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Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy, Page 2

Helen Fielding

  ‘Mummeee! Mabel’s got a knife!’

  I put my hand over the receiver, hissing, ‘MABEL! Give me the knife! Now!’

  ‘Hello? Hello?’ Brian was saying. ‘Laura, I think we’ve lost Bridget . . .’

  ‘No! I’m here!’ I said, flinging myself at Mabel, who was now hurtling after Billy, brandishing the knife.

  ‘They want to have an exploratory meeting on Monday at noon.’

  ‘Monday! Great!’ I said, wrestling the knife off Mabel. ‘Is the exploratory meeting like an interview?’


  ‘Shhhh!’ I hustled the two of them onto the sofa, and started struggling with the remotes.

  ‘They just have a few issues with the script they want to talk about before they decide to go ahead.’

  ‘Right, right.’ Suddenly felt hurt and indignant. A few issues with my script already? But what could they possibly be?

  ‘So, remember they’re not going to—’

  ‘Mummeee. I’m bleeeeeding!’

  ‘Shall I call back in a while?’

  ‘No! All fine!’ I said desperately, as Mabel yelled, ‘Call de ambulance!’

  ‘You were saying?’

  ‘They’re not going to want a first-time writer who’s difficult. You’ve got to find a way to go along with what they want.’

  ‘Right, right, so not to be sort of a nuisance?’

  ‘You got it!’ said Brian.

  ‘My brudder’th going to die!’ sobbed Mabel.

  ‘Er, is everything—’

  ‘No, fine, super, twelve o’clock Monday!’ I said, just as Mabel shouted, ‘I’ve killed my brudder!’

  ‘OK,’ said Brian, sounding nervous. ‘I’ll get Laura to email you the details.’

  6 p.m. Once the furore had been dampened, the minuscule snick on Billy’s knee covered in a Superman plaster, black marks placed on Mabel’s Consequences Chart, and spag bog placed in their stomachs, I found my mind flashing through multiple matters, like that of a drowning person, only more optimistic. What was I going to wear for the meeting and was I going to win an Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay? Didn’t Mabel have an early finish on Monday and how was I going to pick them up? What was I going to wear for the Oscar ceremony and ought I to tell the Greenlight Productions team that Billy has got nits?

  8 p.m. Nits found 9, actual insects 2, nit eggs 7 (v.g.)

  Just bathed the kids and nit-combed them, which turned out to be brilliant fun. Found two actual insects in Billy’s hair and seven eggs behind his ears – two behind one and a magnificent crop of five behind the other. It’s so satisfying seeing the little black dots appear on the white nit comb. Mabel was upset as she didn’t have any, but cheered up when I let her nit-comb me to reveal I didn’t have any either. Billy was waving the nit comb, crowing, ‘I got seven!’ but when Mabel burst into tears, he sweetly put three of his into her hair, which meant we had to nit-comb Mabel all over again.

  9.15 p.m. Kids are asleep. Wildly puffed up re meeting. Am professional woman again and going to a meeting! Am going to wear navy silk dress and get hair blow-dried in spite of Mr bloody Wallaker’s supercilious take on coiffeurs. And in spite of gnawing sense that increasing female blow-dry habit is turning women into those eighteenth (or seventeenth?) century men who only felt comfortable in public situations when wearing powdered wigs.

  9.21 p.m. Oh, though is it morally wrong to get a blow-dry when I may have undetectable nit eggs at the start of their seven-day cycle?

  9.25 p.m. Yes. It is morally wrong. Maybe Mabel and Billy should not go to play dates either?

  9.30 p.m. Also feel should tell Roxster truth about nits, as lies are bad in a relationship. But maybe, in this case, lies better than lice?

  9.35 p.m. Nits seem to be throwing up unfeasible number of modern moral dilemmas.

  9.40 p.m. Gaah! Just went through entire wardrobe (i.e. pile of clothes heaped on exercise bike) plus actual wardrobes and cannot find navy silk dress. Have nothing to wear for meeting now. Nothing. How is it that have all these clothes stuffed into wardrobe and navy silk dress is only one that can actually wear for anything important?

