Saturday, 24 January 2015

Living With The Evil Within

Living With The Evil Within

The bed was a lot colder these days, our backs faced each other every night. Sometimes I asked myself, was I who caused the distance between us?... I know I am not an easy person to live with. He had a lot on his mind. He was fast asleep and he usually fell asleep within two minutes these days, I know this because I counted once. I wanted to see how long it would take him to say good night, but it never came.

He, when I say "he" I am referring to my husband Kurt, was sat at his laptop in his study sending CV's. He was unemployed and far from his happiest days. The vacant heavy stare in his eyes sent desperation and shame onto his daily tasks. He expected a lot from his life, he was a writer therefore most writers feel that way. However he was experiencing a bad patch because he was dropped by his publisher, or they turned the other cheek on him, either wasn't explained yet. It was meant to be the book deal of his life, the break to set him up for forever.

Kurt walked into the kitchen and went straight to the fridge. He took out a pint of milk and drunk it straight from the carton. This was another bad habit he created and I hated it. We were both educated people and he was turning into trash from the street. This morning I was making an all English breakfast, the pans were well occupied and cooking was something I was really good at.

"Do you want everything with your breakfast love?" I said.

Kurt didn't even have the decency to reply. I felt like throwing the pans at him and watching the once man turn into a bitch crying in pain as the pans scolded his face. I don't know what I did to deserve this treatment. He had begun making his own toast and started reading the newspaper. I watched him and I wanted to try and talk to him, but I didn't because I was weak, that was the truth and deep down was the root to all this mess.

Our daughter Delilah danced into the kitchen brimming with youth you only found in young people. She was the sunshine to our family, no matter how distant Kurt and I were becoming, Delilah always tried to make us a family again. She said "good morning" to us and hugged us, I was first and that wasn't down to favoritism. I gave her her breakfast. Then I dished up Kurt's and put it next to him.

"There is your breakfast if you want it love" I said.

Kurt grunted. I got that much from him out of respect for Delilah being present. If she wasn't there then I am certain I wouldn't gotten anything.

Kurt walked Delilah to school. Delilah was skipping, she was a person that was blessed with natural in the moment happiness. Kurt wasn't making an effort with his appearance, he wore clothes which came from the bottom of his wardrobe: old jeans, old leather jacket and an old tee shirt. Being unemployed had hit him hard.

"Why are you and mum upset dad?" Delilah said.
"Do we seem upset?" Kurt replied.
"We are OK. I just need a job"
"Will you get a new job?"
"Of course sweetheart"

They arrived at the school gate and Kurt took a knee to kiss Delilah.

"Have a good day at school Delilah" Kurt said.

Delilah kissed Kurt and then ran to her friends who were playing conkers. The way Kurt looked at his daughter explained she was his world. He didn't love me anymore, come to think of it he never really did and it was my fault. The reason why: because I never had a job. I always lived off Kurt's success because he told me too, but deep down he despised me that and taking the bait so easily. I didn't have a back bone and now when he needed financial support the most, there was no-one there to support him. It was lucky we could survive off his savings, because if that wasn't there... he might have hurt me. If it wasn't physically, he was going to take Delilah away from me, that is what he plotted as he watched Delilah win the game of conkers against her friends.

The bed was empty. I only noticed that when I sneaked a peak at Kurt's side to see he wasn't there. If I didn't look it wouldn't have felt any different, the bed was so cold lately I didn't even feel myself in it. Kurt was in the bathroom, the downstairs bathroom! Why there I didn't know. But he was acting like a crazy person the past few weeks. It had been one year and ten months of unemployment and it was almost certain the publishers had fucked him over.

Kurt looked in the mirror with a face that didn't match his soul. His eyes were turning black, any glimpse of character was suffocated by blankness. He put his hands together and prayed to the Devil to help him. He prayed for success and in exchange was ready for any deal presented to him. It turned out that deal was me! I knew Kurt had darkness within him, we all do. But this was different, I didn't know he had evil.

The next morning Kurt woke up and got straight out of bed. He woke me up. The way he did this wasn't normal; either he was a robot or something else. He stretched and his hands almost touched the ceiling, I didn't know if I was half asleep because he never stretched like that. And then he left the room and went downstairs. I looked at my clock and it said "7.10am." It was a Saturday.

I was brushing my teeth and I thought someone walked past the room. I turned around and no-one was there. I continued brushing my teeth but had this eerie feeling someone was with me. So I went to Delilah's room, opened her door and saw Kurt was already there, sitting next to Delilah, stroking her hair as she slept. Then he looked at me and said nothing. I didn't expect him to be in the room, he was never in Delilah's room that early on a Saturday. His eyes had no emotion as he stared at me. I didn't know what to say. Everything just seemed off.

I was walking through the hallway to take the trash out when a figure appeared out of the corner of my eye. I peered into the living room and it was Kurt, sitting on the sofa reading the paper. I saw Kurt reading the paper all the time around the house, but today for some reason it seemed different. It was as if he just kept appearing in every room I was in, unexpectedly, creeping up on oneself.

I was in the kitchen washing the dishes when I was absolutely convinced something breathed over my shoulder. It made me jump and I looked around to see Kurt taking an out of date milk carton from the fridge and began drinking it.

"Kurt that is out of date. Do you want me to go to the shop and get some more milk?" I said.

Kurt looked at me. He didn't wipe the milk stain from his top lip (the educated man was so far away now, somewhere in Alaska, what shame) and his eyes looked straight through me like I was glass.

"No" he said.

He carried on drinking the out of date milk and then walked to the living room. I was trembling. There was something wrong with my husband. Something told me I needed a priest which was strange because I hated religion. I was scared, scared of my own house and for the briefest of moments I thought I was going to die soon.

Delilah was playing the front yard, I was in the living room knitting with the TV on as background noise (the way we American's do things). Delilah was nine years old and I felt she was old enough to be left alone in the front yard. Kurt was in town somewhere and by this time I found it hard to care what he did. Delilah saw her friends from school across the street and they calling her name and waving her over. She knew she wasn't allowed to leave the front garden, but her friends kept calling her and Delilah thought it wouldn't hurt to go over to see what they wanted.

