Thursday, August 22, 2013

The Debt & the Doormat by Laura Barnard

Poppy and Jazz have been best friends from the first week of uni. Whenever these two get together trouble isn’t far away and things haven’t changed much. When Jazz gets herself into financial trouble Poppy, being a good friend, offers to help. She instead ends up being talked into swapping lives, with Jazz insisting it will be good and help her get over her broken heart.

Poppy is thrown into a new life, full of crazy housemates; there’s fitness freak Izzy, horrendously beautiful bitch Grace and the slightly gorgeous, if not incredibly grumpy Ryan. Quickly, with the help of Jazz, her life is thrown upside down. Madness ensues and her need to please everyone gets her in more trouble than she could ever imagine.

Before she knows it she’s got a fake boyfriend and is hiding so many secrets she’s scared they’ll spill out any minute. With a bullying boss, a sex crazed colleague, a mental mother and three brothers each with their own dramas, life has gotten pretty difficult for Poppy. And all of this would be much easier, if she could just stop falling over.

Will she get her life back to normal before her brother’s upcoming wedding? And will she want to?

E-book available for FREE via Amazon and Smashwords 
Paperback available through Amazon, The Book Depository and many others 
‘I’m afraid that you’ll need stitches,’ the greying lady doctor says to me, as she pulls the last shred of glass out of my wound and places it in a grey paper dish.
‘Stitches?  Are you sure?’ I ask, my voice unnaturally shrill.  ‘Can't we just put a large plaster over it or something?’
‘I’m afraid not.’  She smiles politely, but isn’t able to fully conceal her smirk.  Probably thinking how ridiculous I am.  ‘But, seen as it's your birthday, you can bring your friends in with you.’
‘Oh great,’ I scoff.
‘Where have they got to?’ she asks, pulling back the blue curtain.
Just at that moment Izzy and Jazz spin round the corner in wheelchairs, pushing themselves along frantically.  They giggle hysterically, trying to push the other into hospital beds and staff, desperate to win the race to some imaginary finish line. 
The doctor looks at me accusingly.  I grimace apologetically.  It's not my fault my friends are drunk and insane. 
‘Hey Pops,’ Izzy says, as she parks up, out of breath.  ‘How’s the patient?’ she directs to the doctor.
‘She’ll need stitches.  You know you really shouldn’t be playing with those,’ she snaps.
Izzy immediately looks regretful and shuffles back and forth on her feet. 
Jazz gets off her wheelchair, still two beds away from us, and stumbles over, seeming to be having problems putting one foot in front of the other.  Her face is pale and her forehead shiny.
‘You OK Jazz?’ I ask, praying she won't cause a scene.
‘Of c-c-course,’ she slurs.  She opens her mouth into a wide smile and then projectile vomits all over the floor.  She pulls her head up, wipes the remains of her vomit with the back of her arm.  ‘Maybe I’m b-b-bit ill.’  She looks at me with big scared eyes and then passes out. 
*                 *                 *

When we eventually arrive home, it's 5am and the birds are out to greet us.  We almost fall into the hallway, all exhausted from the drama of tonight.  That and having to fight a transvestite for our cab.  Ryan comes running to the door as soon as it opens.
‘Poppy, how are you?’ he asks, helping me in as if I’m a cripple.
‘I’m fine,’ I snap, my eyes so heavy I can barely keep them open.
I wish he’d stop fussing and leave me alone.  I wonder if he’s just stopped having sex with Grace.
‘I’m gonna crash in Izzy’s room,’ Jazz says, sipping her bottled water.  ‘Will you be OK on your own?’
‘Yes!  For fuck sakes, I’ve had stitches, I’m not disabled!’
‘Alright moody,’ Ryan says, smiling at Izzy and Jazz.
‘Night, love you,’ Jazz and Izzy sing in sleepy voices, kissing me on the cheek.  Jazz still smells of vomit.  I turn and head towards my room without bothering to say goodbye to Ryan.
‘Can I see it?’ Ryan asks, following me into my room. 
I flick on a lamp and sigh heavily.  I turn my head so that he can have a good look, while still maintaining a healthy distance.  I don't want him touching it or anything. 
‘Do you trust me?’ he asks, coming closer and hovering his hand over the wound.
Do I?  Do I trust him?  I honestly don't know.
He places his hands gently on either side of my face and carefully traces the line of the stitches, making me tingle. 
‘Shit.  That's gonna be a fucker of a scar.’
‘Yeah, well you can thank your girlfriend,’ I snap, my voice full of disdain, as I pull away from him.
‘Huh?’ he asks bewildered.
‘Grace.  She’s the one who tripped me.’
‘No, she wouldn’t do that.’  He shakes his head.  ‘And she's not my girlfriend.’
‘Well, that's not what she told me.  Was going to jump your bones tonight.  Thought I’d leave you to it.  Was it fun?’ I ask sarcastically, my face like thunder.
‘You know what,’ he sighs heavily.  ‘I was going to give you your present, but if you’re gonna talk crap I’ll just leave.’
‘No!  I got me a present?’ I ask, embarrassed by how spoilt I sound.
He walks towards my wardrobe.  He reaches behind it and pulls out a large shape wrapped in brown paper.  He places it down in front of me and I look up to him confused.
‘Well, open it then,’ he smiles encouragingly. 
I tear at the paper, my hands tired but excited.  I stand back to see that it's a large black photo frame.  I turn it round to face me and inside it’s an old Singing in the Rain poster.  I’m stunned.  He remembered it's my favourite film.  He bothered getting a poster and putting it in a frame. 
‘You like it then?’ he asks, his face suddenly serious.
‘I...I love it,’ is all I can mumble out.
‘Good,’ he says, seeming chuffed.  He leans closer into my face, his features serious again.  ‘And remember...don't believe all the crap that comes out of Grace’s mouth.’
He stares at me for a second, his eyes so intense that I’m sure he’s going to lean in and kiss me.  Instead he turns and leaves the room.
Forget what Grace said.  Game on bitch.

About the Author:
My name is Laura Barnard and I am an author from Hertfordshire, UK.  I have just published my first chic-lit novel, The Debt & the Doormat, available via Smashwords, Kindle and I am also Co-Editor and writer of NCT’s Watford branch magazine Watbaby.

In my spare time I enjoy drinking my body weight in tea, indulging in cupcakes the size of my face, drooling over hunks like Ryan Gosling, Matthew Bomer and Leo Dicaprio...oh and my husband of course!  I like getting flexible in yoga (I can finally touch my toes), am a real fan of the power nap and of course, READING!

I dream of one day being a best-selling author but in truth if only a handful of people like my books I will be just as happy.    

Contact details:

No comments:

Post a Comment