  Resolve in future, instead of spending evenings shoving grated cheese into mouth and trying to avoid glugging wine, to calmly go through all clothes, giving anything that have not worn for a year to the poor, and organize everything else into mixy-matchy ‘capsule wardrobe’ so that getting dressed becomes a calm joy instead of hysterical scramble. And then will go for twenty minutes on exercise bike. As exercise bike is not wardrobe, obviously, but exercise bike.

  9.45 p.m. Though maybe it is all right to wear navy silk dress all the time in manner of Dalai Lama and his robes. If I could find it. Presumably Dalai Lama has several sets of robes, or on-call dry-cleaner, and does not leave robes in bottom of wardrobe full of outfits he bought but does not wear from Topshop, Oasis, ASOS, Zara, etc.

  9.46 p.m. Or on exercise bike.

  9.50 p.m. Just went up to check on children. Mabel was asleep, hair all over her face as usual, so that her head looked back to front, and clutching Saliva. Saliva is Mabel’s dolly. Billy and I both think she has mixed the name up with Sabrina the Teenage Witch and Sylvanian bunnies, but Mabel considers it to be perfect.

  Kissed Billy’s hot little cheek, all snuggled in with Mario, Horsio and Puffles One and Two, at which Mabel raised her head, said, ‘Lovely weather we’re havin’,’ then lay back down again.

  I watched them, touching their soft cheeks, listening to their snorty breathing – then, the fatal thought ‘If only . . .’ invaded my head without warning. ‘If only . . .’ Darkness, memories, sorrow rearing up, engulfing me like a tsunami.

  10 p.m. Just rushed back downstairs to the kitchen. Worse: everything silent, forlorn, empty. ‘If only . . .’ Stoppit. Can’t afford to do this. Switch on the kettle. Don’t go over to the dark side.

  10.01 p.m. Doorbell! Thank God! But who can it possibly be at this time of night?


  Thursday 18 April 2013 (continued)

  10.45 p.m. Was Tom and Jude, both completely plastered, stumbling into the hallway giggling.

  ‘Can we use your laptop? We were just in Dirty Burger and—’

  ‘I’s trying to do PlentyofFish on my iPhone and we can’t get it to download a photo from Google so . . .’ Jude clattered down the stairs into the kitchen in her high heels and work suit, while Tom, still dark, buff, handsome and fabulously gay, kissed me extravagantly.

  ‘Mwah! Bridget! You’ve lost SO much weight!’

  (He’s said this every time he’s seen me for the last fifteen years, even when I was nine months pregnant.)

  ‘’Ere, have you got any wine?’ Jude yelled upstairs from the kitchen.

  Turns out Jude – who now practically runs the City, but has continued to translate her love of the financial roller coaster into her love life – was spotted yesterday on an Internet-dating site by her horrible ex: Vile Richard.

  ‘And yes!’ announced Tom, as we clattered down to join her. ‘Vile Fuckwit Richard, in spite of having messed this fabulous woman around in a fuckwitted, commitment-phobic manner for a HUNDRED years, then married her, then left her ten months later, has had the NERVE to send her an indignant message about being on Plentyof . . . find it, Jude . . . find it . . .’

  Jude fiddled confusedly with the phone. ‘I can’t find it. Shit, he’s deleted it. Can you delete your own message once you’ve—’

  ‘Oh, give it to me, dear. Anyway, the point is, Vile Richard sent her this insulting message, then BLOCKED her so . . .’ Tom started laughing. ‘So . . .’

  ‘We’re going to make up a person on PlentyofFish,’ finished Jude.

  ‘PlentyofDicks, more like,’ snorted Tom.

  ‘PlentyofFuckwits, more like, and then we’re going to use the invented girl to torture him!’ said Jude.

  We all squeezed onto the sofa and Jude and Tom started sifting through mugshots of twenty-five-year-old blondes on Google Im
ages and trying to download them onto the dating website, while making up insouciant answers to the profile questions. Wished for a moment Shazzer was here to rant feministically, instead of in Silicon Valley being a dot-com whizz with her unexpectedly-after-years-of-feminism dot-com husband.

  ‘What kind of books does she like?’ said Tom.

  ‘Put “Seriously, do you care?”’ said Jude. ‘Men love bitches, remember?’

