7 minute read

WELL DONE! The Party Organiser by Fiorella Ruas

The Party Organiser by Fiorella Ruas

This is going to be great. Bella’s going to be so chuffed about this, Meg thinks in the tiny kitchenette of her South London one bedroom flat, dragging, in an art student intense sort of way, on her roll-up as she ponders her weekend away in the South of France. If only someone had thought of organising a surprise party like that for her forty-fifth. On the other hand, as she’s consistently lied about her age over the years, who would know? Even she doesn't know how old she is any more. The mathematics have got harder. She’ll probably end up having her forty-fifth birthday when she’s around fifty-seven.

When anyone has asked her age, her response has always been: how old do you think? And then she’s just gone along with their answer. Her group of friends must all have different figures in their heads. She’s noticed people’s guesses have steadily got closer and closer to the reality of her age and when, in the past, she used to walk away feeling so pleased that they thought she was eight years younger than she was, now they seem to hit a year or so off the real figure and not always in the right direction.

“I know hon, I wish I could take you with me as well,” she says to her cat Rory. “You could hang out in barns with some real cool French cats.”

What would she do without old Rory? Meg thinks as she caresses his hairy little chin.

Who would she hear heavy breathing next to her at night, lying on his back with his little penis in the air, farting away with pleasure, puking on the duvet in the early hours of the morning?

Just as Rory starts to puke with the emotion of it all, the doorbell rings. It's late. A little shudder of panic filters down through Meg’s body. Because she knows who it is. She’s been through therapy and court cases to get rid of him. Only he just won’t go away.

The doorbell rings again. The roll-up drops out of her hand.

“Meg,” a moaning little voice comes through the door.

Fuck, why didn’t she turn out the light quick enough. She can't pretend she's not there now.

“I know you’re there,” the little whining voice says.

"No, I’m not. Go away," Meg shouts from the bedroom door at the shadow she can see in the glass of the front door quickly scanning all the bolts and locks to see if they're all locked.

Oh God, you’d think with age and wisdom and experience, she’d have learned to spot the odd bad apple in her boyfriend collection, the latent abuser, the lurking misogynist, the dangerous homicidal stalker.... but no, for two years ago, not only did she manage to hitch up with one boyfriend turned stalker, but two. Two stalkers for the price of one. She’s often wondered what this says about her, what normal sane, experienced, world-wise woman would, whilst one deranged ex boyfriend was stalking her, end up having an affair with the police detective dealing with the case who turns out to be even more violent and dangerous than the stalker.

“Please Meg. Open the door.” His voice has gotten more menacing. It’s the same old pattern. How was she meant to know that behind that heroic, virile, unreal American cop film look lay an insecure, whining little man prone to fits of violence? Well, that’s it. It was too unreal. She should have known he was just playing a part and had watched too many American films himself. The only thing, in fact, they had in common.

Meg picks the roll-up out of the mass of other little stub-outs and re-lights. She went on a course to learn how to deal with this type of potentially dangerous situation. She learned to be calm, to make light of the situation, to sound like one of those well meaning patronising late night radio DJs dealing with an obviously deranged and potentially dangerous listener.

“You have to stop this. You have to go home now. I'm trying to be nice about this. You don’t want me to call the police again do you?”

“I am the police.”

“No, Robert. Remember? You’ve been thrown off the force for stalking me. Forgotten that little court case we all went to? The local paper name and shame thing? And then the nice policemen took your badge and gun off you like in the films.”

“I didn’t have a gun." And why did she even go with someone who had absolutely no sense of humour?

“You had a badge, come on. Look, you’ve just got to get it into your head. Neither I nor the Metropolitan police force love you anymore.”

“I’m going to top myself,” he says pathetically, changing his tack.

“Listen to me. I don’t love you any more. I’m not sure I ever did. Rory’s puked just at the thought of you coming to the door. It's over. Please just go home honey.”

“Honey. You called me honey.”


“So you still love me,” he says, affirmatively.

This man is a complete idiot and a manipulative one at that. A very bad combination.

“Honey, I call my dentist “honey”. I call the cashier with braces and spots at Sainsbury's checkout “honey”. Don’t mean I want to have sex with them honey. Go away. Please don’t do this to me."

"Meg....," he shouts as he bangs his fist on the front door.

Meg jumps, dropping her roll up yet again and goes back into the bedroom to grab her mobile from the bedside table, trying to keep her cool.

“Honey, I’m going to count to three. And then I'm going to ring that little number they gave me and the sane men in police uniforms will come and take you away again.”

“Just show me your face one more time,” changing his tone yet again into an almost balanced, normal, reasonable voice.


“I promise I won’t do anything silly.”



“Three. Right. I'm calling.”

“Okay, Okay, I’m going.” He kicks the door before striding angrily down the road.

Oh, well, could be worse, at least she dealt with it all pretty well. Calm, making light of the situation, non confrontational.

Just as well I’m going away, Meg thinks, as not for the first time, she listens, her ear up against the front door, to check if the creepy footsteps are truly walking away.

Meg is one of life's course takers—courses in assertiveness training, being a well woman, cat psychology, becoming an overnight success but not one of these courses have ever told her why she is so attracted to, at best, losers, at worst homicidal maniacs.

And, as she crawls on her hands and knees over to the living room window where she peeps out of the curtains to make sure the creepy ex policeman has truly walked off into the South London night, she’s coming to the horrible conclusion that there is no answer.

Maybe I’ll just have to kill him like they end up doing in the films, Meg thinks, as she watches him walk away into the night.

“This will really cheer Bella up.” Meg thinks. And although she is well aware that you can’t tell someone who’s in depression how lucky they are—it’s like telling someone with no legs they’re lucky to have a wheelchair—she still can’t understand why her old college friend needs cheering up in the first place.

Why she's so depressed, God only knows. She is so LUCKY. You just want to shake her and tell her to buck her ideas up. She could be in a wheelchair. Or worse, have no legs and no wheelchair. Living by the side of the railway line in Africa or South America. Just a stub, wheeling herself around on a trolley. Or she could be me. Meg thinks to herself as she folds her overnight T-shirt into her back-pack which Rory the cat has managed to cover in a mammoth amount of hair in an alarmingly short amount of time.

Fiorella Ruas' writing background is in theatre. After one of her plays received critical praise in the National press, she was commissioned to write for Film and TV. Fiorella's stories and poems have appeared in several anthologies, magazines and literary journals. She has just finished her first novel.

Fiorella Ruas' writing background is in theatre. After one of her plays received critical praise in the National press, she was commissioned to write for Film and TV. Fiorella's stories and poems have appeared in several anthologies, magazines and literary journals. She has just finished her first novel.