Saturday, 30 January 2016

Good Golly Miss Molly Chapter two: The Wallflower

"Back for more are we? Very well". 

It had been months since I had left Devon, and yet where ever I went, the gossip was sure to follow.
None of it the slightest bit true of course, but the people who write the "articles" found within those trashy magazines are looking to sell, sell, sell the story. You can't expect someone as motivated by profits to be honest, now can you? 
I'd been living far, far, far away from California for quite some time, but the news of my alleged reputation always managed to find a way to my doorstep. I had managed to keep in touch with a few of my Californian allies you see, and they always found a way to make sure I knew exactly what was thought of me back home. 
Yes, I know now that I should realized how pathetic the rumors were, and just carried on with it, but I was young, and stupid. 

I'd been rooming at a boarding house by the name of 'The Wallflower' for about a year, but my slightly depressed nature still lingered. It stagnated like water, and all of the other long term boarders could smell it. 

'The Wallflower' was a different kind of boarding. To find yourself there you had to be a survivor of some deeply ravaging emotional trial, and you could only be invited by a very specific individual. 

Her name was Gerta Flintlock, and she was quite possibly the kindest and loveliest Woman I have ever met. 
Yes, 'The Wallflower' was hers. She'd bought an old holiday home and had turned it into a refuge for the disgraced women of high status. 
First there was Daphne, the daughter of a prominent lawyer. As the first born child, it was expected that Daphne go study to take over the family firm. When she ditched the exams in order to pursue
her dream job as a chef, her family balked and cut her off financially. Alone, and struggling to make ends meet, she was on the verge of being cast out onto the streets before Gerta stepped in to rescue her.
Daphne was now enrolled in a cookery class. Funded by the generous Gerta of course.
Oh but Daphne earned her keep quite well. She was our resident chef, and prepared almost every meal I ever ate while I was there.
We were grateful to hear her wonderful throaty laugh, and our stomachs were always well looked after by her wonderful cooking!
 Daphne's room-mate, Rowena had a similar story to the rest of us, but it was infinitely more tragic.
She was a party girl you see. Full of vivacity for life, and was a very loyal regular at many clubs and bars. One night she took it too far. Completely wasted, she and a few friends took a drive.
Needless to say, they crashed. As the one behind the wheel, and the soul survivor, Ro suddenly found herself in a terrible state and was facing numerous charges. Luckily, when a distant cousin is the one presiding the case, you can avoid a lengthy sentence. She did her time, but found when she returned to her little town bearing the brunt of the town's wrath. Guilt ridden, and without a friend in the world she left. No-one knows quite how she managed to find herself so far away from home, but Gerta found her lying in a gutter outside a nightclub, weeping. She had resided at 'The Wallflower' ever since.

 Thirdly, there was Lila. Dear, sweet Lila was a girl who had spent her entire waking life dreaming of becoming an actress, only to be told she was the wrong size, or she wasn't pretty enough countless times. The constant stream of rejection ravaged her confidence, and she developed an eating disorder.
Hocked out on various medications, and numerous hospital visits later, her parents had had enough.
They turned to their close friend, a one Gerta Flintlock for her help.
Gerta suggested she be placed within her care and they hadn't looked back since.
A quiet girl, Lila was Greta's closest friend. Wherever she went, Lila went. The two were simply inseparable. Lila occasionally found work in the form of various roles in arthouse or independent films, and this she found satisfying enough, but I think the lure of being a part of something bigger will always be something close to her heart.
No one was sweeter than Lila.
Finally, we come to my benefactor herself, Gerta Flintlock.
Not much was known about her by the four of us, apart from that she had a good heart and came from an old seafaring family based in Boston, but much of our time was spent speculating about who and what she had been before our surrogate Mother.
Rowena swore blindly that she had been a model.
Daphne thought she was a writer of smutty romance novels, and Lila?
Lila was silent on the matter.
As for me? Well I hadn't a single clue. Besides, none of it mattered. It was all superficial in the end.
Gerta was Gerta.

Now as I previously explained, my fellow castaways were highly perceptive, and though I maintained a front that I was happy, and a well adjusted individual it wasn't long before they pierced the iron curtain. They had me sussed, and what was worse is that one day they decided to do something about it.
Gerta took me out to have a full day of pampering, that resulted in me giving in entirely and
dying my hair red. I do regret it. After all, it turns out I have a slight resemblance to a character from a cartoon called 'Archer'.

When we arrived home, the other girls were waiting for us. They were dressed up for what could only be assumed a night out on the town. I immediately sensed the set up. Gerta would not be content until I went out with them it seemed.
I took one last look downstairs, before going up to go get changed. My act of surrender was greeted by a subtle wink from Daphne.
That girl.. Honestly.
After slipping into my favourite dress, I begrudgingly traipsed back down. Daphne very unpredictably was sitting in her favourite spot, waiting for me. I rolled my eyes at the very poor attempt to subtly throw me back out into the dating game.
Not missing a blink, good, dependable Daph quipped "Well, you don't look half bad".
Getting up from the couch she continued, "Come on Cinderella. Your carriage awaits."

The beginning of our night of debauchery was marked by a quick visit to one of  Ro's
"friends" for some supplies.
Hardly impressed by the grungy atmosphere, we moved on very quickly.
Our next destination was decidedly much more happenin' as it were.
While the others took to the dance floor, I found myself at the bar, nursing my gin and tonic.

 Something about being there without Devon had really made me feel sour.
So, I sat on the sidelines and drank alone.
The others were much to high on life and illicit substances at that point to
pressure me to "let my hair" down.
My moping didn't last long however.
Cut short by a very obnoxious patron, who decided to pester me.
"HII", he slurred. I was slightly taken aback. Who did he think he was,
interrupting my solitude?
(It could be argued, very easily that I was quite an arrogant person in my youth.)
Due to my earlier consumption of copious amounts of Gin and Tonic, I struggled to
return anything, let alone a greeting to my mysterious companion.
In the end I managed a grunt of acknowledgement in his general direction.
"That's w--h--y I luvvvv ya! Cheryl. You're soooooooooo funny". He giggled and slapped his knee,
as if what I'd said was the most hilarious thing in the world.
I squinted back. My vision was a little blurry, but he didn't look unattractive?
My acquaintance continued, "Let's get home! before we're looocked out".

I was vaguely aware of a strong arm grabbing my hand. Before I came to my senses:
"WHO the hell's Cheryl?", I stammered, genuinely confused.
 "You're NOT Cheryl?" He managed
"NOOOO", I confirmed.
"OH". he said.
Suddenly, he was upon me.
I very nearly shoved him away, but then a familiar warmth flooded my body.
I pulled him closer.
He tasted like something sweet and tangy.
This was something new, and something exciting.
It was a glorious kiss.


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