Authors: Nicola Marsh
Copyright © Nicola Marsh 2012
Published by Nicola Marsh 2012
This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events, locales, or persons, living or dead, is coincidental.
All the characters in this book have no existence outside the imagination of the author and have no relation whatsoever to anyone bearing the same name or names. They’re not distantly inspired by any individual known or unknown to the author and all the incidents in the book are pure invention.
All rights reserved including the right of reproduction in any form. The text or any part of the publication may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the written permission of the publisher.
The author acknowledges the copyrighted or trademarked status and trademark owners of the following wordmarks mentioned in this work of fiction: Magic Mike, Henry Cavill, Channing Tatum, Castle, Nathan Fillion, Icebergs, Skype, One Direction, Christian Grey, Thunder from Down Under, Black Sabbath, Guns’n’Roses, Bon Jovi, Miranda Kerr, Calvin Klein, Rocky Horror, Frank N. Furter, Moves Like Jagger, Maroon 5, Adam Levine, John Grisham, Cheezel, Jag, Ford, Screwdriver, Caprioska, Tiffany, Gangnam Style, MX5, Hugh Jackman, Alex O’Loughlin, Katherine Heigl, Fifty Shades, When Harry Met Sally, Friends, Chandler, Ross and Joey, Star Wars, Transformers, Barbie, GI Joe, Wiggles, Play School, Eminem, Abba, Addams Family, Lurch, Hi-Ho Silver, Karma Sutra, Pinocchio, Chris Hemsworth, Thor, Facebook, Twitter, Starbucks, Edward Scissorhands, Google, Shop-aholics Anonymous
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Not the Marrying Kind
Busted in Bollywood
Marrying the Enemy
Aunt Flo’s tips to be lucky in love.
Google naked pics of the Magic Mike cast daily and aspire to these kinds of men
I don’t want this to be another
tale. Because being a romantic sap, I still hope that:
a) I won’t be poor if I keep busting my butt as an invitation coordinator (translated: I write soppy verses while learning the finer art of pandering to the rich and famous who think their wedding invitations have the same literary importance as the Bible.)
b) The single status is a temporary fault of the karma fairies yet to wave their magic little wands over me and
c) There has to be one semi-decent, not bad looking, employed, heterosexual male in Sydney who is interested in exploring the possibility there is more to me than a vagina.
Oh, and who isn’t a lying, cheating bastard.
But hey, that’s just me. Nothing like a healthy dose of optimism after another Friday night flop.
When would I learn? My head pounds from one too many Chardonnays as I struggle to insert a key into my front door lock that has miraculously shrunk. After several stabs, I give up and sink onto the step, lighting a cigarette in the vain hope my life will improve after one drag. It doesn’t and I have a strong urge to shove those fairy wands up their magical little asses.
Twenty-eight. Single. Not loving it.
Despite countless dates, endless groping sessions and a few stupid affairs, I can’t find a keeper.
Natalie, my gorgeous BFF who is happily married to Marlon, says all the good ones are taken, gay or both. She’s probably right but I haven’t given up. There must be one guy out there for me: handsome, rich, no hang-ups. Someone? Anyone? Yeah, right.
Easy for her to prophesize. After her disastrous first marriage I took her under my wing and introduced her to my previous best friend, Marlon. They took one look at each other and fell madly in love. Marlon, the eternal party-boy bachelor who used to flash his butt cheeks out the back window of my car, succumbed to the one institution he swore he’d never enter.
Marriage was a pain in the ass, especially when it happened to my friends and not me. I’d been counting on Marlon to be my back up in case I couldn’t find a guy by the time I hit forty and then we could hook up. No such luck. Even marvelous Marlon, he of the thick black hair and killer smile, deserted me. Sure, I love him and Nat but it’s diabolical when you lose your two closest friends and drinking buddies at the same time.
I used to have a ball with Nat. We’d party hard, schmoozing the spunkiest guys in the bar, giving out our treasured phone numbers in the vain hope the guy we’d played tonsil hockey with in front of everyone might actually ring us the next day.
What’s with that? Why ask for a phone number if you’re not going to ring it? Nat and I often ponder this though her phone stopped ringing years ago. Now it’s Marlon ringing her bell. Gross. The thought of my two best friends getting it on is repugnant and I know I’m drunker than I thought.
Time to try the miraculous shrinking lock again. This time I manage to insert the key, unlock the door and stumble inside. I see my reflection in the mirror: smudged mascara, worn-off lippy, shiny nose. I’m starting to realize why those guys don’t call if this is the last glimpse they get as I sail out of the bar, stomach in, boobs out.
I also realize it’s time to ditch the advice of Flo, my crazy aunt who left Sydney years ago to live in Love, a kitschy town in California.
She constantly gives me pointers on finding love, complete with terrible puns like ‘
come visit and fall in Love
’. Then there’s her bogus Feng Shui crap about hanging a mirror opposing my front door for better energy, more money and a hot guy. Zero, zilch, nada, on all counts.
Aunt Flo had her heart in the right place but her matchmaking efforts from abroad via Skype? Sucked.
As for her badgering me to visit Love to find love? If I couldn’t find a decent guy in Sydney where I’d lived my entire life, what were the chances of finding one on vacation?
Though I had to admit her zany tales of the Love Shack diner where she worked and a Venus bar, where the local hotties hung out, were interesting. Not to mention the annual Love Fest, some kooky festival that attracted peeps from all over. I could do with a little love fest of my own. Preferably with a Henry Cavill lookalike.
