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First pages

Chapter One

‘I don’t drink tequila. I discovered a long time ago that it makes me anxious and crazy. And not crazy as in ‘look at that girl, she’s so Jenny Mollen in a stolen Kaftan’ kind of crazy. No. I mean crazy as in batshit crazy, as in ‘what the fuck is wrong with her, where did she leave her restraining jacket’ kind of crazy. One shot of tequila and I know that I will feel all shades of embarrassed the following morning. About virtually everything. There was this one particular time when a bottle of Patron, a dumpster and that big fountain at Central Park were involved… I’d rather not talk about it. I will only say, in my defence, that I still didn’t know tequila could blind my judgment. And my eyes, it definitely blinds my eyes. Like a fuelled Ray Charles, you know what I mean? Anyway, what it doesn’t mean is that I don’t enjoy drinking; I’m not trying to fool you. I’m not that kind of person. Only if you were being super creepy, then I would absolutely try to fool you and I would definitely try to fake number you. But you look like a decent human being.’

I looked at the guy standing next to me and got that already familiar feeling from when someone looks at you as though you’ve completely lost it. The kind of look my mum gave her friend Alice Porter when she was brave enough to brag in front of my mum about her average height daughter, claiming she could’ve easily modelled for Armani had she not decided to start her own business. The fact that she was a mid-sized midget had nothing to do with her fleeting modelling career. Her business, by the way, was babysitting, and the whole town knew that, in reality, her business was being an escort.

‘Listen,’ the guy next to me ventured. He seemed pretty afraid, like I had rabies or an out of control epilepsy and I’d suddenly started drooling foam all over him and his preppy shirt. ‘I just wanted to buy you a shot, but… Ummm… I’m just going to... You know… Go.’

Before I could open my mouth to say another stupid thing or talk about another one of my parents’ extravagant neighbours, he had already moonwalked his way out of my sight and lost himself in the drunken crowd.

‘And yet another cute guy who vanishes into thin air.’

Andy appeared to my right and I turned to look at him while I took a sip of my paid for by myself drink. I couldn’t care less about the guy, whether he had indeed gone all David Copperfield on me or not, but it looked like Andy did. And I knew he was counting.

‘How many?’ I asked without a hint of interest.

‘Five…’

‘Ah, well! It’s not that bad then, is it?’ The black cloud that had been following me around all day turned suddenly a lighter shade of grey. Without the kinky sex and the control freak billionaire, that is.

‘…Tonight,’ Andy finished his sentence. ‘And I won’t tell you the total number because I don’t want you to get depressed, drink even more and then end up having to be carried home by me while you sing ‘Swing low, sweet chariot’. Again.’

‘Excuse me. Are you implying that I’m an out of control drunk?’ I asked loudly. Although not too loudly because, quite frankly, I had been acting slightly like one lately.

‘No,’ he replied. ‘I’m implying that you are getting fat and I don’t want to give you any more piggyback rides home. It’s not fun anymore.’

I was tempted to throw the gauntlet at him in the form of a witty response, but even I knew that I’d gained a few pounds (eight to be exact) since the last time Evan and I had called it quits. Actually, ‘heartlessly dumped me in front of his ex’ would be a better definition of what had actually happened. But the truth was that the previous time (i.e. when he dumped me before he dumped me this time), I had gained the astonishing amount of 20 pounds in two weeks, definitely a world record that I probably only shared with some Japanese kid. And as eight was less than half of twenty, I felt like not everything was lost. My dark cloud turned instantly yet another shade lighter; the night was getting better already. I eyed my friend up and down, ready to fire back some hurtful remark about his body fat, and realised he, as opposed to me, had lost a considerable amount of weight in the last two months. His ‘starving is the new Atkins’ approach to life was certainly paying off.

‘Have you realised the girls over there are dressed like they just came from the Moulin Rouge? They look like Christina Aguilera minions.’

Andy and I looked at each other and then we looked at India, who had come up beside us like Houdini. Of course, first we looked at the minion whores.

