Wednesday 28 November 2012

The Scary Wives of Windsor

Continuation of King Leer

I fan my face with the invitation when I leave the shop.  What on earth do I do?  Do I go and risk making a complete fool of myself?  I mean, people are bound to ask who on earth I am, and what on earth am I doing there.  
    And how exactly would I respond?  "Yes, I'm Ella.  I'm the girl the birthday boy barely knows.  Yes, that's right, I'm the sales adviser at Delilah Dales.  You know, the girl he was besotted with, who then stomped on his heart.  No, I can't get you half off on Winter coats.  We only go up to size 14 anyway,"
    Holding my handbag like a sack,  I make my way back to the flat where Jo is nowhere to be seen.  I look around the place for the rest of the housemates until I finally spot a note that says, 'Gone to Purple Mustard.  Come join us after work, and for goodness sake, learn to look at your phone. xxx'

I shouldn't go to Anthony's party.  I have no reason to go.  After all, if you think about it, I really don't know him at all.  My mind flickers back to the day at work and I think of Anthony's friend who handed me the invitation.  John or something.  Jeff?  Jean?
    Just read the name on the invitation, you trollop!  My mind finally comes to the rescue, and there, next to Anthony's name lies Jens.  Jens?  I would have never got that.  
    But despite all my protests, the truth is I really do want to go.  I really really want to see Anthony so that I can speak to him properly.  I need to ask him what he was trying to tell me last time.
    With a real reluctance, I send Clara a text asking if she'd like to come along tonight.  Before I get a chance to blink, I get my 'yes' reply.  Not that she sounds eager or anything.

I've decided to wear the new raspberry dress I bought today at work, and I think I look really lovely, if I do say so myself.  I've even curled my hair and pinned it up for a real glamour twist - something which I've never really mastered before.
    It's only when I reach the grand steps of the hotel where Clara is impatiently waiting for me, that I realise I should have tried harder.
    "You're wearing the same dress you wear to work?"  she sneers as she scans my outfit up and down.
    "I only bought this today.  I haven't worn it to work yet!"  I defend and wonder why I even asked her to come in the first place.
    "Come on, let's get inside," she orders.  "I've been needing the loo for ages,"
    Oh, lovely!

Once inside, I'm absolutely in awe.  This party is straight out of a fairy tale.  Beautiful and elegant, I immediately want to hide, too embarrassed of the way I look.  I should have tried harder.  Much much harder.  I feel like a teenager wearing her mother's clothing.  Someone like me doesn't belong in a place like this with immaculate girls and their stary eyes. 
    "God, I can't get pissed in here, can I?"  Clara looks around disapproving of the scene in front of her.  "Those girls over there are probably on the phone trying to get their daddies to kick us out,"
    "Tone down the toilet talk and I'm sure you'll fit right in,"
    "Oi!" she scowls at me.  "I have loads of class, you know,"  to which I raise an eyebrow and that's enough for Clara to go on another rant.  She's talking about how  it's not all about Jaeger Bombs and that champagne is one of her favourite drinks, and that she has at least two (fake) Gucci dresses, and how her father could potentially be a famous rock star. 
    That last bit did grab my attention, but I quickly dismissed it when the story started to unravel.  I don't think this famous rock star has ever worked at the pub where her mum used to go drinking. 

