At last I present for your delight and delectation the final part of ‘Words, Words, Words.’ I had to finish it, it was turning in to a novella!
Finally I give in. I search through the bedside draw, (why is it even in there?), ah, there it is, under my notebooks and random bits of jewellery. I pick up the book and take it through to the kitchen in search of vodka.
It’s in the fridge; it’s always in the fridge!
Hmm, what’s that, out in the garden? I’m distracted by a splash of colour in my back garden. I shall go and look.
It’s so beautiful in my garden in summer; I know this because the former owner told me so when I looked around. So far I haven’t had a chance to find out, what with working all hours and collapsing in to bed almost as soon as I get home. However today I shall do something different. Walking through the conservatory, vodka in hand I drop my old diary on the table and carry on out in to the garden. I’ll read it, just as soon as I’ve had a look around my garden in the May dusk.
Hmm, that was refreshing, but now I think I’ll have a read.
I opened the book up to see what I could find. I laughed through February, that had been a fun month, we’d gone to loads of gigs with Matt and the lads, every weekend it was a different town, or village. I read through March, just a list really of where they were, when they’d be home or if I was going with them. In late March I’d had to stop travelling around with the guys, we were so busy at the shop! That’s when I met Paully, of course. He walked in to the shop and asked me if I needed a hand stacking some shelves. At the time I was in the shop alone and a delivery had arrived. He stayed for half an hour helping me shelve, and then I offered him a job. He was very funny, abnormally tall (6 foot 7 inches – tell me you don’t think that’s freakish?) and very intelligent. We started talking, while we were shelf stacking, about the books. Homer. And not Homer Simpson, but Homer the Greek poet, I’d had some university students in looking for the Iliad and they’d cleaned me out!
Oh Gosh! I did worry about some silly things! When I really should have been worrying about….. ahh, you don’t want to know about that.
Drat that cat, he’s just knocked my vodka over.
Diary Entry: Saturday 19th May 2012
Another week over, at last!
Been reading my old journal, it’s been interesting I suppose, revisiting my recent past, remembering, though to be honest I’ll never forget how I met Paul. That man is a rock; he got me through so much pain after everything that happened with Matthew. I suppose since I’ve started reading I should finish it. I’ve only got as far as June, I can’t face the rest. When we found my diaries I described 2009 as the year of the great romance, but 2010? Hmm, how should I describe that? The year I lost my heart? The year with three seasons? Oh I don’t know.
Lisa has been trying to do too much again, she’ll do neither of them any good at this rate, but she won’t take time off or cut her hours. She’s swopped over with Paully as well, sometimes I think she’s keeping an eye on me. I know what’s up. Matt and his band are home next month; she thinks I’m going to have a break down or something. So, I haven’t seen him for a while but he isn’t going to break me is he? I’ve moved on, she knows that, so why is she fussing so much, especially now, when her first concern should definitely not be me!?
Diary Entry: Tuesday 22nd May 2012
I finally found the guts to re-read my old diary………..
Diary Entry: Monday 24th May 2010
This is there first day on tour, Matt forgot to ring me. I do hope they are okay; they should have enough money to get them through. They’ve been saving long enough and now that summer is here they wanted to get on the road and really see if they can make it as something other than a local pub band.
I miss him.
Diary Entry: Friday 28th May 2010
Finish at 1pm
Catch 3pm train to Sheffield
Meet lads at train station – remember text Matt as soon as I get to Sheffield
Change of plan, Paully’s sick, got to cover him at the shop, I suppose I could try to get the train tomorrow and meet them then?
Had a message from Matt ‘Don’t worry babe, there’s always next weekend’. Yes well next weekend I have to do a stock check and go visit my grandparents. Maybe I’ll see him in three weeks?
Diary Entry: Saturday 29th May 2010
Miffed! Didn’t get away from work in time to get a train! Matt texted though, it was a good night, they’re staying in Sheffield ‘til Monday now, someone’s offered them somewhere to crash and someone else asked if they’d like to do a gig in another pub. Good things are happening for the band.
Diary Entry: Saturday 12th June 2010
I haven’t had a phone call from Matt for two weeks, not since I couldn’t get to Sheffield because I had to work. I’ve had the odd text but nothing else. They are supposed to be in Shrewsbury today, but Matt said there had been a change of plan and they’re in Bristol instead. They’ll be in Shrewsbury on September 18th now. His birthday is the 19th, I might make a surprise visit to see them if there’s plans don’t change. It’s a bit of a way, but if I get Paul or Lisa to watch the shop then I can leave in the morning and come home on the Monday morning. I might email Patrick & see if he’ll help?