The friends repeated exactly the same actions and callings over and over - it seemed they were puppets. Delilah wasn't the type to be desperate for friends, but at that age, fitting in is as important as a lady wanting her first baby before she reaches forty. Delilah got to the edge of the road and the friends were still on the other side, waving and calling. Only a dash questioned Delilah's mind if they were actually real. She looked left and right and saw no cars were coming, then she crossed the road and three seconds later a red Audi A4 appeared out of nowhere and hit her. Delilah traveled twenty meters and landed on the pavement, dead. The friends weren't present, they weren't real.

We watched Delilah being buried. It was the saddest day of my life. I didn't know why this was all happening. Kurt wanted nothing to do with me and now my Delilah was dead, so what did I have? Kurt and I didn't have much family and the ones who bothered to show up paid their respects and placed their flowers in the grave. It was funny because as I hugged onto Kurt's arm I needed him of all people to save me, but still he was cold. I looked into his face, what I saw was frightening and I asked myself something I never thought could be possible: could he be the cause of Delilah's death?!

One month later, Kurt had arrived home from his meeting with his publishers. He went to the bathroom, washed his face and looked in the mirror. He should have been happy with the news: the publishers gave his book a deal worth ten million dollars. He had finally made it, his dream had come true and he was rich. But still he was unhappy. He looked at his face and saw the truth. He knew the Devil kept his side of the bargain and gave him the riches he asked, but it was at the cost of Delilah and that wasn't part of Kurt's plan. There was nothing he could do now because the Devil is a trickster and cunning.

I waited for Kurt to come into the living room where I was standing with all of my suitcases. I was ready to divorce and leave him. I was going back to live with my parents which I swore I would never do. But my family was over now and with all of my heart, every last piece of it had grown to hate this thing I was living with.

Kurt looked at me and surprisingly he wasn't surprised to see me with my suitcases. He in fact had been waiting for it. Evil was rooted deep within him after all.

"I am leaving" I said.
"Fine" He replied.

And the way he answered me, I knew, what he wanted was the person to have died instead of Delilah was me.

Thursday, 22 January 2015

Well To Do People

Well To Do People

She was the most hardworking person in the cafe. Every time I saw her on a shift she was efficient and worked the coffee machine as if she had built it. Her posture was strong: legs straight, shoulders back and neck to the ceiling. Negativity never seemed to be in her space.

I sat at a table with my usual coffee, waffle and City AM newspaper. This was my morning ritual. The ritual became such a habit I contemplated once if I was becoming a boring hermit. But I realized I was one of those routine people where Virgo's use that as an excuse for not being fun.

She was lovely. So small and perfect with her short brown hair, big brown eyes and no meat on those bones frame. At first I thought she came from France. Then I knew she did when she served me and spoke with a French accent.

"Everything OK sir?" She said.
"Yes thank you" I replied.

Her smile replicated one from Hollywood and she walked off. Her smile was magnificent, it would brighten up anyone's day, the teeth immaculate. I had to be at work at nine and had an important day ahead. I was contempt with my life: a city guy who wore a suit and took a train to work everyday. I was on sixty thousand pounds a year, a Scottish man that had come to London in hope of achieving his dreams. My name was Charlie aged thirty, her name was Isabelle aged twenty two.

Isabelle arrived at her one bedroom apartment in Elephant and Castle. She kicked off her flats and went to the kitchen to make tea. The place was decently new, no cracks were showing in any room and the decor had a rustic vibe. This was Isabelle's first time in London, she had finally decided to give living abroad a go. But it was a shame no-one told her Elephant and Castle was such a ghetto!

Her laptop was open and linked to Skype. Isabelle came from a homely home, but she was the traveler of the family, the bad seed in their eyes. On the screen her mother and father appeared and they said hello (in French) and began speaking in French. Her parents missed Isabelle, they repeated the same thing like "we miss you, when are you coming home?" over again and the need to cling came through the screen. They deeply hated the fact Isabelle left France. Because they were a family with money they told Isabelle she could have had anything she wanted in France. However Isabelle had her own dreams.

Soon enough Isabelle's brothers came onto her screen: Ivon and Ives. Their parents thought the letter "I" was lucky and gave their three children that initial. Ivon was the tall one and had a long beard (a phase he was going through) and Ives was the shorter one, more serious, organized and had his life well together. They said hello (in French) and spoke in French. Isabelle was the youngest sibling. She loved her brothers, their bright and happy faces made her happy. They had the same smile as hers and their thick French accents resembled a native never to have left their own country. They were her rocks. She spoke to her family near enough everyday. Even though she was the traveler, she never forgot her roots.

Later that evening, Isabelle sent CV's to recruitment agencies, this was part of her routine. She was a qualified architect and sending CV's was mostly all she did when she was at home. She was in her bedroom, laying on the bed, the laptop in front of her. She had been in London for almost a year and had no luck with finding a job which matched her qualifications. But she was strong, however she couldn't continue to be unlucky, smart enough to know no-one was made of steel and eventually they will break. But still she was happy she had a job as a waitress. Initially when she came to England her goal was learn the language first. She had done that and was near enough fluent, now she needed a proper job.

Maria owned the cafe. She was always their during service, usually in her chair behind the counter doing crosswords. She was Italian, well into her sixties and a person who didn't have much luck in life. When she came to London thirty years ago, she opened the cafe off the money her parents left her (they died in a car accent.) The cafe was her only joy. Her previous husband (a Chilean gangster) married her to stay in the country and then divorced her. Her second husband (a Russian magician) dumped her when her previous miscarriage stopped her from having more children. And now she was old, mournful and on the shelf. She had to live with the old decent men being taken and the ones who were left were either senile or not confident enough to ask a lady to a date.

There was something about Isabelle though, Maria thought; the way she worked around the cafe, the way her English improved everyday and her high spirit and positive attitude. Maria took a break from her crossword to look at Isabelle making coffees. She saw a special creature that had a bright future. In the past it upset her that the young employees she hired never stayed longer than six months at the cafe, but Isabelle was different - she had been there for a year!

I saw Isabelle working hard and focused behind the counter, cashing a customers order. She then picked up a ticket and walked towards me. I was single at the time, but I didn't want to ask Isabelle out because I didn't think it was fair to invade her life at that stage. She seemed like a lady just trying to make her way in a new country. She layed my coffee (skinny latte in a tall glass, had to be a tall glass, oh dear I am becoming a boring hermit!) and my waffle.

