The coco pinchard boxset.., p.51
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       The Coco Pinchard Boxset: 5 bestselling romantic comedies in one!, p.51

           Robert Bryndza

  Wednesday 17th August 11.12

  TO: [email protected]

  We were eating breakfast this morning when the door buzzer went. Adam jumped off the sofa, spilling his coffee.

  “Are you okay?” I said.

  “Sorry Cokes,” he said. “I’m not used to a buzzer just meaning someone is at the door. In prison it usually meant a cell search.”

  “Let’s leave it,” I said.

  The buzzer went again, stridently. Then again.

  “Bloody hell,” I said, getting up and opening the door.

  It was Ethel, all out of breath with her shopping trolley on wheels.

  She leant on the doorjamb to catch her breath. I saw she had her mobile in her hand.

  “I’d love to come to yer wedding!” she squealed. “I was just passin’ an’ thought I’d RSVP in the flesh!”

  She bustled past to give Adam a big hug. He looked at me over her shoulder.

  “What?” he mouthed.

  “Iss lovely to see you out of the slammer,” she said, pulling away to look at him.

  “Thank you,” said Adam. “And thank you for all the letters you sent,”

  Then Ethel did something strange, and hugged me.

  “I’m so pleased you both want me at yer wedding,” she said, welling up. “I know we’ve ‘ad our differences.”

  I opened my mouth, Adam and I looked at each other. A text message came through and Ethel peered at her screen.

  “Ooh, tha’s Meryl… she wants to know if you two want the bride and groom on top of the wedding cake?”

  “Um…” I said.

  “She needs to know sharpish, coz she’ll ‘ave to buy some black food colouring for the little marzipan Adam to go next to the little marzipan Coco.”

  Ethel mistook our shock for something else.

  “Oh I’m sorry love, is that racist?”

  “No. No, a little marzipan Adam would need to be black,” gulped Adam.

  Suddenly Marika crashed through the communal entrance and came to the front door out of breath. She must have been running fast.

  “Why aren’t you answering your phone?” she said

  “You know I haven’t got a signal,” I said.

  I went to the landline; it had been cut off.

  “Oh, I can’t have paid the bill in time,” I said, embarrassed.

  “It’s okay,” said Marika still catching her breath. “Coco, Adam, I’ve wanted to apologise to you for everything that went down — me not believing you were innocent and for all the horrible stuff. I thought, to show how much I love you guys, that I could arrange a last-minute wedding so you can get married on Friday, the nineteenth!”

  “Oh Marika,” I said taking her hand. “The thing is, we haven’t got much cash…”

  Everyone looked at the phone for a moment.

  “Coco, don’t worry about a thing. We’ve arranged to have the wedding in the ruins of that little church on the hill. It’s going to be exquisitely simple… You do want to get married, don’t you?”

  “Yes,” I said, dazed.


  “Yes,” he grinned, “yeah, I want to be with Coco.”

  Ethel grabbed Adam again.

  “You’re so thin love! Isn’t he thin, Coco? ‘E needs feeding up,”

  “I’ve been feeding him, Ethel,” I said.

  She let out a laugh.

  “You’ll be crying out for the prison slop after you’ve ‘ad ‘er cooking!” she said. “Right Marika, we’d best be orf, I am at your disposables, and I can help with whatever you need.”

  “So we’re cool with this?” said Marika.

  We both nodded.

  “Right, let’s get cracking,” she said.

  When they’d gone and I’d closed the door, I looked at Adam. He was grinning from ear to ear.

  “It looks like we’re going to have that wedding after all!” he said.

  Thursday 18th August 19.29

  TO: [email protected]

  I am gutted you won’t be able to come to the wedding. I had no idea you are in Los Angeles. Preparations are well underway, but it’s all being kept a secret from me. All I have been allowed to do is choose my dress and the flowers, and I have found the most wonderful wedding dress!

