Friday, 21 October 2011

Chapter Fourteen

Ringing her parents to let her know they wouldn't have to put the house up for her bail was a strange hybrid of Monty Python and The Good Life:

"Hi mum, it's me."

"Oh hello Natasha, we thought you were in prison."

"No, I was just in Essex"

"What were you doing in Essex?"

"I was watching the world's ex fattest man lock his evil sister in a basement and forcefeed her cakes."

"Oh. Well we've been in the garden today, but we might go for a walk on the beach later."

It was also easy nipping the "Free Natasha" movement in the bud, online buzz was used to being quelled by the truth. It happened every week in the hope that Noel Edmunds was dead.

Finally, after three cups of tea and having a bottle of Lidl's cheapest brandy wrestled from her sticky hands, came the hard part, she phoned Sarah. She hadn't wanted to. She'd sulked, stamped her feet and threatened to take the campaign website down, but Kat and Gladys wouldn't budge. She'd been wrong and she had to face up to it.

Being wrong had never upset Natasha. You didn't go through life being Natasha without constantly having your fuck ups pointed out to you, but it still stung. Her fingers shook as she dialled her sister's number, imagining the smug iPhone vibration, the ringer was probably set especially to the Benny Hill theme tune just for her, maybe a photo of a turd came up. She imagined Sarah in a shiny venue giggling with a gaggle of supermodels, a brief interruption whilst shopping for cushions.

But somehow surprisingly Sarah's voice rang with something she took a few moments to identify as concern. Natasha nearly spat the tea across the room.

"I'm so proud of you!" gushed her sister. "Forgive me for saying this but I never really thought you had it in you. You were forever making plans and breaking them, I always found it so frustrating because you are so clever and so motivated. It got on my nerves that you found it so hard to act. But I was wrong. You've really pulled out the stops, you were even arrested for your beliefs. That's something I could never do."

"Do you mean that?" squeaked Natasha.

"Of course I do. I think you're amazing sis. That's why I just wanted to help you out - I thought that if you were inside then you'd need someone to be your eyes and ears outside, to keep the campaign going in your name. To fight for you and what you believe in. I kind of hoped it might bring us together. Like Nelly wearing plasters on his face, only cooler."

Natasha found herself wiping away a snivel. Was it true? Had her younger sister always been gunning to be her wing woman? But what about the dog killer thing?

"I want to heal our friendship" pleaded Sarah. "Getting engaged has put so much in perspective for me. I want us to be like real sisters, not two assholes who secretly despise each other."

"Oh hell!" exclaimed Natasha, "I need your help Sarah, are you free?"

"Hell yeah!" screamed an excitable Sarah. "And I'm going to bring you a present!"


It was odd forgiving Sarah, Natasha had never really considered that she'd end up being friends with the sister she had always seen as her enemy. But now it started to make sense, they'd always been consumed with mutual jealousy because they were very alike.

And as her sister arrived in an well organised heap on her front step to a massive hug and a few cheeky nips of lidl's cheapest brandy (once Kat wasn't looking), ushering the "present" in front of her, all rippling muscles and chocolate eyes.

"This is Kieron" winked Sarah. "He's my gym instructor and he's been dying to meet you. He's also a fantastic cook."

Natasha came alive a little more inside as Kieron kissed her hand before introducing himself politely to Kat, who put him to work piping icing.

Sarah was onboard she was able to use her PR skills to the best effect, knowing the best journalists to call about the rally, constructing releases and using her contacts to set up the event quickly, cheaply and easily. It was like watching a whirlwind in action and finally Natasha was able to sit back and look at her little sister with awe, safe in the knowledge that it was mutual.

And so they prepared for a celebration of life, love and cake. They had asked three bands to play, as well as numerous and newly liberated speakers from the celeb and fashion world.

Sarah excitedly explained that from the first mumblings on the internet the cake movement had exploded into the East London scene - with cakes being distributed in the best pubs and clubs. Several of the coolest bands had taken to pelting cake at their fans, whilst one of the presenters of T4 had taken to eating cake during interviews with movie stars and proudly displaying her stomach as it grew rounded with buttery love.

"And it's all because of you Natasha" gushed Sarah as she threw down her mobile phone having sold pictures of Tess Daley nibbling tentatively on a cheese straw to the Daily Mirror.

The party was going to be the best that Shoreditch had ever seen, and Natasha was going to address several hundred excitable sugar heads. For once everything seemed to be perfect. Just perfect.

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