I hope he rings me tonight. I’ve heard what happens when young men go off touring, but I trust Matt, he would never betray me.
Diary Entry: Sunday 13th June 2010
Matt rang, at half four this morning, or something stupid like that. He was drunk and crying, telling me how much he loved me and begging me to forgive him for being a git about me having to work. I’m going to meet him in Newcastle on Saturday! It’s been so long since I’ve been to Newcastle, and far too long since I’ve seen Matt. Can’t wait!
Diary Entry: Saturday 19th June 2010
Damn the rail network in this country, there’s always something wrong with it! My train was two hours late! But I finally made it to Newcastle. I came to spend some time with Matt but to be honest I’ve hardly seen him. He’s been rushing around apparently and I arrived at a really bad time. Ahh well, I’ll have all of tomorrow, and tonight after the gig, to spend with him. I think I’ll read for a bit, they’re just setting up.
Fuck sake, it’s half two, where the fuck is he?
Diary Entry: Sunday 20th June 2010
Basterd! Fuck wit! Arsehole! Nipple nutted cunt!
That feels better. I came home today, early. Matt stumbled back to the hostel at half five, pissed out of his skull. No fucking way am I putting up with that. I told him to go sleep in Pat’s room. I haven’t seen him since he crawled away. He hasn’t text me either, and since I refuse to talk to him until he apologises I won’t.
I’m going to ring Lisa.
Diary Entry: Tuesday 22nd June 2010
Going to Lisa’s for Midsummer BBQ today, still haven’t heard from Matt.
Diary Entry: Thursday 24th June 2010
Pat rang; Matt wants to know what’s wrong with me. Hmm let me think.
They’re in some random village in Nottinghamshire tonight. And then back here for the weekend. Some magazine reviewed them apparently last weekend, they got a really good review so they’re celebrating. By playing a gig at the Green Dragon. I think I was booked months ago to be honest but they’ll make it a celebratory set, or something like that.
Matt promised he’d see me this weekend.
Diary Entry: Sunday 27th June 2010
Matt turned up this morning with a bunch of roses and a promise to spend the day. He stayed until six, then he had to rush off because they have to be somewhere tomorrow
We’ve talked about a few things. He’s told me that the touring is harder than he thought and he can’t help drinking. People buy them drinks and stuff. Fine I get that they get bought drinks sometimes but he could say no. I know he’s stressed, it’s his saving’s they’re using to finance this tour and sometimes they make a bit of cash and sometimes they don’t but he really isn’t helping the situation by drinking. We talked it out, he agrees with me and he’s promised to cut back. I’m hoping he’ll manage it. I just hope he doesn’t start taking anything else. I know he’s smoked weed before, but most people do at Uni, well that’s what he said. I didn’t. Oh, what the fuck am I going to do, I’m not sure I can cope with this, him being away so often. It’s not even a particularly long tour, what if they get really big and they go off on European tours or to America?
I trust him. I think.
Either I do, or I don’t.
I’m going to bed; I have work to do tomorrow.
Diary Entry: Friday 2nd July 2010
What a week, I’m so knackered, and Paul’s sick as well so now I’m short staffed. Damn, I’m going to have to go into work tomorrow and Sunday. Time to ring Matt and tell him I can’t come to Cirencester.
Well…. I feel like shit.
Matt isn’t happy.
Ice cream time.
Diary Entry: Sunday 4th July 2010
Matt rang while I was at work. He’s still pissed at me for not meeting him this weekend when I said I would. Lisa took the phone off me when I started crying. She said a few things to him that I’m pretty certain won’t help the situation.
He called me a hypocrite.
Liar. Bitch. Cow.
He said I was cheating on him.
How can he think that, I’ve never missed a date without a good reason? Unlike him.
Lisa banged in through the shop door.
‘Hey chicky, what you doing here? I thought you and Jimmy were going away for the weekend?’
‘Have you seen the weather?’
‘It’s not that bad.’
‘It’s bad enough; I’m not going camping in this weather. So….’ Lisa dumped her bags on the floor and collapsed in one of the chairs we’d just put in the shop.
‘Are you going to their gig on Saturday?’
‘Why? It’s not like the clock can go back is it? What have you got to fear?’
‘I don’t know.’
She sat there, watching me, waiting. She knows me far too well!
