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Gonna B - chap 2

by Skippoo 

Posted: 29 April 2008
Word Count: 2620
Summary: More from my satirical teen novel about some girls stalking a boy band.
Related Works: Gonna B - chap 1 (newer version) • Gonna B - chap 3 • Gonna B - prologue (sort of) • 

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Content Warning
This piece and/or subsequent comments may contain strong language.

“Ooh baby, I looooove it when you do me that waaaaaaaa-aaaaaaaaaaa-aaaaaaaaaaaaaay.” I’m singing harmonies with Owen, doing that wobbly stuff with my voice again. I reckon we sound the bollocks –
perfect complement to each other.
‘Bloody hell, Luc, you strangling the cat?’
Whoops. I hadn’t realised anyone was up here. I was singing into my bottle of hair straightening spray. I quickly start to spritz it on to my hair instead.
Nan pokes her head round the door. ‘Do I need to call the RSPCA?’
I stick my middle finger up at her.
‘That’s no way to greet your nan ’ she says, with her husky cigarette voice. ‘You can kiss my wrinkly arse.’
She comes and sits on my bed, patting at her hair – a mixture of yellow-blonde and grey – on the way. You can hardly see the quilt cover any more because it’s covered in a forest of crap: my Gonna B CD case with the inlay card pulled out, deodorant, body lotion, nail polish, mags, etc. She picks up the remote control and turns my music down.
‘You alright?’ she asks.
I nod, watching a load of steam come off my hair as I tug my straighteners through it. Dwayne, my hairdresser (who is also a Gonna B fan and wants to ‘get jiggy’ with Rob) says steam is good as it means your hair will stay straight.
‘Where you off to today? Following those young stallions about?’
‘Yeah, Sinead should be here any minute.’
‘Where’s your mum?’
Nan picks up the Gonna B CD inlay card and reads: ‘I’ll kiss your hips/move down to your hips/as I hear you sigh/Ooh I’m glad that you ain’t shy.’ She frowns. ‘Blimey, the Beatles couldn’t have got away with lyrics like that.’
‘Yeah, but at least Gonna B aren’t druggies, like the Beatles.’
‘I bet they are. I bet their bosses feed them with cocaine and prostitutes.’
‘Well, that’s what the music business seems like these days. At least the Beatles were talking about peace and love.’
‘Well, that song you just read is about love. It’s nice.’
‘It’s nii-ice,’ she mimicks in a squeaky voice.
The doorbell rings. I go over to the window.
‘Oi, bitch!’ I shout down.
Sinead looks up. ‘Slapper! Let me in! I need a wee!’
‘That’s alright, love. The daffodils need a water,’ calls Nan.
‘Hold them,’ I giggle, passing the straighteners to Nan. I run down to open the door.
Sinead stands on the doorstep, legs all bending inwards, so her knees are facing each other. Her face is all squeezed inwards too. She pushes past me and thunders upstairs to the bathroom, her curly black ponytail flapping behind her.
‘Yeah, hi! Nice to see you too!’ I call up.
I finish my hair super-fast and we’re ready to go.
Nan stands up. ‘Squidges then?’
A squidge is her word for a cuddle. I hug her. She’s in a pink tracksuit so she feels all soft. She smells of fabric conditioner and coffee. Sinead hugs her too.
‘Don’t get up to no mischief!’ she says.
‘We won’t,’ we call as we run downstairs.
I slam the door shut. It always makes a bit more of the pebble-dashing fall off. Mum would shout at me if she was in: For the last time, Lucy, close that bloody door gently! Then she’d do a big raspy sigh.
It’s a sunny day, which usually means the bloke across the road will be out doing something to his car. He is. He’s bent over the bonnet with his top off and all his tattoos showing.
‘I’ve got a feeling we’re gonna see them today,’ says Sinead. She’s all breathless. She starts galloping along sideways, between me and the hedge – it’s a funny habit of hers.
‘I bloody hope so,’ I say. ‘It was crap last time. They just all got in the car and didn’t hardly look at anyone. I couldn’t even see Owen, only a bit of his hair.’
‘No, we’ll see them. You know my feelings are always right.’ Sinead is still galloping, her cheeks getting all pink. ‘And when I see Paul, I’m going to wet my pants!’
‘Not as much as when I see Owen,’ I say. ‘I’ll wet my pants so much, Kilburn will be flooded.’
‘I’ll wet my pants so much, the floods will reach Brent Cross and Marble Arch. Everyone will have to get out of their cars and swim. The police will have to use boats and helicopters to rescue people and the whole of the Edgware Road will be shut down and then we’ll be stuck outside the Gonna B flat for days and days.’
Sinead always has to have the last word.
We go into Co-op. Sinead buys a Twix and we both buy a bottle of Evian water. Gonna B always drink Evian when they’re on tour. Then we get on the bus and sit at the back, playing Gonna B songs on our phones and singing along. It’s sort of a tradition. First we sing ‘Baby Girl’. My friend David once said ‘Baby Girl’ sounded like it’s by a paedophile and I whacked him with my bag.
The mad voodoo woman who always carries a dirty old Nescafe jar is on the bus. Today she’s shouting stuff about Jesus and ‘that bitch’. People say the Nescafe jar is filed with blood.
