Chapter 3 – Victoria & Her James

13 Dec

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Victoria had been seeing him for just over 4 months. James Warner-Hughes, 23 from Surrey. Father a surgeon, mother a physiotherapist. 2 brothers (older) living quietly in Kensington, and of course, the family holiday home in Tuscany.

He was stunningly handsome and had an awesome job as blog editor at a small indie record label in Camden. Achingly – painfully – hip, his tiny frame accentuated by the smallest, tightest pair of red jeans Victoria had ever seen. He was never without his bowler hat, fags or slightly awkward swagger. He drank whiskey, discussed politics and played in an experimental band consisting of a light show, turn-tables and a violin player called ‘Tryst’. Sometimes he wore glitter on his face.

The last time she saw him, they met in London Fields, he was already a little bit drunk, but she had her big news to share and planned to play catch up ASAP. And there he was, speaking with his university friend Tom. Hands flying about, gesticulating in that Cambridge educated way he did – all liberal (but inadvertently Tory) opinions and sexy arrogance.

‘Darling.’ He kissed her forehead as she arrived outside the Cat and Mutton. ‘How is my darling?’

All around were swarms of fashionable young twenty-somethings, pints in hand, reveling in the very slightly-warmer-than-fucking-freezing spring evening. The girls were intimidatingly beautiful, all vintage fashion with huge fake furs, thick fringes and red lipstick. Victoria couldn’t keep up with fashion that didn’t talk to her with specifics – precise direction – from the pages of a glossy weekly. She relied heavily on the whats hot/what’s not section of Grazia rather than the pages of French Vogue. And she hated the smell of vintage clothing, and the girls who wore it – they just looked so …. dirty.

She beamed at James, her heart and head swimming with warm, pure joy and love. And filthy horn, of course.

‘I got the job!’. She was so happy, she might burst.

‘Awesome darling. Just awesome. We MUST celebrate!’ ‘You know Tom, right, but have you met James? He works at Vice.’

‘You’re both called James?’ Victoria laughed, noting they both sported the same pencil moustache.

‘Yes,’ her James replied and without a hint of jest, ‘luckily the similarity ends there.’ He reached for his wallet.

‘Oh, I’ll get it. I feel like bubbly anyway. Can I get you a drink?’

‘A pint would be great, thank you.’ the other James smiled warmly, then sucked back on his rolly cigarette.

‘Thanks babes, you’re the best.’ Her James kissed her again. ‘Peroni please.’

Victoria didn’t feel comfortable letting him spend money on her. Despite his families incredible wealth, he was earning so very little at the magazine, and he was always to grateful to her for helping out where she could.

Back outside, she could feel the chill seeping into her bones.

Her James had a small group around him now, she stood quietly and insecure, as they discussed a band she’d never heard of, all the while her James’ arm firmly fixed around her waist.

‘So, what do you do?’ She asked Helen, the only other girl in the circle. Helen had a big mane of blonde hair, and the sharpest fringe she ever saw. Her make up was as bold and blunt as her personality. She terrified Victoria with all her edges. Her edgy edginess.

‘I have a cupcakes and handmade underwear stall on the market here. I’m setting up a small business. It’s called ‘C-Cups and Cakes’.’ Helen smiled. ‘And you?’

‘I work in television,’ Victoria replied joyously. Helen looked slightly bemused.

‘Oh nice.’ Before quickly adding, ‘I don’t really watch television. We have one in our flat – but it’s only really for watching films.’

‘Oh good’. Victoria giggled. ‘You won’t miss Twilight 3.’

Helen raised the corners of her mouth ever so slightly. Victoria had met girls like her before – and they were not the kind, homely types you’d expect from someone with a fondness of peach frosting. They were the new generation of entrepreneurs. She had a personal brand. A collection of vintage jewelry. She dated 30 year olds. She smelled like mothballs. She looked down on girls like Victoria. Her James quickly chimed in from nowhere –

‘Victoria wants to make documentaries, she just got her first step in that direction’

‘Oh,’ Helen looked very interested, ‘really, where are you working then?’

‘Bear Productions’ Victoria said meekly.

‘I’ve never heard of it – what have they made?’

‘Um.. Pirate Island.’ Victoria blushed, ‘I mean, they do kinda shit tele really, but it’s just a start- you know?’

‘I can imagine.’ She exhaled smoke just slightly shy of Victoria’s face, ‘I mean, I can’t really imagine working for someone else….’

‘Just a stepping stone, eh Vic?’ James was looking slightly protective.

‘Well, yes – but still, it’s a good place to start.’ She turned back to Helen ‘I would love to run a sweet little stall in the east end, though. Must be such a fun thing to do.’

‘Well, yes.’ Said Helen. Anger.

‘And.. ‘ continue Victoria, ‘you know, good luck with that.’

She turned to the duet of James’ – ‘Drink, chaps?’

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One Response to “Chapter 3 – Victoria & Her James”

  1. Kyleeeeeee December 15, 2011 at 8:47 pm #

    I love this chapter! The vintage mothball stench, fringes and lipsticks. James in this skinny than too skinny red jeans, pencil thin moustache and glitter. Great descriptions and characters. To me they are now alive.

    Well done.

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