‘I’ve been reading my old diaries.’
‘Do you remember that time I had to work and couldn’t go to see them on tour. The things he said when he rang here?’
‘Errrr, not sure which time you mean?’
‘When he accused me of seeing one else? He called me a few things? You took the phone of him and threatened to rip him a new arsehole I think.’
Lisa went a bit blank and then her eyes sparked, oh yes, now she remembered! I laughed at the look on her face.
‘So I did. What about it? I was more than two years ago now, he won’t remember. And he did apologise, eventually.’
‘Badly, and way too late to be of any use.’
‘True.’ She laughed and pushed herself up from the chair, ‘Look, I know it was a painful time, but you are past that. You’ve moved on and so has Matt from what I’ve heard.’
‘Yeah, I have.’
I smiled at her; I needed to think about a few things. If I hadn’t have read my diaries maybe I’d be more prepared to go to the gig, but I don’t think I can, it’s brought up all those old feelings. This is stuff I should have told Lisa. I didn’t need to, she can read my thoughts, I’m certain of it. I must have spaced out for a while because next thing I know she’s stood in front of me snapping her fingers.
‘Earth to planet..’
‘I’m back, don’t worry.’
‘I think it would be a good idea if you finished looking at those diaries, got it out of your system. I have a cunning plan. Since Jimmy and I aren’t going away this weekend, we shall go to the shop on the way home, get a bottle of voddy and junk food, get a chinky, and then go and put a few ghosts of the past to rest.’
‘And how will I open up tomorrow?’
‘Paul’s running the other shop tomorrow.’
‘Jimmy can run it.’
‘Sounds like a plan. Ring him then.’
I’ll do it while you’re cashing up. Come on, we may as well close up, no-one’s out now anyway, it’s far too manky outside.’
‘Well, I suppose so, it is nearly time anyway.’
‘Right, you cash up I’ll go and close the shutters.’
‘Don’t forget to ring Jimmy.’
We were dishing up the curry a bit later, having a laugh and breaking out the vodka and cokes.
‘Come on missis, where’s this diary of yours. I think we should just jump ahead to the bit where we prove he’s a complete and utter shit head and not worth your time?’
‘Really? I’m not sure, can’t I work up to it?’
‘No you bloody can’t, let’s get through this and then we can go to see some decent bands next weekend and you won’t have to feel crappy because of Matt.’
‘We haven’t got tickets yet. I have. And I can probably get you some tickets.’
‘Well, since you put it like that….it’s in the draw in the side table.’
I heard her walk in to the sitting room and open the draw. I had a grin plastered on my face when I carried our plates in to the sitting room. She was already reading my diary.
‘Oh I remember that weekend at Download, it was so much fun.’ She laughed, ‘God, wow, I remember that day.’ She leafed through my 2010 diary, trying to find the pages she needed.
I put her plate on the coffee table and curled up on the settee next to her with my food; she looked up at me then grabbed her food.
‘So,’ she asked me around a mouthful of beef and mushroom curry, ‘how shall we go about this?’
‘You read it, I don’t want to.’
‘Okay. Find the page for me.’
So I did.
I sat and listened while my best friend laid to rest the ghosts of pain.
Diary Entry: Saturday 18th September 2010
On the train to Shrewsberry.
The Matt isn’t expecting me but Pat knows I’m coming for a visit. They are due home Monday so we can have a late birthday party for Matt, but I thought I’d surprise him. Be in his hotel room when he gets back. It’s actually the only time since they started to tour that they have booked in to a hotel. Pat told me it was just a cheap B&B really, but it makes a nice change.
I hope Matt likes his present. He’s been wittering about needing one for ages. It’s the best I could find.
Pat sent me a ticket to the gig, I’m going to watch them in the crowd and then Pat will pass me their room key in the confusion afterwards. I go back to the B&B, they get back and there I am waiting for my Matt. Well that’s the plan anyway.
It’ll work out.
Ohh, what lovely scenery.
‘You got distracted by hills didn’t you?’
Lisa stopped reading to me.
‘On the train, you got distracted by hills.’
‘Nope, I think I got distracted by the trees, and possibly abit by the hills. It’s not my fault, I can’t help it, it’s flat ‘round here.’
We laughed at our silliness. It was well timed, Lisa knew what came next.
‘Shall I read on?’
‘Top up the drinks first?’
‘Good plan that man.’
‘And bring some goodies in with you.’