Sinead holds out a finger of Twix, her mouth bulging with the first Twix finger, but the melody of ‘Baby Girl’ still coming out all muffled.
‘I don’t know ...’ I say. I’m trying to be healthy. Owen won’t give me Indian head massages or marry me if I get fat. Sinead puts it on my lap, so I suppose I don’t really have a choice. She always does that. No point in trying to be healthy when Sinead’s about.
We’re nearly at our stop. Sinead gets up and peers out of the bus window, her mouth still bulging with Twix. I ate my bit ages ago. I don’t know how she manages to make it last so long.
‘Looks quite busy,’ she says and starts to walk towards the stairs. I stand up too and follow.
About ten metres past the bus stop is a long wall, where everyone hangs around most of the time. You need to sit down sometimes – it’s hard work being a Gonna B fan, waiting on the street all day. Directly opposite the wall, but on the other side of the road, is the Gonna B flat. The Gonna B flat is on the third floor and it has a balcony – every now and then one of the band comes out and waves at us, which is really sweet. It’s actually two flats converted into one, so there’s enough room for all the band and for the camera crew. There’s even a rehearsal room too. The flat’s been soundproofed, though, so the neighbours don’t get pissed off. I know all this because the Gonna B TV show showed the flat being all done up before the band moved in.
It’s a posh block of flats, with old-fashioned criss-cross windows, nice leafy gardens out the front and really high security. There’s no chance any of us could get in the building, or even into the front garden. I’ve heard lots of stories of people trying, though. One girl borrowed her cousin’s Royal Mail uniform and pretended to be a postwoman. Another girl tried to climb up the wall in the middle of the night. The police came and took her away.
The biggest bugger about it is that the flats have a back and front entrance, so there’s always a chance that the boys could come out the other side and we’d miss them. Usually people hang out the back as well, though (just not as many because there isn’t a wall to sit on). If any band members come out the back, someone usually rings someone who’s round the front, so we all hear about it and have to sprint round. When that happens, people do stupid things, like run out in front of cars, so you hear loads of beeping and drivers swearing. Once someone shouted, ‘You psycho teenage bitches!’ That made me and Sinead laugh so much that we nearly didn’t make it round the back and I wouldn’t have seen Owen in his black shirt and jeans. I don’t know what it is about that outfit, but he just looks so damn sexy in it.
Sinead marches ahead. There’s no one we know hanging around by the wall.
‘They must all be new,’ says Sinead. ‘Hussies.’
‘Hussies’ are what new Gonna B followers are called – especially ones who scream and cry when the band come out. Me and Sinead have been coming a while now, so we’re not Hussies any more. We’re ‘Regulars’. As well as the Regulars, there’s the ‘Originals’. The Originals are the girls who have followed Gonna B since they first started. They’re scary and look down on nearly everyone who isn’t one of them.
We walk round the corner towards the Tesco Metro and the health food shop. Our friend Sam is standing outside Tesco’s, talking on his mobile. He sees us.
‘Honeys!’ he calls, flapping his arms and running towards us. ‘You’re late, you bitches!’
Sam is fourteen, the same age as us. He’s gay and really, really loud. It’s funny because if he was at our school, everyone would hate him and he’d get bullied, but here, everyone loves him – even the Originals. He’s kind of average looking, really – it’s just the way he acts that makes him stand out. Oh, and he always wears bright white jeans and has train tracks on his teeth. Sam never seems to go to school or anything and apparently he earns money by pretending to be a rent boy. He says he picks up men in public toilets and then when they offer him money, he snatches it and runs. You’d never meet anyone like Sam where me and Sinead live.
Two-Week-Knickers is walking down the road towards us from round the back of the Gonna B flat. Everyone calls her Two-Week-Knickers because apparently she once camped outside the flat for two weeks and didn’t change her clothes. I have no idea what her real name is. Two-Week-Knickers has actually been following Gonna B as long as the Originals, but is still known as a Hussy. The ultimate Hussy. She’s chubby, always wears a red anorak and glasses and her voice is really posh. I feel sort of sorry for her. She smiles at us weakly and me and Sinead pretend not to notice. Sam, of course, launches into his special song. It’s based on the theme tune from an old TV show called Happy Days. I know it because my nan watches it on cable. Sam shouts it at the top of his voice:
“Sunday, Monday, same old pants,
Tuesday, Wednesday, same old pants,
Thursday, Friday, same old pants,
The weekend comes,
My knickers hum,
Ready to race to you.

