the good the bad and the basic

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Chapter Sixteen

Waking up the next morning overlooking the now calm ocean made me feel as if I was still dreaming. I turned looking at Matt, who was awake.

“Janey?” he asked.


He gestured down to the hard on sticking into my hips. I turned around pushing my behind up into him. It was better to do it this way, I didn’t know what my face looked like or my breath smelled like. I didn’t want him to be right in my face until I brushed my teeth.

It was slow, sensensual and made me moan and grip the pillow.

After, we laid with my head on his chest looking out onto the sea for a while.

We walked down to the beach and up the cliffs, it was sunny and the wind had died down, we walked hand in hand. We kissed in the ocean air and sat watching the waves crash.

We were hungry and ate a big lunch of fresh seafood pasta with white wine.

We spent a few hours in the spa, content, before another amazing dinner.

When I packed up my case Sunday, I felt a dread of going back to the flat. I had looked through the linked security camera footage on my phone a few times so I knew that no one had broken in. But I still felt as if I could come home to carnage.

Tomorrow would be when Matt goes home and lays out everything for Nina. I was sure there would be some backlash, she said in the coffee shop that all she wanted to see was everything naturally unravelling. I worried if things didn’t naturally unravel, Nina would find a creative way to make things fall to pieces.

We talked the whole way home, I didn’t want the silence to make me start thinking, and worrying.

When we got back I ordered us a pizza and we watched a documentary cuddled up on the sofa, me trying not to let my mind wonder about the possibility of a sabotage to my new, exciting, life.

We went to bed tired from the weekend, but I couldn’t sleep.

Monday I woke up early and dressed as if I had a purpose for the day, I cleaned the flat and did a food shop and all of the washing to keep myself busy. Once all of that was done I started looking through companies that could help me build my own website. I was confident that they could do a good job, but I was less confident that anyone other than a few curiosity clicks to see how terrible I’m doing now, would actually read it.

I knew how difficult it was to get people off instagram, and onto a blog page, but I had to try.

On the brightside the analytics for the podcast were getting better and better, thousands more this week than the last. The comedian I had on had sent the episode to a few more well known friends, who had loved and shared it. It really gave everything a boost, I was going to the local comedy club tonight to meet a few of them, and hopefully rope someone into giving me some of their time. Worst case scenario no one wants to, but at least it gets me out of the flat while the big confrontation was happening. If I didn’t do something my mind would whir until I probably explode with stress.

I tried so hard not to think about Nina.

I made coffee after coffee and brainstormed ideas for the website that would have catchy enough titles and concepts that would interest my demographic. I was surrounded by sticky notes and wired on caffeine, but I had a few solid ideas.

I liked the topic of money, it’s not something a lot of people talk honestly and openly about. I banged out a piece about money related to going to a wedding, how crazy expensive it is. Why we feel it’s okay to spend a crazy amount of money on an expensive hotel, a dress, drink ten pound gin and tonics, travel a million miles, and stick a fortune into a card, for someone that you don’t even talk to that much anymore? I asked these questions on instagram and got a good load of thoughts and feedback from wedding guests, and brides alike. Before I knew it, the sun was going down.

I sat back in my chair spinning round, thinking if I would ever get married. I pictured marrying Matt. Hmm this was a nice daydream to slip into.

Obviously it would be a small wedding, with him being older and on his second marriage, and me with no family and only a few token friends. I took my coffee out onto the balcony to carry on my daydream as the sun set.

I pictured us on a beach on a holiday, him with a tan and his trousers rolled up, a white shirt unbuttoned at the top.

Me in a white, light, long dress, flowers in my hair and not much makeup. I imagined just the two of us by turquoise sea, on white sand, in love and with our lives ahead of it. I tried to imagine where we could be in a few years, I could see us together going away for weekends and working passionately on our projects in the week. I imagined us in the countryside, with a puppy, me pregnant..

Too far, but a very nice daydream. I used to make myself promise that I wouldn’t daydream about happy things like that happening in the future, because when it all goes wrong, I would be upset. But I have decided to now live day by day. I would have never known that all of this would have happened to me, so I want to make the most of every second of happiness, because I was starting to realise, I can control nothing. If a daydream makes me happy, I will let myself daydream and not be so hard on myself.

Matt had been a long time and I was anxious for him to come through the door. I remembered I had made plans tonight to take my mind off what was going on with Matt and Nina.

I brushed my hair and retouched my makeup before heading out to the comedy club. I wanted Matt to have been home before I left, but I knew it wasn’t going to be a small talk between him and Nina, it was literally the be all and end all.

