75. Serendipity

“Love, luck and money they go to my head like wildfire.”

‘Can’t Be Sure’ by The Sundays

No matter what, it always comes out sooner or later. I know that they know. I can just tell. Their whole demeanor changes. They are just dying to ask me. They think it sounds incredulous; that there must have been a connection for this snowball effect, or some other meaning that I’ve not mentioned.

I think I prefer the people who are upfront and just say it, rather than those who pretend they are too cool to care, but you know are prepared to wait as long as it takes for details. Only once have I believed someone who said they honestly had no idea who I was, and that it made no difference.

There’s a definite shift between those who knew me before they found out, and those who got to know me after, or, more often, because. My friends used to call them ‘starfuckers’ and you can sense their desperation to be close to dining out on any association with fame, in the hope that the luck rubs off onto them, or somehow I’ll make it happen again. Few people believe that I had nothing to do with these events and that they are the very definition of coincidence.

Most people who share it, have an opinion that I care not for, and I’ve heard many times already. They are usually disappointed to find out that not only do these events not define me but that I’m genuinely pleased for everyone involved. I hold no ill will, there are no regrets and that there has never been anything to forgive. Of course the money helped, but it wasn’t as much as people say it was.

Next question please. Of course, who wouldn’t? I have had more than a few sleepless nights wondering about the endless, many, what ifs, plus lots of counselling.

So, yes. The song of my name is about me. My boyfriend and I split up, and in the weeks that followed, he wrote the song that made him a household name. Whether you believe the lyrics is up to you. The plot of the film of the song is obviously fiction, to me and those who know me. It clearly says so at the beginning, but that doesn’t stop people from thinking it’s based on my actual life. Think about it. If we hadn’t have split up, he may not have written the song etc.

Incredibly, my very next boyfriend did win the lottery a month after we went our separate ways. It was a very easy break. We talked, agreed it wasn’t working out, that we preferred each other as friends, so shook hands to seal the deal. No, I’m not bitter. We’re good friends. Better friends now than when we were going out. He bought me this lovely house. I’m godparent to his son. Money changes people. I think it must be like being beautiful. They can never really be sure why someone loves them, so they stay close to home with people who really know them.

Boyfriend number three did marry the actress who played ‘me’ in the film. Really! You couldn’t make it up. That one did sting a bit for a while, but I’m long over it now. You’ve seen photos of them on the red carpet. They’re made for each other. If it hadn’t have been for me, then they would never have met and all that.

Yes, I have seen the film, but only once, and I’m glad I waited until a long time after it came out. The press had mostly lost interest in me by then. Every so often a pap pops up, looking for a scoop on a bitter ex, but there’s never anything to report. Anyway, second ex keeps a lawyer on a retainer for me in those situations, so nothing ever gets printed. I’m grateful for that, as the British press can be quite brutal.

No, I haven’t really had a boyfriend since then. There’s been a couple of too-obvious chancers who thought I had some sort of magic touch. One that I quite liked, but I think he backed off when he found out, and another guy was convinced I was a witch. So it’s just me and the dog, this beautiful cottage, my garden, kiln and workshop. Every few months I am flown somewhere in the world by private plane to parties, have lovely holidays and always have a story to tell. My life is more than I dreamed it would be and is everything I ever wanted. I sometimes have to pinch myself to believe it is real. I wouldn’t wish it any other way.

60. A Rush of Blood to the Head.

Ms Double-Barrelled has loads of followers on social media but that’s not because she’s interesting, popular or famous for actually doing something. She doesn’t create anything. Her unusual name has opened doors her entire life, and she’s easily found online by people who like lazy, posh girls who show their tits. It was slightly embarrassing for her parents on the first day of nursery when there was another little girl there with the same rockstar first name as hers, but Mummy made sure that the other little girl didn’t get into the same school as her unique darling.