At home, I lived in a one bedroom apartment in Bayswater. I had a mortgage on the place and was proud of it, as it took all of my twenties working as a city boy to get it. It was a perfect Victorian building. The window in the living room looked onto the front garden and the plants and the small lights which led up to the front door made the place feel like you were on holiday. It was a Wednesday and my usual routine was to make dinner and watch TV - very single life living. However Isabelle stayed in my mind, she was all I could think about and I wondered if I was falling in love. I went to the kitchen and opened a can of Heineken to get myself straight, but she wouldn't leave my head. And then I knew what I had to do.

Isabelle caught me looking at her, I didn't want that to happen. She had a cute tight lipped smile and her eyes glowed. She was walking to me with my coffee and waffle. The tight lipped smile didn't leave her face, and she knew as I did, there was something happening under the surface between us. As she was about to leave my table, I said...

"Isabelle." She turned to me with a mischievous face, expecting me to ask her out.
"What are you skilled in?" I said.
"I am a qualified architect" she replied.
"Do you like working here?"
"It's OK"
"Take my card. I can get you into a really good office position if you like"

I handed my card to her and she took it.

"Thank you" She said.
"You're welcome" I replied.

She went back to work. I felt happy I tried to help her, and was all I wanted to do, to help her. She was a foreigner with irresistible qualities: hard working and well to do. In my opinion those people deserve good luck. It would have been great to see her out of the cafe and into a decent office job. Even though it wasn't architecture, it was a start. I decided my love life could be pushed aside for more important things, like seeing this flower blossom. Sometimes in life to get what you want you have to get what others want first.

The next day Isabelle arrived half an hour before the cafe opened, she was proactive. She put her bag and things down in the staff room, put her apron on and looked in the mirror. She found my card in her pocket and remembered the offer I gave her. It stayed in her mind the previous night. However she wasn't convinced about something, it was a strange feeling directly in the center of her stomach and it annoyed her. Then Maria called her from the office.

Maria sat in her chair with a brighter face than usual, which was rare. Isabelle thought Maria had met someone or had sex, jackpot! It turned out to be neither, but joy filled her eyes and it was all because of Isabelle.

"I want to say I am very proud of you Isabelle, for being so loyal to me and this cafe. Usually when foreign people come to London, they just use my cafe as a place to pay their rent and learn English until they find something new. But you have stayed with me and have been the best worker I have ever employed." Maria said.
"Thank you Maria" Isabelle replied.

Every word came from Maria's heart. Isabelle new this and it felt good.

"I am retiring and going back to Italy and I want you to be the part owner of this business. I trust you, I admire you and I know you will be good for the cafe's future."

Isabelle was happy. Maria seemed so well, just the thought of going back to Italy made her excited. Her time was done in England, it was done and it was time to move on. Isabelle was flattered and knew how much trust Maria had in her and she wasn't going to let her down.

"I will do it, I will look after your cafe" Isabelle said.

They hugged. Isabelle thought about my offer with the office, but she knew the right decision was Maria's. She knew sometimes you have to do onto others they way you want others to do onto you, and now Maria needed her. So she was there for her.

Sunday, 14 December 2014

The Bassist

The Bassist

At twelve years old she sat in the living room, eager with the twinkle of excitement in her eyes like it was Christmas day. It was in fact her birthday. Her long brown straight hair covered her Brazilian face. Her slight frame was the product of another slim soon to be rock Goddess. Her name was Love. She knew it was pretentious of her parents to gift her with that name, although she didn't know what pretentious meant at that time. She got bullied for it by angry kids, but her personality was beyond her years and in tune to the moment and negativity bounced off her.

Her father gave her a large present. Love took it and really didn't know what to expect. Her father was a tall musician with hair reaching past his shoulders, her mother was a singer and Love looked a smaller version of her. Music was in the family's roots. Soon enough the present was open and Love held a bass guitar. She leaped onto her mother and father and kissed them repeatedly. From the age of four all she wanted to do was play bass, inspired from her favorite Brazilian bands, and now she had the tool in her hands - now she was ready.

Love was barefoot in her room, her skinny legs exposed with only a long white t-shirt covering her upper half. The bass guitar was in her hands and she was practicing rhythms. She had a gifted mind for creativity; she could learn a few cords, just a note even and from that she could create an entire piece of music. Her older brothers were next door with their girlfriends. They had interests which involved becoming lawyers and bankers, they didn't follow in the musical footsteps of their parents, it was Love who inherited that part of the gene. The bass blared through the walls and it annoyed them a little because the music was playing for six hours straight now. But they left Love to it, the smiles on their tanned handsome faces spoke love for their younger sister.

By now, Love was prancing around in her room playing a piece she constructed. She always had this fantastic ability to dance amazingly; her legs reached her chest and her head moved from side to side so coyly it seemed sexier than a striptease. Her family wondered what possessed her to dance so maturely at such a young age, but they realized as Love eventually did, she had talent.

Love was seventeen. The room was full of bassist's waiting to be auditioned. Love was ready, she had the piece she was going to play locked in her mind. As a late teenager, her face had blossomed into a attractive young woman. Her body was a trademark slim and the predictable rock boots on her feet. There was no cliche to it though, Love loved everything about rock, how she dressed, how she spoke and how she smiled. Her raspy voice was warm, every bit of it Brazilian.

She stood in front of the band and she wasn't even nervous. She didn't really care about them, all she cared about was her bass guitar and her perfectly constructed pieces. The band (a three piece looking for a fourth as their previous basset left them due to issues with money) sat at the desk. All Brazilian in their late twenties and early thirties. Brazil knew them as their biggest rock band and their cool faces showed no signs of success gone to ones head. Instead they were curiously embracing Love's presence. Love on the other hand was curious as to why she was there in the first place; she was a nobody having had stints in nobody bands during her teens. As she sound checked her guitar, she thought surely they would want to audition established bassists, but later became to understand they were blown away with her demo tape.

She started her audition and like a switch was intoxicated with passion, dancing with her guitar and playing toe tapping rhythms. None of it was over-the-top or trying too hard for the occasion, she relaxed and her rhythms switched from out of control speed to slow harmonies, and then to the killer solo. Her thin arms held the guitar as she began to hop on the spot. The band looked at each other and knew Love was it. Not only could she do the bassist's job, but she was a character, she was unique and would bring another dimension to the band. Perhaps as much as the lead singer, the lead singer thought as he sat un-pretentiously in the center of the three. They agreed Love wasn't going to be a band member happy to play the 'passenger' role on the trip, she had a character to offer. And they hired her on the spot.