‘I think Christina looked much better when she was singing in the Moulin Rouge video, way more sophisticated than those wannabes,’ Andy offered while I tried to steal a better glance at them, clinging hard to my stool so I wouldn’t fall over again. Twice in a night would’ve been very embarrassing. ‘I think she goes by Xtina now,’ he added as he took a sip of his drink and looked at India. ‘Why are you in such a bad mood, anyway?’

‘Geez, I don’t know, let’s see.’ India put her hands on her hips and I assumed she was trying to look as terrifying as her mother. Spot on. I suppressed the shiver running down my spine and tried not to make eye contact with her. ‘I guess it’s because I asked my two best friends to help me choose my wedding flowers this afternoon, and the only thing I got in return were two pathetic excuses that even my little brother would have been ashamed to use.’ She climbed onto one of the stools and tried to flag down a waitress, while I continued to desperately avoid eye contact. I could almost feel my eyes rolling around in my head.

‘You are a single child,’ Andy whispered to her, his eyes reduced to slits.

‘And your excuse was bullshit,’ she snapped back.

‘It was not an excuse!’ Andy’s voice went up 3000 notches, reaching a level that only specially trained SEALs can bear. ‘I had to take Pedro’s mother to the hospital.’

‘Do you expect me to believe that you, the same man who practically boils his toothbrush before using it, took an old lady to a hospital?’ India’s voice was also high pitched, but in her case it was justified: organising a wedding can cost lives. ‘Please, don’t make me laugh. We all know you’re afraid of old people and that you’d rather die than go anywhere near a hospital. You even call it a box of germs!’

‘I’m not afraid of old people. They just remind me of very soft prunes.’

‘Well I think the minions are more Miley than anything else. Miley in her out of control era, not in her Hannah Montana era, of course.’ I turned towards my friends, strangely proud of my vast knowledge of Miley Cyrus, but nobody was listening to me. The story of my life.

‘You’re right, I’m not going to bullshit you,’ said Andy, giving up without much of a fight. I looked at him surprised, since it was something he never did, I knew that well. But arguing with the India pre-wedding was a waste of time and far less entertaining. ‘I would’ve rather stuck a fork in my eye. But listen, I caught Cocktail on cable and Tom Cruise just looks delicious in it.’

I think India would’ve let it go at that. We both knew that Tom was first priority.

‘And picking out flowers for your wedding is some boring shit I was really not looking forward to.’

She would’ve.

‘You’re gay,’ she snarled. ‘Isn’t picking out flowers something you would love to do?’

‘No, honey. Picking out guys is something I would love to do. Picking out flowers is boring and you should do it on your own. Alex, help me out here.’

‘I don’t want your shit to hit my fan,’ I whispered.

India turned towards me and I could’ve sworn I saw Medusa peering at me through her eyes. There was a slight chance I hadn’t muttered that under my breath. Suddenly seeing my friend transformed into the Roman lady who thought that snakes were the new afro made me think that I might have actually drunk too much. Then I laughed it off and drank some more, while Andy threw India a horrified look and then turned to me.

‘Don’t worry too much about that. I think you’re deeply covered in it,’ he nicely informed me. As if I didn’t know already.

‘Alex, I know you’re depressed,’ said India, ignoring us and addressing me as if I were a child. Or retarded. ‘But it’s not the first time Evan has left you; you should be used to it already. Hiding out in the darkness of your own flat isn’t exactly the best road to recovery.’

‘The flats with windows were a luxury I couldn’t afford.’

Andy patted me sympathetically on the back, in reality wiping his hands discreetly. India must’ve also suddenly felt awfully sorry for me, since she dropped the flower talk and started attacking the waiters. It was one of her favourite pastimes. By the time she was able to flag one down, Andy and I were done with our drinks and we considered that letting her order and drink alone was downright rude. So we ordered another full round. And then another one.