These pants are miiiiine,
Smelling of wee (for all those days),
These pants are miiiiine,
For Gonna B (oh baby),
Goodbye white ones, hello grey,
No one can see, so it’s OK,
Pants so crusty, it’s so wrong,
Rockin' and rollin' all week long.”

He sings it every time, but it’s still impossible not to piss yourself. Two-Week-Knickers sort of giggles awkwardly and goes into Tesco’s. A couple of old ladies at the bus stop are frowning at Sam. He winks at them.
We hear scuffling sounds and car beeps. The Hussies are stampeding towards us from round the front.
‘Quick!’ I shout.
Me, Sinead and Sam bomb it towards the back of the flats. Sam’s quite fast, so he’s off ahead, followed by Sinead and then slow-arsed me. Sinead runs funny – she always has to hold on to her boobs because they’re massive, even though she’s so little.
There’s already a group of Hussies at the back entrance when we arrive. As we get closer, we can see they’re surrounding one of those posh, black record company cars with tinted windows. Sam barges through them to get right by the car and we follow. No one’s in the car yet, I don’t think – just the driver. Then the back door of the flat opens and Paul comes out, with the skinhead bodyguard who looks like Vinnie Jones. The bodyguard’s name is Sean – some of the Originals are quite friendly with him. My heart starts thumping, like it always does when we see one of the band – but not as much as when I see Owen, of course. Hussies are squashing and pushing me everywhere. I hear someone wailing. I click my tongue, but try and stand my ground.
Paul’s wearing sunglasses and a vest top. He’s really tanned, but it’s fake. We’ve followed the band to their tanning studio in Hampstead quite a few times. Loads of people are shouting his name and questions like: ‘Can you sign this please?’, ‘Can I have a kiss please?’, ‘Where’s the others?’ and ‘Where are you going?’
Yeah, where are the others? I hope Owen hasn’t gone out the front, whilst we’re round here.
Paul stops and signs a couple of CD covers and someone’s arm. Sean asks people to back away from the car. Paul kisses one of the Hussies on the cheek and she runs away screaming.
‘Jesus Christ,’ exclaims Sam. ‘Shut the hell up, you thick tart!’
‘Alright, Paul?’ That’s Sinead. She’s standing in front of me.
‘Alright, love?’ Paul says and winks. He gets in the back of the car, followed by Sean the bodyguard. The car drives away slowly, with Hussies running after it.
Sinead looks round and beams.
‘Yeah, yeah, yeah. I know,’ I say, rolling my eyes. ‘Paul said “alright, love” and winked at you. Don’t get all Hussified about it.’
‘He’s soooo fit,’ she says.
‘Where the hell is Owen?’ I say.
‘Yeah,’ says Sam. Owen’s his favourite too. It’s Sam’s ambition to turn him gay.
Then we hear shouting from the end of the road and cars beeping.
‘Oh shit,’ says Sam. ‘I’ve got a bad feeling the others are coming out the front.’
Once again, we bomb it.
‘You should get a sports bra,’ I call to Sinead, as we run.
‘Piss off!’ she calls back.
As we turn the corner, we see another black record company car drive away from front entrance, again with Hussies in hot pursuit. And then another.
‘Nooo!’ I exclaim.
We keep running, anyway, just in case. We reach a group of Hussies, who are all either chattering breathlessly or sobbing.
‘Who was it?’ Sinead asks.
‘Owen and Rob in one car, Daniel and Lawrence in the other,’ says one of the girls. Her face is all flushed and her eyes are all shiny. ‘They’re just soooo Goddamn amazing.’
‘Balls,’ I say.
‘Did they say where they were going?’ asks Sinead.
‘No, I don’t think so,’ replies the same girl.
Me and Sam look at each other, turn our noses up and sigh.
‘Come on,’ says Sam. He links both mine and Sinead’s arms and we walk across the road.
‘Paul,’ says Sam. ‘ Just fucking Paul. Who cares about Paul? He’s a chav, for Christ’s sake. He talks like Ali G.’
Sinead elbows him. ‘Don’t you dare cuss my Paul, you git.’
We sit on the wall and I have to listen to Sinead going on about Paul winking and calling her ‘love’ for the rest of the bloody day.

