Being lumbered with the name ‘Sparkly Blue’ wasn’t the best start in life. And unlike her legendary father, rock musician Rick Maitland, who’d managed to avoid heavy drinking and drug-taking all his professional life, she’d not faired so well.
It’s difficult to tell whether ‘Blue’, as she preferred to be called, would have suffered with depression if she’d been given a different, more ‘normal’ name, but thus she was. Some days she felt non-human, mechanical, going through the motions of living a life. Only it was a life that she wasn’t sure she wanted anymore.
She’d look at one of the en-suite’s bathroom mirrors in the mansion’s east wing and not recognise the person staring back at her. She was fatter, older and not as pretty as the girl she’d expected to see. She’d lean in close, breathe, then write words in the mist. It would tend to smell funny too. And not funny ha-ha.
“Are you alright?” Rick said one day, as he passed the open door.
“Dad, don’t fuss.”
“Not fussing. Just asking.”
“OK then,” he said, hoping to sound more cheerful than he felt. She was his only child and since her mother had died he’d not really known what to do. He knew there was a problem and didn’t want to be a typical celebrity dad where they ship in a series of women to ‘mother’ her. Or shrinks. She was messed up enough already. So it was him and her against the world.
He waited along the corridor near the top of the stairs, still in earshot, but heard nothing. He hoped she’d at least be smiling, showing the white teeth that his last single’s sales had paid to restore. Seeing her smile, if only for a few weeks, had been worth it. Then she’d remembered… the accident… the one she blamed herself for, and gone back to her old ways. Worse. An enlarged version of her.
Rick was just about to go downstairs to speak to the housekeeper about lunch when he heard a scream from behind him, from the bathroom.
Running back to his daughter, he saw her peering into the sink, sobbing. He peered too and saw a mix of tears and red revolving down the drain. Grabbing her wrists, he pulled them towards him. Apart from old scars they were dry, untouched.
“It’s alright Dad,” she stammered, “it’s not blood.”
Rick looked in the sink again then back at Blue who was holding up a bottle of nail varnish.
“Why are you crying if it’s just…?”
“It was the last thing that mum…”
“And I wanted to look nice for you, to make up for…”
Rick put his arms round her and hugged her until she stopped crying… until they went downstairs… until the end of time.
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