And by the time we asked for the bill, we realised we’d gone through half of the bottles in the bar and that we looked like a drunken version of a highflying Courtney Love. But it didn’t matter, since twenty years of friendship had seen us in far worse conditions and embarrassing situations. I peeled my cheek off the table and looked at India.

‘I’m sorry I blew you off today. I should’ve gone with you to the flower shop,’ I slurred.

‘And I’m sorry your life sucks,’ she slurred back, while at the same time her eyes blurred. I wanted to believe it was due to the emotional charge of the moment we were sharing and not because that last shot of tequila was taking its toll on her brain.

‘And I’m sorry I wasn’t born a beautiful, German model named Gertrude,’ added Andy, enveloping us both in what we liked to call a tri-hug.

It was the last thing I remembered from the night.

***

For one brief moment I thought I’d gone blind overnight. Then I remembered what I’d been up to with Andy and India and I stopped panicking. Blind I’d been, yes, but only because of the numerous drinks I’d had. Now the issue that had to be tackled was that my mascara had solidified and my eyelids were stuck together. I inhaled deeply. Reaching the sanctity of the bathroom with my eyes closed was a very dangerous task, especially because the chest of drawers I’d paid a kidney for and proudly placed in the middle of the corridor seemed to change place of its own will. I wasn’t sure how many more ruthless blows my little toe could endure.

I got up slowly to prevent my whole body from realising I was already awake, in an attempt to stop it sending the neon lights that read ALERT: HANGOVER to my brain, and unleashing the post Friday night happy hour apocalypse. Very carefully, I placed both my feet on the floor and waited a couple of seconds, my hands securely placed on the mattress. I questioned my own intelligence for not having yet learned that a body of 30 doesn’t recover like one of 29 (which at the same time doesn’t recover like one of 28, harsh lesson I learned when I turned 29) and I got up. In slow motion I took my first step, feeling like a baby learning to walk or like a very uncoordinated person with polio. Then I took the second one. Then I walked right into a wall and fell to the floor.

‘Who the fuck moved the wall?’

‘I always thought that your ability to swear like a sailor made you more interesting.’

I opened my eyes at once, my lower eyelashes now stuck to my upper eyelids, and turned my head. It didn’t register that I wasn’t in my flat; it didn’t register that Evan was smiling at me from the bed; it didn’t register that my heart had actually stopped for a few seconds, nor that all my clothes were scattered around me. No. The first thing that registered was: he said I’m interesting and not attractive, like a puffer fish. Instead of listening to the voice of reason in my head, which wasn’t yelling at me to run but was instead advising me not to move at all to prevent an even bigger headache, I grabbed the bed sheet and pulled until it covered most of my nakedness.

‘I think you should cover yourself up too,’ I retorted, desperately trying to make my voice sound cool and icy. Unfortunately for me, that’s something that only happens in books and movies. Instead I sounded just like Minnie Mouse, which is neither sexy nor mature.

‘Come on, babe,’ he coaxed, flashing me his best smile, and I remembered he was the only human being whose breath didn’t stink in the morning. I fought back a sudden urge to kiss him. ‘Aren’t you going to say good morning to me?’

‘I think I’ll pass, but thank you,’ I replied, again Minnie Mouse. I coughed in the same annoying way Sarah Jessica Parker constantly did in The Family Stone and I looked him in the eye. ‘What am I doing here?’

Evan rolled his eyes. Or at least he tried; looking back, he actually looked a bit like a Chinese dude reaching nirvana or having a very weird orgasm, but at the time it made my knees wobble. He sat up. He still hadn’t covered himself up and it was taking all my willpower not to let my eyes wander.

‘I was missing you last night, so I gave you a call.’ He reached out to me and I made a huge effort not to puke all over his sheets of Egyptian cotton. My hangover was reaching unsuspected levels.