  I had refused to let Chris or Marika pay for an expensive wedding dress, so this afternoon I found myself with Wayne, Rosencrantz, and Marika in a vintage/thrift shop in Camden. We had split up and were rummaging through racks.

  “Are we going with white? Or ironical white?” said Wayne quizzically, pulling out a dress much like the one Madonna wore in the Like A Virgin video.

  “My days of wearing white are long gone,” I said. “Let’s stick to champagne.”

  “I think you should be bold and wear red!” said Rosencrantz, pulling out a crazy red see-through lacy number.

  “You know what my mother would say about that dress?” said Marika. “Whore of Babylon!”

  Just as we were about to give up, I found, tucked away at the back of a rail, a beautiful and simple ivory wedding dress. I beckoned them over. We all cooed in agreement.

  “Try it on, Mrs P!” said Wayne.

  I went to the cramped changing room and took a deep breath, praying it would fit. It did. It fit perfectly. I opened the changing room doors and went out.

  “Mum, you look beautiful,” said Rosencrantz.

  Wayne fanned his hand in front of his face, unable to express his delight.

  “Oh my God, Coco,” said Marika, being uncharacteristically girly. “It’s perfect.” She looked at the tag in the back.

  “Jesus,” she said, shoving me back into the little changing room. They all followed and Marika shut the door.

  “What?” I said.

  There wasn’t any place to move. Marika mouthed something.

  “What?” I repeated.

  She showed Wayne and Rosencrantz the label in the back of the dress.

  “Oh no, is it crazy expensive?” I said.

  “No, it’s ten quid!” said Rosencrantz.

  “Then what?”

  “It’s a Vera Wang,” Marika whispered.

  “No!” I hissed, craning my neck around to see.

  It was indeed a Vera Wang.

  “We mustn’t let them suspect we have it, it must be a mistake,” whispered Marika.

  “Well, we should all get out of the bloody changing room,” I said.

  I took the dress off and we approached the till, terrified the mistake would be rumbled. However, the tattooed youth couldn’t be less interested and we got a genuine Vera Wang for ten pounds!

  Saturday 20th August 13.46

  TO: [email protected]

  On the morning of our wedding I was up at five, I was too excited to sleep. I left the snoozing Adam in our single bed and came outside to the garden. Rocco ate his breakfast, then snuffled about in the early dawn light. I drank coffee and sat, content and happy.

  After a while, Adam came padding out in just a pair of shorts rubbing the sleep from his eyes. I still have to pinch myself when I see him in this flat. After all the long nights of despair when I was alone.

  “Ah, it’s my beautiful girlfriend,” he smiled, sitting down beside me. He leant over and gave me a long sweet kiss.

  “Not for much longer,” I said. “By three this afternoon I’ll be the old ball and chain.”

  ‘You’re very lucky Coco, because I find single women just as attractive as married women…”

  “What are you saying?”

  “I’m saying I only have a few hours left to sow my wild oats and sleep with single women, so I’ll expect you in the bedroom in five minutes!”

  We got ready together for our wedding. Adam looked stunning in a sharp black suit and tie. The look on his face when I emerged in the Vera Wang dress made me feel like the most beautiful bride on earth.

  We arrived at the church a little before three, but as our car pulled into the tre
es leading up to the church, I could see a commotion up ahead.

  The entrance to the church was blocked by a huge lorry. Our wedding guests were crowded round watching something. Adam helped me out of the car, and we walked up the crowd. Wayne was on the edge and turned as I approached. He clutched his chest.

  “Beautiful Mrs P, and Mr R.”

  “What’s going on?” I said.

  “This lorry won’t move,” he said. “And it’s got a very shirty driver.”

  I pushed my way forward, saying “hello” to all our guests, and saw that Meryl was elevated five feet off the ground standing on the giant lorry’s front bumper. On the bonnet, she had rested our three-tier wedding cake.

  “You must move, now!” she shrilled.

  “I’m from the council,” said the driver, leaning his head out of the cab. “I’ve told you, you all need to leave. This church is a designated health and safety risk.”

