?” asks Shaz, unwrapping her sixth Snickers Bar of the day.

“I have asked some questions” I reply.

Matilda groans. “Please tell me you didn’t go OTT when questioning him Mam!…that is not cool!”

“I didnt go into too much detail” I say, “I am not the clingy, paranoid type of girlfriend”.

Shaz turns to Matilda. She places a hand on her arm. “it’s important for us women of a certain age to know what we are dealing with when it comes to new relationships!”

Matilda groans for a second time and rolls her eyes.

“Come on Roxy, tell us what you know!” says Shazm before biting a huge chunk out of her chocolate bar.

I reveal Dan’s answers:

Dan and Clara have been best friends since birth. Their parents know each other.

He dated her in Sixth Form college, but they split after she went to university.

She finished it.

They live near each other and meet up every week for food.

Apparently Clara ‘gets’ him. (His quote).

Clara knew his ex-wife but they didn’t get on.

Clara does not have kids or a boyfriend.

Clara works in advertising.

Her star sign is Scorpio.

She owns her house.

She likes listening to Adele.

She hates cucumber.

Shaz and Matilda’s mouths have fallen open and they are both staring at me.

“I think I was quire restrained” I say.

Shaz shakes her head. “I am not sure I like the sound of her!” I love my best friend’s loyalty.

“Wow she has her own place and works in advertising” coos Matilda. My daughter’s loyalty has been questionable since she became a teenager.

“So do you think I can have a long distance relationship with someone who has an attractive female best friend called Clara?” I ask them both. Both remain silent and avoid eye contact with me.

Shaz breaks the silence. “You know the postman is now seeing the blonde woman at no.67 on my street. The blonde woman is ten years older than him”. I can’t help but wonder whether Shaz is avoiding giving me a reply.

“I have my house party on Saturday and you promised to go out and leave me alone” says Matilda. She is also avoiding giving me a reply.

Brian, my land lord, has just come into help unblock my smelly loo. We inform him that the smell was making Shaz wretch earlier. She tells him she nearly lost her 4th Snicker bar of the day. He sighs and grabs his bucket.

As he is about to go upstairs I say, “can I get your opinion on something?”

At sixty seven Brian is like a father figure to me, he knows how to calm me down and I know he will make me see sense.

“You know the man I am seeing, Dan, well he has a female best friend” I say showing him the photo of Clara. “I don’t have anything to worry about do I?” I ask.

Brian takes one look at her and quickly turns away.

Sensing trouble Shaz suggests we all have a nice cup of tea.

“Mam, Dan likes you for your bubbly personality and Clara is probably really dull” says Matilda.

“He says she has a great sense of humour” I reply.

“Looks are not everything Roxy!” says Shaz.

“Except when you are competing with model wannabe Clara!” I say.

“Red heads have more fun brunettes!” says Matilda.

Shaz pipes “men prefer women with wobbly bits and not stick insects!” I lean across and ‘high five’ her for such an amazing statement. Yes Dan has said he likes my wobbly bits…a lot.

Shaz places a mug of hot tea by me at the same time as Dan phones.

“How are you feeling now?” he asks.

“Yea great!” I say, trying to sound enthusiastic. He is unaware the ‘Female Council of War Meeting’ is still in progress and that he is the main subject.

“Listen I have been thinking” says Dan. “Why don’t you and the kids come to Manchester at the weekend to meet Clara. Plus my boys are home with me so we can all get together!”

“Oh that sounds….nice” I mumble.

Shaz and Matilda both cast me worrying looks.

“Clara is desperate to meet you!” says Dan.

I place my hand over my phone and say to Shaz and Matilda. “He’s invited us all to Manchester. Clara is desperate to meet me!”

Shaz leaps up and swaps my mug of tea for an emergency large glass of wine.