I didn’t remember said call, but it didn’t surprise me that I’d run towards him without looking back. Such was his effect on me. Evan and I had met in college several years before. He was the friend of a friend or what I always called love at first sight. My sight, of course. For him it’d never been that, not at first or second or even at the gazillionth time. Never. But I was young and stupid (mostly stupid) and believed him whenever he sweet talked me into bed or said things like ‘we’re not exclusive because I’m going through a very rough patch and it wouldn’t be fair on you.’ The rough patch lasted ten years and involved more than a dozen exclusive girlfriends, none of which were me. I can understand the many names you’ll want to call me for having put up with this voluntarily, but at the time I didn’t see it. I was a girl who was madly in love with him and as such did despicable things to myself.

‘Why did you call?’ I knew the answer already, but a part of me was still hoping for a declaration of love.

‘I know. I think it was a huge mistake too.’ He ruffled his hair and my knees shook. ‘I guess we should be more careful with things like this.’

Excuse me? That we should be more the what now? First of all, who dumped whom? And second of all, who the fuck called whom? Who’s making it complicated? Who calls it quits whenever a better option walks into a bar, then waits for the other half to recover just in time to strike again like a soulless, overcompensating piece of shit? You bastard, son of a bitch. That was what I should’ve said. But, instead, I opted for the soft and more pathetic version.

‘I guess you’re right.’

‘Listen, it’s not that I don’t like you. I do. Like, a lot,’ he said, leaning back against his red velvet headboard (again, looking back, what kind of respectable, straight man has a red velvet headboard?) and giving me his best puppy dog eyes. ‘But right now I need to be alone, you understand? I need to stop and think, clear my head.’

‘You’re going through a rough patch.’

‘Exactly!’ He touched that piece of ice he had for a heart and smiled. ‘Nobody understands me the way you do, babe.’

And yet, how ironic, I was the only one for whom he’d never been willing to hand over his most eligible bachelor title.

Chapter Two

I left Evan’s flat with mixed feelings: on one side, the inexplicable happiness of having spent the night with him, even if I couldn’t remember a thing; but, on the other, the now too familiar feeling that I wouldn’t be hearing from him any time soon. That is, until I ran into him in a few days, when he would explain, yet again, how he’d lost his phone to a violent gang of trained ninjas, hence the reason he still hadn’t called to ask whether I’d taken the morning-after pill.

I called Andy.

‘So he’s already kicked you out?’ He sounded half asleep and very bored.

‘How did you know I was there?’ I freaked out.

‘Alex, sweetie, the only person that probably didn’t know was you. You were in little green man mode last night.’

I had a flashback to the attractive waiter from the bar the previous night serving me a shot of tequila and of myself screaming ‘it’s liquid gold!’ Remember the little green men from Toy Story and how in awe they were of The Claw? That’s exactly how I was looking at the tequila bottle.

‘Can we meet?’ Having reached this point, I didn’t care about keeping the desperation out of my voice.

‘To debate how pathetic you are?’ Andy, on the contrary, didn’t seem to care about keeping the excitement out of his.

‘More or less.’

I heard him smile on the other side of the line.

‘Honey,’ he began (he was the only one with permission to call me that. He and my mum, of course). ‘Yesterday, when you flashed me your granny knickers while you outraced the man in the wheelchair to steal his cab, I already anticipated this. I’ve bought croissants and am on my way to the restaurant. I’ve also called India.’

Tears of gratitude sprang to my eyes. The truth was that I couldn’t ask for better friends. It is often said that friends are those who stay when the party is over. Mine are those who stay when the ones who stayed before also leave. Although maybe that’s due to the fact that they want to go through all the leftovers.

***

I stopped in front of Andy’s restaurant, incapable of going in and unable to believe that this was happening to me again. Two times in one week. Just in case the world hadn’t made it clear enough that being me sucked, this was the final confirmation I needed. I sighed and pushed the door.

Andy must’ve been chain-smoking, judging by the state of the ashtray in front of him, and he looked unusually pale. India was resting her head against the wall, a dubious looking cloth covering her eyes. I walked over to them and sat down.

‘Who’d like to start?’ I asked, helping myself to a croissant.