My stomach gripes at the thought of one-on-one time with Henry. Or maybe it has more to do with the last champers I sculled. I’m queasy, exhausted and there’s a construction site inside my head. Three a.m. is a shitty time to arrive home, especially after a tough week at work.
I’m too wired to sleep so after washing off most of my horror mask, I pick up the latest fashion mag and start flicking. Coffee is a good idea at this point; if I can’t sleep, why not go all the way? I rest the magazine on the island bench as the kettle boils. None of the articles are inspiring:
DROP A DRESS SIZE IN A WEEK. DOES HE SATISFY YOU? THE PERFECT SUMMER LOOK
Firstly, I’m a skinny size ten, OZ style; secondly, no guy has come close to satisfying me in a long time and thirdly, summer sucks. I hate exposing my pale skin, which breaks out in spots rather than tanning the desired bronze. I hate all the beautiful people prancing around in revealing clothes. Last but not least, I hate the fact another year has passed and I’m still single.
Why can’t these stupid mags help me solve
particular problem? Sure, they give occasional pointers like attending gyms, supermarkets, and even churches to meet guys but where are all the good ones? Muscle-bound freaks, checkout adolescents and holier-than-thou Bible bashers aren’t my idea of the perfect man.
Not that I haven’t tried all these venues. Sadly, the closest I came to finding a guy was perving on a six-foot-two, broad-chested, blue-eyed priest. Tragic.
I turn a page and there it is. The answer to my problem.
MANHUNT. GO OUT AND GRAB THE MAN OF YOUR DREAMS. MAKE IT HAPPEN TODAY
. It’s a tiny black box squeezed between the ads for vibrators and psychics and has one of those 1800 numbers that charge a small fortune. I was tempted for a second, before I remembered my maxed out credit cards. And that little thing called pride.
I flip through the remainder of the magazine, forgetting the coffee. By the time I take a sip it’s lukewarm and I spit it out in the sink. Very ladylike. Not only am I drunk, single and self-pitying, I’m turning into a slob.
My laptop pings and I jump. I’m not in the mood to chat with Flo but she’s always good for a laugh and I could definitely do with one of those.
I fire up Skype and Flo’s wrinkled face framed by frizzy gray hair fills the screen.
“How’s my favorite niece?”
“Your only niece is fine.” Drunk, but fine, and I can’t help but chuckle as she leans closer to her PC, as if she can see me better that way. “What about you?”
“Can’t complain.” Flo taps a cigarette out of a pack, puts it to her mouth and lights up. “Booked your flight yet?”
Flo asks me this almost on a daily basis. With my stomach roiling and
rehearsing in my head, I couldn’t couch my response in vague terms.
Flo frowned. “By your bleary eyes, mascara remnants and the fact you’re answering me at three a.m. OZ time, you’re alone and sozzled.
. Why don’t you visit Love? Can’t hurt—”
“We’ve had this conversation a hundred times before. I don’t want a holiday fling.”
Who was I kidding? With the man-drought I’d been going through lately I wouldn’t knock back a no-holds-barred, steamy dalliance with a hot Yank.
Flo shook her head. “A change of scenery will do you good. And maybe you need to surround yourself by Love to find love—”
“It’s too early for puns.” I pressed fingertips to my temples. It did little for the pounding. “Don’t you have customers at the diner to go terrorize?”
“My shift doesn’t start for another hour.” Flo glanced at her watch. “Plenty of time to hassle you and squeeze in a Castle re-run.”
“How about you go drool over Nathan Fillion and I’ll get some sleep—”
“How about this? If you aren’t in a steady relationship by the end of the month, you agree to visit?”
“Not interested in Love.”
The moment the reflex rebuttal fell from my lips, I knew it wasn’t true.
I wanted to fall in love.
I wanted to have a real relationship for once in my life, not one that involved casual sex or minimal communication or batteries.
I wanted to prove I could tie down a guy, beyond my book boyfriend Christian Grey.
“Everyone deserves a little loving.” Flo winked. “And I reckon you’ll find it in Love. Guaranteed.”
I didn’t know whether it was the late hour, the usual Friday night party circuit with lack of a date, or the fact I was staring twenty-nine in the eye, but I found myself reluctantly nodding.
“Fine. If I’m single in a month, I’ll come visit.”
“Good girl.” Flo grinned, an action that accentuated the laugh-lines fanning from the corners of her faded blue eyes. “Now you go get some shut-eye, because I have a date with the fine Mr. Fillion.”
“Maybe you should get a real guy too?”
She always chastised me for being cheeky when I said this. To my amazement, this time she blushed.
She waved away a cloud of cigarette smoke. “Gotta go, you’re breaking up.”
The screen went dead, leaving me to ponder the unlikely scenario my sixty-year-old aunt, who’d been widowed for countless years, might be on the prowl for love too.
And if she hooked up with a guy before me, how pathetic was I?
Aunt Flo’s tips to be lucky in love.
Attend regular Thunder from Down Under live shows. Take notes. Size does matter
The incessant jangling of the alarm wakes me. What the hell? By the way my head is pounding it must be Saturday. It’s the only day of the week I have a hangover this bad. And I accidentally set the alarm in my Chardonnay-induced stupor. Damn.
As I fumble for it, I knock a glass of water off the bedside table and it spills on my quilt. Shit. Now I’m wet and hung-over.
Welcome to another fabulous weekend.
As I slam my palm repeatedly on the alarm clock to shut it off, the phone joins in the noisy chorus.
"Shut the hell up," I yell to no one in particular, which makes me even sadder.
I grab the receiver and haul it under the covers. "Hello?" I mumble, wishing the inconsiderate person on the other end would drop dead.