Monday, 17 October 2011

Chapter Thirteen

It wasn't fair. She wanted to slam her fists into a nice squishy wall and weep like a five year old whose toys have been commandeered by a younger, cuter, more evil child. She wanted to weep and sulk and amass an army to slay her enemies.

The sugar comedown had shortened her nerves and something unpleasant bubbled in her gut as the train deliberately ploughed through every shitey pointless village in Essex. The train was mocking her. Every ticket barrier, every slow moving tourist, every tree, bird and gulp of fresh air that lined the endless road between the world's ex fattest man and home was mocking her. They'd probably been paid generously to do so by the harpy who was hijacking her accidental political tour de force.

It made sense though. Sarah had always done this - from scalping her Cindys to reading out her River Phoenix death poetry to taping over the best bits of The Sound of Music and pretending it was all just a misunderstanding.

It was typical, and tragic. After all the hard work Natasha had put in, everything she'd done to create a movement and then publicise it - all to be wrestled from her by the evil arms of Sarah. To become nothing but another trend. Another Shoreditch, asymmetrical hair, display of assholery. She wanted to change her view on gun control, or at least breath into a paper bag for a while.

After an eternity on a train and a minor outburst at a young Japanese couple having their picture taken outside Finsbury Park tube station Natasha burst into her house with fingers crossed that it was high noon, ready to do what a woman had to do. She was ready to to rip her sister's 50's quiff from her shiny little head, stab her in the face with her own hand crafted pin badges and shove a farmers market cucumber where the sun didn't shine.

And of course it was all in the name of the cause. Whatever that might be. Sibling shit aside, the cause needed Natasha to lead it, it needed someone battered, bruised, whose dream it had always been. It definitely didn't want to be led by someone who, as sure as eggs were eggs, would throw the cause aside like last night's kebab as soon as something shinier came along.

She threw open the front door and stomped through the hall into the kitchen. Gladys and Kat were sat at the table in the kitchen drinking tea, or possibly gin from teacups.

"Where is she" growled Natasha. Fists forming into little balls of granite.

Kat looked up and beamed, she had mascara stains below her eyes. "You're alive!" she screamed as she leaped up and grabbed Natasha in a sweaty embrace, smelling like someone who'd been awake for a long time.

Had Sarah spread death rumours as well? Maybe they'd thought she'd been sent so Siberia.

"Of course I'm alive! Why, what did she tell you?"

"Who?" asked Kat.

"You know who. My bitch of a sister."

Gladys affixed her best narked out granny face.

"Why the hell haven't you called? I've had SABTY's solicitors trying to track you down in prison. We've been threatening god knows who. There was talk of calling in Wogan and the Archbishop of Canterbury to demand your release."

Natasha hadn't expected them to be mad at her. She'd expected them to either be Stepford Sarahs or up for doing some trendy wendy clobbering. Kat looked genuinely sad and Gladys was annoyed. That wasn't in the script.

"I'm sorry" she squeaked. "I thought you'd been co-opted."

Gladys and Kat shared a sarcastic look. Apparently they weren't ripe for co-opting today.

"But what about the event tomorrow? That's got something to do with Sarah right?" Natasha was squeaking now. She detected an eye roll. She needed more cake. She definitely needed more cake. Sugar…..levels…..dropping…….

"She was here" said Gladys.

Eureka! And they'd told her she was mad. This place stunk of Sarah, the whole sorry plan stunk to high heaven of that jumped up, skinny, popular…..

"And so were loads of people. Sarah, Pete, your parents."

Her parents? Natasha's parents hadn't ventured towards London since The Blitz. Surely there was ….

"They all came round. They'd heard about the campaign through the papers, through Twitter. They wanted to help. And when you didn't come home….."

Kat interjected, her face like a freshly kicked puppy:

"We thought it was what you would have wanted us to do. So Sarah found a venue and we organised the demo."

"She was really proud of you. She kept beaming and telling everyone that you were her big sister."

Natasha's stomach contracted like she'd eaten a bag of superglue. This was why they didn't sell humble pie in Macdonalds.

"We did it for you Natasha". Kat's eyes were wet with tears.

Holy crapola. Natasha ran over to the biscuit tin on the side in the kitchen, picked up a handful of custard crèmes and crammed them into her gob. Crumbs spilled out of her mouth and down her dirty clothes, the chomping noises drowned out the thinly veiled disgust on her friends' faces. The swallowing motion blocked out the feeling of complete and total humiliation at having made such a twat of herself. The biscuits hit her innards with the lovely smacky feeling of a problem well avoided.

Only she hadn't avoided. They were still stood there. And she had a lot of apologising to do.

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