So funny, one of Chloe’s friends in Boston, Emily, read the blog and thought that Shardonnay was actually my life! She said, ‘OMG Chloe, does your mother really speak like that? And your punctuation and grammar is like soooo different over there, I never realised!’
I’ve realised that the readers who receive the posts by email could easily make this mistake as hotmail cannot process the chapter headings, so in fact just completely misses them out. So you go from my day to day musings bam straight in to Shardonnay’s life. Ha ha. Although you’d imagine that a relatively tuned-in viewer would either spot the difference or figure that I’ve finished a paragraph, gone off for a quick lobotomy and come back for another quick bit of typing.
Chapter 27. A Girl’s Gotta Have Fun.
August came and went. I got meself a couple of weekends in Southend and Matt and me we got the BBQ going out in the garden. I am partial to a Barbeque but I only like steak and only if it’s well done. I don’t like none of that half raw shit.
I saw that Finn on the telly talkin to someone about music. They was asking him when his new album would be ready. ‘People are waiting, people are desperate to see what you’ve made,’ they said.
‘Yeah, they’re like fuckin leeches, the lot of em,’ he answered. ‘I’m not fuckin ready yet, if it’s OK with you.’
Bit of a sarky bugger. He were gettin quite a reputation, going out in Camden and gettin wasted, causin trouble in pubs, gettin in fights. He were all over the celebrity news. Bit of a rock n roll lifestyle. He smashed up some lights and mics at a festival. He leapt around the stage so much it frightened me, I thought he would hurt hisself. He were like raw, that’s the only way to describe him, raw. Tiny little hips, tight black jeans, scrawny chest and them angry angry lips shouting horrible obskenities.
Then it were the launch of the Lost Boys new album. They had a big party in London where they was to play two of the new tracks live. I went with Matt. We was excited to see Nick and hear the new songs. From the first chord it were very odd. I din’t feel it much, but looking around me I saw people go a bit trancey, if you know what I mean. They all looked like they’d smoked a bit of waccy baccy, like they was out of their tiny minds. It’s like the music were doin somethin to the atmosphere. It’s like everyone had taken a step sideways in their minds, like the music had let them into a room where normally you’re not allowed to go or something. I tried to chat to some people but honest to God, they’d gone glassy-eyed. I were like ‘Hello!? Anyone home?!’ I wondered if their drinks had all been spiked.
The second song weren’t no better. I couldn’t get no sense outta no one there. Matt were backstage so I couldn’t talk to him. Everyone were lost to me. I were startin to wish I’d bought me mum with me. Then, little by little, oh my god, I started to feel it. Did I ever! I guess at first I had just been more resistant than other people. But, not being funny or anythin, this were scary. It were like coming up on E or something. It were like a mighty whoosh in your chest, from the vibrations like working on you, working on you, til you give in, you crack, you can’t take it. But then again, I never been that good with drugs. I prefer to know what’s goin on. That’s why I stick to Mojitos.
It were like a horrible tickly buzzing inside me ribs, then in me pelvis, in the tops of me thighs, I felt meself start to sway, I couldn’t think no more, me mind were suddenly full of colours, sliding slabs of colour what were floodin into corners of me mind what I din’t know was there. Oh, my God, maybe my drink had been spiked, I started to think! Parts of me long forgotten from when I were just a slip of a girl was being wakened up. I started to pay real attention. I listened and listened, and shut me eyes, and felt like I weren’t meself, I were like transported, I were like someone else, someone much better than me, someone older, but younger, fresher…oh, my lord, someone kinder and with nothin bad in them. This made me cry. I were just standin there sobbin me heart out. Because I knew in me heart, I knew that in me normal life I had been a bad person. I had done wrong. Plain and simple. It were clear to me. And I felt sorry, suddenly. Very very sorry for what I done.
The song came to an end. All you could now hear was sobs, the sobs and moanin of everyone in the audience. People turned to complete strangers and hugged them. I hugged the lady next to me. Big and fat, she were, and she had nasty perfume on, but she were comfortin none the less, in my moment of pain. I looked around me and could see that all the people there felt sorry, like me. They wanted to be better people.
I did wonder as the sobs died away and the applause started, if Nick had got it wrong. Music what makes people feel bad and sad? Is that a good thing? Music what freaks out bits of your mind what you’d rather keep under wraps thanks very much? Ooh, I’m not sure. However, havin said that, I did start to feel better inside after the song. Like as if bad stuff had been taken out of me. Like all the shit had just poured itself into the ground.
Anyway, after this everyone relaxed a bit and got drunk. There was bottles and bottles of champers, which I love, so I found a waiter with a tray of full glasses, and took three of em, one at a time, necking em right there and then. There was people lookin at me like a bit disapprovin, but I din’t care. Me mum always says, ‘Shardonnay, a girl’s gotta have some fun. If you can’t have some fun, life’s not worth livin.’ And she’s right. If I go out, I wanna have some fun. There ain’t no point in goin out otherwise, is there? I grabbed another couple of champagne flutes.
I were starting to spin a bit when I came face to face with Finn in the crowd. ‘I din’t know you was here, Finn!’ I says. ‘How are you gettin on?’
He looked me in the eye long and hard. God, that boy has so many piercings, lips, nose, cheeks, eyebrows. It’s hard to concentrate on what someone’s saying when there’s so many distractions. But you’d have to be pretty thick-skinned to miss what he next said to me, he said: ‘Shardonnay. Well I never. Face to face at last.’ He leant close and whispered: ‘I know what you did.’ There were a pause. I were so pissed I couldn’t help myself, I burst out laughin. He looked angry. ‘You may well laugh,’ he said, ‘but one of these days I’m going to get proof and then,’ he leant over again and hissed in me ear, ‘I’m gonna tell him, and you won’t be able to stop me.’
