NB: This post may contain inappropriate and offensive language.
I finally made it
to work an hour and a half after I should have been there but my boss, Colin,
was cool. He really didn’t look like a
Colin. Colin’s were sensible and staid
and he was, well, he was a bit edgy and soulful.
“Hey - nice of
you to make it.” Said Johnno, the sports writer for the collective city
I fished my ipad
and iphone from my bag before I chucked it down at the leg of my desk. “Yeah
well, the thing is is Johnno, I can produce ten articles in the time it takes you
to do one.”
I actually liked
Johnno (AKA John Smith) He was eight years my junior and I loved
teasing him. He always tried to
retaliate but failed epically. Sometimes
age was a good thing. He was a great sports lover, writer and deep down the
sweetest of people. He always bought me
a present from his holidays which I found endearing.
I walked up to
his desk to see what he was working on and began to read it out loud to the
office. “Chelsea striker, Frank Lampard reached a milestone wearing his number
8 jersey for the boys in blue when he scored his 200th goal against West Ham...”
I looked at him
and faked a yawn. “That’s so boring.” I
said. “How about spicing it up a bit.
Maybe something like this: When Frank Lampard scored his 200th goal for
Chelsea I was unable to peel my eyes from his bulging thigh muscles. As Torres
ran over to hug him I only wished I could have been in between them like a
sandwich filling. Walking from the pitch,
Frank deftly removed his shirt to reveal the sweat glistening on his rippling
abs and I was forced to grab the arms of my chair as my knickers were so wet, I
feared sliding off the fine natuzzi leather.”
“Oh my God!” He
looked at me shocked. “It’s about SPORT not shit for wannabe WAGS.” He scoffed.
“I’m all for it.”
And “Hear, Hear.” Said the gaggle of
girls in the entertainment section. “Keep going..” Urged Monica, leaning
forward and sucking on her pen.
“See!” I waved my
arms across the group of girls “You’re missing a whole section of readers
out. I think we should swap for a
week. I’ll do sport and you can write
about the upcoming interior trends. You need to be more creative Johnno and
stop making people fall to sleep.” I
winked at him as I sat down and checked my phone. I noticed an indication next to my word game. I opened it up and saw ‘The Voice’ had played
a word and left another message. I
opened up the little green chat bubble. 'Despot.
Is that the best you can do?' was the one I had already read. The next one said:
The Voice: Do you talk?
“Arsehole.” I said out loud to my phone.
“Who is?” Said
Johnno looking over.
“Not you. This
rude person on my game.” I said placing my tiles for the best possible
play. I was going to nail this bastard.
“What are you
playing?” Johnno stood up stretching from his hard labour on Franks milestone
“Just an online
word game. Words with friends.” I
replied concentrating on placing my V on the triple letter score.
“What friends?” He laughed, trying his best to have a
ones. I’d introduce you but you’re too
boring and they probably wouldn’t like you.”
I placed my word
for 26 points, sated in the fact that I was still in the lead. “I bet you can’t even think of a seven letter
word off the top of your head can you Johnno. Except for Lampard..go on say
one..hurry up...well?” I kept pushing, not
giving him time to answer and to purposely throw his concentration.
know ..there’s loads.” His eyes rolled up to the left searching his sporty
little brain for answers.
“I’ve got one for
you.” He stared at me with a smirk, waiting for my retort.
“Dullard” The office cracked up and Johnno mouthed a
“Fuck you” at me as he returned to his desk.
I went back to my
game and replied to ‘The Voice’ in the chat message:
Sophistication: Yes I do talk, as it happens, but I
usually save my wit and repartee for those not wishing to deliberately provoke
me into trivial conversation. I think
you don’t care for the word despot because you are one.
I pressed send
and felt vitriolic.
My desk phone buzzed. It was Colin.
“Soph, you got a minute..?”
Colin was the
only one with his own office since he was the Editor, but he always had his
door open and you could often hear his collection of comedy podcasts playing
“Sit down babe.” He fussed through some papers on his
desk. He looked particularly swag today
in an eclectic mix of what looked like Armani meets All Saints of Spitalfields.