  I turned and caught sight of the church, or ruins of the church. A few pillars were all that remained now but the debris had been cleared. Chairs had been laid out and hundreds of candles were lit, dotted around the ground and on some of the remaining pillars. It looked breathtaking.

  “Can you wait for at least a couple of hours?” shouted Adam. “This is my girl and you’re ruining her wedding.”

  “I’ve got my orders, no one goes in,” he said.

  “No, NO, NO!” said Meryl hammering on the bonnet with her free hand. “I refuse to let you ruin this wedding, and this cake is royal icing, do you know how much work it is to make royal icing from scratch?”

  “It’s a three-hour job,” yelled Tony supportively.

  He was standing to one side with Wilfred in his arms.

  Meryl turned to Tony,

  “Tony! Cover Wilfred’s ears!” she shrilled.

  He quickly put his hands over Wilfred’s little ears. Meryl turned and pointed her finger at the driver.

  “Now you listen here. I’ll give you one last chance. Move now, or face the consequences. You really don’t want to fuck with me!”

  We all clapped and cheered.

  “Yeah! Bugger off, this is my mum’s big day!” shouted Rosencrantz, who was standing with Oscar and wearing his black suit.

  “Let Mrs P have her big day, she deserves it!” shouted Oscar.

  Rocco, who was being held in his arms, barked in agreement.

  “This health and safety bullshit is killing this country! Be gone, you capitalist bastard!” shouted Marika.

  I think she’d had a few drinks in her capacity as wedding planner.

  “Do you know how long it took to light four hundred bloody candles with one box of matches?” protested Chris in his white suit, banging on the driver’s door.

  “And see ‘ow nice the bride looks,” shouted Ethel, from under the brim of a huge hat. “’Er dress! Iss a genuine Vera Wank!”

  “It’s Vera Wang,” I added.

  Our guests all took a step toward the lorry. The driver went pale.

  “You’ve got until the ceremony is over,” he said.

  “You chose wisely,” said Meryl.

  She lifted the cake, and Adam helped her down. The driver quickly put the lorry in reverse, the crowd parted, and he drove off.

  The ceremony was one of the best moments of my life, looking into Adam’s eyes as we said our vows, and then, when the vicar pronounced us man and wife, Adam leant in and gave me a deep knee-buckling kiss and everyone clapped and cheered.

  After the ceremony I realised I had no clue what was happening next.

  “It’s a surprise,” said Marika.

  We walked down the steps to the road and a line of taxis was waiting when we emerged from the church grounds. We all piled in excitedly, however, the journey was short. We pulled up outside The Rivoli Ballroom. I looked at Adam.

  “I’m just as clueless as you!” he grinned.

  “I ‘ad a word in Bunty’s ear,” said Ethel with a wink as we climbed the steps to the front entrance.

  It was the most stunning wedding reception. In the red velvet splendour and bedazzle of the ballroom, we ate proper fish and chips washed down with champagne. We cut Meryl’s beautiful cake to a round of applause and then we danced: we danced until we could drop. Chris had arranged a free bar and it was one of those fabulous nights which passed in a whirl of happiness. I didn’t want it to end.

  Meryl got completely slaughtered and switched back to her cockney accent of birth.

  “I’m pissed out of me brains!” she trilled, as she flew past as the head of a conga line.

  I don’t remember a lot about the reception, much of the wedding is a happy blur. I just remember being with Adam, seeing his face, holding him in the knowledge he’s not going to be snatched away from me.

  We emerged from the Rivoli early next morning as it was getting light. It was a perfect summer morning. Crisp and bright with dew on the grass. We spent a long time on the steps saying our goodbyes before everyone dispersed happily into taxis and cars, wishing us luck and happiness.

  We staggered home, me with my dress hitched up and bare feet, Rocco asleep in Adam’s arms. I have never enjoyed the walk home to my little flat as much as I did. When we got back in, we found on our pillow an envelope. Inside was a note from Ethel.