When I got there, Laura called me over and got me a seat and a glass of wine, we chatted about how the podcast was doing before the acts started.

It was the perfect escape, I forgot about everything, I laughed at the really funny acts, and cringed at the ones that didn’t do so well. Feeling bad for them and the nerve wrecking concept of going up and putting yourself out there to be judged. I wished I had the balls to do something like that, be so open and honest. When I was making jokes and putting myself out there, I was always hidden behind a computer.

I met some really nice friends of lauras. I was worried I wouldn’t be welcome in their circle, as they all do stand up. That I would be unwelcome and the odd one out. That wasn’t true, they were all friendly and accommodating and some of them even listened to my podcast or had read some of the things I had written on the website.

There were a few awkward moments sitting round the sticky table, though.

“What’s it like working for them? A nine to five that you love would sound like a fucking good deal to me,” one of them asked me, James, a very nice stand up.

“Erm, there was an issue and I had to kind of leave, or was kind of sacked. I don’t really know which one.” They had been so honest with me I felt I had to be honest with them, I wasn’t expecting the shocked look on their faces.

“Why? Laura says you’ve got a great following, that’s why she went on in the first place?”

“I do, it was more, erm, personal,I think, differences with the boss Lady.”

“What you shagged her husband or something?” One of them cut in, one of them clearly had no clue who I was or why I was there. The people that knew a little about me put their heads down in embarrassment, Laura gave me a sympathetic ‘sorry he doesn’t know’ smile. I could get defensive, or I could not take myself so seriously, the choice was mine.

“Well,” I said shrugging and taking a sip of my wine, I let the embarrassment wash through me, that adrenaline of being shamed. It passed in the awkward silence and I let out a little laugh. “Yeah, actually.”

Everyone burst out laughing, and I felt at ease again.

I left before the later show. I had a really good time, and any other night I would have stayed. I needed to know if Matt was home though. I didn’t want to call because I’m sure things would have escalated between Nina and Matt if she saw me calling.

I walked home happy to not have drank too much, I couldn’t be in an even more heightened state of emotions. It was all already so much, knowing Matt and Nina were alone in their house together, talking about the future.

I walked in the door and Matt was sitting on the sofa with a beer and the news on. He turned around and switched it off, watching me hang my now only jacket up.

He patted the side of the nice new black velvet sofa, I got myself a beer from the fridge and sat facing him expectantly with my legs crossed.

“I went out to watch some comedy, I couldn’t stay moping around here, with my bloody head spinning.”

“Course not,” he smiled, taking my hand. “Thanks for texting me to let me know I would have been worried.”

“Don’t ever worry about me, I’m harder than I look.”

“Course you are,” he said, pulling me forward and kissing the top of my head.

“Good news or bad news?”

“I told her I wanted a divorce, and obviously, she wasn’t happy. She reminded me of the pre nup I signed meaning I get none of her rich families money. She reminded me a lot of times actually. Oh god, it was awful, thankfully though she was so angry that she did more of the talking. She told me that I would never do better than her, let me explain in case you get pissed off, and I agreed with her because I didn’t want her to go even harder after you. I mean after what she did here I don’t fucking trust her. Obviously I have done so much better than her and I am actually happy. I just wanted to tell you in case she ever tried to hang that over your head. Fucking hell.”

He put his head down and ran his hand through his hair.

“She’s going to get the best solicitor she can and drag this out for years she told me.”

I raised my eyebrows, surly torturing Mat would only be torturing herself. Unless she wanted that time to win him back somehow, or get me out of the picture.

“Doesn’t phase me if it doesn’t phase you, I’m confident you will do what you feel you need to, I won’t let jealousy eat me alive I promise.” I was making this promise to myself, when jealousy made me want to scream and it tightened my throat as if it was choking me, I would put Nina aside and focus on the good I have in my life from now on.

“You’ve been drinking?” he joked.

“I mean it, I won’t be another stress, I just want you to be able to get it done. However long it takes or however many meetings she insists on.”

I could imagine Nina meeting with Matt and his solicitor in her best dresses, hair blown out and doey eyed across the table in the negotiations. Not a nice thought. I would not dwell on this.

“You are incredible.”

“Yeah, I’m unemployed and have no family, I’m no prize woman. I only own one jacket.”

I had told him before about what my father had done, about the murder, he already knew from Nina. It didn’t seem to bother him.

“You are self employed!”


“I’m getting someone I went to uni with to meet with you and help with your advertising and the website, he’s really good.”

“How much will he charge me?”

“Nothing.” I worried Matt would pay for it and not tell me, he’s already paid for so much. “As for family, it’s fast but you have me, I promise.”

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