  ‘Or “Books? What are they?”’ I suggested, then remembered. ‘Wait! Isn’t this completely against the Dating Rules? Number 4? Use authentic, rational communication?’

  ‘Yes! It’s FABULOUSLY wrong and unhealthy,’ said Tom, who is actually now quite a senior psychologist, ‘but it doesn’t count with fuckwits.’

  Was so relieved to be rescued from the Darkness Tsunami, plunging myself into the creation of Revenge-Girl on PlentyofFish, that I almost forgot my news. ‘Greenlight Productions are going to make my movie!’ I suddenly blurted excitedly.

  They stared at me gobsmacked, then interrogation was followed by wild jubilation.

  ‘You go, girl! Toy boy, screenwriter, you’ve got it all going on now!’ said Jude, as I managed to persuade them out of the door so I could go to sleep.

  As Jude stumbled into the street, Tom hesitated, looking at me anxiously. ‘Are you OK?’

  ‘Yes,’ I said, ‘I think so, it’s just . . .’

  ‘Be careful, hon,’ he said, suddenly sobering up into professional mode. ‘It’s going to be a lot to take on if you’re having proper meetings and deadlines and stuff.’

  ‘I know, but you said I should start doing work again and be writing and—’

  ‘Yes. But you’re going to need some more help with the kids. You’re in a bit of a bubble right now. It’s fantastic, how you’ve turned everything round, but you’re still vulnerable underneath and—’

  ‘Tom!’ called Jude, who was teetering towards a taxi she’d spotted on the main road.

  ‘You know where we are if you need us,’ Tom said. ‘Any time, day or night.’

  10.50 p.m. Thinking about ‘authentic, rational communication’, have decided to call Roxster and tell him about the nits.

  10.51 p.m. Though it is a bit late.

  10.52 p.m. Also unannounced switch from texting to telephonic communication with Roxster too dramatic: giving undesirable weight and importance to whole nit issue. Will text instead.


  Very short wait.









  < *Spontaneous crying, starts hysterically scratching head.* Not . . . nits!!!>


  There was a brief pause then texting noise.


  Dazzled by Roxster’s cheerful gallantry, I texted back.




  Friday 19 April 2013

  134lbs, calories 3482 (bad), number of times checked for nits on Roxster 3, number of nits found on Roxster 0, number of insects found in Roxster’s food 27, number of insects found in house plague 85 (bad), texts to Roxster 2, texts from Roxster 0, mass emails from class parents 36, minutes spent checking emails 62, minutes spent obsessing about Roxster 360, minutes spent deciding to prepare for film meeting 20, minutes spent preparing for film meeting 0.

  10.30 a.m. Right. Am really going to get down to work on presentation of my script, which is an updating of the famous Norwegian tragedy Hedda Gabbler by Anton Chekhov, only set in Queen’s Park. Studied Hedda Gabbler for my English Literature finals at Bangor University, which unfortunately resulted in a Third. But maybe all that is about to be put right!

  10.32 a.m. Imperative to concentrate.

  11 a.m. Just made coffee and ate remains of children’s breakfast, then started mooning about remembering things from Roxster visit last night: appearance of Roxter at 11.15 p.m., gorgeous in jeans and a dark sweater, eyes sparkling, grinning, holding a Waitrose shepherd’s pie, two cans of baked beans and a Jamaican ginger cake.

  Mmmm. The way his face looks when he’s on top of me, the stubble on the beautiful jawline, the slight gap in his front teeth, which you can only see from below, those beefy naked shoulders. Waking up sleepily in the middle of the night to feel Roxster kissing me very gently, my shoulder, my neck, my cheek, my lips, feeling his hard-on pressing against my thigh. Oh God, he is so beautiful and such a great kisser, and such a great . . . Mmm, mmm. Right, must think about the feminist, pre- and anti-feminist, themes in . . . Oh God, though. It is so delicious, it makes me so happy, like I’m in a bubble of happiness. Right, must get on.

  11.15 a.m. Suddenly burst out laughing, remembering overblown mid-sex conversation last night.

  ‘Oh, oh, oh, you’re so hard.’

  ‘Hard because I want you, baby.’

  ‘So hard . . .’

  ‘You make me hard, baby.’

  Then, for some reason, I got carried away and gasped, ‘You make ME hard.’