  We’re on our way to the airport now. A week ago I never imagined we would be together, let alone married and off on our honeymoon to Italy. Thank you for all your love and support, Angie. See you in a week!

  Love Coco xxx

  Saturday 20th August 14.50

  TO: [email protected]

  Hello love, we are about to board the plane and I forgot to tell you that Rocco is going through a bit of a chewing phase.

  So if Chris comes over, make sure you put his Dolce and Gabbana shoes somewhere he can’t reach them (Rocco, I mean).

  Also, Angie is in Los Angeles and she just phoned me terribly excited and breathless.

  “Jeez girl,” she said. “Things have gone ape shit here in Hollywood!”

  “What do you mean?” I said.

  “I think I’m gonna sell the film rights for Chasing Diana Spencer and Agent Fergie!” she said. “Two of the big studios suddenly got interested, and there’s gonna be an auction later this week! Also, now that Adam has been released, your publishing house is planning to publish Agent Fergie!”

  She’s told me to keep my phone on whilst I’m in Italy.

  See you in a week!

  Love, Mum xx

  Coco Pinchard, The Consequences of Love and Sex

  For Ján, you changed my life

  January 2012

  Sunday 1st January

  I’ve decided to write a diary. So much has happened in the last few years, and I feel I must document everything. It’s true, I like to jabber away via email, but where are those emails now? Where are the texts, and occasional tweets?

  Adam just poked his head over my shoulder and said. ‘They’re all on your laptop and phone, you twit.’

  ‘What if someone pulls the plug on the internet? What if there is a nuclear war?’ I asked.

  ‘Coco, if there is a nuclear war I doubt that WH Smith exercise book would survive.’ He pointed at my diary and then continued trying to locate his pedometer. We’ve just moved back into my house, and the removal guys dumped everything in the empty living room, piling all the boxes we’ve had in storage up to the ceiling. We can’t quite motivate ourselves to unpack, so we’re sleeping on two sofas pushed together and using the boxes as a coffee table, and a place to pile books and magazines.

  I watched Adam from my spot on the sofa, heaving and shifting boxes in faded jeans and a white t-shirt, all lithe and muscular. He is one of those annoying people who are naturally athletic – but still works out.

  I noticed a very small hole in the left buttock of his jeans (he’s going commando, underpants are in another box somewhere). The tiny piece of his bare flesh poking through is quite thrilling. It reminds me of that scene in ‘The Pia
no’ when Holly Hunter has a hole in her tights, and Harvey Keitel gets all excited. Well, it’s completely different. I’m not a deaf mute from Scotland, and this is London. Nor do I have Holly Hunter’s willowy bone structure. And Adam is far more blessed downstairs than Harvey Keitel.

  I gave a little sigh of happiness at my new hot husband. You could crack a walnut between his buttocks. Which is good because since we’ve moved I can’t find the nutcrackers either.

  ‘Yes!’ Said Adam finally locating his pedometer. ‘So we start running tomorrow, yes?’

  ‘Yeah, sure,’ I lied rooting around in the Quality Street tin for something that wasn’t coconut.

  Anyway, what was I talking about? Oh yes, my social documenting. I read somewhere that there will be no record of us in the future because we’ll all have frittered it away, tweeting videos of fat ladies pole dancing.

  So here is my diary. Hopefully I’ll make it past mid-January, where all other diaries have ground to a halt in the past.

  Monday 2nd January

  I’m very sad the festive season is now officially over. It’s been our first Christmas as newly-weds, and it was wonderful. Just simple and romantic. We’ve had no stress, no fuss, no television, no hectic round of parties with people we barely know, and no in-laws. I know I must sound horribly anti-social but I’m far from it. I worked out that in my forty-four years on this earth I’ve hosted twenty-two Christmas lunches in this house! Every year my ex-husband’s family would descend for ten days, yes ten days. My mother-in-law Ethel criticised the way I cooked all twenty-two turkeys, there were more than twenty-two arguments over custody of the remote control, and twenty-two hideously competitive games of Monopoly were played.

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