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Liz Bankes - Daisy Chain -18th Dec

Liz Bankes - Daisy Chain -18th Dec

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Published by: shutterbug99 on Dec 17, 2012
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12/17/2012

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‘O. M. F. G.,’ says Gabi with a dramatic handwave between each letter. She grips my armacross the table, nearly knocking my coffee over in the process.‘What?’‘Jamie. Elliot. Fox.’‘Can you speak in normal sentences?’‘He’s, like, famous, Mia.’‘He seems like a knob. What’s he famous for?’‘Er, for being rich and fit? You must have heard about him! God, it’s like you live under a bridge.’Within a second she’s whipped out her phone and is scrolling rapidly. She hands it to metriumphantly. ‘Ta da!’A few people who are quietly murmuring over their coffees look round at our table, which issomething that often happens when we’re out together. It’s like Gabi has a volume dial on her voicebox that is always turned a few 15 notches above everyone else’s.‘That was some quick stalking, even for you,’ I tell her.‘But you want to see him, don’t you?’‘No. Maybe. Okay, yes, I want to see him.’I’d like to be all unbothered and cool, but I’m a bit intrigued by him. Obviously he’s good-looking, with his stubble and dark eyes. And his muscly chest that I haven’t actually seen properly, but I imagine being muscly. Not that I’ve been imagining him walking round in justhis shorts, all wet from the swimming pool.But he blatantly knows he’s fit or he wouldn’t go around kissing people in windows. Or staring. Why would he stare at me? What does he think I’m going to do – run outside andsay, ‘Now you’ve glared at me through a window, I must have you’?Gabi sees I’ve gone into a daydream and so does her usual trick of digging her nail into myhand. ‘Oi! Okay, so his Facebook is, like, really private, but me and Han met him and hisfriends that night we went to York’s.’She says the night we went to York’s. She means the night we didn’t get into York’s and sostood freezing our arses off in a nearby bus shelter, passing round a Smirnoff Ice. It seemsthat these days it’s all about trying to get into clubs and places, when we always used to justgo to people’s houses when their parents were away. I miss getting all excited about house parties and making playlists for them and putting all our money together to give to whichever tall person was going to go and try to buy drinks at the supermarket. I have no chance of getting into any clubs – I’m only just over five foot, so bouncers spot me immediately. Gabihas the most enormous boobs ever to have grown on a person, though, so she just strolls in.Maybe if I get this job then I’ll be able to socialise in the 16 Radleigh Castle bar, like asophisticated . . . er, woman, and drink port with Jamie Elliot-Fox. And kiss Jamie Elliot-Foxagainst windows. But without getting sacked.While she’s talking about that night, I look at the first picture. There’s him in a suit, but withthe shirt collar open. He’s leaning back on a sofa, casually holding a glass of wine, while the people around him, including two girls practically on his lap, clutch vodka bottles andgenerally look totally wasted. He’s fixing the camera with that same critical, amused look hehad at the window.‘You buggered off with those goths,’ she continues. Gabi thinks that anyone who doesn’t like pop music is a goth. Actually Han’s sister and her friends had turned up and were on their way to see a band, so I went with them.‘They’re not—’ I try to interrupt.
 
‘Whatev. So you went with the goths and then I texted you saying we’d met all thoseWoodbridge guys outside the club and went to their house party – remember?’‘Yeah, they were all called Tarquin or Octavian or something.’‘So Jamie was there and that was the night I became Facebook friends with that guy Willem.’‘William?’‘No, Willem.’‘That’s not a proper name.’Gabi takes a sip of her hot chocolate dramatically. Well, to anyone else it would be dramatic, but it’s how she does everything.‘Anyway, Max got really jealous and they were like actually going to fight, but Fat Stevecalmed everything down.’‘Really?’ I arch my eyebrows at her. ‘Max has never been in a fight, Gabs. We’ve never evenseen a fight.’‘Whatevs. You weren’t there. There was fighting in their eyes, Mia.’‘Just not in reality.’‘Exactly!’‘So you’ve met him, then?’ I scroll through some more photos. He’s not in all of them, butevery so often he’ll appear. On the beach in his shorts again, and wearing shades. In another suit, sitting by a bonfire. In most of the photos he’s got a drink in his hand, but he looks incontrol, in stark contrast to lots of the people around him.‘Well, he didn’t talk much. He stood there drinking and watching everyone. Oh yeah, and hewas with this girl, apparently. The poshest girl I’ve ever seen. Like a horse with loads of hair.But all these other girls kept crowding round him and he was whispering to them and makingthem laugh, like really flirty. If Max did that, I’d go schitz. He said something to this one girland she took her top off and swung it round her head. Next thing, she’s looking around for him, but he’d walked off!’‘Wow, he sounds just lovely.’‘His friends said he lives in this pool house outside Radleigh Castle. How awesome is that?He has parties all thetime. When you work there we should totes go — Babe!’We are interrupted by Max arriving.‘Hey, princess,’ he says, pointing both fingers at Gabi. He shuffles over in his ridiculously baggy jeans, stopping briefly when the oversized cap he wears perched on the back of hishead falls off. I’d like to point out that he is both white and middle class. Considering theamount Gabi bitches about other people’s dress sense, I think that she must go temporarily blind whenever Max is around. He slides into our booth. ‘Aight, baby?’Okay, make that temporarily blind and deaf.Max nods at me. ‘Mia.’‘Hi, Max.’Then Gabi and he start kissing, which, as is usual for them, carries on for about five minutes.I keep my eyes on her phone. A girl with dark curly hair keeps appearing in the photos, whomust be the one Gabi was talking about, because she does have a lot of hair and is near toJamie in most of the pictures. Her name is Cleo Farah. She is stunning, with big brown eyes,sharp cheekbones and coffee-coloured skin.Max and Gabi are still firmly attached to each other’s mouths, so I look at the next photo.Jamie is dressed up again, but it looks like it’s for a family thing rather than a party. Maybe awedding. He’s wearing a waistcoat and has his arm around a girl who looks about twelve.She must be his sister. He’s smiling, but not in the frowny way he is in the other photos – it

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