  ‘What?’ said Roxster, bursting out laughing. We both collapsed in giggles and then we had to start all over again.

  Typically, in his cheerful manner, Roxster seemed unworried by the nits, though we both agreed that in order to have Responsible Sex, we must nit-comb each other first. Roxster was so funny, combing my hair, pretending to find and eat the nits, whilst intermittently kissing the back of my neck. When it was my turn to nit-comb Roxster, however, did not want to draw attention to my age by putting on reading glasses, so ended up studiously nit-combing his gorgeous thick hair, without being able to see anything at all. Fortunately Roxster seemed too keen to get it over with and into the bedroom for him to notice my blindness. And was probably fine because of his testosterone. But surely it is not normal to be too vain to put on your reading glasses to nit-comb your toy boy?

  11.45 a.m. Right. My script! You see, Hedda Gabbler is really very relevant to the modern woman because it is about the perils of trying to live through men. Why hasn’t Roxster texted me yet? Hope it is not because of the insect incident.

  Roxster and I were able, unusually, to have breakfast together today, as Chloe the nanny was taking them to school. Chloe, who has been working for me since just after it happened, is like the improved version of me: younger, thinner, taller, nicer, better at looking after the children, and with an age-appropriate life partner called Graham. Nevertheless, consider it better that Roxster does not meet either Chloe or the children at this stage, so he hides in the bedroom until they have all gone off to school.

  Roxster was just happily tucking into his first bowl of muesli, when he spat his mouthful out onto the table. Obviously am used to this sort of thing, though not, admittedly, from Roxster. But then he held out the bowl. The muesli was jumping with tiny insects, flailing and drowning in the milk.

  ‘Are they nits?’ I said aghast.

  ‘No,’ he said darkly, ‘weevils.’

  Unfortunately my response was to start giggling.

  ‘Have you any idea what it’s like to put a spoonful of insects in your mouth?’ he said. ‘I could have died. And, more importantly, so could they.’

  Then, just as he was tipping the bowl into the correct food recycling bin, he cried, ‘Ants!’ There was a neat line of ants coming from the basement door to the food recycling bin. When he tried to move back the curtain to get rid of them, a small cloud of moths fluttered out.

  ‘Aaargh! It’s like the Nine Plagues of Egypt in here!’ he said.

d even though he laughed, and gave me a very sexy kiss in the hall, he did not say anything about impending weekend and I have a feeling something is wrong – even if only the combined insult to his three great loves: insects, food and recycling.

  Noon. Gaah! Is noon already and have not prepared any of my Thoughts.

  12.05 p.m. Still Roxster has not texted. Maybe I should text him? Clearly, in textbook terms, the gentleman should text the lady first after intercourse, but perhaps the whole socio-etiquettical system breaks down when an insect plague is involved.

  12.10 p.m. Right. Hedda Gabbler.

  12.15 p.m. Just texted:

  12.20 p.m. Right. Excellent. Hedda Gabbler. Roxster has not replied.

  12.30 p.m. Roxster has still not replied. This is not like Roxster.

  Maybe will check emails. Sometimes Roxster switches electronic mediums just to show off.

  Inbox is overrun not only by Ocado, ASOS, Snappy Snaps, Cotswold Holiday Cottages, links to amusing YouTube clips, offers of Mexican viagra, save the dates for Cosmata’s Build-A-Bear party, but also rash of parent mass emails over Atticus’s missing shoes.


  Nicolette Martinez


  Atticus’s shoes

  Atticus came home wearing Luigi’s shoe but his other shoe is also not his nor is it labelled. I would appreciate the return of both of Atticus’s shoes, both of which were clearly labelled.

  12.35 p.m. Decided to join in group exchange to show solidarity and take mind off work.


  Bridget Billymum


  Re: Atticus’s shoes

  Just to clarify – did Atticus and Luigi go home from swimming just wearing one shoe each?

  12.40 p.m. Hee hee, have triggered funny mass email response: jokes about children coming home with no trousers, knickers, etc.


  Bridget Billymum


  Billy’s ear

  Billy came home from football last night wearing only one ear. Does anyone have Billy’s other ear? It was VERY clearly labelled and I would appreciate its prompt return.


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