I look down at the scrap of paper that I stole from my cousin Anastasia and confirm that I am at the correct address. It is a huge estate, bigger than I have ever seen and I am excited to be at such a big house. I am nervous, and I cannot stop thinking about the wonderful adventures that might take place inside this Red Room that Anastasia wrote about. I reckon it’s got a bouncy castle in there. The last time I saw her she was walking with a cane, and occasionally her nose would start bleeding and she’d burst into tears, but I’m sure that had nothing to do with this mysterious “Mr Grey” she often spoke of. Hey, that rhymes!
I ring the doorbell and knock on the large brass knocker, which is shaped like a woman’s breast - I assume that all women’s breasts look alike, for I have only seen my own, and even then they were in the mirror so I don’t know what they look like not-reversed. A broad shouldered man with slicked-down blonde hair answers the door, and I can tell that he isn’t Mr Grey because I’ve seen a picture of Mr Grey and this man does not look like the picture of Mr Grey I have seen.
“Can I help you?” He has a deep, smooth voice, a bit like Steve Wright from BBC Radio 2, even though this is set in America. He looks confused and disgusted, like the store manager that time when I forget to wear trousers to the supermarket.
“Yes, I think you can. I’m here for a meeting with Mr Grey, please.” Oh no, why did I say ‘please’? I bet I sound like a right silly tart.
“Is he…is he expecting you?”
“No he is not expecting me but I thought that I would come by to his house where I am now and pay him a visit please.” There’s that ‘please’ again, what the hell? Damn! “So yeah, let me in and that.” He looks confused still, and I’m not sure what else I can say to convince him to let me, a complete stranger with a runny eye, into this big beautiful house, when suddenly a man appears behind him. It was him! Mr Grey!
“HIIIIIYYYYYAAAAA!” I shout, looking over the burly man’s shoulder and waving at the man in the smart grey suit. He gives me a cold, distant look. That must be what Anastasia was talking about when she wrote in her diary that sometimes he has a cold and distant look. I barge past the burly man, who grabs me by the elbow and yanks me back. Wow. Damn. He’s strong. I suppose that’s probably to be expected though, seeing as he’s like a bodyguard or something.
“Do you watch The Vampire Diaries?” I ask him. He looks at me with that confused look again, and while I’m staring back into his lovely big blue eyes, Mr Grey clears his throat.
“You can let her go, Taylor.” I stick my tongue out at Taylor, and he snarls his face up at me in disgust. I jump up, throw my arms around his neck and whisper in his ear “I love you, Harry”, to which he responds by turning his face toward me, saying “My name isn’t Harry” and pushes me away from him in disgust.
“Come on, Mr Grey, let’s go.” I do that sauntering kind of walk that women do in films when they’ve just been complimented or when they’ve just told someone where they can shove their job because they don’t need no man, honey. Mr Grey gestures to me to go into his sitting room, which has a really big sofa and loads of expensive shit in it. Oh my god I’m not allowed to say that word, I mean stuff, I meant stuff don’t tell my mum. Yeah so there’s loads of expensive stuff and I notice that Mr Grey is still staring at me.
“Tell me... who are you, how did you find my house, and what are you doing here?” Wow. Holy crap. He’s talking to me!
“I thaw ib in Ababajha’s biawy” The words don’t come out exactly as my brain wanted them to, because while Mr Grey was asking me those questions I saw a box of chocolates on the coffee table, which I had opened and started on immediately. I swallow the food and try again.
“I saw it in Anastasia’s diary.” His face takes on a very angry look, like that time I tried to get free honey by taking a hive down from a tree and all those bees chased after me and one got really close to my eye and told me something but I didn’t understand because it was in Latin.
“Really? She writes about me in a diary? That sort of breaches our agreement.” He looks at his grey tie and smoothes it down onto his chest. “Shall I make you a cup of tea? Anastasia is particularly fond of Twinings, I believe.”
“No thank you,” I reply, twirling my hair around my finger like I read in Bliss magazine, “I’d much rather have a carton of juice, please.”
“I don’t think we have juice cartons, I think -”
“Yes you do!” I shout, on the verge of tears, “Anastasia wrote about them in her diary and she said you have lots of karabiners and your house smells of citrus, so you must have juice cartons somewhere.” Mr Grey has an expression on his face just like mine in any picture ever taken of me, like his brain has left his body. He mouths the word ‘karabiner’ and looks out of the window for a second, and then looks back at me.
“What are you doing here, Miss…?” It takes me about eight minutes to realise that he wants me to tell him my name.
“Oh, sorry. Nevershag. May Nevershag.” He kind of snorts a little bit, like he’s trying to not laugh which says to me that we’re friends now.
“Miss Never... Miss Nevershag, what is your purpose for being here?”
“Anastasia seems to like you loads and I wanted to see what all the fuss was about. You seem alright, bit quiet though. I’m not allowed to use candles.”
“….Right. Well, I’m sorry, but I must insist that you leave. I don’t normally allow strangers in my house but…well, you intrigue me, Miss Nevershag - may I call you May?”
“You just did, didn’t you?” Why would you say someone’s name before asking if you can call them by their name? I reckon he’s a bit slow.
“When I was little we visited a stately home that was open to the public and I fell off a wall and hit my head, I don’t remember it hurting much but then I had to go to a different school for a little while.”
Oh wow, holy cow! He thinks I’m fascinating. Such a gentle, passionate man with a room full of actual weapons thinks I’m fascinating. Swoon! I start to unbutton my shirt, but he looks shocked and waves his hands in front of my chest.
“Stop! What are you doing?” But I know he wants me, I mean, come on!
“Go on, have a feel!” I say, grabbing one of my own boobs. “Phwwwoooar! Have a go!”
He looks utterly horrified as I lean towards him.
“What’s wrong? Oh…that?” I say, pointing at the green patch of felt on my left boob. “I don’t know how that got there. It oozes sometimes but just ignore it, I always do.”
His eyes start to tear up.
“Yeah, baby! Touch me like an iPhone!” Oooooh holy crap. Damn. Wow. He’s so sexy.
“I want to bake you into a cake, big boy.”
Suddenly, Harry’s grabbing me by the shoulders and wrenching me away from my boyfriend. How dare he? I hear Mr Grey shouting as I’m being carried away toward the front door, “She’s mental, call the police!”
Harry puts me down on the steps. “Thanks Harry, things were getting a bit too hot for mama in there.”
“My name isn’t Harry, you weirdo.” Swoon. Holy crap.
I give him that look that I once saw Samantha give to a man in Sex & The City before my mum found me watching it and locked me in the basement to read the Bible. My top is still undone and I lean forward, saying “Go on, you know you want to” rubbing gunk out of my runny eye. He waits for about five seconds, and then grabs a boob with each hand and gives them a right good squeeze.
“Phwwwwoooarrrr” he says.
“I know, right?”
Works. Every. Time.