‘Don’t you need us to fill in the gaps first?’ came India’s muffled voice from underneath the greyish cloth.

I thought about it. Did I really want to? The previous night was nearly a blank for me and, if I agreed to my friends giving me a detailed account of what had happened, I would inevitably end up remembering all the gory details. And given the way the day had started, I wasn’t sure that was the best idea.

‘Does it hurt?’ I cowardly asked. Whoever said ripping off the plaster was the better option clearly hated humanity.

‘Not much, we’ve seen you in far worst situations,’ Andy replied as he lit up another cigarette and blew smoke rings my way.

‘Okay then.’

And so they started from the beginning, with the first drink we’d ordered. We talked about the Casanova who’d tried to talk me into having a shot with him (‘how stupid of him to think you would become an easy target with just one shot of tequila,’ mocked Andy, giving me good reason to hit him, which, given his fragile state, nearly threw him off the chair) and the girls who thought they were part of the Burlesque casting. We went through a tense moment again when we remembered the flower fiasco, and once again we apologised to each other, tri-hug included. And finally the moment I’d been dreading came.

‘So then your phone rang and you answered it.’ India made it sound like it was the most natural thing in the world, but we all knew that wasn’t the case. If it were, we wouldn’t have been sitting there. I slightly shrugged my shoulders, mimicking a minor seizure. ‘Don’t shrug it off, that’s not the worst bit by far,’ continued India. ‘The worst thing came after you picked up the phone. You said, and correct me, Andy, if I’m wrong, ‘I’m sorry E, but this ship has sailed and you were the one who launched it. Here is someone with whom you’ll never be able to do the goat on top of the elephant again and least of all under the sea, even though you’ve sunk me like the Titanic.’’

‘What was it with the boats?’ I whispered to Andy, but he simply shrugged his shoulders and continued to laugh on the inside. Because, deep down, he’s a good friend and does that kind of stuff behind my back.

‘Next thing we knew,’ continued India, ‘you were screaming your head off that you had to leave asap.’

‘And you let me go?’ Unbelievable.

‘Well, you were starting to act very weird and we feared for our own safety.’

‘I was drunk! And your duty as friends of a drunk is to stop her from doing stupid, drunken things!’ I yelled.

‘I don’t recall signing anywhere for that,’ retorted Andy.

I turned to look at him like I had a spring up my ass and with what I hoped was a look of pure hatred in my eyes. ‘And I didn’t sign anywhere to hear you talk about blowing your neighbour and yet here I am,’ I snapped.

We remained silent for a couple of minutes, the three of us probably thinking the same thing but not willing to bring up the subject again. It was too soon to talk about kinky homosexuals. I rested my head in my hands and closed my eyes. What was wrong with me? Was it true what that mean fat kid from school had always told me, that my parents had ordered me from a catalogue of defective Chinese children? Fat kids weren’t supposed to be mean and somehow I’d managed to come across one that was as asshole as he was obese. I sighed and looked up. What was done was done. There was no use in crying over spilled milk. Now the only thing I needed to do was to be strong for the next few days and try not to think about it or feel sorry for myself. At least not too much. I looked at my friends and smiled slightly.

‘Do you think this puts me behind Paris Hilton on the intelligence bar?’ I asked.

‘Oh no, Paris is very intelligent,’ said Andy as though he knew Paris from the gym. ‘I would say this puts you on Kristen’s level. You know, when she cheated on Rob Pattinson with the balding-patch director that nobody remembers anymore.’

‘Only Kristen has loads of fame and fortune that surely helped her get over it faster,’ added India.

‘Yes,’ agreed Andy. ‘But she also has loads of haters with ‘K-Stew Die’ t-shirts. I have one,’ he proudly added, nodding to himself like a demented fan that collects restraining orders.

I snaked my hand across the table and stole a cigarette from him. I knew smoking was a bad habit that would only end up killing me, but I didn’t care. The previous year had been a constant fountain of many things, all of which had been bad, so adding one more to the list wasn’t something I cared too much about at the time.