At twenty five, Love was all woman. Her long hair had become shorter, a perfect crop at the neck. Her long frame became longer. The band were in a famous studio in Brazil, it was darkly lit. They began a take of a track, it was a brooding song about lost friendship which started off slowly and gradually built up to an obvious, but ferocious climax. Love had become maturer with her performance on bass; the notes played with more care and slower rhythms than the quick fire wham-bam stuff usually donned by 'just starting outers.' The skinny jeans she wore were spray tight to her leg's, the sexy boots rested over them. More hops and moves to her dancing were a part of her routines, her dancing had developed with her age as her bass playing.

Eight albums in (five which included Love) and the band a worldwide dominance. Love was known as one of the best bass players in the business, and being the only woman in a male band only added more attention to her. This was the buzz which circled around before one of the bands biggest events to date; headlining on the home turf in South America, Festival Lollapalooza. The band stepped out onto the stage and waved to their audience. Love put on her guitar with the ear to ear coy smile she became famous and loved for. Then the show began. About a half hour into it Love's movements were becoming deep and heavy, at one point she was on the floor as if she was having sex. And soon enough when the really heavy tracks were played, the famous head banger was out. She banged her head like a real rockster, the hair flying everywhere...

... it was clear by this time, who the real star of the band was - not the singer or his number two. It was the quiet bass player. It was Love.

She was thirty. Her house was a mansion in North of Brazil and she was having tea with her family. Love grew her hair longer again, it suited who she really was, even though her face was timelessly beautiful, the 'short and serious' phase was passed. Her brothers and parents were in the lounge as Love walked in with tea. They were all proud of the baby of the family, becoming a star and becoming a millionaire. Love's mother (who still looked the spitting older image of Love, just aging now) put her arm around her daughter and they looked like two lifetime friends. Love was happy how far she had come, playing bass and now being able to give back to her family was the best feeling, a part from playing bass! But she got a phone call from the lead singer of the band which was about to change everything.

She had never cried so much, ever. The news of the band members deciding to end the band depressed her so much she didn't leave her bedroom for days - her tears was for her bass. She had worked hard to get to where she was and she couldn't have done it without the band, now it was all over. She was in her thirties, still so young with gallons left in the tank - that was one of her best qualities, forever young inside and out. But what mystified her was why the band came to an end. There was no real why.

Eventually that 'why' was revealed when the bands manager called her. Love answered her mobile (still in bed, soon to be approaching day six) and he told her the truth the other three ended the band because they were jealous of Love getting all the attention. They hated the fact the bass player was the star. When the phone call ended Love realized she learnt a big lesson in trust and that the smiles she was closets too didn't speak their exteriors - she was living with the enemy the entire time.

Did all this stop Love? No. The guitar was in her hand, she was in her thirties and the start of a whole new chapter. Her new band mates were around her in a dingy throwaway shed - the way Love liked it, raw from the ground up. This was her band, her creation. She turned down the opportunity to play bass for practically every major outfit in the world in need of bass players. People thought she was crazy. But Love, standing in her high heels now, skinny jeans and short leather jacket, knew what she was doing. This time she was doing it her way, ready to go on the journey all over again. She tuned in her wires, then the band practiced a song and Love started dancing, approaching a haunting solo.

Saturday, 6 December 2014

La La Land

La La Land

Tiredness ached his muscles as his body rested on its side in the bed. His back was to his wife. This was the position he slept now days to hide the sadness he had inside his body. His name was Barry, a black man (with a white man's name) thirty nine years old. His wife slept next to him, her back facing the other way too. She slept this way to mirror Barry's emotions. Both of them were running on empty. Her name was Sadorra (a Puerto Rican surname for a first name) she was Italian, thirty seven, white (obviously!).

"Baby, it is time to go" Sadorra said.
"Not again honey, we have been over this many times before" Barry replied.
"It has been three years. Enough is enough now"

Barry turned onto his back. He knew Sadorra was right. They were based in Manhattan and the flat they lived in wasn't much to speak of. Their three children aged one to six slept in the same room next door.

"This year is going to be the year. I told you that. The deal with Sony will happen" Barry said.

Sadorra got out of the covers and sat on the edge of the bed, losing her will because she was going round the same circle with Barry.

"All we do is wait for you" Sadorra said.
"What am I supposed to do? I can't make this happen any faster" Barry replied.
"Neither can we. Which is why we are going back to Italy"

Barry jumped off the mattress and placed his hands on the bed looking like the animal ready to protect his territory. He felt Sadorra was betraying him, but as usual when those emotions passed he knew Sadorra was right.

"And what am I supposed to do in Italy? I was there for a decade and it got me nothing" Barry said.
"Are you forgetting me and the kids? Italy found you us" Sadorra replied.
"I can't do that. Italy promised me a career and they threw me nothing but a broom and a street"
"The kids need you. I need you"
"Stop that. Don't flip that card on me"

Barry paces his side of the room. The thought of going back to Italy made him nervous and each pace reached a higher boiling point.

"This place is giving us an opportunity. Here there aren't any grudges, I am accepted. In Italy I am just another black nigga. Just some black monkey jumping around in the jungle from Africa. Do you want a record deal Barry? Yes I do sir. Well how about you clean our streets first nigga. I don't want you on our books, no, I just said we did for you to clean our shit and eat it while you are at it Mr black money, slave nigga"

Barry picks up the TV and throws it against the wall and it shatters into pieces. Every part of Barry's frustration came out; from his dysfunctional upbringing in England, to his lonely time in Italy, to his unsuccessful break as a musician now in New York. He could hardly control his breathing. He would never hurt his family, never, but he didn't know where to turn. Sadorra looked past Barry's anger, knowing it was just the act of a man that breaks things with his fists, and she walked to him and put her hands on his face.