She only took her clothes off because some scum had papped her sunbathing, and those photos didn’t show her at her best. Anyway, Lily said that’s how to get famous, and it worked for a bit. Then there was a bit of amateur solo camming, for the lols, when she ‘went off the rails’  after she split up with her druggy actor boyfriend, but it was enough for the red tops to reprint tamer stills from the site and infer that her titled MP father was “furious.”

Whenever she gets a new follower, she routinely and meticulously dredges through their lists of followers and cherry picks the best ones to add to her own list. The sycophantic cycle continues as her new followees are delighted that she not only ‘remembered’ meeting them at some random party they both attended, but actually reached out to them. They must invite her to their next gathering.

Once the Sun and the Mirror got bored, and she failed to be considered for ‘TOWIE’, let alone ‘Chelsea’, nepotism got her a part as a regular extra on a new teen drama. Despite no experience, she assumed she would get a lead role, so thought she’d try her hand at lifestyle vlogging instead.

Her new boyfriend, Buddy, is one of those juicing, vegan, barefoot, fitness types who says “Namaste” a lot. He was one of the instructors at a yoga retreat in Costa Rica, where she want to chill just after Christmas for dry January. He quit his yoga gig, and immediately moved into her Clapham flat with her. He has persuaded her to start her own youtube channel. Her face. His idea. A no-brainer, as they say. She doesn’t know his hit rate with the ladies is at least one client per retreat, because he’s so discrete. It’s been a very successful way to supplement his income for the last few years. Now he thinks he’s found the perfect mark, and it won’t do either of them any harm. All publicity is good publicity, right?

They’ve got a plan to “do Coachella and Burning Man, definitely Cannes, maybe Ibiza and Goa because they’re ironic, and some of the cooler, more intimate festivals in England, but only if the weather is good and they get a yurt.” She likes the idea of swanning around, being filmed just being, and not lifting a finger. Her PA will do all of the organising and they’ll hire someone to sort out the filming and do the techy stuff. Her accountant will take care of all of the expenses she can claim, like the travelling and clothes. Right now, she’s got more important things to worry about like the colour scheme and perfect name for her ‘brand’ and whether she should do a before-and-after fitness video. Telling people about what she is going to do, rather than just getting on and doing it, is the most exciting bit of any new project. Being seen and talked about while the idea is still fresh.

She can get loads of freebies to promote on her channel, from her equally clueless toff friends who pretend to run viable businesses in central London. These include flower shops, cupcake and artisanal bakeries, sex toys and boutique lingerie shops, birch/coconut water and small-batch gin pop-up shops, travelling tearooms aka afternoon tea, at events, cruise wear and coffee shops. Someone she knows has even got a food van at Kings Cross. She could never imagine why on earth would someone work that hard for so little? None of these ever break even.

Buddy has got his wholefood energy ball range to promote. Once he’s networked the fuck out of her friends and got his face on a wellbeing book cover, he’s outta there. Either that or he hopes to get paid off by her Daddy who doesn’t want a former escort in the family. Plan C is to continue with the sex work, albeit raising his game so it’s at the high end for fewer clients. The jackpot would be as companion to some titled old sugar mommy, but he needs to work his way up first. Failing that, he plans to get in on the ground floor when cannabis is legalised, but that looks like a lot of work.

This temporary rush of intense hormones when you think you are falling in love can lead to some very regrettable decisions, especially if you’re bored, stupid and used to getting your own way.

50. Pants on Fire

“No, sorry.” I said, wearily. “They told me they’re fully booked but could maybe squeeze us in at 9:30.”

This was the first day of the family holiday and the boyfriend and I thought we’d try our luck at the posh, white napkin, seafood restaurant for tomorrow, which was Saturday night. A very long shot I know.

About an hour or so later, the boyfriend’s Mum says,

“I just phoned that fish place on the harbour and booked a table for all twelve of us for tomorrow night at 7 o’clock.”

“The lying bastards,” mutters the boyfriend under his breath.

“Brilliant. Thanks.” I say.