‘If I were a famous actress who earned millions per movie,’ I thought out loud, ‘I wouldn’t mind having a group of haters who wanted me dead. I would cry while lounging in my infinity pool overlooking the Pacific Ocean until I felt better about myself.’

Andy leaned over and hugged me tightly. ‘Honey,’ he told me, ‘you’re the star of your own movie. I would never pay to see it, but it’s yours. Write your own ending.’

‘You’re so gay,’ said India. Then she turned to me, continuing, ‘But he’s right. This is not the end of the world. As I told you yesterday, unfortunately it’s not the first time it has happened, so you know already you’ll recover from it. The only thing I’m asking from you is to think twice next time you pick up the phone. If only to think what you’re going to say when you do.’

Despite how weak I was feeling, both physically and mentally, I couldn’t help but smile. Emergency meetings were for this. They were right, this wasn’t the end of the world, it never is. Feeling a bit more upbeat, I put out the cigarette and ate what was left of my croissant. I would think about the diet on Monday.

‘Do you know what surprises me the most?’ I asked. ‘The fact that neither of you has asked me what on earth the goat on top of the elephant is.’

‘I’m more curious about how you planned on doing it under the sea,’ said Andy.

We burst out laughing at the same time, like synchronised hyenas.

‘Of all the assholes I’ve slept with, he was without doubt the best one,’ I admitted once the fit of laughter was over, omitting the fact that he’d also been the only one I’d fallen in love with. ‘I suppose the quest for Prince Charming is back on. That bastard surely knows how to play hide and seek.’

‘Maybe you’re going about it the wrong way,’ Andy said as he brushed away a tear and looked at me. ‘Maybe you shouldn’t be looking for Prince Charming.’

I thought about it for a couple of seconds. ‘Maybe you’re right,’ I finally said. ‘Maybe I should wait for him to find me. Lazy prick.’

‘No, you don’t understand me. I meant that maybe you’re looking for the wrong kind of prince. You’ve always been with cute enough guys, with proper jobs and dazzling smiles. Granted they were never real relationships and just periods of time during which you were shamelessly used and then tossed away, but, still, God knows how you fooled them into it. But maybe charming is not what you need; maybe what you need is a Knight in Shining Armour. But not a very shiny one, that would be too gay even for me,’ he added. ‘Prince Charming is so overrated anyway.’

Again the three of us remained silent, meditating on the wise words Andy had just spoken. Until India went along and broke the spell.

‘Yeah, a Knight in Tin Foil Armour. That’s a keeper.’

We looked blankly at each other and then we burst out laughing again. It would’ve been clear to anyone who saw us that we were still drunk.

***

Later that night, in the privacy of my minute flat with no windows onto the street, I went over the conversation we’d had at the restaurant. Leaving aside the knight with the DIY armour (because, quite frankly, dating a dude who dressed in kitchenware was not amongst my most immediate plans), Andy had me thinking. A few months ago things had taken a turn for the worse for me and I’d hung onto Evan, even though I knew he did me far more bad than good. I’d wanted to save the only hint of love in my life, aside from family and friends, at any cost. And I’d played it wrongly. Like basically everything else.

Roughly two years before that, I quit my job as a publicist to make my teenage dream come true: opening a cupcake shop. I fought hard and relentlessly with all kinds of banks to get credit, with contractors to get the best budgets and with my mother so that I could decorate my own shop to my own taste. My negotiating skills were mind-blowing with everyone except my mum, and several months later I opened the source of my greatest pride to the world: A’s Cupcakes. It was a lovely shop, painted in light, warm colours, with lovely furniture and counters full of delicious looking treats that made one think of heaven. At first the shop was full, but slowly the number of customers decreased until it was just Lupe, my assistant and right hand since the beginning, and me. And eventually just me.