"People do love you in Italy" Sadorra said.
"They don't like me with you and you know I am right" Barry replied.
"Yes they do and the sooner you realize that the better... We are going to Italy and I hope you will come with us"

                                                              *          *          *          *

The place was an old pub in The Bronx, dimly lit from end to end. Barry was on stage performing a love song and the audience hung onto each word. More musicians were at the back of the venue, waiting for their turn to perform. The posters around the pub said "The Saturday Slam" and the place had gained a reputation in New York for up and coming musicians.

Even though Barry's touching words and melody's made the audience witness a talent before them, inside Barry was dying. He had become a regular at this venue and nothing had happened for his career. To the audience, the tears which rolled down his cheeks were passion-emotion, but it was pain. Each word was more difficult to sing and his fingers were like blocks of wood.

At the end of his performance he took his bow. The audience were clapping and some stood up to acknowledge how good he was. All Barry could see was the lights and the sound of the audience made him dizzy. At that moment he made the decision to call time on his music dream. He had been living in a fantasy and concluded sometimes the dream wasn't meant to happen for everyone.

He walked off the stage and was congratulated with shoulder hugs and pats on the back from his viewers. It felt nice, but nice didn't get him a break. Then to his surprise his family was standing in front of him; the beautiful Italian lady and the three perfect mixed raced kids. At that moment he needed a support system more than anything and it was his family who were there for him. It confirmed going back to Italy was the right decision and to finally leave the music circus behind once and for all.

However another hand touched his shoulder which forced him to turn around. And it was the music producer from Sony, posing what looked to be a fake smile with something close to the Devil behind it. He was holding a contract.

"Well done Barry. Your time has come" He said and held out the contract to Barry.

"Take this and bring it to my office on Monday signed. And then we are all set to go" He continued.

Barry's entire world caved in, like his whole life crashed together at once - his big break had finally come. When things happened they usually come in three's, and to Barry that was living proof right now. But then he looked at his family waiting for him and didn't know what to do. So he did the right thing and handed the contract back to the producer. And left the venue with his family.

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

The Writer

The Writer

The light shone through the window to his favorite room in his expensive bachelor pad. He was typing away at his MacBook Air at a speed which made a trained typist jealous. Plus his mind was so focused he would make an programmer at Facebook weep in comparison. An outsider would wonder if the life he lived was a happy one, or if his genius and famous writers status in life was worth it. However, he kept typing on. His mind was working at a speed now where the words hyper drove onto the next page. In the in between moments, he never questioned his work ethic because he knew what he was aiming towards and most importantly, why.

Two months later. George was still at his desk typing away at the project; a novel entitled "The Writers Remains". He was a third into the story now, everything was flowing nicely. His protagonist "Peter" resembled a lot of himself; the way he looked, they way he thank and mostly how he dealt with his life's obstacles. Peter was a professional writer and had got into a relationship with his editor "Jane". He knew this was dangerous territory as he was convinced Jane was a lesbian, and trying to 'convert' her could cost them their partnership, but it turned out she wanted him too. They fell in love, but the latest book he was writing was what eventually drove them a part because Jane became jealous of the books success. It turned out her editing services were only trying to make Peter fail, not succeed, but it backfired!

George wasn't one for the love stories, but recently the theme made his face light up every time he looked to the air for thought inspiration. Writing was his life, so much so he had been at that desk for three days without leaving it. It was 2am now and he was still writing. George never got big headed about his work or jumped the gun, however he had a good feeling about his latest piece. His heart vibrated with every sentence, the words leaped off the page. As a writer, he was reaching that place all writers know, the finish line to a project some labeled 'heaven'.

It was a coffee shop in Soho, a kind of obscure location where if your eyes weren't wide awake you would miss it. It was also a famous place for spotting famous people, predominantly writers, writing or famous people popping in for a coffee and a chat. George was there typing away at his beloved MacBook Air. He was halfway through the novel now and at the part where Peter and Jane went on their first date. Then Peter got the inspiration to write about a man who choked on a chocolate croissant. Luckily the man didn't die, but Peter's mind was ticking at a quickfire speed as he watched the strange event on the date. The familiar and cartoonish smirk on George's face was visible as he sipped his doubled shot cappuccino.

A lady kept looking over from her position at George. She looked like a writer; sophisticated with her MacBook, her coffee following its rules of being to the left of the machine the way a watch is always on the left wrist! And the busy writers mind. However her head wanted something more; a partner. George saw her only once. Her name was Ava, an Italian with a French name, olive skin, dark hair and an edge of the newly fashionable but ever so annoying Dalston mob. George was making early judgement's, but the lady was attractive. George was a single man at this moment in time, but his mind was only devoted to one thing right now. Perhaps Ava knew he was famous and the reason she kept looking at him George thought. But George returned the eye one last time to be sure of that, and the look he got back spoke "looking to date" rather than "star struck"... Yeah, probably that too!

Peter had published his book now and he was waiting for the reviews. A week later it garnered critical acclaim. With every project, George always began with the end in mind and it didn't faze him knowing how deceitful Jane was going to be. It excited George and his typing got faster, his expression showed he couldn't wait for it to happen. Plus it was nice he had Ava now, she was in the lounge working on her own novel. George swore he wouldn't get into a relationship at this precious moment in his life, for reasons only he kept to himself, selfish reasons but rules he chose to live by. They had been with each other for two months and things were going steady.

Ava seemed at peace. As she worked on her novel on her MacBook she felt very lucky. To her, George was a dream, not because he was a famous writer, but because they were so suited to each other. She had never dated another writer before, but found out quickly how another writer's lifestyle was so similar to hers. She loved the open spaced feel of George's plush apartment, it always seemed so quiet. She was able to work on her writing all day and all night if necessary. But not in the way George did upstairs. She knew his office was strictly off limits to everybody but him, it was one of his 'things'. However the longer Ava was with George the more she questioned his work ethic and lifestyle, but gave him leeway, thinking perhaps that is one of the things which separated a famous person from an ordinary person.

It was a Friday night and George was in the kitchen preparing a Mexican themed dish. He took pride in his meals, he knew timing was the key to successful cooking and added everything at the precise times. His trusted 'cooking clock' was next to the chopping board. It didn't waver his mind that he was spending his Friday night in, the way it had been for the past six months, being the time he devoted to his unfinished novel. He knew he was a hermit. Then Ava walked into the kitchen dressed for an important looking night out with the girls, a fine sprucing up than her usual East London trend assortments.