“Sorry about this
morning. You know how it is.” I said
sitting in his Eames leather chair.
“It’s fine Soph,
come on, you know that. How’re you
doing?” He looked at me with his big soulful blue eyes.
sucks. He’s now on governor’s report for
breaking into the school computer system.
Sometimes I feel like letting him get chucked out of the school and
learning the hard way. It’s so goddamn
draining. But, I’m his Mum..my job is to
make everything OK.”
“Maybe he should
work here. Could use some hackers.” He smiled.
“LOL” I replied
“ Look - I need
you to cover the Gatewaylounge opening tonight - Loads of people, food wine,
beer, celebs, local business - the usual.”
Take a friend..and I’ll need some photos too and a piece from Simms the
owner. I’d go with you but I’ve got to
“Who’s Trudie?” I
“ Ah.. Some girl
I met at the races event. She’s
nice..” He offered weakly.
“What happened to
Simone? I mean, she was gorgeous!”
“You know how it
is Soph.” He gave a lopsided smile and tilted his head.
Colin went through
girls like a teen on Bacardi Breezers. They were
always stunning and devastatingly perfect but didn’t last very long. He couldn’t seem to strike that bond with
“Ok I’ll cover
it. What time does it start and will Frank Lampard be there?” I asked.
“7.30pm - be there
a bit earlier - talk to everyone- I want a couple of pages on this. And no, I doubt it..why? “
have taken Johnno."
We talked about the
rest of the week’s ideas and I went back to my desk to see my mobile lit
up. Three missed calls from school.
“Oh God...” I groaned.
I pressed return call and waited to be answered.
please” I said quickly to the receptionist before she could finish her scripted
“Hi it’s Sophie.”
I said when Janice answered.
“Oh thanks for
coming back so quickly. We have a bit of a problem. He’s just been removed from business studies
for accessing the teachers laptop; he changed the screen and then went to get
information about another pupil.
Furthermore he left the lesson stating he was hungry and couldn’t cope
and was then upset with the canteen staff for not having any bacon cobs
available. He banged the finger scanner
on the counter and said “For fucks sake.”
He then came to Base and said “I want my Mum I can’t deal with this
place”. So, he’s here in Base and very
distressed and we need you to fetch him if you can?”
heavily. I really, really didn’t need
this. “Give me half an hour and I’ll be
alright?” asked a concerned Johnno.
“Not really. See if you can get me a date with Frank
Lampard - that might help.” I patted his
shoulder as I walked by him back towards Colin’s office and he gave my hand a
“Colin”. He looked up from his computer and paused the
Ricky Gervais podcast.
“I’ve got to
go. Schools rang... I’ll need to work
from home if I can?... and I can still do tonight no problem.”
“Just go babe, go
on. I’ll call you later.” He smiled
sincerely. He was an awesome boss he
I arrived at
Hillfields School 40 minutes later and rushed through reception holding up my
visitors pass from this morning. Why I
needed a visitors pass anyway was beyond me.
I was there that often I should be invited to the bloody Christmas
Brendon was sat
in The Base, head down. Janice spotted
me in the corridor and rushed up to me before I opened the door and ushered me
into her office.
coming so quickly. He seems very
stressed and agitated. I think its best
he goes home.”
“It’s OK, I understand.
No sleep last night didn’t help but it’s impossible to make him do as
he’s told.” I whined.
“OH I KNOW!” she
laughed “Look, there’s a Governors meeting tomorrow night and Mr. Fothergill
has insisted that you and Brendon attend, it’s after school about 4.30pm. He needs to realise how serious this is and
maybe this will be the thing that makes him stop and think.”
“Right. OK. No
problem. See you again tomorrow!” I
responded with obvious fake joy.
She squeezed my
arm in a friendly 'I-totally-know-what-you’re-going-through' way and opened the
door to Brendon.
When he saw me he
jumped up and ran to hug me, holding on for way longer than normal people
“Get me out of this
hell hole Mum.” He whispered.