‘Aren’t you stuffed yet?’
‘Slightly, but there is always room for sweets you know that.’
‘It is a truth universally acknowledged that while there are sweets and chocolates there will be women capable of scoffing them.’
‘Too right, now if you want to continue with this torture you’d better bring me sweet stuff. And vodka.’
‘Your wish is my command sweetheart.’ Lisa got up, bowed, grabbed our plates and sauntered in to the kitchen.
I heard her rattling around in there. From the clattering it sounded like she was putting them in the sink.
Rustle. Ahh my sweeties.
Slosh. My vodka. Even better.
‘You didn’t take the glasses with you.’ I twist in my seat, calling to her.
‘Doesn’t matter, I think this might need more than one glass to get through.’
She came back in to the sitting room carrying a shopping bag of sweets (diabetes here we come) and the bottle of Russian Standard.
I felt the settee dip as she climbed back on and mirrored my position. Huddled at her end of the seat and facing me over the bag of unhealthy stuff, then leaning down to grab the bottle to top our glasses up. These drinks will be more vodka than coke at this rate. Fuck it! It’s been a while since I got bladdered, and she really shouldn’t be drinking.
‘Don’t look at me like that. One night drinking in a year isn’t going to do any harm.’
‘If you say so. ‘
‘Well it won’t. Come on let’s get this over with.’
‘You know what’s coming next, why do we have to read it?’
‘Because it’ll help you prove to yourself that you have moved on.’
She picked up my diary and continued to read.
Diary Entry: Sunday 19th September 2010
The treacherous, selfish, bastard! How could he? How could he! I feel like screaming. I want to fucking kill him!
How could he?
Damn it! Why can’t I stop crying? I hate him! He isn’t worth this much pain! I bet he’s been screwing around all the time. Every time he’s said how much he wished I was there I bet he was thinking ‘thank god she’s not’.
He actually yelled at me for turning up to surprise him for his birthday! He said I was trying to catch him out!
What the fuck? Why would I do that? I trusted him!
No wonder Pat text and asked me to get a room at another B&B. He must have known what Matt was up to! The bastards the pair of them!
I want to punch someone! Anyone, everyone! I want to scream! I tried to ring Lisa, but she’ll be asleep still. I think her and Jimmy went out last night. And it’s still fairly early but I’ll be home by dinnertime. I’ll ring her then.
Gods how could I have been so stupid not to see it from the start.
Pat could at least have hinted that Matt was being unfaithful.
That’s unfair; he wouldn’t betray his brother’s secrets.
At least he tried to prevent me witnessing it.
‘I can’t read much more, the inks all runny.’
‘I was crying. All the way home from Shrewsbury. I got some funny looks on the train.’
‘Have you forgiven Pat yet?’
‘Yeah, ages ago. I know he was in an awkward position. He told me not long after that he’d wanted to warn me but didn’t know how to. Go one, get on with reading it.’
‘Are you sure?’
‘Here we go then. Ooh, this is where I come in to it.’
Diary Entry: Monday 20th September 2010
I am hiding from the world today, going hermit Lisa calls it. I rang her yesterday; she’s going to come round in a bit with ice cream. Paul and Jimmy have been deputised to run the shop today. Thank god Paul’s competent, Jimmy scares me when he’s left alone with a till.
She’s here, early, great, and I haven’t even had a chance to shower.
Lisa left an hour ago. I have had a shower, I am wearing clean pj’s just like she ordered. We have eaten ice cream. Lisa’s awesome, really she is. I have no idea what I’d do without her, every time something goes wrong, there she is propping me up and pushing me onward with the cry of ‘Don’t let the bastards grind you down!’
So I told her what happened.
When I told her about going to Matt’s room and hearing him with another woman, she asked me all the sensible questions. Was it definitely his room? Yes. Was it definitely what I thought? Well obviously! I opened the door, he was in bed with a lass, and there were used condoms on the floor, how much less obvious can they have been? He hadn’t even bothered to lock the fucking door.
I think I may have got a bit irate with her. I know Lisa was only trying to help me see clearly but it wasn’t what I needed first thing today.
She’s listened, provided ice cream, tissues and advice. She knows more about this stuff than I do. She’s split up and made up with Jimmy more times than I’ve broken up with all my ex-boyfriends altogether J
So I’m going to listen to her. If he rings I’ll try to talk to him. If he doesn’t I won’t ring him.
Now I’m going to bed, I didn’t really sleep last night.