"I am off honey with the girls" Ava said.

George looked at her slowly and his silence was somewhat uncomfortable suggesting Ava's comment was almost inappropriate.

"I am cooking dinner for us. I thought we were going to stay in" George replied.

This was the same routine for the past four months Ava thought. Honestly she felt staying in all the time was becoming unhealthy. She was grateful for her relationship with George, but it got to the stage where she needed to start socializing with her friends again.

"I told you I was going out with my friends tonight" Ava replied.

This was true and George had forgotten.

"Why don't we stay in anyway? I have already started cooking" George said.
"I already said to the girls I am going out. This was planned" Ava replied.
"But I have already started cooking"
"Babe, it is just one night. We stay in every night"
"When will you be back?"
"I don't know. Late"
"I will wait up for you"
"No, don't"
"What time is late?"
"I don't know. I will call you. OK?"

Ava really wanted to cut the conversation short because she felt like she was fifteen again answering to her over controlling father. She kissed George on the cheek and said "bye". Apart of her had guilt for leaving George on his own, but her stronger half made her stand by her decision as she hated being made to feel small. And for the first time, that is how she felt around George. When the front door shut, the flat seemed empty. Not that George had a problem with it, he liked his quiet, but when a female came into his life, it brought an injection of magic to his place no amount of success could buy. He missed it, it was only one night, but he knew he only had himself to blame for his controlling ways. However, he too was going to stand by his decisions all the way to the end no matter what.

After dinner, George was in his office working through the evening on his novel, until he fell asleep.

In bed, Ava was wide awake, her head spinning a little from the alcohol still swirling around in it. She had a good night with her girlfriends, but she couldn't sleep and it was because of George. She was becoming unhappy and was feeling a taste of falling out of love with George. It was because he didn't do anything else other than write, his lifestyle was becoming too much pressure for her.

"Baby, are you awake?" Ava said.
"Yes" George replied.
"Why don't you go out?"
"I do"
"No you don't"
"I will"
"Why don't you have any friends to go out with?"
"I do and I will"

There was something very hidden in the responses Ava got. She thought perhaps George was too ashamed to admit he didn't have any friends or social circles and that he was one of those genius famous people with a lost identity to social connectedness. Either way she loved him and was willing to hang in their with him. In a way, she felt now she had to save him and was going to get him friends and social groups if he accepted the offer.

Thousands of people turned up to the book signing event. George, the star of the show was signing his book. The Writers Remains was an instant bestseller and critics from The Times to The Guardian were there given live reviews of the book. George embraced his triumph and that is how it felt to him. His smile could be seen from the other end of The Waterstone's in Piccadilly Circus. His loyal fans were ecstatic to see their hero, to get a signed copy of the book with their Iphone's at the ready for selfies. There was something different about George, everything from how well he looked to the sparkle in his eye, he looked like a person. The critic's giving interviews praised the book and how Jane, the antagonist got justice served to her.

Then Ava walked in to see her man. She put on a brave face, but underneath she was experiencing something related to domesticated unhappiness. However, when she saw George she was just as surprised to see a new man too.

"Congratulations love" Ava said and kissed him. George stood up.
"I am sorry Ava for being cold. My work is finished and I can be a normal person again"

Ava didn't know what he meant. But eventually realized George lived by the ritual of completely shutting himself off from the world when writing a novel. She was surprised to know he sacrificed almost everything of himself for the novel, and knew that was the level of writing she was not ready for!

George was cooking in the kitchen again, chopping tomatoes. There was enough food to cater for twenty people. Ava walked in and saw the the kitchen being taken over by food.

"Are we expecting people babe? Ava said.
"Yes we are babe" George replied.

Then the door bell went. George answered it and his circle of friends walked in with refreshments and booze. Ava became aware it was a party night which she wasn't informed about. George kissed her and seeing George's friends only added to the strange but delightful mysterious about the man thought Ava.

Sunday, 5 October 2014



At thirteen her body had started to change and at this moment more than any other she was curious about sex. Her friends had started doing it, life's growth in that department was all around her. She didn't have a boyfriend, but the excitement she got from the subject of sex made her warm inside. So she put down her pencil, gave her homework a break and removed her knickers. The intrigue grew as well as a bundle of nerves because she had never done what she was about to do. But she followed her instincts and put two fingers up her pussy.

"Oooaah" she yelped.

Her name, Cat (short for Catherine) removed her fingers, almost suffocated with the reaction she got. It took a couple of seconds for her to handle her emotions, but they felt good and she entered her fingers once more. This time they never left her pussy. It felt warm and soft, like a cooling hot water bottle. And soon it became moist, like... she didn't know what it was like, but it felt special complimenting the reason why it was a key instrument to mother nature.

Cat kept going, the two fingers became more active like they discovered a mind for themselves and became independent. They slid in and out of the pussy. She got shivers and her head hung back. The previous pains had been taken over by something else, a growing sensation that appeared through three back doors and arrived with magic.

"Ahhh. Ahhh. Ahhh" Cat moaned.

She was getting better at this, the fingers plugged faster and the ends of them pulled back. The reaction made her almost slide off her chair, but her feet dug into the ground so hard like roots and her legs pressed together to stay in control. Then she put one hand on the desk and used the other to hack at her pussy. The sensation swam all over her body from the bottom up, like when the black swan takes over Nina. It reached her brain, she had no control, it was like an out of body experience as if someone or something was ripping her away from her senses - but to something good. It was the most intense force she had EVER encountered, but it's reward was the most amazing thing she had ever felt.

Ahhh. Ahhh. Ahhh"

The moans were load and unstoppable. Then all of a sudden there was an explosion and everything went still. Cat stayed in one place on the chair for a while, it was probably five minutes. Her "O" face hung high in the air, her hearing was deaf. All Cat heard was a ringing sound, shell shocked like the soldiers in Saving Private Ryan. When the sensation let go of her, she couldn't stop smiling. There was a pantomime going on inside her body making her giggle uncontrollably. She put her knickers back on. Whatever just happened must have been an ()rgasm and she thought if this was the start of things to come, then she had to lose her virginity as soon as fucking possible.