Oh, Lordy, probably woulda been better if I hadn’t been quite so drunk. But I drew meself up tall, hopin I wouldn’t fall over, and I says to him, I says, ‘Well, Finn, you do whatever you like, but without me you wouldn’t even be here to do it! I carried ya…well, ok, maybe half of ya… carefully across the road in your little jam-jar! I took care! I cared about ya! I din’t trip! I din’t lose ya! You should be saying ‘well done,’ to me, ‘well done,’ for doing that little service for ya.’
‘Yeah, well, if you had refrained from carrying out ‘that little service,’ then maybe the man who brought me up would’ve provided his own seed to make his own baby and maybe…’ his voice cracked, ‘maybe he would’ve loved me,’ he said, desperately.
‘Yeah, well,’ I countered drunkenly, slopping me champers out of me glass as I tried to focus on the lad’s eyes, ‘a.) he probably couldn’t get it up or had sperms what didn’t know how to swim and that’s why yer mum came to the ‘clinic,’ and b.) if he had ‘provided his own seed’ then you wouldn’t be you, you’d be some other kid, if you get my drift, and c.) even if the kid made out of that man what brung you up’s spunk was ‘you’, would you really want to have a dad like that?’ I finished my speech with a flourish of me champagne flutes, and leant over to puke in a plant pot. I were rather proud of me reasonin. I always think clearer when I’ve had a few.
Poor lad, I think he knew when he were beat. He backed off anyhow. Must say, I don’t take kindly to threats. Best nip em in the bud.
Chapter 28. No Peace for the Wicked.
So it were a few months later and I were in the middle of pourin meself a nice glass of white wine when the doorbell went. ‘Oh lord, no peace for the wicked!’ I sighed to meself. I tell you, over the years, that front door has seen plenty of action. I opened up and there were a young lass there holdin a whingin toddler in her arms. Her face were all streaky and her mascara were runnin. She were like way too thin.
‘Is Nicholas here?’ she asked, her breath cloudin in the cold night air.
I din’t know what to say. She looked familiar. Oh, my God, it were that girl with funny eyes. It were Izzy, the one who guessed what I done with the sperm. Shit, I never liked her. Smartarse.
‘My baby…my baby is sick,’ she said. ‘I just thought maybe Nick could help her?’
I looked at the kid. It did look sick. Like grey. Unconscious. I sighed. ‘You’re in luck,’ I said. ‘He’s due back from New York later. Should be in about eleven.’
I don’t know why I let her in. If I hadn’t everything might of been different. But as me mum says, ‘You couldn’t of known, Shardonnay, how could you of known?’ And it were well cold! You can’t leave someone with a baby out in the freezin cold!
We waited for Nick in the lounge. I made her a cuppa tea. Gave her a crumpet. The baby were moanin softly into its cloth with its eyes tight shut.
Lucky the telly were on cos otherwise there would of been a well embarrassing silence. I finally thought of something to say. ‘You sing well high,’ I said. ‘Got a bit of a voice on ya, haven’t ya?’
She smiled. ‘Used to have,’ she whispered. A tear plopped out of her eyes. It don’t help if you ain’t got no eyelashes.
‘What’s the baby called?’ I asked.
She took a little sip of tea. ‘Gloria,’ she said.
I woulda said ‘Nice name,’ but I really weren’t feelin it, I mean, really, Gloria? The poor little scrap, with a name like that! La di da, or what, and I don’t like to lie so I din’t say nothin.
‘Why did you leave the Heavenly Host?’ I asked, curious suddenly. ‘We always wondered, cos you was like so good and you was getting so famous?’
She din’t answer. She just patted the baby, and I understood, she must of left cos she were pregnant.
‘D’you mind if I smoke?’ she asked.
‘Not at all, you go ahead,’ I said and pushed me Silk Cut over to her.
She smoked away, silently, with shaky fingers. Ooh, she were a bit of a mess, must be said. ‘At the end of the day,’ I thought to meself, ‘you only got yourself to blame, gettin pregnant so young.’ Honestly, the youf, whatcha gonna do with em, they ain’t got no clue. Honestly, to have a baby, you need a house, you need a bit of security, let’s face it, you need yourself a man. You can’t go doin all that when you is still a kid yerself, yer just not ready.
A car dropped Nick off nigh on midnight. He walked in and dropped a whole pile of recording stuff on the floor in shock when he saw the girl. ‘Izzy!’ he said, ‘For God’s sake, we thought we’d never see you again. Why didn’t you get in touch?’
‘I’m sorry, Nick,’ she said, crying again, scrumpling a disinteglating tissue into her eyes. ‘I’m so sorry.’
‘We looked for you,’ said Nick, looking into her eyes. ‘After Sebastian died we tried all your old addresses.’
‘I was only fifteen, Nick! The press would’ve done me in! Oh, yeah, you know what they’re like. They would’ve loved a pregnant celebrity teen. My parents knew I had to disappear….’ She looked down at the baby who were suddenly breathing very fast. ‘Nick, can you help her? You’re her last chance. Please.’ She held out the floppy toddler to him, her head down in shame.
Nick turned off the telly and took the kid, wrapped in its fleecy blanket, in his arms and walked over to the window. With his back to us, we couldn’t see what he were doing, but he stood really still. The orange glow from the street lamp outside shone around his body. It looked like he had a halo all around him. He hummed really low in his throat and swayed slightly. He stayed like that for maybe three minutes. Then he turned and passed the baby back to the girl. The baby were asleep, its eyes shut and a frown on its little grey face. Poor little mite.
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