As I look around me I cannot see Anthony anywhere and I'm starting to get very impatient.  I knew it was pointless even coming here.  It's a room full of strangers; strangers that I have no intention of ever becoming friends with.
    Those girls that Clara pointed out earlier are making their way towards me, and I'm looking around desperate to find my escape route. 
    "We're Chloe's friends," the Queen Bee states as she places one skinny arm on her hip.  Her loose curls are flicking to and fro as she does her very best attempt at pouting and looking moody.  It's not working that well.  I don't feel that threatened.
    "Well, she seems very nice," I say and try to head for the door. 
    "Who invited you?"  another minion pipes up from the back. 
    I want to say that Anthony invited me to really annoy them, but unfortunately I'm not that kind of girl.  "Jens," I quickly reply and attempt the escape.  But to no avail.  One of the quieter girls has stepped out from behind the Queen Bee to block my way.
    "Chloe has told us all about you.  You need to keep away from Anthony,"  I'm faced with the pout again.  It resembles an orange camel trying to chew.
    "Anthony and I are just friends.  Believe me, if I wanted him, I could have him,"  I say without thinking and not sure whether I want to smile or shout at the bitch within me.
    The Queen Bee is left with nothing else to say, and like a group of snobbish kittens, the girls walk back to the corner of the room with their tail between their legs, looking for their next victim.
    Shaking my head at what I've just said, I make a run for the door, but Jens stands in my way.
    "You can't leave yet," he says without even looking at me, and with one quick swoop, my arm is intertwined with his and he's led me to the dance floor - the complete opposite to what I wanted.  I have no time to think, so just stand there speechless in his arms dancing slowly to the love song.
    "Umm, what are you doing?"  I ask once I've mustered the few remaining brain cells.
    "Just keep quiet and look like you're enjoying my company,"
    "You want to make Anthony jealous, don't you?"  he asks looking down at me like I'm stupid.
    "No!"  I snap, and before I can say anything else, he's already pushed me to the other side of the room in full view of the Mean Girls. 
    "Look, Anthony is miserable with Chloe, but he's lost his head at the moment.  You see those girls over there?" I glance over at the direction of the mean girls, to which the Queen Bee gives us her most mesmerising smile.  "Anthony and I call them the Scary Wives of Windsor.  They hate one another, but for some reason, are completely inseparable.  It's really weird.  And scary," he does a mock shiver and I can't help but smile.  "There's a bunch of them that grew up and went to school in Windsor.  They're simple creatures.  Marry rich, ruin your husband's life, get divorced, move on to the next victim.  The problem is that once they set their sights on you, heaven help you,"
    "What do you mean?"  I ask, a little freaked out.
    "Chloe is incredibly malicious.  You see that woman over there?"  I follow the direction of his gaze to a short, blonde woman, most likely in her fifties, dressed like she's in her twenties.  She's in the midst of three men and her laugh is louder than the music.  "That's Chloe's mother.  That's the kind of woman all these girls become.  The ultimate goal is to marry rich and gain social status.  Chloe's been chasing Anthony for a good few years,"
    "I thought this stuff only happened in Gossip Girl?"
    "Nope, very much happens.  Anyway, he was dodging her very well until you came along,"
    "What?  How is this my fault?"  I look at him alarmed.
    "You turned him down, and in his depressed state, he gave in to Chloe,"
    "Well, never mind.  I don't really see how I can help.  If he's stupid enough to fall for her, he should face the consequences," and I make yet another attempt to leave the party.  But Jens holds on to my arm.
    "If you tell him you like him, he'd leave Chloe in an instant,"
    "I don't want him to leave Chloe," I say, appalled that he would suggest I play these games.
    "Ella, he really likes you.  He'd do anything for you," and right then, as if his ears are burning, I see Anthony staring straight at us, a miserable scowl on his face.  I look over at Jens to ask why Anthony seems so angry.
    "He thinks we're together," he replies.  "See, it's already working,"
    I glance away from Anthony and try to find Clara.  I spot her plum dress swaying as she dances like this is a nightclub.  Oh great, this is just what I need.  Her long, tanned legs are now wrapped around an elderly gentleman and there's a Snake Bite in her hand.  Where on earth did she get that from?
    "Ella, come join us," she yells my way and I immediately shake my head.  She yells out "Yeehaaa!" and starts to get even more ferocious with her dancing.  The old man seems to like it.
    The Scary Wives of Windsor are smirking and making their way towards me once again. 
    "Chloe will be here soon so you better leave," the Queen Bee informs.
    "Really?"  I say, sipping from my champagne glass and glancing quickly at Anthony.  "In that case, I'm not going anywhere,"

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