She was fourteen now, halfway through secondary and still a virgin. Cat slumped on her desk like a fed up old lady. She didn't take any notice of this because she was an adolescent, but she put so much unnecessary pressure on herself. It was geography and Cat couldn't engage in the classroom, instead she was looking at Blake, the boy she was dating whom sat two rows in front of her and her mind traveled to charming places; his hard body, strong eyes, the infectious laugh he had even to the most inappropriate things. She wished he would look at her now. She considered her problem and the reason why Blake wanted to 'take it slow' with her, is because she had sick issues with sex. It was becoming intense. But an adolescent wouldn't know that...

They were in Blake's room. It was a typical boys room at fourteen; boyish. It felt right to Cat, it being the place for them to both lose their virginity. They had been going out for six months and the waiting had gone on long enough. Cat got the impression Blake was punishing her for rushing things, but anyway the wait was over. Blake was nervous; he fumbled off his school uniform and layed on top of Cat naked with a erection so hard the cock was ready to burst. Cat wondered if he took Viagra but doubted it.

After ten minutes of Blake fumbling about trying to find the pussy, he did and entered Cat. He was so happy he could have done a cartwheel, silly really but Cat thought it was cute. Blake got going, for a virgin, he moved OK thought Cat. It was slow and painful, not for Blake, for him the pussy was really really tight and seemed difficult to 'tame'. But for Cat she screamed an awful lot because each thrust felt like breaking into a brand new pair of Prada shoes, just ten times worse.

Blake was pretty big. His dick bounced in and out of Cat's pussy, still in missionary of course. But as he got more confident, he let the tip of his dick meet the edge of the vagina, and threw the thrusts back in like he was going for a home run. His arms acted like stilts, finishing Cat in the submission with nowhere to go. Cat hung onto him, her yelping was still mostly referring to the pain and she got a sense why the saying 'ice breaker' was invented. Downstairs, Blake's nan was having the time of her life watching Countdown. Back in the room Cat was bleeding and it spread all over the bed and Blake stopped.

"Oh my God, do you want stop? Are you alright?" Blake said.

Fuck the blood, Cat was angry at Blake because she wasn't getting an ()rgasm the way she experienced the first time she experimented in her bedroom. Sex was supposed to be the pinnacle, so she kissed Blake indicating for him to carry on and he did. Thirty seconds later it was over. Blake got carried away with Cat's body, the excitement shooting to his brain and then banging away at her furiously. "Very boy like" Cat thought. Blake layed on top of her releasing his breaths, a bit
too theatrically, like an amateur. Cat kissed him and held his head in her breasts. She should have been happy to have finally lost her virginity at fourteen! It was really late! Plus Blake was good for a first timer too. But Cat was disappointed she never came. Sure there was going to be more chances, but coming was the only thing she cared about when it came to the subject of sex.

It should have been a good time, it being the final year of secondary school, the exams were out the way and Cat being at the sweet age of sixteen. But good times were on the latter for her. For the weirdest of reasons Cat floated along the hallway like a zombie. She walked past her school friends like they were strangers. It must have been a sort of depression, but this was worse and she made a U-turn into the girls lavatory. She sat on the toilet seat, stressed out about her love life which was silly because she was active every other week. But she hadn't experienced an ()rgasm, or if she did, it wasn't like the first time.

Cat started whinging to herself, then something in her changed, like she had stopped caring. She lifted up her skirt, pulled down her knickers and put two fingers up her pussy. This was something she didn't want to do; become a 'wanker' that masturbates for pleasure, but something wasn't right and she felt she had no alternative. She shoved her fingers as far as they would go and it made her head hang back and her eyes roll in her head. What an earth had happened to her? She was at school? Was partly the thoughts swirling around in her mind along with the pleasure, but her pussy was moist so much so she squirted and the pool of cum landed over her school bag. She yelped under her breath and felt the ()rgasm on its way. She pressed harder and harder, but it wouldn't arrive, then school kids walked into the toilet.

It was so romantic; Hilton Hotel on Park Lane, champagne and strawberry's all over the king size bed. What a boyfriend. His name was Tommy, Cat's sweetheart she met in her freshman year at LSE University. Now eighteen, Cat had blossomed into a fine young woman. Her thin brunette hair reached her lower back, her thin frame naked standing by the bed. Tommy was already laying on the bed, naked, his dick flopped onto his right leg. What a gift for her eighteenth birthday Cat thought. In the back of her mind she prayed she would get an ()rgasm that night.

Twenty minutes into it, Cat was riding on top of Tommy, the length of his long dick traveled adventurously up her pussy, so deep it was touching her stomach almost. Both of her hands held onto the bed post and her body grinded Tommy's like a steam train. Tommy grabbed onto Cat, his mind was lost in the passion, the sweat streamed from his body. Cat was trying and trying and trying, but nothing would arrive for her, then she stopped, fell to the side and started to cry. Tommy's dick (being a man) felt like crying having been abruptly put in a cold sink, but now was no time to be selfish because his girl was crying.

"Hey, hey, what's the matter babe" Tommy said.

Half of him wanted to play nice because his dick had unfinished business. Cat felt helpless, it had been four years and she hadn't had an ()rgasm. She felt she was approaching one of her biggest fears; having a dysfunction! Tommy told her to relax and not to think about it, that thinking about it or forcing it would make it worse. Cat had heard all that shit before, but took no notice. But she felt so helpless she didn't care anymore. She just layed on her back and let Tommy get to his climax because deserved to close his deal.

She forgot about enjoyment, she forgot about trying, quite frankly she forgot about everything other than feeling. But. It was that very thing which took over her. Her mind was at ease, there was no more thinking or forcing, instead everything was happening naturally. Then. The little spark inside awoke, it showed itself and it drifted. It traveled around Cat's blood stream and took over her body. It made goosebumps stick, shivers traveled like electric currents. It made her breathing heavier, then gasp in between. Tommy's dick kept going and her g-spot married it, they kissed over and over again.

Everything was becoming loud and uncontrollable, Cat had no control. The spark became a Catherine Wheel screaming around at the speed of a Ventador. Tommy had his girl. Cat wanted to scream, but she was being suffocated with something, and then the spark exploded like fireworks, then they exploded and so did more and more. At the same time Tommy climaxed, and Cat's body shook like falling raindrops.