‘Wow, I didn’t realise I’d upset you. I wasn’t questioning you.’
‘I know. You’re a life saver, you know that right?’
‘Yeah, yeah, don’t get all soppy on me.’
‘I really wouldn’t have managed without you three.’
‘Well, what are friends for? And Jimmy and I weren’t really that bad were we?’
‘Just a smidge.’
‘Hmm, jelly bean?’
She passed me the sweets, I grabbed a handful and we went back to reading my diary.
Diary Entry: Friday 15th June 2012
Well today’s been interesting.
Pat came in to the shop. It was good to see him, he hugged us all, congratulated Lisa twice over, asked about the shops and our plans for the future. He told us about the tour they’ve been doing. They had a minor place at Download the other week. Apparently they had a great time, and Metallica was fantastic. I wish I’d been able to see that, but I’ve had too much to do. We’d have had to shut both shops for four days. All four of us would have had to go. Maybe next year, if I can find reliable staff that I can trust.
And later we’re all going to meet him in the Green Dragon for a drink. Time to get ready.
Diary Entry: Saturday 16th June 2012
Pat asked me to go to their gig tonight.
He put a couple of tickets in my bag, told me to bring Lisa out for a bit of fun.
Paul says we should all go, Lisa and Jimmy have their own tickets. I think he might be right. There will be loads of other bands there, at our little local festival, so it’s not like I have to watch Matt and the lads. I probably would though, they were good two years ago, I hear they have become really good now. Fuck it, I’m going to ring Lisa. We shut up at three today. That’ll give us all time to get home and changed. We can have an evening out. Everyone will be at the festival so there is no point staying open anyway.
It was late, almost one in the morning, they’d watched the bands, the fireworks and then finally her ex and his band had headlined the first annual music festival. I was tired but happy, pleased Pat and Paul had persuaded me to accept the tickets.
We were heading out when Patricia found us.
‘Hello dears, did you enjoy yourselves, haven’t my boys done so well? Matt would like to speak to you. About something private.’
She eyed Lisa, Jimmy and Paul. I know she wanted me to go alone to meet Matt, but that wasn’t going to happen. Before I could speak Paul saved me,
‘It’s a bit late for that; can’t you see she’s exhausted? If he wants to talk to her, we’ll all come.’ He wrapped an arm around my waist. You should have seen the look on Patricia’s face, but what did she expect really?
‘Well since you insist on coming.’
‘Yeah, we do.’ Lisa assured her.
We all followed Patricia to the back stage area and in the chaos there he was.
I walked away from Paul, Lisa and Jimmy, even Patricia stayed back. I could see the rest of the band behind Matt. They looked like they were preparing either to run or break up a fight. Matt even managed to look humble.
‘Matt, I do have name.’
‘I know, but I always think of you as my sweetheart, I’ve even written songs about you. I need to ask you something.’
‘Go on then.’
He looked at me, assessing me I think.
‘Nice haircut. I never thought you’d dye your hair. Won’t you at least give me a hug?’
‘No. Why would I? I haven’t spoken to you for a year and a half, and when we last spoke it wasn’t exactly cordial. So no I won’t hug you.’
I jammed my hands firmly in my pockets to emphasise my point, and to hold back the temptation to do exactly what I had just said I wouldn’t do.
‘I, erm, look I wanted to say, I’m sorry, for, for everything, and, and, I wandered, do you want to give it another try?’
‘What?’ I couldn’t decide whether to laugh or cry. Oh lord, nobody had told him.
‘Can we give it another go? I’ve missed you so much, I love you, please can we try again?’
‘No, no, no.’
‘Please, I’m so sorry, please give me another chance. I’ve grown up, I know I hurt you, but please.’
He stopped, because I’d started laughing. Paul ambled towards us. Clearly he’d heard what had been said, but then so had everyone else. It was so amusing watching them all start at his declaration. I heard Lisa bark with laugher behind me and Jimmy’s silly giggle. Patricia seemed to be choking.
‘I really can’t give you another chance Matt.’
‘I can’t get back together with you
don’t interrupt, I’m trying to tell you.’
‘Go on then, why are you throwing my apology back in my face?’
Oh he’s still the same! Time I suppose to give him his answer. I slid my hands from my pockets, slid my right around Paul, flashed my left hand at Matt and told him with the biggest grin ever produced by a living human,
‘I can’t because I’m already married.’
Well that’s that one finished. It got a bit long, sorry, and thanks for sticking with it.