Archive for February, 2013

11 Feb
2013

Love Story

A short anecdote from Robbie, the hero’s best friend in the story I’m currently revising.

Eight years ago today, I fell in love.

Not that you’d have known, if you’d been there. Think midnight in mid-January. A pair of twentysomethings, one Italian/Scots mongrel and one Hibernian thoroughbred, legging it from Camden’s finest kebab shop to my best mate Ian McKenzie Kinross’s place.

I stopped dead in my tracks. Didn’t feel the icy, horizontal rain. Didn’t hear Mac, asking me what the fuck I was doing.

Could be interesting,’ was all I said. He grunted a reply, and we set off again.

There are rules about manly displays of emotion. I’d learned to control mine back when all I had to do was keep my zits at bay and hope my voice wouldn’t break at the wrong moment. When I suddenly stopped watching Nigella lick her lips, and started checking out her hands. When I lived a double life, glued to Great Chefs Television on YouTube with my bedroom door closed, hiding my ma’s Good Housekeeping under the mattress.

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11 Feb
2013

Sasha goes to school

In the story I’m working on, Sasha is a significant secondary character. By then, she’s grown into a twenty-one year-old monster with a billion dollars, a business empire and a point to prove.

At the age of twelve, I went alone to my half-yearly meeting with my father. Until then, it had been my nanny’s responsibility; all I had to do was stand, listen, and keep quiet whilst she catalogued my progress (supported by evidence, no opinions required), tried to emphasize my achievements, took a verbal flaying, and was given her objectives for the next semester. Crying wasn’t allowed, and before each ordeal we practised and practised until I could bear any attack, no matter how personal, without flinching.

Diana, my father’s assistant and long-term mistress, watched me eagerly for any sign of weakness or distress; I knew she’d find nothing. Eventually the sleek phone on Diana’s desk buzzed: ‘Send her in.’

Father sat at the far end of the library with his back to the cathedral windows, a dark figure framed by the late afternoon light. Gathering all my courage, I walked steadily across the polished floor until I stood in front of his desk. He didn’t invite me to sit, so I stood and waited.

‘I hear you want to go to school in Switzerland.’

Justifying myself would have been a mistake, so I nodded once, thanking my lucky stars that he’d decided to hold the meeting in English, when it could easily have been French or Russian. I kept my eyes fixed on a point just above his chin, reached into my leather satchel, pulled out the envelope with the application papers, and passed them over.

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