Friday, 26 September 2014

The Rules of Dating

The Rules of Dating

He waited at Piccadilly Circus for his date. It was 7.45pm. The meet was for 7.30pm and he was getting agitated. He looked at his watch at least fifteen times in a minute fearing of being stood up. He wasn't an apathetic person, but his consistent disappointments in the dating game made him fear the worst automatically. His hand was tapping his trousers now. He was going to text her, but didn't and told himself to be patient, she was going to show and agreed that a woman's prerogative was to be late.

It was nearing 8pm and eventually she appeared. She was tall, clean faced like a model, with a unique perfectly styled fringe. He saw her coming. His first impression was she was out of his league and what he had done to deserve at date like her.

"I am sorry I am late. The tube had problems" she said.
"No worries" he replied. He was going to say he was going to text her, but didn't.
"Thank you or waiting patiently" she said.

When he heard "patiently" he knew what that suggested, and by not texting her meant he had passed the first test.

They walked into Soho. His name was Christopher and she was Violet. They had met at speed dating and Christopher was enjoying the warm night. He was a lot shorter than Violet, but when he came to think of it, so were most men because Violet was pushing six foot three.

They arrived at the restaurant, a place Christopher suggested, only after he had given Violet the choice. Violet's eyes were excited when she saw the Chinese signs and symbols, Christopher was hungry. Inside they were shown to their table. Christopher pulled Violet's chair back to allow her to sit.

"Thank you" Violet said.
"You're welcome" Christopher replied.

Christopher was a good guy like that, he had manners and cared about the little things. Violet took notice of this too and it added points to her score board. They were handed their menus by the waiter and they put them on the table for the time being.

"Are you hungry?" Christopher said.
"Really" Violet replied.

Violet looked like a super model, dressed stylish. Christopher couldn't help to think what he was doing there. He was wearing his best shirt and trousers and still he felt like a poor poorper in comparison. He learnt Violet was a clothes designer, she had done pretty well with her brand in her home country of Italy and she wanted to expand her business in the UK. Christopher was an IT geek. The more Christopher spoke with Violet the more he wondered what Violet was doing at the speed dating event. She seemed too good for a place like that; with her striking looks and seemingly successful business, she surely would have had men queuing up for her in the real world.

"How long have you had your business for?" Christopher asked.
"Eight years" Violet replied.

Violet was pleased with the questions Christopher asked her. She thought "at least this guy isn't talking about himself all night" and another point was added to the score board. On the other hand Christopher realized he was doing all the work and nothing was coming back his way. The starters arrived and Violet hadn't asked one question about him - he was being strung along he thought.

"What do you look for in a relationship?" Christopher asked.
"Excitement" Violet replied.

That was the best Violet could deliver because the subtext in that meant only one thing - sex. She was absolutely desperate for it, but not to the point of doing it with any old person, however she hadn't had sex since she arrived in London and that was three years now. To her, Christopher seemed like a decent guy, not her type by any means, but 'the best of a bad bunch at the speed dating event' which was cold and she knew it, but he was doing well so far this night, so who knew...

"Your hair is really cool. It suits you. It looks really stylish" Christopher said.
"Thanks" Violet replied.

Another point was added to Violet's score board. She adored it when people complimented her hair, she was very proud of her hair style. She was famous for it in her town back home and created a somewhat soon to be trend. By now the main courses were on the table and Violet seemed like she was enjoying her meal. Christopher felt he was making headway and that surprisingly as the night wore on, he perhaps 'had a shot' with Violet and that he wasn't such a 'pity date' after all, which was how he felt at the start of the night. It became sort of clearer to him why Violet had lesser success with men than one would expect, it was because of her height, and it turned out that was her insecurity, her problem and a shade of it came out in her confidence.

"Oh no!" Christopher said.
"What?" Violet replied.
"I have forgotten my wallet"

Violet didn't know whether to run now while she had the chance.

"Just kidding" Christopher continued.

He pulled out his wallet. He wasn't one for jokes as he was one of those dry nice guys, but he felt a different kind of confidence for some reason that night. He thought it was because he didn't have anything to lose and that he had no chance with Violet anyway so what would it matter. Funnily enough it made her laugh, that was a really good sign. It was as though he was doing all the right things without even trying. Violet smiled and subconsciously another point went on her score board. This was followed by a silence, another kind of test to see what Christopher would say; as the waiter put the bill on the table, Violet said nothing. She was always willing to pay, but she wanted to see if the man was going to court her and treat the night like a date, not an evening with a friend. Already Christopher was counting the bill, adding up his notes. Tick!

"We can split..."
"No it's OK. I've got it" Christopher said, cutting off Violet. Another tick.

It was 12am. Christopher and Violet were walking up a road in Mayfair and arrived at Christopher's Volkswagen Gulf. Fair enough he knew it wasn't much, but it's what he had at his mid twenties stage of life. Violet appreciated the lift home, and they got in the car.

"You are a really good dancer" Christopher said.
"Thanks. You too" Violet replied.

She had a spark in her eye when she said this. It was because Christopher hadn't fell into the first date trap for disaster; never go to a cinema after the meal, always go somewhere where you can chat. So they went to a bar, which had a dance floor and that is where the night ended. Christopher had done well, he could dance too.

Chat was at an ease on the journey to Violet's. It seemed Violet was opening up more, more than at any other point during the night. Christopher was going with the flow but a part of him wasn't convinced. When they arrived at Violet's apartment in an affluent part of Islington, Christopher stopped the car. It was that time; the awkward kiss moment. Violet waited for it. She was honest with herself and didn't fancy Christopher at all, but the prospect of a shag and to make him a friend the next day relied entirely on how Christopher dealt with the next move. But nothing happened. Christopher just looked at her as if she was sitting there like she didn't know how to get out of the car.

"Well. Good night" Violet said.
"Good night" Christopher replied.

He kissed Violet on the cheek, reached across and opened the door for her. Violet got out of the car, shut the door and Christopher drove off. It was the very first time Violet had stood in the same place for three minutes, thinking about what just happened on a date. She was left completely mystified. And she really didn't expect the nice dry guy to leave her in that way. However, she also didn't expect to like it, and want more.

In the car, Christopher was thinking the exact opposite. He got his ass out of there as fast as God would let him, without being rude. He enjoyed the night, but was not going to keep making the same mistake of chasing the wrong type of woman, out to waste his time. He had learnt something great. Plus he was himself the whole night, which is what counted the most.