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Comments by other Members

Cassandra5 at 20:23 on 29 April 2008  Report this post
This is so not my kind of writing (or normal reading) but... I laughed so hard I almost pissed myself [tries to pick up vocabulary]. Please tell me this was not just a first draft because it's much too good, much better than any first draft I've read for anybody in ages and certainly much better than mine. You've been working on this since you last posted here, right?

This is a delightful, evocative short chapter, moving neatly between two scenes--Lucy's home and gran (superbly done) and the Hussies et al. outside the band's flat, with Sinead tying them together. The characters don't present a lot of depth or dimensionality but they are vivid, recognizable, distinct. Two-week-knickers is priceless. The song is also very funny, perhaps a bit long but all very funny. We get a lot of information about the kids, the band, the whole set-up in this chapter without it seeming like information.

There are various British social/class references that I as an American do not get at all. I don't know if this matters, but I'm really completely in the dark, even though I read a lot of British books/press and listen to a lot of British radio. It's just too of-the-moment. Like I vaguely know what a chav is but not Ali G or why nobody like Sam would live in Lucy's neighborhood.

At one point Lucy uses the word "whilst". To an American ear that sounds terribly affected and proper. Would a kid like Lucy really use it?

NMott at 13:48 on 01 May 2008  Report this post
Hi, just to say I read it and really liked it. There's nothing I'd suggest changing - loved Sam's version of the Happy Days song. If you think it's too long, you could keep the second verse for another Chapter.

As for Sam being openly gay at 14, I can well believe it - there's a 12yr old I know at the local secondary school who's already bragging about the gay blow job he had at his 12th birthday party!

- NaomiM

Issy at 15:42 on 10 January 2014  Report this post
I've jsut seen the date on this and am confused!Are you rewriting? Or have I picked up an old version.

This is great. Funny, and the characters jump out they are so good.

But I am wondering what the story is at this point? Do we need a bit of conflict, mystery, romance or something? At the moment it still seems to be background - about how the girls follow the band. I am wondering where this is leading to.


Skippoo at 16:26 on 11 January 2014  Report this post
Hi Issy,

Basically, I started this years ago, didn't do much work on it for several years (writer's block!), but finished the first draft very recently and am currently editing. A lot of these earlier chapters have changed quite a bit, but your feedback is still useful! Thanks.


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