Almost one year after I’d embarked on the adventure of being my own boss, I had to hang up the closed sign. I started to spend my days on the Internet, Facebook-stalking Evan and his girlfriends and looking for a new job. Mourning or not, one still has to pay the bills. Because I’m a proud person, I said that even if I were high on crack I would never beg for my old job back, that I was above it and, while I was at it, above everybody else in the office. So when I eventually did go knocking on my ex boss’s door and he kindly asked me to close the door behind me on my way out, in between polite insults and gentle shoves, I decided to not tell anybody. Instead, I opted for drinking, smoking and burping in the corner of a McDonald’s, much to the local tramps’ dismay. ‘There is a new player in town, bitches,’ is what I felt like saying as I gave them the bird and flung my skirt over my head, making the job of drinking my noon Jagermeister far more complicated. I also accepted a job as an assistant in a company that sold I had no clue what, with a boss who was a recovering alcoholic (so he said), a recovering drug addict (so he said) and a recovering manwhore (so he said). I knew it was all a lie; he was still all three things.

But none of that mattered because it would soon be over. I was going to take the bull by the horns, embrace life and give us both a new chance. Life had failed me in the past, but I was pretty sure I’d failed life too. I would start my asparagus and pineapple diet to lose those extra pounds so that Andy would give me piggyback rides once again. I planned to start looking for another job because, let’s face it, I was pretty awesome at what I used to do and I didn’t deserve to spend my days answering the phone of a pyromaniac with zero self-control who loved to fly erotic kites in his spare time. And, at the same time, I was going to stop looking for that one handsome knight and I was going to let him do all the searching.

I had a plan. It was full of flaws? Yes it was, but it was a plan nonetheless.

Chapter Three

On Saturday, I woke up with a good feeling and I smiled. I’m not exactly sure why, since the last time that I woke up with a good feeling a series of unfortunate events took place that made me question whether God and Buddha, together with that creepy Lemony Snicket, had sensed my good mood and had decided to have some fun of their own at my expense. Popcorn included. But the new me, with the new life attitude, jumped out of bed brightly and made herself a cheap instant coffee. Because my approach to life might have changed, but my pocket unfortunately had not.

I took a shower that made me feel even better. I could practically feel the layers of sorrow and self-pity swirl down the drain together with the dirt, and I saw myself as an essential part of a Broadway musical. Then I saw that McFreak was peering at me through his window, on the other side of the courtyard, and I had to close the curtain, thus ending a scene that could’ve been a crushing victory in the upcoming Tony awards. My neighbour was one of those affable people with huge hearts who are also creepy as fuck. The kind of person who murders the Taiwanese delivery guy, then hides the body and goes on with his life until the smell of rotten Dim Sum becomes unbearable. He also doesn’t have a TV, a very weird fact per se. People who don’t own a TV are just not trustworthy, full stop. So, due to the lack of digital entertainment in his life, his favourite pastime seems to be to sit in front of his window and spy on his neighbours while he stuffs his face with hamburgers delivered by the aforementioned Taiwanese delivery guy.


AUTHOR Q&A

About me

Full-time marketing specialist, part-time author and aspiring lottery winner. Married to the luckiest man alive and in love with my dogs (yes, I’m that annoying person who refers to them as my babies and to myself as their furry mom – no quotation marks needed). I write about things I know and things I don’t know, and I seek cosmic justice by basing characters on people I despise. You know what they say… Never mess with the writer.

Q. When did you decide to become a writer?
A.
I guess I’ve always known, despite that brief phase in which I wanted to be a model. Unfortunately for me, my midget size and stage fright prevented me from following in the steps of Moss and Klum. Call me crazy, but I do believe that what happens in my books is far more entertaining than a runway!
Q. What is the inspiration for the story?
A.
Fairy tales are reserved for the movies and good looking people like Olivia Palermo. I wanted to write a story with real characters who have everyday worries (such as trying to look respectable during the walk of shame). So I based Alex on myself. And my friends. And, let’s face it, probably you.
Q. Is there a message in your book that you want readers to grasp?
A.
Absolutely: A good sense of humour can make everything better.

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